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Trading Cards Reveal History To Those Who Find Them

Union County history trading cards are available at Four Centuries In A Weekend sites

Union County, NJ — Langston Hughes lived in Westfield? Alexander Hamilton studied in Elizabeth? The cellphone has its origins in Murray Hill?

With Union County’s Four Centuries In A Weekend to return Oct. 20 & 21, historic sites across the county will all have history cards celebrating people, places and innovations that have connections to Union County, a county with a rich history, dating back to when the Lenape lived and hunted throughout the region long  before the arrival of the first Europeans.  

On Four Centuries, children of all ages—and adults– are invited to hunt down and collect Union County’s new History Trading Cards.

“Union County has an incredibly rich history—a history most residents are not aware of,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Union County has been home to celebrated authors, artists, actors, inventors—the list goes on.”

“When we rolled out the first four cards at the Deserted Village as a trial in the fall of 2016, we knew we had a hit,” Granados said. “The kids went searching all over the Village to collect the cards.”

The County’s Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs added another 25 cards this year  to the series, bringing the collection up to nearly 50 cards, with every historic site having a card unique to the community.

While the Founding Fathers are well represented, from David Brearley — a signer of the US Constitution on behalf of New Jersey — who can be found at the Nitschke House in Kenilworth, to Abraham Clark, in Roselle and Clark, there are cards involving lesser known, but important figures in Union County’s 400-year history.

“We live in a County that is so long in history — and I’m not talking just about the Revolution –I’m talking about a County whose residents played vital roles in every century since New Jersey was first settled in the 1600s,” said Freeholder Bruce Bergen.

“When babies are born and they want to check to see if they’re okay,” Bergen said, “they administer the Apgar test. Dr. Virginia Apgar, who invented that test, lived in Westfield.”

Visitors to Westfield will not only be able to collect the Apgar card at the Reeve House, but also added to the collection this year are cards for Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, and just this month, Charles Addams. To see the cards now available, and where to find them, go to:

Among other new cards this year are Lionel Trains, which had a major production plant in Hillside, Telstar, the first communications satellite developed at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, and John Shippen Jr., who changed the face of golf and worked for years at Shady Rest Country Club in Scotch Plains.


The history card program is part of a larger initiative launched by the Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs to raise awareness of local history. The Office was recognized earlier this year by the National Association of Counties (NACo) with an achievement award honoring innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. A group of projects was recognized that included the history trading cards, signage marking the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage area, and sponsorship of the National Parks passport program.


For more information on the trading cards, Four Centuries In A Weekend and all Cultural & Heritage Affairs programs and activities call 908-558-2550 or email