Historic Grain House in Bernards Township Turns 250 Years Old

The Grain House c.2018 Credit: Brooks Betz

Historic Profile: The Grain House, Franklin Corners (Bernards Township), New Jersey The Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn Turns 250 Years Old (1768-2018) Mr. Local History congratulates the historic Grain House as it celebrates its 250th construction anniversary. In 1768, when the First Methodist Church in North American colonies was initiated at Wesley Chapel in NYC and the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was being published in Scotland, Samuel Lewis, a miller from Franklin Corners in Bernards Township, built a water-powered grist mill and a barn on the Passaic…

Read More

Somerset Hills History 101

Map Somerset_Hills_NJ_mr local history

Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone History that you might not know. Let’s get started. Did you know… 1921 – Far Hills was actually part of Bernards Township until seceding in 1921. Rising taxes led the 200 residents of Far Hills to decide to separate from Bernards Township and to incorporate as a Borough. The local property tax rate jumped from $2.72 in 1919 to $3.53 in 1920. 1717 – The original Bernards Township (Bernardston) area (3,000 acres) was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James…

Read More

Spring Planting – Keep the History Going

The Daffodil Project - Plant Now

Throwback post – If you live in Bernards Township, New Jersey, for the 250th Anniversary back in 2010 Bernards Township adopted the Flower Drift Daffodil as the 250th Anniversary Daffodil for their 250th anniversary! Show your support by planting these daffodils in your yard to celebrate the anniversary! THE DAFFODIL PROJECT… TELL YOUR FRIENDS/NEIGHBORS….Facebook your wall, Tweet…whatever gets the message out there…. ALL BERNARDS TWP RESIDENTS… PLANT NOW so that the entire area has this special daffodil blooming on the 250th anniversary! Please follow and like us: Related posts: Flowers…

Read More

History Helps Realtors Sell Real Estate

Mr Local History and Realtors Unite

Realtors History Guide to Selling Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Bedminster and the Rest of the Somerset Hills, New Jersey It probably comes as no surprise that realtors have a fairly easy time selling homes in Bernards Township and the surrounding Somerset Hills area. With its top ranked schools, highway access to the rest of the state, easy access to railroads and a relatively low tax rate. Now comes the secret. How you can differentiate yourself as a realtor using Mr. Local History. First off, we never thought of promoting what we…

Read More

“Janice Meredith” – 1924 Silent Film Showcases American Revolution

Janice Meredith a silent film found by Mr Local History

Back in 1924 silent films were all the rage. Bernardsville was just becoming a boro and separating from Bernards Township but there was still only one movie theater, The Liberty . How fortunate was the theater to feature the film “Janice Meredith”, a film about the American Revolution featuring the infamous General Charles Lee. The question is? Will they show the infamous Lee capture at Widow White’s in Basking Ridge? We have the complete film at the end of the story. Film It is 1774, the eve of the American…

Read More

The History of the 1912 Bernards Township Town Hall – The Astor Estate in Basking Ridge

Mr. Local History Archives - Astor Estate

One of the most iconic historic properties in the Somerset Hills is an English Tudor style estate that sits atop a high ridge in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township. Built in 1912, this Basking Ridge landmark was the home to four wealthy families; Owen, Lee, Bissell and Astor, before being acquired by Bernards Township in 1968. The property is known by locals as the Astor Estate since the Astor’s were the last private owners. However, the resident that had the most impact on the town belonged to George…

Read More

Grand Mansions and Historic Homes in the Somerset Hills

The Peapack Gladstone Blairsden estate- Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Many people have asked why post all this history stuff on the area you’re calling the Somerset Hills. Well, call it passion. Call it intrigue. Call it local awareness. I think that the main reason is whenever I asked a question about history in the area, the information wasn’t available. I didn’t want to wait to go to the library, and I didn’t have time to go to the local historical society. But I moved to the area and said, “If I’m gonna be a local, I need to learn…

Read More

The Great Historic Tavern Pub Crawl & Tours

We like touring Morris and Somerset County since this is the “cockpit of the revolution” and most of the old taverns were meeting places of the resistance. Want to grab a pint where  General Washington drank (and maybe slept)? How about a cold one where Ben Franklin gathered his thoughts? Here’s where history meets the road….literally. In addition to churches, pubs and taverns served as the meeting places of the revolution. How fun now would it be to create a trip, learn some great stories, and maybe even sit and…

Read More

Kids Event Planning: History Coloring Book

Coloring History Opportunity for Kids T3 Consortium, a local company in the Somerset Hills, is proud to announce a new program for education programs to create a great program to make available for children while teaching them about some of the greatest historic people, places, and events in New Jersey’s Somerset Hills area including Bedminster, Bernards Twp, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. What better way to teach kids about local history than by having them color some of the greatest events in Somerset Hills history with over 34 historic…

Read More

Charter Day to Showcase Artist’s History Coloring Book

Somerset Hills Coloring Book- Mr. Local History Archive #mrlocalhistory

Meet Local Artist Linda Arnold – Get an Autographed Edition Local artist and Liberty Corner resident Linda Arnold will be signing copies of her new coloring book “Somerset Hills History” during the Bernards Township Charter Day Streetfair & Festival from 1-4pm at the Brick Academy, just off the Basking Ridge green. For every book sold, one will be donated to a local education program. The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book highlights the history of Somerset Hills, New Jersey. The book contains 34 images including the areas famous people, places, and events in the Somerset…

Read More

Titanic Survivor Astor and Basking Ridge

Noted High Society Playboy and Titanic Survivor Brings Notoriety to  Bernards Township. It’s a fun story, but you’ve gotta hang in there. First we need a little background about John’s father, the one who didn’t survive the Titanic disaster. In 1909 John Jacob Astor IV divorced his wife Ava and, two years later, married his eighteen-year-old mistress Madeleine Talmadge Force, which scandalized New York society . Mr and Mrs Astor travelled to Egypt and Paris and, in the spring of 1912, decided to return to America as First Class passengers…

Read More

Top 10 Historic Businesses in the Somerset Hills, New Jersey

In 2009 - The Grain House was listed as one of the top 10 historic businesses in the Somerset Hills

Whether you’re a banker or a national political figure, a CEO or a farmer, the Somerset Hills has provided commercial opportunities for centuries. From C. Ledyard Blair and Jackie Kennedy, to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Charles Pfizer, the Somerset Hills business community has served up commerce in a classic fashion. (See the list of Somerset Hills Rich & Famous post). There’s no mistake that the Somerset Hills area is rich in long lasting commerce history. The Somerset Hills region of Bedminster, Bernards Twp, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack &…

Read More