The 1892 Bernards Twp tax book is filled with family names that are now synonymous with local streets – Allen, Childs, Cross, Dayton, Haas, Schley and Whitenack, to name a few. A fairly typical taxpayer was Josiah Allen, who lived on a 23-acre Allen Road farm that later became the home of the late Irwin Richardt. Allen had property and personal items assessed at $500 and $100, respectively, for a total value of $600. His property tax for the year was $3.80, including a dog tax of 50 cents.
1930 - July - The Veterans Administration Hospital was dedicated at Lyons in Bernards Township, and soon began receiving its first veteran patients.
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A special thank you to the nearly 300 people who supported, donated, and participated the celebration of the Society's 90th anniversary. Check out our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds for some great event photos and videos.
There are a few that went above and beyond to make the event a great success and we hope you'll remember they are part of our community and take advantage of their services:
The Oak Tree Networking Group and their local business network for their generous donation of all of the food and soda for the event. Over 200 burgers and 250 hot dogs were served.
Barry's Appliance in Bridgewater for their generous donation of the 8 burner grill and Corporate Chef Barbara Markowitz along with her assistant who fed the community for the day -
Mark Your Calendar
Haunted Walking Tour of Basking Ridge Village
The Haunted Walking Tour Returns
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Tickets on sale now - Click Here to get yours. Limited availability.
This year there will be only ONE tour so get your tickets early. The tour has been a sell out every time we've held this fun slant on some of the scariest ghost stories from the history archives.
Elder Voices Storytelling Autumn Holiday Roundtable - Sunday, November 11th
Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 2-3pm - Brick Academy
Maybe you've only lived in town a few years? Just move here? Or maybe you have questions about what used to be in the area or what it was like? If so, this event is for you! Join us for a two hour storytelling session about topics, places, and the untold history of Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, and the other Somerset Hills towns.
President of the United States Chooses Bedminster for Summer White House
The Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey now known as President Trump’s Summer White House occupies 535 acres of rambling countryside in central New Jersey, 45 minutes away from New York City.
Most of the property was once the private estate of John DeLorean, the auto industry playboy whose stainless-steel car is remembered best in its role as a time machine in Back to the Future. Trump purchased the property in 2002 for about $35 million, and it opened as a golf club in 2004. The home, once known as Lamington House has a new name, the Summer White House.
THSSH congratulates the historic Grain House as it marks the 250th year of its construction. This Franklin Corners establishment in Bernards Township is full of rich local history.
In 1768, when the First Methodist church in North American colonies was initiated at Wesley Chapel in NYC and the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was being published in Scotland, Samuel Lewis, a miller from Franklin Corners in Bernards Township, built a water-powered grist mill and a barn on the Passaic River on land originally acquired from William Penn.
A new program for 2018 to celebrate the Society's anniversary. Members get to create their own family history folder that will be added to the THSSH archives vault. Work with research volunteers on a simple easy to create folder. Learn More
The Keepsake Village is Expanding
Nominate the Next Somerset Hills Cat's Meow Keepsake Collectible
Somerset Hills Historic Keepsake Village Addition
Second Cat's Meow Keepsake Back in Stock as First Run Sells Out
In partnership with the renowned Cat's Meow Village Company, THSSH introduces the 2nd collectible as part of a the historic community collection. The Historic 1717 Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the 619 year old historic oak tree is keepsake #2 in the collection.
This handmade wooden painted keepsake is a reminder of two of the Somerset Hills greatest historic icons.
Cat's Meow Village Presents the
Brick Academy to Honor 90 Years
- Get Yours Today!
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the areas first historical society, THSSH is proud to announce the launch of the Historic Somerset Hills Village Keepsake Collection to honor our home - the Brick Academy.
In partnership with the renowned Cat's Meow Village Company, THSSH introduces the first collectible as part of a new historic community collection. The Historic 1809 Brick Academy, home to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills is keepsake #1 in the collection. Learn More / Reserve Yours Today
History Honorees Celebrated
2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards Presented for Walk of Honor
Congratulations to June Kennedy along with the families of Millie Van Dyke and Mary Conkling Ellis.
This year the Board of Trustees have selected three honorees recognizing their dedication and service preserving and promoting history in the Somerset Hills area including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. Learn more about the 2018 award honorees. Click Here
New Video on our YouTube Channel
Take a Look Back at 2017
THSSH participated in or sponsored over 12 events in 2017. This video is a collection of photographs taken at some of the events.Were you there? Click Here
Nominate a Preservation Candidate
Know a property worth saving?
Recognize a historic property today.
THSSH has partnered with Preservation New Jersey to help promote local preservation awareness. But we can't do it without your help.
The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project Keepsake Book - Get Your Copy Now
If you've been touched by the story of the Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree's 600 year history, you have to see this new book. Entitled "The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project", it is a compilation of the areas children from Kindergarten through High School who have written or drawn pictures of the historic oak that was recently taken down.
The keepsake book is a fundraiser that not only includes some of the most touching writings and images, but it also gives back to the community. With each purchase of the book, a donation is made to a high school scholarship fund. Also, there is a coupon for a free student membership for young historians to join the Historical Society's Young Historian program.
The inaugural run of the book will be available starting Thursday, June 8, 2017 at a the Tree Views Reception. Get additional details and order your copy today.
Click here for all the details. Online ordering is now available.
Fun Kids Coloring Book with Local History
Note to Parents and Grand-Parents
Color local history with the kids!
Now available online
What Were the Most Important Events in Our History
Somerset Hills History Top 10 Survey gives you a chance to tell us what you think the top 10 stories are regarding the history of the Somerset Hills.
This is a non-scientific gathering from participants willing to provide their opinion on the top 10 historic news, events, or activities that contributed, changed, identified the Somerset Hills community (Bedminster, Bernardsville, Bernards Twp, Far Hills, Peapack/Gladstone).
This is your opinion and there is no right or wrong answer. Learn More
Historic Peapack Lime Kilns Get a Needed Facelift
Often unnoticed, the Peapack Lime Kilns is a historic reminder of what was once one of the most important manufacturing processes in our area's history.
Since 1999, The Society has been the owner of this wonderful historic landmark. Learn what's been happening with the current restoration efforts. Learn More
The Game of Guesses:
Online Series: Dig In The Archives
A fun series now on Facebook that gives people a change to guess the image and post their memories.
Thousands of people have logged in to guess photos that have been pulled from the archives of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH). Come see what it's all about. Lots of great stories and guesses from our participants.
The Year We Lost the Historic 600 Year Old
Basking Ridge Oak Tree
News, events, fundraisers, history, and more. Learn More
Betsy Ross-Was She Really Buried in Basking Ridge?
Betsy Ross in Basking Ridge Over the past two decades, more than half a dozen references to this story have been uncovered in our archives at the Brick Academy and in the files of the Bernards Township Library History Room. The first mention appeared in a clippings scrapbook compiled by retired physician, Dr. William Pennington, who lived around the turn of the 19th century and spent much of his life collecting newspaper articles. Learn more