Tag: Exploring Historical Cumberland 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.

Mauricetown Historical Society                         1229 Front Street                                Mauricetown, NJ 08329

Mauricetown Historical Society 1229 Front Street Mauricetown, NJ 08329

Mauricetown Historical Society

1229 Front Street

Mauricetown, NJ 08329

(859) 785-0457

http://mauricetownhistoricalsociety.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/History-Museum/Mauricetown-Historical-Society-178475328895206/

Open: The first and third Sunday’s of each month/Check their website 1:00pm-4:00pm

Admission: Free but donation suggested. See website

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46606-d24137792-r844173042-Mauricetown_Historical_Society-Mauricetown_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Mauricetown Historical Society

I visited the Mauricetown (pronounced ‘Morristown’ like its northern neighbor) on a trip to visit historical societies in southern New Jersey. Mauricetown comes from the Dutch word ‘Mauritus’ for the Mauritus River that flowed through the town. “Maurice’ is the English version of the word.

The town itself was used for shipping and trade up and down the East Coast and between 1830 and 1902, 61 ships were built in the boatyard in the village. The home that the Society is housed in is one of many ship captains homes that was built on this side of town being closer to the river for the other ship captains. Founded in 1984, the Society has taken it upon themselves to start collecting artifacts from the town.

When you first enter the museum to the right, there is an extensive collection of seafaring items and military artifacts. This includes many items from the Civil War and WWI. There was even a rare pair of original sharp shoot glasses.

The Military Collection at the Mauricetown Historical Society (MHS Picture)

In the Formal Parlor, the room was designed with original molding from decor of the house and a copy of the wallpaper that had been found behind paneling that had been put up in the 1970’s. The room was furnished in period furniture that was a mixture of late 1890’s to the 1920’s.

The Mauricetown Historical Society ‘Parlor Room’ with the original molding and copy of wall paper

On the second floor, one room was dedicated to a Captain Bacon and his wife, Carolyn, another was full of pictures of the town of Mauricetown through the times, there was a collection of clothing through the ages and a quilt collection that was very impressive.

There was one quilt on display that had the names of all the sea captains and their families. Many of the decendants of the town come here to research their families and look at this quilt. There is also another quilt with items native to the area.

One of the rooms discusses the Mauricetown Shipping and Fishing industry with all sorts of photos and equipment. There was even a display of the ‘Bridge Key’ from the original bridge that lead into town. There was also an interesting display on the town’s Oyster Industry.

In the Children’s Room, there was an extensive collection of dolls, children’s playthings through the ages, clothing and school pictures of the town through the years.

On the outside grounds, there is a Cookhouse that was separate from the main house in the era of when cooking could start a house fire so the rooms were kept separate from the main house. There was a 1880’s cookstove that still works.

The Cookhouse on the grounds of the Mauricetown Historical Society

On the back of the ground is the Abraham and Ann Hoy House, a small home from 1840 that had recently been lived in by an elderly couple. The house had two small levels with the main rooms designed around the fireplace and heating unit.

The house had been stripped of the modern add ons and they Society wanted it to look like it had when it was originally built. The upstairs had two loft bedrooms and even a small loft above the downstairs fire place where the kids would sleep when it was cold outside.

It really showed how the working people of the town lived in a stark comparison to the sea captains who were running trade for the town. The Society’s members have taken great care in restoring these homes.

The Mauricetown Historical Society at 1229 Front Street

The History of the Mauricetown Historical Society:

(From the Mauricetown Historical Society website):

The Mission of the Mauricetown Historical Society:

It is the mission of the Mauricetown Historical Society to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts and documentation significant to Mauricetown and the surrounding communities.

The Mauricetown Historical Society is housed in the former home of Captain Edward Compton, who was a local sea captain. This Italianate Victorian structure was built in 1864 by Mauricetown carpender Griffith Pritchard and Samuel Cobb.

The home was purchased in 1984 by the society. At the time, the property was in poor condition and required work inside and outside. Over the past 25 years it has been carefully restored to its present condition by volunteer efforts of society members and others. The restoration is an on-going project and there are still areas of work that are needing completion.

Situated directly across Front Street from the location of the old shipyard where sea-going vessels were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, occupants of this house were able to view the activities of the shipyard and the traffic of the river.