Union County is now part of the Passport To Your National Parks program where Parks enthusiasts have their passports stamped when they visit historic sites around the county.
The stamps, which were unveiled at Four Centuries in a Weekend ’17, literally tripled the number of passport stamp locations in New Jersey overnight..
Across the country, people will bring their Passport books to national parks, monuments and other areas overseen by the National Park Service.
Union County is one of 14 New Jersey counties that comprise the NPS’ Crossroads of the Revolution National Heritage area, which recognizes the role New Jersey played in the American Revolution.
Because the Union County area was one of the earliest regions to be settled, there are numerous sites of significance from the Revolutionary War era. These sites will now have their own unique stamp recognizing their inclusion in the National Heritage Area.
“It is a great feeling to be able to help our local historical societies promote their sites,” said Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, who attended a recent Four Centuries meeting and helped distribute the new stamps.
“We know that there are people who travel to sites, in part, to add another stamp to their Passport book,” Kowalski said, noting that there have already been inquiries from Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as word has started to leak out about the new stamps.
Several sites will have two stamps because of their location. For example, the Miller-Cory House in Westfield is a historic site in its own right and is also along the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail, which recognizes the contribution of the French in winning the Revolutionary War.
Several battles in Union County were also memorialized with the stamps.
Union County offers a free passport to historic sites across the county which can also be used with the stamp program.
The new stamps will be available at these sites:
- In Berkeley Heights, the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park and the Littell-Lord Farmstead.
- In Clark, at the Dr. William Robinson Plantation-Museum.
- In Elizabeth, at Boxwood Hall, First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, Snyder Academy.
- Nathaniel Bonnell Homestead & Belcher-Ogden Mansion, and St. John’s Parsonage.
- In Hillside, at Woodruff House-Eaton Store Museum.
- In Mountainside, at the Deacon Andrew Hetfield House.
- In New Providence, at the Salt Box Museum.
- In Plainfield, at the Drake House Museum and Plainfield Meeting House.
- In Rahway, at Merchants & Drovers Tavern. There will also be a stamp recognizing the King’s Highway.
- In Roselle, at the Abraham Clark Memorial House.
- In Scotch Plains, at Elizabeth and Gershom Frazee House and Osborn Cannonball House. And at Ashbrook Reservation, to mark the Battle of the Short Hills.
- In Springfield, at the Cannon Ball House. There will also be a stamp for the Battle of Springfield.
- In Summit, at the Carter House.
- In Union, at Liberty Hall, Connecticut Farms Church and Caldwell Parsonage, where there will also be a stamp commemorating the Battle of Connecticut Farms
- In Westfield, at the Miller-Cory House Museum, which will also have a stamp recognizing the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail.
While the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs will continue to offer free Union County Across the Centuries passports at all Union County historic sites, those interested in purchasing a national passport can go to: eparks.com/store/category/30/278/Passport.
Launched by Eastern National in 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks program consists of a guidebook highlighting national parks and provides space for dated ink “cancellation” stamps that enable visitors to commemorate their visit. More information on the program is available at: easternnational.org/what-we-do/passport.
To learn more about the Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs.
For addresses for the various sites, go to: ucnj.org/4C.