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Somerset County's
Weekend Journey Through the Past

Features 5 Free Historic Sites in the Somerset Hills
Tours & Activities
Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 8 - noon to 4 p.m. 

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This popular family-oriented program is being presented by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission in collaboration with 26 local historical societies.  Five historical properties are located in the Somerset Hills – The Brick Academy, Boudinot Southard Ross House, and Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, all in Bernards Township; United States Golf Association in Far Hills, and The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum in Bedminster.

Experience the sights and sounds of the 18th century with costumed reenactors, house tours and activities; living-history reenactors; open-hearth cooking; colonial life; interactive activities and games. 

For those who enjoy a challenge, “What in the World is That…?”  a detective investigation activity, will test your powers of deduction to solve mysteries relative to each historical site.  Download and print an “Official Investigative Task Booklet” from the event website at

Weekend Journey Through the Past is intended to encourage a multi-generational outing for parents, children and grandparents.  Share stories and experiences about “the old days” with your children and grandchildren as you enjoy traveling from one historic site to the next. 


Brick Academy
Home to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills
The Brick Academy


Boudinot Southard Ross House - The Ross Farm
Boudinot Mansion 2007

Jacobus Vanderveer House
Vanderveer House

  Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead - The Farmstead Arts Center

USGA Museum
USGA Museum


Official Website - Click Here

The Brick Academy /
The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills

15 West Oak Street, Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township

The Brick Academy:  Built in 1809, the Brick Academy, a “classical school,” had a reputation for training graduates who achieved national recognition in their fields.  Prominent families from Virginia, and Maryland, and New York enrolled their sons in this prestigious school.  Important leaders in our country such as Theodore Frelinghuysen, Samuel Lewis Southard, William L. Dayton, and Robert Field Stockton received a classical school education.  These prominent men preceded hundreds of students who attended class at the Brick Academy, students whose names represent the earliest families in the Somerset Hills.  New Jersey legislature to organize a public school system was enacted about the year 1824.  Beginning in 1853, and for 50 years thereafter, the Brick Academy provided a public education to young residents of both sexes in Bernards Township.

Visit the Brick Academy, located at 15 W. Oak St, Basking Ridge, to see and learn about a turn of the century classroom as demonstrated by a “teacher” in period costume.

Website -

Boudinot –Southard- Ross House/
The Ross Farm

135 North Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township

Boudinot Southard Ross House:  Do you like Art, Music, Theater or History?  Then you’ll enjoy a visit to the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Property, also known as The Ross Farm.  This beautiful 50-acre property is located at 135 North Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge.  The site was home to several prominent figures that played a critical role in the founding and early years of our Country.  Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, purchased the home in 1771.  He sold the house to Henry Southard in 1785, who did his part by serving in the House of Representatives for New Jersey from 1801-1821.  His son Samuel, who attended the Brick Academy, later became the Governor, a Senator, and Secretary of the Navy.

Featured activities throughout the weekend include: actors in costumes portraying historical figures; harpsichord demonstrations; displays from Boxwood Hall (the State Museum dedicated to Elias Boudinot); a “Paint Out!” where artists of all media are welcome to create works on site; a traveling exhibition from the USGA Museum entitled "Swung with the Stars: Golf and Hollywood; scavenger hunts; Boudinot garden tours, face painting, and kite flying.  (Some kites are provided but feel free to bring your own). Food and drinks are also available.

Check their website for weekend activities.
Website -

Click Here to learn more about the Boudinot Ross House

Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum

3055 River Road in River Road Park, Bedminster Township

Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum:  For more than two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House, located at 3055 River Road in River Road Park, Bedminster Township, on the southbound side of Routes 202-206, has been at the center of Bedminster Township’s rich and colorful history.
In 1778, Vanderveer lent his home to General Henry Knox, who was to command a new artillery encampment and training academy being established by the Continental Army on a hillside above the village of Pluckemin.  General Knox, along with his wife Lucy and young daughter, occupied the house from the winter of 1778 through the summer of 1779; and the Jacobus Vanderveer House served as headquarters for General Knox during the winter of 1778-79, when the Continental Army artillery was located in the village of Pluckemin during the Revolutionary War’s Second Middlebrook Encampment.

The Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery.  General Knox established “The Academy,” a precursor to The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

During Weekend Journey through the Past, visitors to the Jacobus Vanderveer House can meet Colonial brewer Rich Wagner, who will demonstrate beer making during the period and discuss how beer played a central role in the social, economic and political life of our regional ancestors. He performs the demonstration in period dress, and all his brewing equipment is handmade with Colonial-era materials.

Check their website for weekend activities.
Website: Vanderveer

Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead /
KMS Arts Center:
450 King George Road, Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township

Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead:  Also known as the Farmstead Arts Center, the Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead, located at 450 King George Road in Basking Ridge, has won local, county and state awards as a model of adaptive reuse of an historic site.  Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the Farmstead’s English Barn,  Farmhouse and other buildings date to before the Revolutionary War.  The site is also historically important for its association with Reverend Samuel Kennedy, who was one of the early ministers of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the founder of the Brick Academy; Colonel Ephraim Martin, a Revolutionary War hero and framer of the Bill of Rights; the Stelle family, who farmed the land for generations; and Gerald Pearson, the inventor of the solar cell. 

Weekend Journey Activities at the Farmstead include a strolling troubadour, William Ward, singing songs of the American Revolution, noon – 2 PM Saturday; costumed musicians, Anne and Ridley Enslow, performing a concert of colonial songs, accompanied by hammered dulcimer and fiddle in the farmhouse, 2 – 3 PM Sunday;  colonial games and crafts in the English Barn all weekend; art show by ARTsee artists all weekend; Community Art Project; guided house and barn tours on the hour Saturday and Sunday.  Artists are also invited to paint en plein air throughout the weekend.   Visit for more information on the many activities offered at the Farmstead.

Check their website for weekend activities.

United States Golf Association

77 Liberty Corner Road, Bernards Twp, NJ 07931

United States Golf Association:  Originally built in 1919, the USGA Museum, located at   77 Liberty Corner Road in Far Hills, served as a private residence until 1972.

Site activities include a Museum scavenger hunt, as well as self-guided tours featuring the new Jack Nicklaus Room and a special presentation on the historic Pope Mansion that is currently home to the world’s largest collection of golf artifacts and memorabilia.  There will also be a children’s reading room, a unique tour of the USGA Research and Test Center that highlights the science behind the game, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and  Mathematics) activities, a historic putting experience and optional competition in period costume using replica vintage clubs and more!      Light refreshments will be available

For an online THSSH historic profile - Click Here

Check their website for weekend activities.


2016 Participating Historic Sites across Somerset County:

  1. Brick Academy,  Basking Ridge
  2. Boudinot Southard Ross Estate, Basking Ridge
  3. Jacobus Vanderveer House, Bedminster
  4. Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, Basking Ridge
  5. USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Ctr. For Golf History, Far Hills
  6. Brook Arts Center/Brook Theater, Bound Brook
  7. Codington Farmstead, Warren Twp.
  8. Frelinghuysen House/ Raritan Public Library, Raritan
  9. Amy Garret House, Rocky Hill
  10. Kirch-Ford- Terrell House, Warren Twp.
  11. 1860 School House/ Millstone Borough, Millstone
  12. Mt. Bethel Mtg. House, Warren Twp.
  13. Old Millstone Forge, Millstone
  14. Old Presbyterian Graveyard, Bound Brook
  15. The Presbyterian Church of Bound Book, Bound Brook
  16. Relief Hose # No. 2 Engine House, Raritan
  17. Daniel Robert House, Somerville Borough Hall, Somerville
  18. Somerville Fire Museum, Somerville
  19. South Branch School House, Branchburg
  20. Abraham Staats House, So. Bound brook
  21. Andrew Ten Eyck House , Branchburg
  22. Texier House Museum, Watchung
  23. Van Horne House, Bridgewater
  24. Van Veghten House, Bridgewater
  25. Washington Rock, Watchung
  26. Wyckoff Garretson House, Somerset/Franklin Twp.

For further information, please call The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission at 908-231-7110 or visit the event website by Clicking Here.

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