Category: Exploring Historic Salem County, NJ

Old Town Hall Museum/Harrison Township Historical Society Inc.                                                                                      P.O. Box 4                                                                              Mullica Hill, NJ 08062

Old Town Hall Museum/Harrison Township Historical Society Inc. P.O. Box 4 Mullica Hill, NJ 08062

Old Town Hall Museum/Harrison Township Historical Society Inc.

P.O. Box

Mullica Hill, NJ. 08062

(856) 478-4949

https://www.harrisonhistorical.com/

https://m.facebook.com/Harrison-Township-Historical-Society-310499278053/

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 1:00pm-4:00pm

Admission: Free but a donation would be appreciated.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46655-d25105321-r866773005-Harrison_Township_Historical_Society-Mullica_Hill_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Old Town Hall Museum/Harrison County Historical Society

The Harrison Township Historical Society/Old Town Hall Museum

Current Exhibition:

TORNADO 

This new exhibition commemorates the 2021 Hurricane Ida Tornado through first-person narratives, artifacts, video and photography. 

The Mission of the Old Town Hall Museum/Harrison Township Historical Society Inc.:

(from the Museum pamphlet)

Since its founding in 1971, the Harrison Township Historical Society has presented exhibitions, events, programs and publications focusing on the heritage of South Jersey in Mullica Hill’s Old Town Hall that was built in 1871.

The Stone Age in Harrison Township and Living Off the Land: Food, Farms and Families, explore the region’s Paleo-Indian heritage and our local foodway and farming traditions. The Raccoon Valley General Store and the Harrison Academy Schoolroom recreate two rural institutions.

We also present seasonally changing special exhibitions, student programs and unique special events like the annual Groundhog Dinner (featuring local sausage-“ground” hog!) and the popular Mullica Hill Ghost Walk in October. Visit https://www.harrisonhistorical.com/ for news and information.

Come and experience our Heritage!

Our History:

(from the Museum website)

In 1971 the Township Committee of Harrison Township under the leadership of Mayor Philip J. Reuter, appointed a committee whose purpose was to form a historical society that would lead a community effort to preserve and provide a new purpose for Mullica Hill’s historic Old Town Hall.

Since that time the Harrison Township Historical Society has successfully met this initial charge, not only preserving the building (a key contributing structure in the Mullica Hill National Register Historic District), but also establishing a museum that has won state and national awards for its exhibitions, programs and publications.

The “Living off the Land” exhibition shows life on the farm in Southern New Jersey. This exhibition shows life on a South Jersey farm from the late 1600’s to today with some of the equipment, commercial items and furniture showing the lifestyle on the farm. This first floor exhibition gives us a peek at what life is like in the day of a farming family.

The main room on the first floor of the museum is broken down into sections. In the special gallery space is the exhibition “Tornado” about the tornado that hit the surrounding area during Hurricane Ida in 2021. The exhibition gives first hand accounts of what happened and people’s experiences and the clean up.

In the Main Room when you enter is the Raccoon General Store and the Harrison Academy schoolroom showing what life was like in rural Southern New Jersey.

Raccoon General Store:

All sorts of everyday items were sold in the General Store which was also a gathering place for the town’s citizens. This is where you would catch up with your neighbors at a time before telephones.

Everyday items would be found in the General Store

Everything could be bought at the General Store for the house with special trips into the City during the holidays or for special occasions

Household items at the General Store

In the back of the General Store is the exhibition of the Harrison Academy Schoolhouse showing teaching in rural New Jersey up until about 60 years ago. These rural communities had the one room school in some cases up until WWII. As the areas developed, the regionalized school system came into play and these small schools became of thing of the past.

The schoolroom set up has not changed much over the last 100 years

The room was still heated by the potbelly stove

The Teacher’s Desk, the globe and picture of the President still exists in the classroom today

In the center room is the old Post Office, another fixture of the town’s social life. This was located in Mullica Hill up until fifty years ago.

The Mullica Hill Post Office

The entrance to the hall with the Post Office and Farm Equipment

The facade of the old Post Office

The back part of the exhibition is the farm equipment that would be used in commercial farming. The processing and packaging of fruits and vegetables would have been done when the harvest was being picked and getting ready for markets in New York, Philadelphia and Newark. Fruits and vegetables were packaged on the farm and readied for market.

Life on the farm was not always easy

All sorts of equipment for processing fruits and vegetables is on display

All the bailing and shifting equipment needed on a farm

Business advertising

Packaging fruits and vegetables for the market

Life on the Farm

The second floor also provides not just a look into the life of the farming family but at the Native American’s life in the area before the colonist settlement.

The artifacts of the Native American Lenape Indians

The local Native Americans the Lenapehoking

Day to day equipment and home products of the Native Americans

Arrowheads from New Jersey and beyond

Family life on the farm included the family dinner

Meals would have included churning butter, gathering eggs, milking cows, processing apples for cider, baking and pickling.

Preparing for a meal would have meant the best linens and china would come out of storage and placed on the table.

Families sat down together on Sundays to eat and enjoy each others company.

More processing of household items

The museum shows that not much has changed over the years but with the advent of modern technology with cars, the telephone and electricity, life on the farm changed but not by much. Traditions and processing crops still had to be done just differently. Life in America was going to change by the beginning of the Twentieth Century and this way of life would be part of the ‘myth’ of small town living. This still does exist in some parts of the rural country.

It is a great little museum with a lot to see on two floors.

History of the Museum:

Fun Facts:

*People have been living in present day Harrison Township for over 10,000 years.

*Harrison Township originally included South Harrison and the western edge of Elk.

*The Township was named after President William Henry Harrison.

*There is a village called Mullica Hill in Finland.

*The first air shipment of fresh produce in the US took off from here.

Pinesgrove-Woodstown Historical Society                               42 North Main Street                                                 Woodstown, NJ 08098

Pinesgrove-Woodstown Historical Society 42 North Main Street Woodstown, NJ 08098

Pinesgrove-Woodstown Historical Society

42 North Main Street

Woodstown, NJ. 08098

(856) 769-1886

https://www.facebook.com/people/Pilesgrove-Woodstown-Historical-Society-Museum/100057781264630/?ref=py_c

Open: Sunday-Friday Closed/Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

The Samuel Dickeson House

The Mission of the Pilesgrove-Woodstown Historical Society:

To preserve and advance interest in and awareness of the history and heritage of the Borough of Woodstown and Pilesgrove Township by properly procuring, preserving and maintaining the art, artifacts and documents that relate to the cultural, archaeological, civil, literary, genealogical and ecclesiastical history of the local community. We welcome researchers and provide them with any available material.

On the site is the 1840’s one room schoolhouse that was moved from Eldridge’s Hill in the 1970’s and is open for touring during museum hours. The organization hosts quarterly presentations and participates with the Candlelight Tour on the first Friday of December.

Touring the house is a wonderful experience and I got an excellent tour from a member of the Board of Directors who took me on a full tour of the house and grounds. She explained that the volunteers take a lot of pride in the home, the displays and the artifacts and antiques that make up the décor of the house. The tour starts in the Library which is to the right of the entrance. This is where people can research their families and the towns’ histories. The house was originally owned by the Dickerson family and had changed hands many times over the years.

The Library:

This display has the portrait of John Fenwick and the family tree

The Library:

The Library:

The collection of books and manuscripts is held in the library of the home. Patrons can do their research on their family trees and on the local towns here.

The Living Room:

The Living Room:

The Living Room:

The Living Room:

The Living Room:

The Kitchen:

The kitchen had been modernized over the years but still retains its historic look to it.

The Kitchen:

The Kitchen:

The Kitchen:

The kitchen:

The Military Room:

Memorabilia from the Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Upstairs Bedrooms:

The Upstairs bedroom:

The Upstairs bedroom:

The Upstairs bedroom:

The upstairs bedroom has lots of children’s toys, clothes and musical instruments.

The Upstairs bedroom:

The Upstairs bedroom:

The hats and toy collections in the home.

The Bathroom:

The Commercial section of the home:

The outside grounds have a wonderful lawn area where the foliage was in full hilt when I was visiting and in the back of the home is the schoolhouse from the 1840’s. This was locked for the day, but I could see the classroom set up of an old-fashioned school room that has not changed all that much since that period.

The Schoolhouse on the society’s property

The Schoolhouse

The property behind the house was beautiful and well-kept with colorful foliage.

The house is well maintained, beautifully displayed with artifacts and there is a lot to see and do here. I just wish this wonderful site was open more often so that people could enjoy these wonderful artifacts and displays.

Dennis Township Old School House Museum                   681 Petersburg Road                                Woodbine, NJ 08270

Dennis Township Old School House Museum 681 Petersburg Road Woodbine, NJ 08270

Dennis Township Old School House Museum

681 Petersburg Road

Woodbine, NJ 08270

(609) 861-1899

http://www.dennismuseumfriends.org/

https://www.facebook.com/people/Friends-of-dennis-township-old-school-house-museum/100066513017935/

Open: Every First and Third Saturday of the Month (Please check with the website on weather conditions)

Admission: Free but donations accepted

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g35374-d25030718-r862673797-Dennis_Township_Old_School_House_Museum-Woodbine_Georgia.html?m=19905

I have been wanting this charming little museum for several months. This is one of the featured historical museums in Southern New Jersey. The museum is representing the local farming and manufacturing industries as well as life in a farming community at the turn of the last century.

The museum was started in 1994 in a partnership with the town of Woodbine, NJ and houses the history of Dennis Township. It is an all-volunteer museum, and the docents were really helpful describing all the displays that surround this small former schoolhouse. Their Friends of the Dennis Township Museum group does a nice job walking you around the museum and describing the displays.

The Friends of the Dennis Township Old School House Museum

The museum tells the story of a small-town farming community with a history of different local businesses, the Dennisville School district from 1874-1948 and the Methodist colony that was a big part of the community in the early 1800’s. The shipping industry was very important to any small town that used to supply its fruits, vegetables and fish to Philadelphia.

Some of the displays were dedicated to the local family businesses with the small cranberry industry that used to be in the area with equipment and packaging. The Mason Basket Company used to make the small and large wooden baskets for fruits and vegetables used to ship these items to both New York City and Philadelphia. These baskets are a staple at any farmers marker today. The other big business in town was the shingle making business that prided itself on supplying the shingles for Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Farming equipment and small-town life display

The building had been the local one room schoolhouse for the surrounding community from 1874-1948 until the new schools were built in the 1950’s. There was a display on the school’s history as well as lots of pictures of the students at the turn of the last century with their period clothing and proper manners taking pictures with their schoolteachers. There were displays of desks, clothing and items that would have been in the school room.

The town had once been a Methodist community with a large meeting house and surrounding homes for parishioners to stay. They showed the meetings and how the group would spend their summers in the area.

The Summer Community in Dennis Township at the turn of the last century

The museum showcased live in a small-town farming community with all sorts of farm and farmhouse equipment. There were all sorts of home making items like cooking utensils to make meals from scratch, baking and serving in homes where being a housewife took a lot of strength. The farm equipment included hoes, racks and seeders that kept the farms going.

There were pictures of the renovations of the Ludlam family cemetery that had gone through a renovation by the Boy Scouts and showcased it beauty. The members did a nice job renovating the tombstones and landscaping.

In the corners of the museum, there is period clothing from the Civil War to the 1930’s with hats, gloves and dressing plus accessories. There is a small display to the local veterans of war. Near the entrance there is a working pipe organ and more information about the town from the early 1900’s.

The docents told me that they have the old town records and that people come to the museum to research their families that used to live in the area. They have had people come from all over the country to find their family roots.

For a small museum, it is chock full of small displays offering a glimpse into a community of time past and how it has grown over the future and changed.

Take time also to drive around this small town loaded with historical homes that have been beautifully maintained and labeled with the year that they were built. Some looked like they had the family names on them.

The beautiful homes of downtown Woodbine, NJ are beautifully maintained and give the town its Victorian appeal.
Day Two Hundred and Forty Visiting the Historical Sites of Southern New Jersey in Cumberland and Salem Counties-A Local Journey on Father’s Day Weekend                                                             June 18th-19th, 2022

Day Two Hundred and Forty Visiting the Historical Sites of Southern New Jersey in Cumberland and Salem Counties-A Local Journey on Father’s Day Weekend June 18th-19th, 2022

Grab your tour book and get in the car to visit all these wonderful sites. There is so much to see and do in Historical Southern New Jersey!

The Nicolas Gibbon House

mywalkinmanhattan

The one thing I refuse to do on Father’s Day is to spend the day at the cemetery. I know that is some people’s idea of honoring one’s family members but it is not mine. I went on Friday and paid my respects to my father (whom this blog is dedicated to) and spent time remembering some of the good times we had in past. I dropped some cut flowers from our gardens (some of which he planted) and said a small prayer. Then I left.

My idea of honoring my father and spending Father’s Day with him is to do something that we would have shared together. We were always running around somewhere and exploring something new and doing something fun. That is how I wanted to honor him. By being active and giving him a toast at Sunday dinner.

I had gotten a pamphlet on the historical sites…

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