The Founding Families of Bernards Township (Basking Ridge)

Trading $50 for Basking Ridge

Post Views: 2,834 NOTE: Remember that Far Hills and Bernardsville were part of Bernards Township until the 1920 so these names do cover those areas as well History showcases some of the greatest reminders of where we came from. Many people new to the area don’t know the deep history in the area ties back to some of the originating families that chose this area back in the early 1700s. In 1701, East Jersey’s Governor and Proprietors wanted to settle the East Jersey province and appointed John Harrison for that…

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Lord Stirling-Is William Alexander Basking Ridge’s Most Famous Resident?

Lord Stirling - Washington's top general from Basking Ridge.

Post Views: 2,162 William Alexander was considered male heir to the Scottish title of Earl of Stirling through Scottish lineage (being the senior male descendant of the paternal grandfather of the 1st Earl of Stirling, who had died in 1640), and he sought the title sometime after 1756. Raised on Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, he decided to move west to the country. He chose Baskinridge (Basking Ridge) and became what many feel is the area’s most famous resident. Let’s take a look. Early Days William Alexander (1726 – 1/15/1783)…

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Retrospect: President James Monroe Had Ties to Basking Ridge

Young James Monroe who later became the 5th President of the United States

Post Views: 1,685 James Monroe was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and “Founding Father” who served as the fifth president of the United States from 1817 to 1825. A member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty. But did you know Monroe cut his political teeth in Basking Ridge, New Jersey in 1777 at the ripe age of 19. Let’s take a look at this great American story. The Virginia Farm Hand Dropout James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758 near what is…

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Looking Back – Werring Chevrolet-Olds in Basking Ridge

Werring Chevrolet Basking Ridge 1957

Post Views: 1,695 For many the downtown village of Basking Ridge is a bucolic vision of a Rockwell American town. Dotted with small shops, churches, and eateries, you don’t have to travel back in time too far when one of the biggest businesses in the downtown area was a car dealership. The Mr. Local History project takes you back to 1957 where we introduce you to the history of Werring Chevrolet-Olds right there where the current Basking Ridge Family Dentistry offices stand in 2020. John H. Werring picked up where…

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They Stayed In Basking Ridge

The famous people who came to Basking Ridge - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 1,915 In a sleepy little section in the northern end of Bernards Township lies the Olde Mill Inn. Once just a small restaurant and former grain house barn, it has become a quiet getaway for Hollywood elite and social royalty. As you walk into the Olde Mill Inn lobby, take a quick turn to the left for a glimpse of history mounted on the wall. The statement is simple: these people chose to visit where you live for any number of reasons. From Martin Sheen to Howard Stern,…

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Bishop Edmund S. Janes – His Somerset Hills Story

Book: The Life of Bishop Edmund S. James

Post Views: 1,761 Before we get started: The Methodist Church in the United States is 94% white, 92% third generation American, 60% married, 69% believe in God absolutely, 42% attend church weekly, and 62% believe in hell. Several attempts were made in the twentieth century to reunite the Methodist Church with its founder’s own church – the Church of England. These were rejected by the Church of England’s General Synod in 1972. However, dialogue and informal relations continued. In 2003 a Covenant between the two churches was signed. This affirms…

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The Day that Altered American History & General Charles Lee

Post Views: 1,832 A Day that Changed the Course of American History in Basking Ridge, New Jersey Basking Ridge, New Jersey’s most famous Incident occurred at about noon time on December 13,1776. General Charles Lee (1731-1782), was “alarmed” by Major Wilkinson while he was writing a letter to General Gates about George Washington in an upstairs bedroom of the Widow White’s Tavern. Widow White’s Tavern, named after Ebenezer White’s wife Mary Brown White, became the centerpiece of Revolutionary War history on that day, because It was on this most unfortunate…

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The Life of Irwin Richardt

Irwin Richardt - The Patriot of Liberty Corner - Mr. Local History

Post Views: 5,497 The Patriot of Liberty Corner “Those who would give up liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin. “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” Thomas Jefferson Welcome to Irwin on the HAM Radio (Click Player) http://www.mrlocalhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2004-1207-w2vjz-enemy-of-mankind.mp3 Listen to Irwin throughout the article as he broadcasted from his HAM radio back in the early 21st century. For those who knew Irwin, it’s really amazing to hear his voice Irwin Richardt (pronounced Rick-art) was born in 1928 and grew up…

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Betsy Ross is Buried in Basking Ridge

Betsy Ross Painting with General Washington

Post Views: 2,690 Local Lore –Flag Designer Betsy Ross and her Basking Ridge Ties “Here lies the woman who made the first banner containing the stars and stripes after that honored old ensign had been adopted, June 14, 1776.” July 4, 1876 speech given by E.M. Pennington in Basking Ridge, NJ Betsy Ross’s name at her death was actually Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole. Claypoole was a Morris County man. June 14 commemorates Flag Day the birthday of the first U.S. flag, made by Betsy Ross (1752-1836) at the…

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“Janice Meredith” – 1924 Silent Film Showcases American Revolution

Janice Meredith a silent film found by Mr Local History

Post Views: 1,961 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…

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Retrospective: Meryl Streep Was From Basking Ridge BEFORE Bernardsville

Meryl Streep was from Basking Ridge, NJ too - Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Post Views: 11,925 As with all Mr. Local History retrospectives, we often update the post when we learn stories and are sent photos from our internet community. We will continue to grow this piece as information becomes available. If you have a comment or photo, feel free to post at the bottom of this page or drop us a note. Mr. Local History Project This piece is released to the public in hopes that this piece will continue to update based on  the ongoing online dialogue that originated from a Facebook post and a Meryl…

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Alexander Hamilton’s Morristown Love Story

Post Views: 4,129 Alexander Hamilton’s New Jersey Roots – Morristown Known as the “the cockpit of the american revolution,” New Jersey has a rich history from the american revolution. During what was the 2nd winter encampment in Morristown, and the 4th in New Jersey, the winter of 1780 was the worst winter of the war to that point.  In fact, historians state the winter of 1780 was the worst winter of the 18th century! Yet for some reason everyone thinks Valley Forge was the worst winter, yet it was Jockey…

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50+ Chris Christie Beach Memes To Make You Laugh

Chris Christie Beach chair meme Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Post Views: 12,900 UPDATE: YOU KEEP SENDING… WE’LL KEEP POSTING! After shutting down the NJ government due to a budget impasse while a constitutional requirement was legit. But the photos of Christie caught on a closed public beach have turned his episode into a viral web phenomenon. The Christie Snub It all started when a photographer from the Newark Star Ledger rented an airplane on July 2, 2017 to take photos of the closed public park beaches. He had a hunch that maybe, just maybe, Christie, whose governor summer home…

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Somerset Hills Most Famous Residents

Post Views: 27,982 The New Jersey towns that make up the Somerset Hills include Bernards Twp (Basking Ridge), Bernardsville, Bedminster, Far Hills, Peapack/Gladstone). Starting back in the late 1800’s many of the richest and most famous people lived in the Somerset Hills. Remembering who they are is one thing.Remembering what they did is another.Remembering where they live(d) is tougher still. The Somerset Hills in New Jersey is one of the most affluent areas in the history of the United States. From the Bernardsville Mountain in the Gilded Age, to the…

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General Henry Knox – America’s Forgotten General

General Henry Knox at the age of 33

Post Views: 37,613 Father of the American Army Artillery Father of the American Navy Father of the Military Draft Fate has it often where those who put themselves in constant danger and face death every day are often spared until some freak accident takes them away from us. General Henry Knox, one of America’s most noteworthy and often overlooked Revolutionary War General fit that description after serving in some of America’s most famous battles, dies from eating a chicken bone.  Let’s take a look back at one of the greatest military…

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