Summer Reading Book & Film Club – Mr. Local History

Read a good book about your hometown area - Mr. Local History Project

The Mr Local History Book & Film Club partners with local libraries and area authors and filmmakers showcasing films and stories from the Somerset Hills. Have an author or filmmaker to share? Let us know.

Our Summer Favorites:

  • Kidnapping the ENEMY by Christian McBurney -The Special Operations to capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott
  • Jersey Stories by Fred Rossi – Fun lesser known stories from New Jersey’s historic past
  • Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck – True story of a 1966 flight of two Basking Ridge brothers
  • The Shooting of Rabbit Wells by William Loizeaux – A tragedy at a Bernardsville bar
  • The Idea Factory by John Gertner – The definitive history of America’s greatest incubator of technological innovation. In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history.

Great Books About Somerset Hills History

TitleCover ImageAuthor/ProducerTown(s):Summary:
George Washington’s NEMESISAmazon.com: George Washington's Nemesis: The Outrageous Treason and Unfair  Court-Martial of Major General Charles Lee during the Revolutionary War  (9781611214659): McBurney, Christian: BooksChristian McBurneyBasking RidgeThe outrageous treason and unfair court martial of Major General Charles Lee during the Revolutionary War
Jersey StoriesJersey Stories – Scotch Plains Public LibraryFred RossiNew JerseyGet Fred Rossi’s Jersey Stories Book today – write him directly at Fred T. Rossi [email protected] or find him on Facebook – Click Here
Kidnapping the ENEMYKidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles  Lee and Richard Prescott: McBurney, Christian M.: 0884184082911:  Amazon.com: BooksChristian McBurneyBasking RidgeThe Special Operations to capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott
VIRTUAL EVENT:
The Deadly Spawn
Thedeadlyspawn.jpgCharles HildebrandtPeapackA horror film for the ages that has become a cult classic.
The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree ProjectThe Basking Ridge Oak Tree Project Book - Mr. Local History ProjectBrooks BetzBasking RidgeThe keepsake book is a fundraiser that not only includes some of the most touching writings and images, but it also gives back to the community.
Somerset Hills History Coloring BookAmazon.com: Somerset Hills History Coloring Book (9781544274713): Betz, Mr.  Brooks H, Arnold, Linda, American Association of University Women: BooksBrooks Betz, Linda Arnold, AAUWBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneThe Somerset Hills is a group of five beautiful towns in the northern section of Somerset County, New Jersey including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. New Jersey is often referred to as the “Cockpit of the American Revolution” and many of these images tie back to the history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the great American Experience. 
History of the Reformed Church at Peapack, N.JHistory of the Reformed Church at Peapack, N.J.: Buy History of the Reformed  Church at Peapack, N.J. by Thompson Henry Post at Low Price in India |  Flipkart.comHenry Post ThompsonPeapackThis work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible.
A Bit of Earth in the Somerset Hills: Growing Up in a Small New Jersey TownAmazon.com: A Bit of Earth in the Somerset Hills: Growing Up in a Small New  Jersey Town (9781596293823): Ward, Gordon Thomas: BooksGordon Thomas WardBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneCombining the enchantment of youth with nostalgic memories of the landscape of Somerset, New Jersey, author Gordon Ward recalls in brilliant detail the Bernardsville neighborhood in which he grew up. While the world beyond grappled with Woodstock, Vietnam, Watergate and the era s other great dramas, Ward went to school, played, explored the surrounding terrain, developed friendships, celebrated holidays, found a niche for himself within his family and much more. A Bit of Earth in the Somerset Hills, is a neighborhood tale that will resonate with all whose growing up years were filled with a sense of place
Schoolhouses of Early Bernards Township: A Photographic History of SchoolsSchoolhouses of Early Bernards Township, A Photographic History of Schools  – The Official Site for The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH)Josephine M. Waltz Bernards TownshipA pictorial history of the early schoolhouses of the Bernards Township (NJ) school district, which dates to 1853. Several of the schoolhouses continued in use into the early 1900s and still stand today.
New Jersey Country Houses – The Somerset Hills – Volume 2New Jersey Country Houses - The Somerset Hills - Volume 2 by John K. Turpin  and W. Barry Thomson (2005-05-03): John K. Turpin, W. Barry Thomson:  9780974950419: Amazon.com: BooksJohn K. Turpin , W. Barry ThomsonBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneVolume 2 documents the prolific estate-building activity that took place in one of the country’s exclusive residential “colonies” during the period between World War I and World War II. Beautifully illustrated and extensively researched.
New Jersey Country Houses – The Somerset Hills – Volume 1New Jersey Country Houses - The Somerset Hills - Volume 1 by John K. Turpin  and W. Barry Thomson (2004-05-03): Turpin, John K. and W. Barry Thomson:  9780974950402: Amazon.com: BooksJohn K. Turpin , W. Barry ThomsonBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneLavishly ilustrated, The Somerset Hills provides a rare glimpse into some of New Jersey’s finest country houses and estates, and the fascinating people who designed and built them. Volume 2 of this stunning series is also now available.
In the Somerset Hills (Images of AmericaIn the Somerset Hills: The Landed Gentry (Images of America): Schleicher,  William A., Winter, Susan J.: 9780738564227: Amazon.com: BooksJoan WilliamsBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneThe popular series continues capturing great images from Somerset Hills history.
Flight of PassageFlight of Passage: A Memoir: Buck, Rinker: 9780786883158: Amazon.com: BooksRinker BuckBasking RidgeTrue story of a 1966 flight of two Basking Ridge brothers
Bedminster (Images of America)Amazon.com: Bedminster (Images of America) (9780738589930): Schleicher,  William A., Schleicher, Amanda R.: BooksWilliam A. SchleicheBedminsterSettled in the first half of the 1700s, the fertile fields of Bedminster Township attracted Dutch, German, and Scottish farmers. During the American Revolution,the town served as a safe haven for the American army. For over a century, following the war, Bedminster returned to its previous way of life as a sleepy little farming community.
The Shooting of Rabbit WellsAmazon.com: The Shooting of Rabbit Wells: A White Cop, a Young Man of  Color, and an American Tragedy eBook: Loizeaux, William: Kindle StoreWilliam LoizeauxBernardsvilleA White Cop, a Young Man of Color, and an American Tragedy. On a frigid winter’s night in 1973, William “Rabbit” Wells, a young man of mixed race, was shot and killed by a white policeman named William Sorgie outside a bar in Bernardsville, New Jersey
Around and About Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, and Lyons (Images of America)Around and About Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, and Lyons (Images of America):  Kennedy, June O.: 9780738586557: Amazon.com: BooksJune KennedyBernards TownshipBasking Ridge, Liberty Corner, and Lyons form the nucleus of Bernards Township, a region with a history as fascinating as it is long. 
A Journey through Peapack and GladstonePeapack Gladstone – The Official Site for The Historical Society of the  Somerset Hills (THSSH)Jacqueline TuttonPeapack & GladstoneA great history of Peapack and Gladstone with images.
Among the Blue Hills: Bernardsville, A HistoryAmong the Blue Hills . . .Bernardsville . . . a History: Bearnardsville  History Book Committee: Amazon.com: BooksBernardsville History Book CommitteeBernardsville, Bernards Townshipn spite of the great numbers of local histories that have recently appeared as by-products of the celebration of New Jersey’s tercentenary, we feel no need to apologize for offering one more. New Jersey, more than any state in the Union, can trace its history only through studies of its individual communities. The complexity and diversity of the state is clearly seen in the small area about twenty miles in length in which Bernardsville is centered
The Somerset HillsThe Somerset Hills: Being a Brief Record of Significant Facts in the Early  History, of the Hill Country of Somerset County New Jersey (Classic  Reprint): Schumacher, Ludwig: 9780332628899: Amazon.com: BooksLudwig SchumacherBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneThe Somerset hills; Being a brief record of significant facts in the early history of the hill country of Somerset County, New Jersey and contains stories from the Millington native. New Amsterdam Book Company
The Story of an old Farm; or, Life in New Jersey in the Eighteenth Century Andrew D. MellickBedminster, Peapack, GladstoneThis work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.
Centennial History of Somerset County1878Andrew MesslerBedminster, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Peapack, GladstoneThe 212 page book is a historic look back at people, places and activities that we all take for granted as New Jersey citizens today. Many of the names have been honored with township and county names like Carteret, Penn, and more. The journey starts back in 1681. The bound brook, the middlebrook, the north branch, pluckemin, and the chimney rock are called out as they become colonized over the next century.
Crystal FireMichael Riordan and Lillian HoddesonSomerset HillsOn December 16, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, physicists at Bell Laboratories, jabbed two electrodes into a sliver of the metalloid geranium. The power flowing from the geranium far exceeded what went in; in that moment the transistor was invented and the Information Age was born. No other devices have been as crucial to modern life as the transistor and the microchip it spawned. 364 Pages
The Idea FactoryThe Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation:  Gertner, Jon: 0884819703136: Amazon.com: BooksJohn GertnerSomerset HillsThe definitive history of America’s greatest incubator of technological innovation. In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history.

Leave a Comment