2020 County History Partnership Program Grant Re-Grantees:
Borough of Rocky Hill
Funding will be used to conserve two historic artifacts directly connected with the Borough: a 36-star "Grand Luminary" American flag circa 1865 that belonged to a prominent early resident of Rocky Hill, and a large bell dated 1884 from the Rocky Hill Public School. The project consists of three phases: to restore and mount the flag, conserve the bell, and research and write informational labels for both objects in English and Spanish. The items will be installed in the municipal building where they will be accessible to the public. This installation will also be incorporated into community events and tours of the historic preservation district, and the flag may be displayed at other Somerset County institutions, making it accessible to a larger audience.
Find out more at: http://www.rockyhill-nj.gov/
Borough of South Bound Brook
The Borough will use grant funding to improve ADA accessibility to the West Kitchen and Slave Quarters of the Abraham Staats House through a video that will relay the history of African American slaves at the house. The video will be used in the house as an ADA aid. It will also be available on the Borough and Friends of Abraham Staats House websites, and social media. A proposal to write and produce the video was requested from Stepping Stone Strategies and will feature interviews with experts, reenactments of the Battle of Bound Brook, photographs, and, if possible, archival footage.
Find out more at: https://sbbnj.com/
Bound Brook Revitalization Partnership
Grant funding supports the hiring of professional historic interpreters to enhance the downtown Bound Brook historic site walking tour accompanying the April 13, 2019 Battle of Bound Brook reenactment. Adding a greater degree of authenticity with professional actors imparting historical information significantly enhances attendee experiences and helps boost public awareness of the important role played by the Battle of Bound Brook in the fight for American independence, as well as Bound Brook's stature as a significant contributor to Somerset County and New Jersey history.
Find out more at: https://www.downtownboundbrook.com/
Friends of the Abraham Staats House
Funding will support The Abraham Staats House’s 2020 Lecture Series: An Army at Middlebrook. A showcase feature in March will present Baron von Steuben as portrayed by American Historic Theater actor Bob Gleason. Additionally, lectures throughout the year will help maintain an interest in Middlebrook. Planned presenters are noted authorities on the topic of the American Revolution and Middlebrook. The series will also function as a prelude to the upcoming Semiquincentennial celebrations in 2026.
Find out more at: https://www.staatshouse.org/
Friends of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead
Grant funding will be used to produce a short video highlighting the significance of the ownership, architectural and historical stories about the nearly 300-year old Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead. The video will be viewable on the Farmstead website. It can also be shown at Farmstead events as well as local venues such as schools and adult communities which will build interest from a more diverse audience, specifically seniors and families with children. The video will feature scripted voice overs and music in a documentary style. While the video will be designed by Farmstead Trustees, staff, and a graphic designer, the filming, production, and editing will be handled by local members of the community.
Find out more at: https://farmsteadartscenter.org/
Heritage Trail Association
Funds will be used to create a long term marketing plan to continually attract new visitors to the Van Horne House; purchase equipment for the hearing and sight impaired which will allow an increased speaking event capacity; and invest in a tour guide system so that each guest has a personal receiver. This system would allow for larger buses for the organization's Five Generals Tour and for guests to hear presenters while in other rooms of the house. Additionally, funds will be used to research and develop new programs.
Find out more at: https://heritagetrail.org/
The Somerset County Historical Society
Funding will be used to meet standard expenses such as maintaining the house, publishing the quarterly newsletter, sponsoring programs, and holding regular public hours, all while redefining what it means to be a historical society in the 21st century. Funds may also be used to explore renting a venue to increase event capacity, to improve directional signage to the house, and possibly to continue two projects from 2019, an oral history transcription project and a cemetery related project.
Find out more at: https://somersethistorynj.org/
Ukrainian History and Education Center
Funding will be used to digitize, preserve, and make accessible 12 reels of silent motion picture film related to Ukrainian American life in New Jersey; the majority of the films are home movies. Additionally, a reputable vendor with experience dealing with archival films will be engaged to generate high quality digital surrogates of the films. Funds will also be used to purchase RAID storage hardware for large digital files. Video clips will be created with audio descriptions for YouTube, Facebook, and other online venues. A program consisting of a "big screen" presentation of these films, combined with other UHEC material and live talks is being developed as well.
Find out more at: https://www.ukrhec.org/
Watchung Community Foundation
Funds will be used for the next phase of the restoration of the mural, “The Legend of Watchung.” This includes any additional restorations such as frames and the cost of transporting the mural. The organization has set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray the costs of the project.
Find out more at: http://watchungnj.gov/community-foundation.html