UPDATE: August 17,2020
We’re on a #growlocalhistory mission. Help us raise a small amount of money to donate this coloring book to every 3rd grader in the Bernards Township, Bedminster, and Somerset Hills School District. 100% of the funds (less the donation fee) will go to getting books to the BOE in those communities. HURRY, school is starting soon. WHAT A great gift to promote local history for our kids.
Coloring book fans now have the opportunity to color the local history of the Somerset Hills area of New Jersey while learning about the areas historic sites and most memorable moments. What has been in the works for almost 10 years the Somerset Hills History Coloring Book was recently released and a lot of people are excited.
– Click images to enlarge
The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book highlights the history of Somerset Hills, New Jersey. The area is in the northern section of Somerset County including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, and Peapack Gladstone. The book contains 34 images including the areas famous people, places, and events in the Somerset Hills local history. General George Washington, General Charles Lee, Widow White, King George II, Governor Sir Francis Bernard and Betsy Ross are just a few of the historic figures that will be ready to color in the book.
Historic sites include the Brick Academy schoolhouse, the Vanderveer House (home to General Knox), the Boudinout-Ross House, the Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead and many other local historic sites. Story images also include America’s first military academy, the lost Pluckemin Cantonment, the ghost of Phyllis Parker, and the infamous capture of General Charles Lee at Widow White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge.
The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book is authored by Brooks Betz, a resident of Bernards Township and the Bernards Township Historian. The idea came up during the Bernards Township 250th celebration where a local friend Jen Stiles volunteered to create a beautiful historic mural of the township at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge.
“When I moved to Basking Ridge in 2003, I felt it was important to learn the local history. Once I met the local historical society, I immediately got involved”, says Brooks Betz, author of the book. Then at an annual book sale in Bernardsville, Brooks found an old coloring book that was prepared by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Bernardsville. “I was so psyched to see the illustrations I immediately reached out to them.” The AAUW couldn’t find any information on the original drawings but gave authorization to include them with this project.” It was then that he began the project.Brooks Betz, Official Historian Bernards Township and author of the coloring book.
Linda Arnold – Illustrator / Artist
With the initial drawings set, Betz reached out to local artist Linda Arnold who lives in the nearby Liberty Corner section of Bernards Township. “Linda is such a great person and I’ve loved her artwork and dedication to many of the history efforts she had done with the local historical society. “Linda’s involvement in the project is the only way I would have ever done the book,” said Betz. “Her love of art and history made here the perfect person for the project.” Linda created many of the local iconic images in the book.
Available Now Online
The retail price of the Somerset Hills History Coloring Book is $9.99. The intent is for every book that’s sold, one will be donated to a local history educational program. Betz noted,”there’s no intent to make money on the book, I just hope that we can raise enough money to give away hundreds of books so kids can learn about our history and have a little fun”.
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