Choose Your Own Adventure as You 'Journey through the Past'
Whether you’re ready to enjoy the social interaction of visiting historic sites or prefer virtual experiences or self-guided driving tours, the 2020 Journey through the Past has you covered. As a Crossroads of the American Revolution State Heritage Area, Somerset County has a rich heritage that you are invited to explore throughout October.
“Because Somerset County is proud of our rich heritage, we celebrate it every fall with Journey through the Past, when many of our historic sites are open to the public, free of charge,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, Cultural and Heritage liaison. “We are still holding our event this year, but due to concerns about COVID-19, our Cultural & Heritage Commission has done an outstanding job of creating a variety of ways the public can choose to explore Somerset County’s distinguished history.”
Visit www.SCHistoryWeekend.com to find all of the ways you can choose your own adventure and step back into Somerset County’s past.
For those who prefer an interactive experience, thirteen historic sites around the county will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. Members of the public are required to wear masks and most of the sites will observe social distancing by holding interactive discussions, exhibits and activities outdoors.
New Sites to Visit - For the first time on Journey through the Past, visit the Fisher Family and St. Andrew cemeteries in South Bound Brook. Guided cemetery tours are available at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Additionally, visit the Van Duyn-Van Wickle House in Somerset for outdoor tours of the house and a “sticker scavenger hunt” featuring items relative to the site, its history and ecology.
NEW SELF-GUIDED DRIVING TOUR
New this year is a self-guided driving tour of the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, created by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition. In partnership with the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition will have information tents available during Journey through the Past event hours on Oct. 10 and 11.
The 2020 History Hunt will take you on a whole new Journey through the Past and highlight hidden gems throughout Somerset County. Participants will be inspired to tell spooky stories at the Moses Craig Lime Kilns in Peapack-Gladstone, witness the signing of the Knox Porter Resolution at the history mural in Raritan, and celebrate women’s suffrage along the Women’s Heritage Trail in Kingston and more .
Those who prefer exploring Somerset County’s history from the comfort of their own homes will be able to enjoy a virtual story map, created especially for the Journey through the Past, at their own pace . Find out more at www.SCHistoryWeekend.com.
The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission encourages you to share photos along your journey. Upload photos to Instagram or Facebook and tag them @SomersetCountyNJ.
HISTORY TRADING CARDS
Returning this year are Somerset County Commemorative History Trading Cards. Each card features a notable person, place, event or theme taken from four centuries of Somerset County’s rich history and deals out fun facts, activities and even a few mysteries to solve. Cards are only available Oct. 10 and 11. Ask for them when you visit this year’s participating historic sites; most sites offer at least one trading card.
Visit www.SCHistoryWeekend.com to find out all the ways you can choose your own adventure during the 2020 Journey through the Past.
Somerset County’s annual Weekend Journey through the Past is an initiative of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, in collaboration with many countywide local historical organizations and commissions and other county organizations. It is made possible in part by funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission.
2020 Weekend Journey through the Past Participating Sites*
Abraham Staats House, South Bound Brook
Daniel Robert House (Somerville Borough Hall), Somerville
Fisher Family & St. Andrew’s Cemeteries, South Bound Brook
General John Frelinghuysen House (Raritan Public Library), Raritan
Kirch-Ford-Terrill House, Warren
Mount Bethel Baptist Meeting House, Warren
Philip Van Horne House, Bridgewater
Somerville Exempt Fire Museum, Somerville
South Branch Schoolhouse, Branchburg
Van Duyn-Van Wickle House, Somerset
Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage, Somerville
Washington Rock Park, Green Brook
Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway
*For information on in person tours, exhibits and special events please go to www.schistoryweekend.com.