Congratulations to Annie Kleinle, the 2020 MLH Project High School Student of the Year.

Write Annie a message of good luck.

Post Views: 348 Congratulations to our 2020 Ridge High School senior and MLH History Student of the Year – Annie Kleinle. A history volunteer since the MLH was founded, Annie Kleinle has been involved with local history. In addition to her school work and being in the History Maker program, Annie also was an avid athlete participating in soccer, field hockey – North Jersey Section 1 Group 4 championships, and the track and field team on the 100, 200, and 4×400 relay teams. “I really enjoy working with Annie,” said…

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Mr. Local History’s #growlocalhistory Project

#growlocalhistory by the Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 1,317 Trying to Make Somerset County Grow with Free Sunflowers and Some Local History – And Now – a Contest! Who doesn’t love a good challenge and some free stuff. This one is a fun one to see if we can promote growing in the Somerset Hills. Let us introduce the 2nd annual “Mr. Local History Grow Local History” project. Locals come get your pack of locally grown sunflower seeds and lets see how many new gardens we can create. PLANT NOW – JOIN THE CONTEST Read below…

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The Somerset Hill Historic Cat’s Meow Village Keepsake Collection

Somerset Hills Historic Cat's Meow Village Wooden Collectibles exclusively at the Mr. Local History Project

Post Views: 2,046 The Somerset Hills Historic Village is part of the World Famous Cat’s Meow Wooden Keepsake Collectibles The Somerset Hills Historic Village keepsake collection is a wood painted collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of the Somerset Hills community. Each keepsake was selected based on community feedback and a voting process. Brooks Betz stated, “we’re really excited to see how the public reacts to the next potential addition to this historic series. Additional keepsakes will be added to…

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Retrospective: Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ Time in Bernardsville & Peapack in the Somerset Hills

Post Views: 1,047 NOTE: As with all Mr. Local History retrospectives, we often update the post when we learn stories and are sent photos from our community. We will continue to grow this piece as information becomes available. A Small Part of Camelot in the Somerset Hills While the Somerset Hills plays home to many a power broker and celebrities, there was no one who captured the time and essence of the Somerset Hills quite like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. While her life was filled with unimaginable tragedy, we look at…

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June is Mr. Local History Scholarship Program Giving Month

Mr Local History Scholarship Fund

Post Views: 941 June is our Scholarship Community Giving Month and we need your help! HELP MAKE OUR $1200 GOAL Mr. Local History, a local non-profit organization which celebrates the history of the Somerset Hills, encourages everyone who supports our mission to take part in our scholarship program that is given annually to a worthy Somerset Hills student that’s passionate about preserving and promoting OUR local history. This year has been a particularly tough year with the Covid-19 virus and our non-profit has not had the chance to hold fundraising…

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Mr. Local History Releases Summer Magazine Vol.2 Issue 3 – The Covid-19 Issue

Mr Local History Magazine - Free - Interesting Articles about History in the Somerset Hills

Post Views: 376 Who would have ever imagined that between our Spring and Summer issues that the world would change. The historic Covid-19 virus has crippled communities and businesses. Read how the Mr. Local History Project team is working to document the event as well as to continue to research and share local history to distract everyone from what has certainly been a stressful time. We hope our latest issue brings just a bit of joy to everyone’s stressful time. This Issue’s Cover Two great images: Our first showcases the…

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Historic Community Collage – Share a Photo To Help Document These Difficult Times.

Community Collage during Covid - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 917 Take part with neighbors and community members in the Somerset Hills and share a photo to our community collage. During this time of unprecedented history everyone recognizes that being safe means social distancing. But that can’t stop us from being a community. Be part of the “Community Collage – Strength in Numbers” online collage to document these tough times. Our ask is simple. Use the form below to submit a photo you think best represents you or your family during this crisis. We will gather all the…

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The Iconic Kiwanis Fair in Basking Ridge – Did you go? Be part of the Story

Retrospective: The Kiwanis Fair in Basking Ridge - Mr. Local History

Post Views: 430 Be part of the story! The Mr. Local History Project is looking for anyone with stories and photos they’d like to share for a research project about the Kiwanis fair that ran at the Oak Street school grounds in Basking Ridge for almost 50 years. Tell us why it ended. Tell us your favorite booth, event or organization you participated with. Any stories and photos appreciated. Any submission will be considered to add to the research of the event. If you are sending photos, please tell us…

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Population Trends in the Somerset Hills

Everything looked consistent until Bernards Township broke the trend with an exponential growth period. Mr. Local History

Post Views: 511 One thing that I’ve learned as a township historian in this area is everyone has a point of view on what changed the area over the years. No matter who you talk to you typically hear that the area is nothing like it used to be. But what did it used to be depends on how far you look back. Looking back to the 1700’s in the Somerset Hills we’ve recognized a few things. First, the Somerset Hills townships are tucked behind the Watchung Mountains in a…

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Historic Profile: The Lost Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge

Looking back at the Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge, NJ

Post Views: 1,154 If you were driving around the small town of Basking Ridge, New Jersey and you were looking for an airport the only thing you’d find is a sign. But for residents who’ve lived here since the 1930s, the area contained a small grass runway airport called the Somerset Hills Airport. Before there was an airport, there was a 70 acre tract that had a long history in Basking Ridge. The original owner goes back to the early 1700s when James Alexander, the father to Lord Stirling aka…

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Historic Profile: Somerset Hills Country Club

Somerset Hills Country Club c1920 with logo

Post Views: 926 Tucked behind the bucolic town center in the boro of Bernardsville, New Jersey lies one of the best kept historic secrets in the state, the Somerset Hills County Club. Actually a golf and tennis club as well, the low key very private club has served history well in the Somerset Hills. Notable members of Somerset Hills over the years have included C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury for Eisenhower; Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of State for Jimmy Carter; Nicholas F. Brady, Secretary of the Treasury for…

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The Founding Families of Basking Ridge

Trading $50 for Basking Ridge

Post Views: 1,517 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. As many know, the area was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James III of England in 1717, from Chief Nowenoik of the Lenapes, a real estate package of 3,000 acres for $50.  We honor those who founded this community on the Ridge.…

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History Dig: The Army Hospital was in Basking Ridge and NOT Jockey Hollow

The Winter Encampment at Morristown has a historic twist. The army hospital was in Basking Ridge. Read the story.

Post Views: 1,308 NOTE: While I sit in the house under self distancing work from home for the Coronavirus, we take a look back at a hospital in Basking Ridge, New Jersey that very few people knew. And the amazing part is not that I knew there was a hospital in Basking Ridge, I was shocked to learn that there never was a hospital in Jockey Hollow. Brooks Betz, Historian – Mr. Local History Project The 1779-1780 Winter Encampment at Jockey HollowThe Story of the Hospital at Basking Ridge Weather…

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Art and History – Looking for Artists Who Love History

Local art and local history project - Mr Local History

Post Views: 933 The Mr. Local History Project is launching a new program to preserve our local history. We are also looking for art teachers to consider a program where an entire art class works to create their own collection. Take a look and if you’re interested, drop us a line and we can connect to discuss. Sign Up to Volunteer and Participate

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REFLECTION: Somerset Hills Farms, Orchards, Dairies, Stables & Landmarks

Farming was everything in the Somerset Hills - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 692 The Mr. Local History Project has begun an effort to create a list of key agricultural, lifestock, equine, and fruit farms in the Somerset Hills area of Bedminster, Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack and Gladstone. A number of researchers are building the list along with details to share with the public. While the bucolic Somerset Hills remained the treasure of western New Jersey, once the railroad started in the 1870’s, farming shifted to estates. Mostly in Bernardsville and Bedminster, Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, parts…

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