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Suffrage & Morristown’s Women

The Long Campaign for Woman’s Suffrage: Morristown Women were “Silent Sentinels”

The campaign for Woman’s Suffrage lasted 70 years; it began with the first woman’s rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.  Guest speaker Frederick Douglass delivered a passionate oration demanding the vote for women.

Douglass said, “Observing woman’s agency, devotion and efficiency, gratitude for this high service early moved me to give favorable attention to the subject of what is called ‘woman’s rights’ and caused me to be denominated a woman’s rights man.”

In 1851, Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech was given at a woman’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio.

She said, “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere.  Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place!  And ain’t I a woman?”

Both black and white woman’s clubs formed over the next decades and continued to push for voting rights. “Lifting as we Climb” was the motto of the National Federation of Colored Woman’s Clubs, founded in 1896.  New Jersey’s Alice Paul, born in Mount Laurel, went to England to study sociology, and became active in the British Woman’s Suffrage movement.  Once back in America she joined the American Suffrage movement.

Paul organized parades and pickets to spur action on a Constitutional amendment.  Her first parade—and the largest—was in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1913, the day before President-elect Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.  Eight thousand women marched with down Pennsylvania Avenue while a half million spectators watched, supported and harassed the marchers.  To appease women from the South, black women, and male supporters, were lined up behind the white women marchers.

In January 1917, Paul began what would be thirty months of picketing at the White House with 1,000 supporters who picketed six days a week.  They were the first political activists ever to picket at the White House. Among Paul’s “Silent Sentinels” were two Morristown women, Alison Low Turnbull Hopkins and Julia Hurlbut.  Alison Hopkins’ picket sign read “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?”

The women at the gates faced verbal and physical attacks from spectators.  Instead of protecting the women’s right to free speech and peaceful assembly, the police arrested them, and some were sentenced to jail or to the workhouse.

Alison Low Turnbull Hopkins was born in Morristown at Featherleigh Farms, educated by private tutors, and was the reigning debutante of her season. She married and continued to live at the family’s estate off Normandy Parkway with her husband, John Appleton Hoven Hopkins, an insurance executive. Julia Hurlbut became active in suffrage in 1915 and identified with the radical wing of the movement.

By 1918, President Wilson was supportive of the woman’s cause.  It took two more years for the, House, and the required 36 states to approve the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, on August 18, 1920.

You can learn about other local Morristown women who were active in Woman’s Suffrage at Macculloch Hall, in Morristown. Their current exhibit: Living, Learning, Working, Serving: The Women of Macculloch Hall commemorates the centennial by celebrating the Macculloch/Miller women, as well as the enslaved women and female servants who lived and worked there.  Macculloch women involved in suffrage were Louisa Macculloch Miller, Mary Louisa Macculloch Miller, Alice Duer Miller and Dorothea Miller Post.

We’ll let you know when Macculloch Hall opens to the public so you can view the exhibit. We also have scheduled a lecture on the centennial of the 19th Amendment with a curator’s tour at the exhibit on August 16.

And, looking ahead, the Morris County Tourism Bureau plans to offer two opportunities to tour the mansion and gardens of a Morristown family that ran in the same circles as the Maccullochs, the Robert and Marie Foote family of Spring Brook Farms, now the Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown.  Those two tours are planned for June 14 and October 4.

To learn more about our tours, check our website over the coming weeks: morristourism.org  or call our office when we return to work:  973-631-5151

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Things to Do in MC!

You’re Home…We’re Here  

We have entered Week Three of our “isolation” and we continue to update YOU with the goings-on of the nearly 300 members of the Morris County Tourism Bureau.  We’ve all learned how to Zoom, purchase and sanitize our groceries, and wash our hands properly.  Our staff is working from home to bring you the latest and greatest ways to stay safe and sane in Morris County.  Our information categories include:  Recreation, Dining, Farms, History/Arts/Culture, Shopping, and Services.  Things do change, so we encourage you to “call ahead”.

Recreation:

Luckily, we live in Morris County, filled with beautiful parks, trails, lakes and babbling brooks. While keeping your social distance, get outside alone or with your family to experience nature.

The Morris County Park Commission stands ready to serve the residents of Morris County. With over 20,000 acres of parkland and 38 distinct park facilities, they are trying to keep many of their sites open to the public. At this point in time, the grounds and trails are open for passive recreation only, and you must practice social distancing.  Check their website for daily updates at morrisparks.net.

Read their March 26 Park details here

Morristown National Historical Park is closed to the public. The access gates to Jockey Hollow, the Brigade/Cross Estate and Gardens and Fort Nonsense are closed.  You are invited to follow the Park on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Learn more about the collections on their blog spot accessible through their website. nps.gov/morr. You can also learn about George Washington and the Continental Army in Morristown during the American Revolution. Go to YouTube.com to see the park’s movie: Morristown: Where America Survived Full Program HD

READER’S CORNER: The movie is based on the John T. Cunningham book of the same name which can be ordered online.  Mr. Cunningham wrote over 50 books about New Jersey history.  If you read or watch the movie and have questions, send them to [email protected] and we will try to respond.  Interested in John T. Cunningham, New Jersey’s historian?  Read about him in the Newark History Society’s archives in a collection of articles entitled “Newark Remembers John T. Cunningham”

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum welcomes you to visit their garden located at 45 Macculloch Avenue in Morristown. The gardens are free and open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They have posted Interactive Home Activities that appeal to “students” of any age at  maccullochhall.org

Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is closed, however, they welcome you to visit their grounds which span 30 acres.  stickleymuseum.org

Hacklebarney State Park is open, as are all state parks and forests, for walking, hiking and biking only.

Shopping:

New: Embroid Me is open and taking orders for imprinted promotional items.  Call George at 973-267-3000 Embroidme
Just Jersey Goods is #JerseyStrong.  Just Jersey stocks products from 250+ local artists and vendors, and offer online shopping and free delivery. Your purchase not only provides you with some much-needed retail therapy but also supports small makers and artisans throughout the state. That’s a Win-Win. Visit them here:  justjersey
Enjou Chocolat located at 8 DeHart St. in Morristown is now open and filling your orders, delivering them curbside.  Their hours are 10 am to 4 pm (Mon-Sat)  Call:  973-993-9090 enjouchocolat

Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum have canceled their annual May Plant Sale.

Dining:

New:  Amanti Vino at 60 South Street in Morristown, is offering online ordering for pick-up at curbside or delivery.  They also have a location at 30 Church Street in Montclair.  amantivino

New:  The Artist Baker, located at 14 Cattano Avenue, Morristown, is re-opening for curbside pick-up only.  Call: 973-267-5540.

Morris Township List of Open Restaurants.  This list is subject to change.  Morris Township

Morristown List of Open Restaurants.  The Morristown Parking Authority has ceased writing parking tickets to help small business owners. This restaurant list is subject to change.  Morristown

Jersey Girl Brewing Co. located in Hackettstown on Sand Shore Road is taking your beer to go, cans, growlers, and keg orders online. “Craft beer can put a smile on your face.”  jerseygirlbeer

Take-out and Delivery are available now that restaurants are closed.  Morristown residents created a Facebook Group called “Morristown Order Out Twice A Week Stimulus Plan” to support local hospitality workers. Visit on Facebook

Chef Fredy’s Table at 78 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, will take your dinner order by phone and have it ready for you at curbside or deliver it to you personally.  They will be open for take-out each day from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can call them at 973-538-3330 to order your favorite dishes.

The Madison Hotel is offering the same service at 1 Convent Road, Morris Township. You can place your order from the Rod’s and Red Dog Tavern menus. ($25 minimum for delivery).  To order from The Madison Hotel call:  973-539-6666.

Long Valley Pub &  Brewery and White Birch are also offering take-out and delivery from their menus.  Call 908-876-1122 to order.  Also, they are running a special: ½ price wine and growler refills to go.

Farms:

The Totten Family Farm, located at 442 Naughright Road, Long Valley, has quality grass-fed beef, and pork, as well as honey, milk, and farm-fresh eggs. They also offer a wide variety of CBD products formulated by Dr. Totten. Their weekly hours can be found on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Message them on social media, or give them a call at 908-850-0555. tottenfamilyfarm.com

Stony Hill Farms, located at 8 State Road 24 in Chester is opening a farm stand for curbside grocery pick up only.  Call 908-879-2908 or visit stonyhillfarms.com

Alstede Farms in Chester is open every day with extended hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. While their special events and programs are suspended, you can still stop by their farm stand for great produce and other products. They also offer curbside pick-up. Call them at 908-879-7189 or go to AlstedeFarms.com

Wightman’s Farms at 1111 Mt. Kemble Ave is open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and offering delivery or curbside pickup. Free delivery within 5 miles and $10 beyond that up to 12 miles. $50 minimum order. Fresh produce, pies, artisan foods. Call 973-425-9819 or go to Wightman’s Farms They have a downloadable grocery order form on their website.

History, Arts and Culture:

New:  Morris Arts’ The Gallery at 14 Maple has now posted its latest exhibition “Vanishing Worlds”.  Morris Arts Show

New: The Growing Stage is providing TGS TV: Online Creative Arts, so you can add the theatre and arts to your home-schooling schedule.  You’ll find resources for growing, playing and learning. Growing Stage

New: Opera at Florham is posting its past live performances by young professional opera singers, and posting videos regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their fall schedule should be out soon.  Past Events

New:  The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey is posting from time to time.  Take their March 25th Opera Quiz.  Watch 10 video clips and try to guess the Opera, Composer, Character.  Answers will be available on April 1st.

New: Mansion in May is now Splendor in September  Get updates here

New:  Centenary Stage Company will present the beloved musical “Forever Plaid” this summer from July 9 until July 19.  Tickets are on sale now. Visit Centenary Stage

New: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s box office is open, but only by phone or email.  Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte is celebrating her 30th Anniversary this year and, from time to time, is making entries into her Anniversary Diary with special guest diarists.  Check out their delightful posts at shakespearenj.org

Loyola Jesuit Center has suspended in-person retreats and programs, however, they continue to provide the community with spiritual comfort through “Pray As You Stay”.  Seven days a week at noon they offer the Rosary and at 6:30 pm the Stations of the Cross.  Dial-In at: (646) 769-9900 Conference ID: 07960#  loyola.org

The Folk Project is closed at least through the end of April.  Please enjoy their YouTube channels Horses Sing None of It and Folk Project Video.  Also, check their website for free live streaming concerts folkproject

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra has canceled its programming, gala fundraiser and house tour.  To donate or exchange your tickets, their remote box office is open at [email protected]

The Morris Museum has very interesting videos to enjoy at home with your family.  For example, the third installment of A Cache of Kinetic Art explores the fascinating world of Tiny Intricacies, defined as objects measuring one square foot or smaller. In addition to exhibiting eighteen contemporary pieces, juxtaposed are several examples of “precious smalls” from the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection.  Exhibition catalogs for Tiny Intricacies, as well as the previous two kinetic shows in this series, are available from the Museum Shop at https://morrismuseum.org/museum-shop/

The Morris County Tourism Bureau encourages you to virtually get outside and walk around Morristown. Download our Historic Morristown Walking Tour and enjoy a walk while learning local history. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Morristown one of a “Dozen Distinctive U.S. Destinations” Find it here

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts offers At Homes Resources and they are providing coloring sheets, games, recipes and more.  Their at-home website will be updated regularly.  Find it here

Glassworks Studio, 151 South Street in Morristown, is a make-your-own-glass art studio that is offering Glass to Go Kits.  If you call ahead 24 hours in advance, you can pick-up all the material you need to create a glass project at home.  Call 973-656-0880 or check out their website umakeglass.com

MPAC has suspended all programs. However, the box office is working to serve patrons and re-schedule shows.  Read their update with important info for ticket holders.  MPAC 

One of our members (thank you!) sent along this great website so you can get your “culture fix”.  It’s full of great resources for the whole family to enjoy, including virtual museum tours and concerts.  Click here  

Morris County Libraries are closed, however, their staffs are standing by, providing useful information and good reads.  They have free downloads to your device from their Cloud Library app.  They will answer your questions and provide advice at  https://mclib.info/

Services:

New:  The Morris Animal Inn has essential staff to care for pets.  They can accommodate requests for first Responders, Essential Workers, Healthcare Workers, and any dog or cat parent who might have an emergency.  Call: 973-539-0377 or email [email protected]

The Irish in Morristown

Girl and her father at the St. Patricks Day parade waving

Celebrate the Irish in Morristown

General George Washington brought the Continental Army to Morristown, New Jersey, for two winters, in 1777 and again in 1779-1780. The second winter encampment took place at Jockey Hollow, today part of Morristown National Historical Park (MNHP). Over 10,000 men took over parts of the Guerin and Wick farms and suffered immeasurably during the worst winter on record.
Of the 11 brigades encamped at Morristown, 7 of them had generals who had either been born in Ireland or had parents of Irish heritage. It was estimated that one quarter of the entire Continental Army had been born in Ireland. On March 17, 1780 General Washington ordered that generals were not to assign duty to any Son of St. Patrick, and the holiday marked their first day off that winter in Jockey Hollow. To commemorate the Irish contribution to the War for Independence a plaque was unveiled at Jockey Hollow in April 2010 by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County.

The left side of the plaque has an illustration of soldiers around a campfire. The right of the marker features a picture of the “Independence of Ireland” flag. Below this is a picture of a clay pipe with Irish harp and shamrocks and has the caption “Image based on archeological fragment found in Jockey Hollow and now part of Morristown National Historical Park’s museum collection”. Schedule a visit to Jockey Hollow and to the museum at Morristown. Spring seasonal hours are now in effect. nps.gov/morr

Sign detailing the Irish contribution to the Revolutionary War at Jockey Hollow

The Irish will show their pride once again in Morristown at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 14th. The parade steps off at noon from Morristown Town Hall at 200 South Street and continues down South Street to the viewing stand near the Morristown Green. The parade concludes at Morristown High School on Atno Street at 2 pm For the line of march and more information visit paradeday.com

Woman at St. Patricks day parade in tall green har

Parade goer

Morristown’s oldest church is Assumption Church at 91 Maple Avenue where a mass will be celebrated before the parade honoring St. Patrick at 10 am. Mass was celebrated for the first time at Assumption on Christmas Day, 1848. The cornerstone for the current Gothic Revival-style structure was laid on June 30, 1872. Read about the mass at Assumption

Historic Marker about the Irish in MorristownThe church interior was restored to its Victorian-era grandeur in 2007 and is well worth a visit. While near the church, and prior to the parade, stop at the corner of Madison Street and Macculloch Avenue. Read the Morris County Heritage Commission marker about the Dublin Neighborhood, installed and dedicated in March 2019. There is also historic signage about the development of the area. Do a self-guided tour of Dublin using the information at this link. Dublin

Many of the local bars and restaurants will open early for the parade. The parade itself is alcohol-free and family friendly. Parking is plentiful in downtown garages and on surrounding streets. View a Morristown Partnership parking map here: map of Morristown

Restaurants puts on a memorable St. Patrick’s Day program each year-the Dublin Pub near the corner of South Street and Pine Street. With music and menu and drink specials, it offers an authentic celebratory experience in Morristown.

George and Martha’s and the Grasshopper off the Green, both on Morris Street, are lively before and after the parade. The Office Tavern Grill on South Street and The Grand Café (dinner only) on Washington Street are also favorites of our staff. And if you want to stay the night in Morristown, the friendly and very convenient Best Western PLUS Morristown Inn is offering a special St. Patrick’s Day Parade special.
“Erin go Bragh”
   

 

Black History in MC

Deepen your understanding of Morris County’s Black history

Every February since 1926, Black History has been celebrated in America. That year historian Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, which evolved into Black History Month. Woodson selected the second week in February for its association with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (2/12) and Frederick Douglass (2/14). Black History Month was recognized officially by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

This month, in Morris County, there are very interesting local events and programs that will help deepen your understanding of its black history. For instance, on Sunday, February 9th at 2:00 pm at the Bickford Theatre inside the Morris Museum, there will be a panel discussion curated by the Reverend Dr. Sidney S. Williams of the Bethel Church of Morristown: “Anchoring African American Identities in Morris County from 1600 to 2020”.

While Morristown is best known for George Washington’s encampment in revolutionary times, there are many voices yet to be heard and stories yet to be told. Like any community, Morristown has multiple layers of unique, yet intersecting historical narratives.

Ties that bind exhibit poster held at Morris MuseumNow through March 29th at the Morris Museum check out the traveling exhibition on view:

The Ties That Bind: How Race Relations Shaped Morris County, 1600-2018. This exhibit, formerly at the Morristown-Morris Township Library and at the Morristown National Historical Park, explores over 300 years of race relations between blacks and whites in Morris County and greater New Jersey.

photo of a sculpture of Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

Celebrate and explore the life and work of the poet Phillis Wheatley at the Methodist Library at Drew University. There will be a multimedia presentation on Wheatley, the first black woman-and a slave-to be published in America. Original music inspired by Wheatley’s poems, and composed by Maestro Robert Butts, will be featured. Drew University undergraduates will recite some of Wheatley’s poems. The program will conclude with the viewing of a signed first edition of her poems from the Morristown National Historical Park’s collection. Works from the Methodist Library will also be featured. The program will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6:00 PM at Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison.

This is an encore of a program we co-sponsored last October. Personally, I found Wheatley’s life story to be fascinating, the Drew students reading her poems inspiring, and the poems set to music spiritually uplifting. Not a bad way to expend an hour.

In 1992, a number of oral histories with members of Morristown’s black community were done, and collected into a book called “Setting up our Own City: The Black Community in Morristown: an oral history project”. The book is now available digitally. We have librarian Cheryl Turkington to thank for collecting the oral histories for us and for future generations. Read the book here.

In 2018 the Bethel AME Church of Morristown celebrated the 175th anniversary of its founding. African American members of the Presbyterian Church on the Green, led by Frances Jane Freeman Ray, established the church in 1843. It served as a schoolhouse for colored children, enslaved people worshiped here, veterans of the Civil War were members, and during the Great Migration new members came from the South and the West Indies. Take a look at the information panels in front of the church at 59 Spring Street to learn more of their history.

Vintage photo of Bethel-AME church in Morristown

Bethel AME Church

 

Morristown’s Hard Winter

Why Morris County History is Important Today:

                Remembering the 240th Anniversary of the Second Morristown Encampment – by Carol Barkin

Jockey Hollow_Soldiers at huts

Soldiers at Jockey Hollow

Morristown has long been known as the “Military Capital of the Revolution.” Not once, but twice, General George Washington and the Continental Army set up winter camp in and around Morristown. This month marks the 240th anniversary of the second winter encampment, which lasted from December 1, 1779 until June 23, 1780.

General Washington, his staff and guards billeted at the mansion of Militia Colonel Jacob Ford, Jr. where his host was Theodosia Ford, widow of the Colonel who had died in 1777. Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton stayed at the mansion; he was the youngest of Washington’s five aide-de-camps.

Visitors to Washington Headquarters that winter included Martha Washington, the French Ambassador, the Marquis de Lafayette, and a three-member committee from the Continental Congress. Most notably, with the arrival of Lafayette on May 10, Washington received the news that support would be coming from the French in the form of ships, arms, soldiers and money.  It was an important turning point for Washington and the army.

Morristown Ford Mansion front view in winter with snow on the ground

The Ford Mansion at Morristown

Accompanying Washington to Morristown were 10,000 Continental Army soldiers from Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and Canada. At Jockey Hollow, south of Morristown, they built a “log house city.” They cleared 2,000 acres of trees and built 1,200 log huts, replicas of which can be seen today at Morristown National Historical Park at Jockey Hollow.

This winter is believed to have been the worst of the century, and perhaps of all time. It’s known in the history books as “the hard winter.” Supply lines could not break through to support the troops and 100 soldiers perished. Food and clothing were in short supply. Officers looked the other way as soldiers left the camp to forage on their own for food.

“At one time it snowed the greater part of four days successively, and there fell nearly as many feet deep of snow, and here was the keystone of the arch of starvation. We were absolutely, literally starved. I do solemnly declare that I did not put a single morsel of victuals into my mouth for four days and as many nights, except a little black birch bark which I gnawed off a stick of wood, if that can be called victuals. I saw several of the men roast their old shoes and eat them”. (Private Joseph Plumb Martin-age 19)

With appropriate winter clothing and boots, and a full belly, we suggest a winter visit to Jockey Hollow. As you hike the trails or up to the soldiers’ huts, or just stand quietly in the forest, imagine what it must have been like for the men camped there during the “hard winter” of 1779-80.

Washington Headquarters museum discovery center picture of boy looking at soldier exhibit

Discover History Center at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum at Morristown

The Jockey Hollow roads, grounds and trails are open every day from 8 am to sunset. The Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters Museum in Morristown are open seasonally.  Check this link for current hours.    www.nps.gov/morr

Alexander Hamilton would walk from the Ford Mansion to Morristown and pass by this handsome home, known today as the Schuyler-Hamilton house, formerly known as the Campfield House. Visiting Morristown during the second winter encampment was Betsy Schuyler of Albany, New York and they became acquainted, then engaged, and married in Albany, NY in December 1780. Now an historic house museum operated by the local D.A.R., you can visit it on most Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm. www.njdar.org/schuyler-hamilton.html

Exterior view of Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown

Schuyler-Hamilton House

Growing Stage Childrens Theater

Danny Campos and Lori Lawrence from the Growing Stage childrens theater

The Growing Stage has lots of wizards…

Growing Stage, Netcong – December 2019

Spoiler alert: the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz DID NOT melt, she escaped through the 3’x 3’ hidden trap door in the center of the stage.

I went for a behind the scenes look at the Tourism Bureau’s newest member – The Growing Stage, a children’s theater in Netcong, who, by the way, is celebrating their 25th year in the 100-year-old building in downtown Netcong, and their 38th year as Main Stage Productions. Main Stage productions performed at the Black River Playhouse and the Williamson School in Chester before they moved to Netcong to renovate and inhabit the old Palace Theatre.

I found out that The Growing Stage has lots of wizards! I met the “cardboard wizard” Artist in Residence Perry Arthur Kroeger and the “costume queen wizard” Lori B. Lawrence, who is also the Director of Education – and does a little directing on the side, The Grand Wizard who shall not be disturbed, Stephen Fredericks – Founder and Executive Director, and a wizard named Danny. Together they accomplish the impossible – magic for children of all ages and their families.

When I first walked into the theater, there was a large empty room – no chairs, no rug – only columns and a low to the ground stage. Leaning neatly up against the wall were two hundred and twenty folding chairs. I learned that the chairs are set up every weekend there is a show, allowing for their small space to have multi-purposes – especially in the summer with their always packed summer camps – and it conveniently allows easy clean-up for juice spills.

This small but dynamic, world-renown theater has more programs than I can count on two hands with a staff I can count on only one hand, which is pretty remarkable. Let’s see:
Main Stage Productions – 5 productions per year – that means new sets, costumes, props and people.
Educational programming – Creative Arts Academy – 200 kids, Summer Arts –300 kids.
Scouts & Home Schooling programs –15 towns spanning 3 counties – Morris, Sussex and Warren.
Studio Presentation Series – summer musicals and master classes for high school and college students, 3 productions per year, 75 students.
New Play Reading Festival –  resulting in one new and world-renown production per year, but they read 130 scripts from all over the world and select 4 finalists, then 1 winner.
Arts in Education for schools –25 schools visit per year.
And sensory-friendly performances – 5 per year, one for each main stage production.

The wizard named Danny, a.k.a. the Marketing Director who also directs some of the plays introduced me to the “cardboard wizard” Perry who has been with the theater for 25 years and has since painted murals on every wall. Not just small murals – but elaborate and inspiring murals about stories often told to children. He’s the one who designs and constructs all of the sets using cardboard instead of the more traditional wood to do so. This not only keeps their costs down but also makes the sets easier to build, move, repair and reuse.

I was shown every nook and cranny of the building – a real behind the set, curtain, and walls look at everything, which was lots of fun since I’m basically a nosey kind of person. I saw where the costume wizard did her magic and even got to meet her. Lori is a passionate theater person who loves her many roles at the theater. And I had a peek at the many props shelves – which were peeking back at me.

Props on a shelf

Props on a shelf peeking out

Behind the stage were dressing rooms, trap doors, ballasts, and scenery, then there was the balcony which had the lighting on the banister in front of a meeting room and a few storage closets. The third floor housed the props, sewing room, costumes, stagecraft area and a large dance/rehearsal space.

The Elf Production at The Growing Stage Theater in Netcong, NJ –  (just ending) Costumes lined up – Buddy the Elf, the Fake Mall Santa’s Costumes – you’ll have to see the performance to understand that one.

The amazing staff at the theater hard at work.

Costumes, Props – oh my!

A lot to see:

2020 season coming up has a lot of great shows

 

10 Things to do this holiday!

Make my Weekend Festive!

Suggestions of What to do in December in Morris County

Holly Walk – Friday, December 6, 2019 – Sunday, December 8, 2019, coordinated by The Morris County Tourism Bureau

A showcase of seven historic sites in the Morristown area authentically decorated for the holidays. There will be special Holly Walk programming and exhibits at each site. Gift shops will be loaded with holiday merchandise so bring your shopping list. Many sites will have refreshments and music. New this year, the event takes place over three days. Sites open on the first night will feature candle-lit tours from 4 pm to 8 pm. Times of operation at each site will vary over the three days. You must plan to drive and park at the sites, although some are walkable. No transportation is provided to or between the sites.

Christmas Festival at the Morristown Green – Sunday, December 1, 2019 – Monday, December 23, 2019,  @The Morristown Green

The place to celebrate the holidays from Thanksgiving up until Christmas; this month-long family event kicks off on the Sunday after Thanksgiving with Santa’s rooftop arrival and welcome ceremony. Family activities and entertainment on the historic Morristown Green, add to the dazzling “Lighting of the Green” ceremony with brilliant lights and wreaths adorning streetlights town-wide – a 100+ year tradition!  Each weekend throughout December thousands of attendees from all over Northern New Jersey visit and enjoy Santa visits and photos, holiday crafts, miniature train rides around the Green, gingerbread house & ornament making, music by local choirs and entertainers, ice sculpting demonstrations and free treats!

Gingerbread Wonderland & Craft Show – Friday, December 6, 2019 – Sunday, December 15, 2019, various times @Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Marvel at the creativity and skill displayed at this festive and charming exhibit featuring 150+ edible masterpieces crafted by local schools

Morris County Park Palooza: Holiday Cheer – Saturday, December 7, 2019, 12-8pm @ Central Park of Morris County

Enjoy 20+ food trucks, a Biergarten offering hand-crafted beers, wine and sangria, and live music featuring 2 bands. Keep warm by the outdoor heaters, roast s’ mores over the fire pits, take a memorable photo with Santa (3 pm – 6 pm), play carnival games, and enjoy the many activities for adults and kids, and so much more! Wear your ugly holiday sweater, too!

Woodstove Holiday Pie Classes – Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10 am-3 pm @ Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Ages 12 & up; Learn to cook a selection of savory and sweet pies over the woodstove. Try cooking the old-fashioned way as you learn to fire up a wood stove and create delectable dishes

Sculpted Ice Works – Sunday, December 8, 2019, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm @Chester Downtown
The “cool” ice designs by Pennsylvania’s own Sculpted Ice Works are truly works               of art! Using chain saws, chisels, torches and more, come watch one of their talented ice carvers hack away at large blocks of ice to reveal spectacular creations on.

Return of the Three Holiday Tenors – Sunday, December 8, 2019, 3-5pm @ The Concert Hall at Drew University

Three Holiday tenors celebrate and captivate with a dazzling selection of renowned tenor fare guaranteed to make the season m

New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker – December 13-15, 2019, various times @ Mayo Performing Arts Center

New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker enchants youngsters and grown-ups alike with splendid dancing, a live orchestra, and eye-popping special effects. Audiences of all ages will feel the holiday magic

Holiday Craft Morristown – Friday, December 13, 2019 – Sunday, December 15, 2019, @ Morristown National Guard Armory

This curated shopping event offers creative gift shoppers and design lovers the rare opportunity to meet 165 visionary American makers, artists, and craftspeople and purchase their latest works. In addition to thousands of distinctive and beautifully crafted objects there are basket weaving and copper-smithing demonstrations as well as a gourmet specialty food boutique

A Christmas Carol – Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – Sunday, December 29, 2019, various times @ The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

The tale of “A Christmas Carol” – This version uses a small ensemble of actors to bring an abundance of animate and inanimate characters to life, as the despicable Ebenezer Scrooge encounters the haunting spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

 

Holly Walk

7 Sights, 3 days and 1 Ticket – Holly Walk 2019

 The Morris County Tourism Bureau and its partners are pleased to announce that tickets are on-sale for Holly Walk 2019 which will be a three day event this year. This long-standing and beloved Morris County tradition offers visitors the opportunity to tour seven local historic sites authentically decorated for the Christmas holidays, with one admission ticket. Holly Walk brings to life Christmas from Colonial days to the present with each site featuring decorations faithful to its time period, immersing the visitor in an historical experience. Participating sites include:

  1. Acorn Hall
  2. The Ford Mansion
  3. Historic Speedwell
  4. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum
  5. Museum of Early Trades & Crafts
  6. Schuyler-Hamilton House
  7. Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
Map of locations: Hollywalk 2019 proof r3

Holly Walk Tickets

 

Acorn Hall will be candle-lit on Friday evening and feature a visit from Mrs. Claus along with 19th century costumed volunteers. To entertain visitors, seasonal favorite songs will be played on their 1872 Chickering Grand Piano between 6-8pm. Their decorations will be historically appropriate for the 19th century and paired with about 30 of the finest (some never-before-seen) 19th century winter garments from their men’s, women’s, and children’s collections.

The Ford Mansion at Morristown National Historical Park will be lit up with candles on Friday evening just as it would have been in 1780. On Saturday, December 7th, they will have a Compliments of the Season concert from 1pm – 3pm in the auditorium with Pianist Peter Toth, and Robert Butts with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey performing. The program will feature seasonal favorites along with traditional pieces from their classical repertoire. On Sunday, explore the Ford Mansion and enjoy a variety of 18th century games and entertainment.

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum will featured decorations in every room and will have on display a very special an antique dollhouse made during the Victorian era for a Macculloch great-granddaughter. The large dollhouse was built to resemble Macculloch Hall especially for her and has not been on public view since the 1980s. In addition, there will be a craft related to Thomas Nast for younger Holly Walkers to delight in.

Visitors to Historic Speedwell in Morristown will see the historic Vail House decorated for a mid-19th century Christmas. The 1849 Carriage House will host a dance space with festive evergreen décor and replica Currier and Ives prints. Activities will include a scavenger hunt, dance instruction, live music and a games and crafts area. Have your picture taken while seated in an historic sleigh. A special “wassailing” activity is planned.

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison will be hosting a Craft and Trade Show where Holly Walk guests can watch local artisans produce unique products and gifts for the holiday season and Christmas decorations will reflect early 20th century style. Refreshments will be available.

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains will be decorated for a 1910s Christmas. Guest artisans will demonstrate beadwork and candle making. Visitors can also tour their current exhibit “The American Arts & Crafts Chair: A Message of Honesty and Joy”.

The Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown will feature decorations of the Colonial period and have costumed re-enactors who will bring to life a number of “moments” associated with the two winter encampments at Morristown during the Revolutionary War.  Among these will be the activities of the busy medical doctors and scenes from the courtship of Alexander Hamilton and Betsy Schuyler who met in Morristown during one of those winters.

The site’s gift shops will be brimming with unique merchandise, some handcrafted and locally sourced, and reasonably priced. Bring your holiday gift lists, and support the preservation of local Morris County historic sites.

Tickets purchased or from the Morris County Tourism Bureau, 6 Court Street, Morristown. For more information call: 973-631-5151. Ticket prices are $35 when purchased on December 6, 7, 8 at Macculloch Hall (Friday and Saturday) or online.

A sleigh full of evergreens and red bowsHolly Walk Macculloch Hall Dove in Christmas tree

by Carol Barkin, MCTB

All photos courtesy of the Morris County Tourism Bureau-Holly Walk pasts

21st Century History Museum in Madison

The 21st-century history museum: Community Anchor and Educational Resource
By Executive Director Deborah Farrar Starker, Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

As the weather turns colder and the holidays approach, consider taking a break from hectic schedules by visiting The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, NJ. METC is a unique history museum that embraces the stories of the early settlers, immigrants, farmers and tradespeople who settled in this part of New Jersey before the 20th century. Here, two levels of exhibit space, historic objects, artifacts and stunning architecture are waiting to reveal their stories to visitors. Founded in 1969 by Edgar and Agnes Land, METC provides valuable educational enrichment to over 7,000 students from around the state each year and welcomes thousands more visitors who travel just a few miles or a few thousand miles to enjoy this unique New Jersey history museum.
A popular destination for tourists, METC is housed in a magnificent 1899 building listed on both the state and national registries of historic places. The museum offers architectural tours, lectures, special exhibits, programs, guided tours and has a vibrant museum store filled with gifts that are all locally sourced by New Jersey artisans. In early 2019, the museum officially became the Madison Visitor Center.

A major portion of METC’s resources is allocated for education, with all programs based on specific segments of the New Jersey school curricula, integrating immigration, community, creativity, innovation, STEM and STEAM into lesson plans. The professional museum educators play a pivotal role in ensuring that young audiences recognize the relevance of history, serving as interpreters, connectors and companions on a journey of making the past visible for the present. In addition, METC creates many programs offered to older adults residing in senior communities, as well as specially designed visits for people living with disabilities. Each year, the museum provides numerous scholarship programs to urban schools and other groups who cannot afford the cost of a field trip and transportation to the museum, and these initiatives are funded by grants and donations.

METC prides itself on being a vibrant and civic minded museum, offering numerous lectures, exhibitions, special events and activities for visitors with a variety of interests. In 2019, the museum installed its first permanent exhibition in over 20 years, transforming the main level of the museum into a visually exciting and interactive space. The welcoming staff is always eager to provide a special connection for all visitors, and there will always be a unique, relevant experience waiting for everyone inside the doors. For more information about the museum and its programs, visit the website www.metc.org

Inside view of Museum of Early Trades and Crafts

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts gift shop

Stickley Museum 30 years

Stickley Museum 30th Anniversary Logo

30 years of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. It’s a big milestone for a small museum. I hope you’ll join in the celebration by visiting our FREE annual Open House, Sun., Oct. 13, 2019 during The Stickley Weekend. Consider this your personal invitation and read on to learn more about the museum and this special event…

In 1989, Craftsman Farms, the early 20th century rustic country estate of Gustav Stickley, was rescued from private development by the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills. The Township set the property on a path to public use through a partnership with the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms (then called The Craftsman Farms Foundation, Inc.). The museum was entrusted with the preservation, interpretation, and daily operation of the property, which was designated a National Historic Landmark the following year.

Since then the museum has worked diligently to preserve Craftsman Farms and welcomed thousands of visitors every year, sharing Gustav Stickley’s vision for Craftsman Farms, which was his dream home and the embodiment of his Craftsman ideal.

The museum commenced its 30th Anniversary celebration with the January launch of a major construction project: the rehabilitation of an original Stickley-era garage, to become the museum’s new Education Center. And the celebration will continue with The Stickley Weekend, which will include the museum’s annual Open House, Scholars Symposium and its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Craftsman Gala.

If you haven’t been a part of The Stickley Weekend before, the Open House, is a great place to start. The free Open House provides an informal introduction to the museum and its mission. Regular tours are suspended for the day and visitors are invited to stroll at their own pace through the interior of the Stickley family home, the Log House. The museum has a dedicated group of well-trained volunteer docents, who will be on hand to answer questions and provide hourly “Spotlight Talks.” Visitors will want to take extra time in the dining room, which currently houses a special exhibition exploring “The American Arts and Crafts Chair.”

The Open House also will feature a visit from special guest artisan Nawal Motawi, founder of Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Craftsman Farms was designed around Gustav Stickley’s great passion for handcraft. With that in mind, the museum has begun inviting a contemporary artisan, whose work evokes a kinship to Stickley, as well as great skill, to join us for this annual event. Motawi will be on hand to discuss ceramics and the Tileworks, which seeks to make the world a better place by making beautiful things and by modeling healthy business practices. The museum’s shop will be stocked with beautiful, handmade crafts from the Tileworks and from other American artisans and gift items, from jewelry and candles to museum souvenirs.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 13 and join us!

by Vonda Givens, Executive Director, Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

Morris County, located 30 miles west of NYC, is home to some of America’s most important history and culture just waiting for you to explore. Start by walking in the footsteps of Revolutionary icons such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, then pick apples right off the tree at one of our verdant farms and end your day having a delicious dinner; discover how to make my weekend Morris County!
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: 973-631-5151
Leslie Bensley Photo of Jane Joe Executive Director at Morris County Tourism Bureau
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960
973-631-5151 [email protected]