FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Union County’s annual Four Centuries in a Weekend countywide history and culture event is packed with activities for children. Three dozen unique historical sites are participating this year. Along with special programs and events for all ages, visitors to each site can pick up an activity book, a stamp-able Four Centuries passport and history-themed trading cards free of charge.
“Four Centuries is an event for all ages to enjoy, and we thank our partner sites for creating new opportunities for children to participate with hands-on activities and other features,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.
All Four Centuries sites are open this Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, from noon to 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For a map and complete schedule visit Four Centuries online at ucnj.org/4c.
The following sites offer programs for all ages, including activities and programs specially designed for children:
Deserted Village of Feltville (Berkeley Heights-Watchung Reservation
1 Cataract Hollow Rd., Berkeley Heights
• Apple cider pressing
• Walking tour led by archaeologist Carissa Scarpa (departs 2 pm from Masker’s Barn on Sat. and Sun.); learn about excavations that revealed the social history of certain significant periods here, through examination of physical evidence
• Old-fashioned children’s games
• Quill and ink pen writing
• Campfire with marshmallow toasting
• Meet costumed characters from Feltville history, including Revolutionary War soldier John Willcocks, and David Felt, who owned and developed the mill town here
Dr. William Robinson Plantation Museum (Clark)
593 Madison Hill Rd., Clark
Saturday hours: 11 am–4 pm (and 8–10 pm for evening program)
Sunday hours: 11 am – 3 pm
• Functioning 1919 Model T on display
• Living History program by BHistorical about our World War II armed forces, from multiple sides and theaters of the war; learn about civilian efforts that supported troops, including a USO show; displays include uniforms, weapons, and a signal corps tent with functioning equipment
Elizabeth Public Library (Elizabeth)
11 S Broad St., Elizabeth
Open Saturday only (closed on Sunday)
• Historic Elizabethtown Scavenger Hunt hosted by the Library’s Local History & Special Collections Department. Pick up the Scavenger Hunt map/brochure at the library. For more information, call 908-354-6060 x7220, or email email@example.com.
Siloam Hope First Presbyterian Church & Snyder Academy (Elizabeth)
42 Broad St., Elizabeth
• Children’s games from the Revolutionary War period
• Arts and crafts for children and adults
Oswald J. Nitschke House (Kenilworth)
49 South 21 St., Kenilworth
• Tour this circa-1880 authentically furnished home and its “teaching” gardens.
Deacon Andrew Hetfield House (Mountainside)
Constitution Plaza, Watchung Ave., Mountainside
• John Sileo of the Tri-State Historical Education Simulations will discuss a Revolutionary War battle that was fought nearby, with discussion augmented by a miniature diorama showing the battle’s actions with hundreds of hand-painted soldiers
African American History & Heritage Learning Center (Rahway)
261 Central Ave., Rahway
Open Saturday only (closed on Sunday)
• Interactive programs for children and parents/guardians
• Storytelling and oral histories
Frazee House (Scotch Plains
1451 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains
• Saturday only: Harvest Festival with children’s activities including, pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin tossing and pumpkin patch
Osborn Cannonball House Museum (Scotch Plains)
1840 Front St., Scotch Plains
• Tour this Colonial-era house and learn about the family who lived here during the American Revolution, and what life was like for the 13 Osborn children — two of whom fought in the war
• Feature program “The 18th-Century Child at Work & Play” — Children worked hard in the 1700s, but also found time to play. Explore the collection of hands-on 18th-century toys. Play a game of quoits and 9-pin bowling.
• Make a colonial hat, then wear it for a photo-op as you pose with colonial children cut-outs.
Shady Rest Country Club (Scotch Plains)
820 Jerusalem Rd., Scotch Plains
• Arts and crafts for children
• FREE mini-golf
• Mini-golf putting contest — with prizes
• Saturday only: Presentation about the history of horses and horseback-riding at The Shady Rest — plus a horse on site, and horseback-riding opportunities from 2 to 4 pm.
Cannon Ball House/Hutchings Homestead (Springfield)
126 Morris Ave., Springfield
• Saturday only: Members of the Brigade of the Revolution will tell stories of life as a colonial-era soldier in the days leading to the 1780 Battle of Springfield during the Revolutionary War.
Caldwell Parsonage (Union)
909 Caldwell Ave., Union
• Appearance by Rev. James Caldwell, portrayed by Meridoc Burkhardt.
• Family/children’s activities include: create a tricorn hat and/or a colonial-style bonnet; make “church” dolls; play colonial and native-American games.
Liberty Hall (Union)
1003 Morris Ave., Union
• Tour the historic Firehouse Museum, with Union Township Fire Dept. on hand
• Children’s activities
Please note: The main house will not be open, due to a special event.
Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center
314 Mountain Ave., Westfield
• Self-guided walking tour of the grounds includes gardens, an arboretum, and a “fairy house” hunt
• Saturday only: Annual Westfield Historical Society AppleFest celebration held outdoors, with music and children’s games
Four Centuries in a Weekend is funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State, and is coordinated by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, a division of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation.
For information about all Cultural and Heritage programs, including grant opportunities, visit ucnj.org/cultural.
For information about all programs and activities in Union County parks, visit ucnj.org/parks or call 908-527-4900.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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