We look forward to welcoming you to Somerset County’s 12th annual Weekend Journey Through the Past, a perfect opportunity to take your family on a weekend outing to visit and immerse yourself in the distant past. We invite you to satisfy your curiosity and expand your knowledge through the discovery of many fascinating aspects and oral histories surrounding the twenty-nine (29) significant historic sites open, free of charge, for touring all weekend-long. You’ll learn much about their former occupants, some among whom were quite distinguished statesmen and national leaders; how they occupied their day to day lives, from daily work responsibilities and pleasurable pastimes to the difficult hardships endured during the American Revolution. As you journey from site to site you will discover that many have significant Revolutionary War histories, contributing to the area’s designation as the “Crossroads of the American Revolution State Heritage Area.” By the end of your journey, you will have a greater appreciation of the history of Somerset County and the lives of early settlers – who they were, where they came from, how they lived, and how they made a difference in the lives of their neighbors, in the growth and development of our county, and their contributions to the rich heritage and development of our great nation.
All participating sites are open free of charge for visitors on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and again on Sunday, October 15 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Tours & Map providing travel directions and grouping sites logically by area, and winding you through scenic byways offering a pleasurable journey. You can also view an interactive map of participating sites here.
This annual event is an initiative of the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a division of Somerset County government, in collaboration with many county-wide local historical organizations/commissions and other county organizations (see this year’s list of Collaborative Tourism Partners following). Participating partners have planned many special activities or exhibitions among which are: Tours led by costumed interpreters & and actors portraying historical figures; old-time silent movies with live organ music in an old vaudeville theater; authentic, traditional blacksmithing; 19th century firefighting wagons & apparatus; sights & sounds of 18th century living, and open hearth cooking by reenactors; one room schoolhouses; original LC Tiffany stained glass windows; craftspeople demonstrating period crafts; live theater and music; a talking tour of Rocky Hill (National Historic Site); an annual period antiques fair and community flea market; a live organ recital, which includes a stirring rendition of “The Battle of Trenton” by James Hewitt; access to local genealogical resources to aid in tracing your local family’s roots; on Saturday, children are invited to enjoy SNAG golf, and a scavenger hunt in the USGA Museum, and for those interested in the science behind the game of golf, on Saturday only enjoy a guided tour of the USGA equipment standards lab; and so much more!
Challenge yourself, friends or family to a Detective Investigation Activity:
What in the World is That?...featuring different mystery items each year.
For adults: After you visit at least 4 participating historic sites, don’t forget to enter the Wayfarer’s Contest online. Visit the History Travel Contest page for a chance to win one of several pre-paid gasoline gift cards .
2017 Collaborative Tourism Partners
County of Somerset
Board of Chosen Freeholders
Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission
Public Information Office / Planning Division
Graphics / Print Shop / IT
Department of Public Works
Somerset County Park Commission
Blawenburg Reformed Church
Borough of Bound Brook / Bound Brook Memorial Library
Borough of Millstone / Historic District Commission
Borough of Somerville
Branchburg Historical Society
Branchburg Woman’s Club
Friends of the Boudinot-Southard Ross Estate
Friends of Abraham Staats House
Friends of the Codington Farmstead
Green Brook Cultural, Heritage and Historic Preservation Committee / Green Brook Historical Society
Griggstown Historical Society
Heritage Trail Association
The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills
The Meadows Foundation
Old Millstone Forge Association, Inc.
The Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition
The Presbyterian Church at Bound Brook
Neshanic Station Historical Society
Raritan Borough / Raritan Public Library /
Raritan Fire Department
Rocky Hill Community Group
Somerset County Business Partnership / Tourism
Somerset County Cultural Arts Center
Somerset County Historical Society
Somerville Fire Department Exempt Association
State of New Jersey, Division of Parks and Forestry
United States Golf Association (USGA)
Watchung Historical Committee
Warren Township Historic Sites Committee
We were pleased that you joined us in the past and look forward to your return visit again this year. Please save your "Weekend Journey' guide booklet, so you can plan a later visit to any of the sites you may not have an opportunity to visit during this year’s annual event. We’d also appreciate your help in spreading the word about this annual event by telling your friends, family and neighbors about your Weekend Journey through the Past and suggest that they embark on a journey of their own, join you this year or in coming years. Your comments and suggestions in helping us evaluate this event are always welcomed.
We’d also like to acknowledge, with sincere appreciation, the participating representatives of Somerset County’s many historical organizations, participating municipal and county personnel, Somerset County Business Partnership/Tourism, Somerset County Hospitality Industry, contributing artists & arts organizations, all of which contribute their support, help promote and welcome participation in this annual collaborative heritage tourism weekend with much enthusiasm and creative thought… Many plan and facilitate special activities, and generously contribute their personal time as volunteers for this annual weekend-long event.
Funding has been made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant / Arts in Non-Traditional Venues. Funding helped defray the cost of some arts programming, and artists whose involvement contributed to and enhanced arts activities to complement this annual collaborative heritage tourism event.