Union County history is a family affair! So make plans to enjoy Union County’s 13th annual “Four Centuries in a Weekend: A Journey through Union County History,” a free weekend tour of 25 historic sites. The tours will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 17, from noon to 5:00 p.m.
The 25 sites open to the public free of charge during “Four Centuries in a Weekend” are grouped into five historic themes that describe periods of major changes from colonial times until the early 1920s. Visitors can select a cluster of sites to tour, or mix and match from all 25 locations that include the grand homes of the Early Aristocracy; the settings for the dangerous war years during the American Revolution; modest examples of hard Farm Life; the entrepreneurial spirit of Commerce and Industry; and the grandeur and comfort of the Victorian Resorts and Suburbs.
“Four Centuries in a Weekend” is a recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Heritage Tourism Award. The two-day event is made possible by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
Highlights at the historic sites around Union County on the weekend of Oct. 16-17 include:
- The Osborn Cannonball House in Scotch Plains presents “Ragtime to Jazz,” featuring Edwardian Era fashions, and ragtime music recorded on wax cylinders played on an
- The Dr. William Robinson Plantation of Clark celebrates the heritage of Native
- Americans featuring teepees, dress, drumming and dancing;
- Tour the beautiful grounds and restored 1889 historic Wisner House at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit;
- The Miller-Cory House Museum in Westfield will feature 18th century folk music as
costumed interpreters recreate the daily chores and seasonal farm work of rural life, circa 1740-1820;
- Bring the kids to a mini apple festival at the Woodruff House/Eaton Store Museum in Hillside;
- The Crane-Phillips Museum in Cranford celebrates Four Centuries of “The Little House
on the Rahway”;
- While you’re enjoying the Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival at Rahway’s Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, visit the gravesite of Abraham Clark, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Participating “Four Centuries in a Weekend” sites, alphabetized by municipality:
Deserted Village of Feltville-Glenside Park
Dr. William Robinson Plantation-Museum
Crane-Phillips House Museum
Boxwood Hall State Historic Site
First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
Woodruff House/Eaton Store Museum
Oswald J. Nitschke House
Deacon Andrew Hetfield House
Salt Box Museum
Drake House Museum
Merchants and Drovers Tavern
Union County Performing Arts Center
Abraham Clark House
Roselle Park Museum
Osborn Cannonball House
Cannon Ball House
Liberty Hall Museum
Miller-Cory House Museum
For this self-guided journey, free copies of the Historic Sites Tour booklets containing brief descriptions of the sites and illustrated maps can be obtained by contacting the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth NJ 07202. Telephone: 908-558-2550 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. NJ Relay Users can call 711. Or E-mail: Culturalinfo@ucnj.org. The contact information is the same for schools and other groups requesting lesson plans and activity kits.
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