Stories

Should the School Districts in the Somerset Hills Consolidate?

Post Views: 8 It’s in the news again. School district consolidation across New Jersey. We have a question of the day that ties back to our initial Somerset Hills days when there was only Bernards and Bedminster (pre-1920s). Did you Know? The Somerset Hills was once just the towns of Bernards and Bedminster. Peapack Gladstone separated from Bedminster -March 28, 1912 Far Hills separated from Bernards Township – April 7, 1921 Bernardsville separated from Bernards Twp. – March 6, 1924 Bernards Township has its own Bernards Township School District and…

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Horror in the Somerset Hills

Ghost Tales from the Somerset Hills

Post Views: 2,295 Ghosts, Murder, Nuns gone insane, the Devil and other horror stories from the Somerset Hills When the leaves start turning and the nights get cooler, ghost tales and horror stories take over the autumn camp fires. Volunteering with some friends, a list was gathered and presented during a few walking tours that were put together in Basking Ridge and for a haunted fright night at the local Ross Farm. ,There are great ghost stories all around the towns that make up the Somerset Hills. Are they true?…

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Retrospective: J. Malcolm Belcher & The Far Hills Fairgrounds

The Field at the Far Hills Fairgrounds is named after J. Belcher of Far Hills

Post Views: 252 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. Many people may not know that the 12 acre pocket of land on the corner of Main Street and Peapack Gladstone Road has served as the crossroads of Far Hills going back farther than the towns formation in 1921. The Borough of Far Hills is home to the J. Malcolm Belcher Fairgrounds. This…

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Our People & Their Stories #911neverforget

The family we lost on 9/11

Post Views: 348 Special Ask from the MLH Project: MLH would love to know any positive outcomes that have come since. If you have a story to share, please post at the end of this story (e.g. did you know four children were born after the tragedy? True. 2019 and 2020 were big high school graduations for many of the 44 children as well. Contact us with any information. Mr. Local History Project On this anniversary, starting at 8:46am on September 11, 2001, when the first plane hit the north…

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#911neverforget in the Somerset Hills

The family we lost on 9/11 from Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, and Peapack

Post Views: 1,101 Starting at 8:46am on September 11, 2001, when the first plane hit the north tower, our community was changed forever. Please take a moment to remember those 21 residents from Basking Ridge, Bernardsville and Peapack that never came home that day. This is our tribute to the families. #wewillneverforget. Bernards Township was one of the hardest hit communities in the state on 9/11. The 18 township residents lost that day was the fourth highest total of any town in New Jersey, after Jersey City, Hoboken and Middletown…

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MLH Honors Back to School with Historic School Images From the Somerset Hills

Liberty Corner School c1905 - oldest continuous school in the district

Post Views: 151 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. Schools in the Somerset Hills area of northern Somerset County have been a mainstay back to the mid-1700s. We honor the history of these memorable facilities in images from various sources now in our digital research archives. For the 2020-2021 school children in the area are finally going back to school in with…

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ROADTRIP: Waterloo Village Concept Post COVID-19 Might Work

Historic Waterloo Village near Stanhope, New Jersey

Post Views: 223 Here’s an idea. How about a fresh air compound. Great open space. Historic homes, beautiful rolling, open fields, and a canal. Yes, a canal. Oh, and let’s throw in a infamous outdoor concert series while we’re at it. Just off the highway on the border of Sussex and Morris County in New Jersey in a quiet rural community lies a quiet little village. Based on how the COVID virus is treating the world, there might be rationalization to revive the look and feel of places like Waterloo…

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Retrospective: The Acclaimed Kiwanis Community Fair in Basking Ridge

The 1993 Kiwanis Fair in Basking Ridge. Source: Courier News

Post Views: 408 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. The story is expanding as we learn more about the family. If you have a comment or photo, feel free to post at the bottom of this page. Mr. Local History Project What started back on Labor Day weekend back in 1949 will hold a place in many a local residents heart as one…

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Retrospective: Robert Terry – Tuskegee Airmen and a Basking Ridge Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Basking Ridge New Jersey

Post Views: 414 Civilian Pilot and Army Air Force Instructor Robert (Bob) Terry from Basking Ridge was a groundbreaking Pilot in WWII….and yes, he was black. 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. The story is expanding as we learn more about the family. Mr. Local History Project You would think being black today and being a pilot didn’t matter, and it doesn’t.…

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Mr. Local History Book Club

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

Post Views: 274 The Mr Local History Book Club partners with local libraries and Amazon to provide you interesting reads from authors in the Somerset Hills. Help us by adding to the list in the comments section below. We will review and add to the list. Title Released: Author: Town(s): Summary: The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project 2017 Brooks Betz Basking Ridge The 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…

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Education Programs

Educators - Let Mr Local History create a program for your students

Post Views: 251 The Mr. Local History Project helps local educators to promote local history in the classroom. From 3rd grade to High School and College, let Mr. Local History work with you to share a history with your students with a fun and social twist. We’re now working with educators to define our 2020/2021 programs and would love to coordinate either an in class session or something via Zoom. Just complete our contact us form and let Miss Meg, Trustee and our education program lead work with you to…

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Bernards Twp, Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner Survey Question

Should Bernards Township, Basking Ridge and Liberty Corner embrace a prefix containing historic to their names?

Post Views: 280 Note: The survey and petition are simple. Nothing changes except we start including the term “Historic” moving forward as we promote our town and its historic hamlets. No changes to town historic districts, no additional property taxes, no building restrictions…. it’s just to add the label “Historic” and honor township history. Brooks Betz, Bernards Township Historian Go the Distance: If you like “Historic”, it’d be helpful to add your name to our online petition that we’d share with the Township Committee: Please also visit the Mr. Local…

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Reflection: Ice Cream around Somerset Hills

Think back to simple times. Grab an ice cream and forget about EVERYTHING!

Post Views: 345 July is national ice cream month, so it’s time for Mr. Local History’s look back at the history, the good fun (and some “good humor”). 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. Mr. Local History Project The first official account of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland’s Governor…

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What’s to Happen with Lord Stirling Stable and its Park?

What is to happen with the Lord Stirling Stables post COVID-19

Post Views: 447 The Lord Stirling Park including the Lord Stirling Stable (LSS) in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township is part of the Somerset County Parks Commission in Somerset County. 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. Mr. Local History Project State of the Stable from Somerset County, July 20,2020 In 1968, the Somerset County Parks Commission purchased what first became…

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Retrospective: The Lyons VA Medical Center

The Lyons VA Hospital was the first VA hospital in New Jersey - Mr Local History

Post Views: 709 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. Mr. Local History Project The Lyons Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital Historic District, currently known as the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System, Lyons Campus, is located at 151 Knollcroft Road, approximately 2.5 miles southwest of the village of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township, New Jersey. Located in a campus setting, the Lyons…

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