WATCHUNG RESERVATION – American History lovers mark your calendars. On Sunday, October 19, as part of Union County’s Four Centuries In A Weekend celebration at The Deserted Village in the Watchung Reservation, visitors will have the opportunity to hear two noted authors speak about the rich history of the area.
“Four Centuries in a weekend offers everyone an opportunity to visit historic sites throughout our county and learn first-hand the role our area played in creation of this great country,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak.
“We are fortunate to be able to present two guest speakers to discuss the events surrounding the War for Independence and the role Union County played in our nation’s history,” Hudak said.
At 2:00 p.m., Mark Di Ionno, a lifetime newspaperman and a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist in news commentary for his work on Hurricane Sandy, will speak at Masker’s Barn. Di Ionno will discuss the Revolutionary War in the Garden State, which was the topic of his last non-fiction book, and A Guide to New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Trail.
Di Ionno is a four time winner of the New Jersey Press Association’s first-place award for column writing. His columns appear regularly in The Star-Ledger, and its online partner, nj.com.
He is also the author of three award-winning nonfiction books that include New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage, and A Guide to New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Trail, which received the New Jersey Academic Alliance Award. His third book, Backroads, New Jersey was named among the most notable New Jersey books (1995-2005) by the New Jersey Center for the Book.
At 4:00 p.m., historian Robert Sullivan will discuss the strategic role the Watchung Mountains played in Gen. George Washington’s incursion against the British troops.
In his book, “My American Revolution,” Sullivan highlights the battles that took place in New York and New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania in our country’s battle for freedom.
Visit the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park during 4 Centuries In A Weekend on Saturday, October 18 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 19 from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m., free of charge. The day includes guided tours, Hay rides, apple cider pressing, old fashioned children’s games and refreshments on sale in the General Store.
For the first time, visitors will also be able to get to the event via mass transit. While shuttle buses will be available in many communities along NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line, Union County Parks & Recreation is joining with Mountainside and Westfield to provide shuttle service from the Westfield train station to the Deserted Village, with stops at three historic sites along the way in the two communities. The shuttle service will run during the hours of the two-day celebration.
For more information about 4 Centuries In A Weekend you can visit the Union County website atucnj.org.