Spirit of the Jerseys - State History Fair

Spirit of the Jerseys - State History Fair

The Spirit of the Jerseys: The NJ State History Fair is the only statewide event where visitors can Hours: 11 am - 5 pm. Suggested parking fee: $10 a car.

This year's fair is Saturday, September 14 - Rain Date Sunday, September 15. Over 130 participating exhibitors / groups / reenactors / speakers.


Another successful Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair! Who did you meet this past Saturday at Monmouth Battlefield State Park? A special thanks and HUZZAH to the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry media specialist for this fun recap video ...

Photos from Spirit of the Jerseys - State History Fair's post 09/16/2019

The weekend has passed and the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State Fair planning committee has almost completed its post-event clean-up at . It was another successful one for the books and we sincerely thank every one of you who attended and engaged with all our exhibitors, reenactors and speakers. A very special and much appreciated THANK YOU to all our 2019 participants and presenters! We’ve said it before and it will always be true...there wouldn’t be a “Spirit of the Jerseys” without you! And THANK YOU to all of you who have liked/followed our page and helped us spread the word by sharing our posts. To those of you who attended, we hope you enjoyed the event and will share some of your pics and feedback with us. Until next time - HUZZAH and KUDOS to everyone!


September 14th is here and dawn will soon be breaking on the historic fields of in Manalapan! In a few short hours the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair will be underway! The skies will be dry and the exhibitors will be in place and waiting for you. So get up, have that coffee, tea, OJ and energizing breakfast then join us for a full day of Jersey Spirit and fun. This is an event not to be missed! We are all looking forward to seeing you!

Photos from Spirit of the Jerseys - State History Fair's post 09/12/2019

Less than two days away and it looks more and more like it will be a day of DRY SKIES - HUZZAH! Are you coming! YES...YES I am, are you? I wouldn’t miss this uniquely Jersey event or the chance to experience 500 years of the state’s history in such a fun, interactive and engaging way. The planning committee has been hard at work piecing all the parts together to bring the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair to life. They’ve worked to build a memorable and successful event for you and they look forward to seeing a large, supportive turn-out this Saturday. Groups/organizations, speakers, reenactors and living history professionals from NJ, NY, CT, PA and DE have signed-up to participate and are excited to share their stories with you. So dig your most comfortable walking shoes out of the closet, get the kids ready and arrange to meet your family and friends at in Manalapan between 11 am - 5 pm on Saturday, September 14th. A $10 per car parking donation is suggested to help defray the costs of the event. Come and experience the Spirit of the Jerseys with us! We can’t wait to see you!

NJHistoryFair - D & R Canal 09/08/2019

We are in the home stretch! It’s less than a week to go. THEY ARE ALMOST READY for you so start planning your day! Here they are - the 2019 SPIRIT of the JERSEYS program with the final performance schedule and updated list of exhibitors as well as a children’s autograph book, sample professional development certificate for educators and even a list of requirements for scouts to meet while attending the fair! Click on the link to download/print the PDF files for use on Fair day or bookmark it to keep handy and make sure to check back for any last minute updates/changes: www.dandrcanal.com/NJHistoryFair. As in past years, the schedule is filled with a large variety of presentations and activities! From 19th century baseball and farm activities all day, to presentations by significant - and lesser known - players from NJ's past and a question/answer session with the host of NJTV’s “Drive By History” to artillery and musket demos, children's military drills and musical performers. And that's just what is on the official schedule! As you walk the fair grounds you’ll find a Lenni Lenape camp, children’s games, digging for “artifakes”, interpreters, reenactors, military camps, foodway demonstrations, exhibitors of all kinds and an assortment of displays and living history presentations everywhere - ALL DAY (well...from 11 am-5 pm anyway)! So much to see, hear, experience and absorb...where to start?! I'd suggest arriving early and plan to stay for several hours. Take a peek at the schedule and note those presentations you just don't want to miss. Where else can you experience over 500 years of history in one afternoon? In the great state of New Jersey at the on September 14th at in Manalapan that's where! It's almost here so prepare to step back in time...SEE YOU THERE!

NJHistoryFair - D & R Canal Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair

Photos from Spirit of the Jerseys - State History Fair's post 09/05/2019

September is finally here and the State History Fair is now less than two weeks away! To help you prepare for your day at , and give you and idea of what to expect, we are able to share working drafts of the performance schedule for the day and the overall fair map to help you plan your way around the timeline and to the various performance/activity areas (stay tuned for the final documents as both may yet see small revisions). As in past years, the 2019 program schedule is jammed packed with a wide variety of speakers, presentations and activities all day! Look this draft over, make a mental note of the speakers to put on your "must see" list and don’t forget to make time to cheer on your favorite 19th century baseball club, try your hand at driving a plow team, see Rev. War artillery and musket demos and watch your kids learn Rev. War musket drilling. And remember...there will be many other attractions, games, hands-on activities and exhibitors to visit and experience throughout the day. So make sure you have the date marked on the calendar and get ready to step back in time and be part of the “Jersey Spirit” with us - Saturday, September 14th from 11 am - 5 pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan! You might want to block off the entire day...there will be A LOT of NJ history to take in!


News Flash!! We are excited to share with our followers the FIRST DRAFT of the Exhibitor List for the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair! Although it is not finalized (there may yet be changes in the next few days), we have it on good authority that the fair committee is hard at work planning the placement of groups for this year's ! This first draft gives a good idea of where the 145+ registered exhibitors (with 550+ individual participants) will be located on fair day. It is a BIG list that represents over 500 years of diverse NJ history presented by groups and living history professionals from across the state as well as NY, PA, DE, CT and MD! Truly, something to interest every history lover. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of them for both their participation and “Jersey Spirit” - there wouldn't be a fair without them! Come celebrate NJ's diverse story with them by coming to in Manalapan on September 14th between 11 am - 5pm for a day of history fun. More to come soon so stay tuned...


With registration officially closed for the State History Fair, we come into the home stretch and our Fair Committee begins the final phases of planning and preparation for the event. As we sort through the list of 140+ exhibitors and over 550 individual participants we see a diverse mix of stories places and people from New Jersey’s past who will gather at in Manalapan on September 14th from 11 am - 5pm to engage with the public. Many have joined us before and we are thrilled to welcome them back. Among them is the Dr. James Still Historic Office Site & Education Center which is operated by the Medford Historical Society. Dr. Still, known as the "Black Doctor of the Pines," was a renowned herbalist and healer who was born into poverty but died one of the wealthiest men in Burlington County. He was one of 18 children born to former enslaved Africans Levin and Charity Still. His brothers included abolitionist William Still, one of the founders of the Underground Railroad, and Peter Still, who rescued himself from slavery. Dr. Still, and the Still family of New Jersey are one among MANY of the compelling African American stories that have been overlooked in the broader historical narrative of New Jersey - a slave-holding state into the 19th century. Recognizing the significance of the site, and Dr. Still’s legacy, the house was purchased by the State in 2006 in an effort to preserve, restore and interpret it. Working with the Medford Historical Society, and a dedicated group of volunteers, that vision is moving forward! We encourage everyone to come to the to meet and speak with Dr. Still for the opportunity to hear his story and that of his family, firsthand! It is a story you DON'T want to miss! Make sure you mark the date, time and the place - September 14th from 11 am - 5pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan, NJ!


Who says history is boring? Come to the State History Fair at in Manalapan on September 14th with your family and watch your kids get excited as they learn about the past and have fun at the same time! Here history comes alive and is experienced first-hand. For a start, they can take the reins of a plow team, get mustered into the Continental Army, become part of a Revolutionary War cannon detail, experience the feel of sitting side saddle, learn about Lenni Lenape foodways and life, try-on period clothing, play long forgotten children’s games, search for “artifakes”, watch a 19th century baseball game, be amazed by one of the greatest traveling flea circus showman and a host of other hands-on and engaging activities. So while the is anticipated by many adults in the history community, we want to remind everyone that there is MUCH offered that will capture the imagination and interest of the next generation of future history lovers. THIS is the event that can help ignite a lifetime of curiosity and passion for history! So gather the kids and come to this family-friendly event on Saturday, September 14th (rain date on the 15th) from 11 - 5 at Monmouth Battlefield State Park. Step back in time with us and experience the "Spirit of the Jerseys!"


Presenting the 2019 cast of historical figures and special features! Step back in time with us to meet an impressive list of individuals from NJ’s past. From the indigenous Lenape people to a varied mix of notable and everyday men and women from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Speak with General George Washington and Molly Pitcher about their time in NJ during the Revolutionary War. Hear from Hercules, enslaved chef to the Washington household who eventually made his escape to freedom. Meet an impressive selection of female role models from the tireless suffragist Alice Paul and women’s rights advocate/aviator Amelia Earhart to lesser known figures, but no less notable, like “The Widow Tennent”-Catherine Van Berg, Civil War nurses Cornelia Hancock and Sister Veronica, vaudevillian Mabel Fenton and automobile pioneer Alice Ramsey. Pass the time with “The Good Grey Poet”, Walt Whitman; ponder his poetry and wish him a Happy 200th Birthday. Learn about life serving in the US Navy before and during the Civil War from Admiral David Farragut. Sit with Theodore Roosevelt - The Conservation President - and learn about his time in NJ. Listen to WWI-era songs and music, sing-along to pirate/sea shanties, enjoy a 20th century live army radio show, cheer on your favorite 19th century baseball team and see how ice-cream and Dutch meals were prepared in the 18th Century. AND you must not miss the hilarious 19th Century phenomenon that is Phydeaux’s Flying Flea Circus & Wahoo Medicine Show! These are just a sampling of the people and moments from New Jersey’s past that you will encounter on Saturday, September 14th at in Manalapan from 11-5. SO MUCH TO SEE, DO and EXPERIENCE! Make sure the date is marked, be ready to travel back in time and plan to spend the day at the ... you won’t want to miss a minute of this fun and educational family-friendly event!


LAST CALL to all groups, organizations, living history and military reenactors whose mission includes preserving, educating, interpreting and/or providing outreach about New Jersey's history! AUGUST 16th is the deadline to register for the 2019 - ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT! Have you signed up to participate? If not there is still time to be a part of this amazing, one-of-a-kind, state-wide event. Registering is easy to do online and it's FREE to participate: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/centennial/vendorform.htm! Don't miss this opportunity to reach a broad audience and tell them about the good work you do. Come do your part to help educate the public about the significant role our state plays in the nation's story. Over 115 exhibitors are registered. Is your group on the list (https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/centennial/hf-exhibitor-list.htm)? If not, there is still time to be included! DON’T GET LEFT OUT! If you want to participate make sure to get that registration form completed by the deadline! We do hope you consider joining as exhibitor but if you can't participate, make sure to attend with your family and friends. Please continue spreading the word to help make this our best attended fair to date!


We are pleased to introduce and welcome another new and timely addition to the Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair muster roll for 2019 - Save Ellis Island, Inc.! What better time for this organization to join the ranks of participants at the as our country once again grapples with the heated issue of immigration. Along with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island has become a symbol of our immigration past. It stands as a reminder that we are a country built on the foundation of immigrant moxy and determination against all odds; on the dream and belief that a new and better life was possible here. It is that dream that continually fueled the growth of our country from the early colonial period through to the present day. Most among us have immigrant roots in our own family histories and it is high among the goals of Save Ellis Island Inc. to help us connect to those stories. While its primary mission is to rehabilitate the historic Island buildings and create compelling exhibitions it’s broader objectives are to “communicate, tell stories and begin dialogues about those who bravely came before us to help build the country we live in today; remind us where we came from, and tell us who we are;” and to create “a place of learning and intellectual exchange.” So make sure Saturday, September 14th is on your calendars and plan to spend a few hours at the State History Fair at in Manalapan. Look for the Save Ellis Island table, learn about what they do and get inspired to connect with your own family immigration stories - whatever they may be!


ATTENTION ALL EDUCATORS!! Attend the Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair on Saturday, September 14th from 11am - 5pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan and earn 3 FREE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS! That's right, attend the with your family and friends AND earn credit for doing so! The fair is not only a fun family event but it also offers a unique professional opportunity for teachers to meet numerous experts in vast fields related to the history of the state, receive information on historic sites and organizations, and learn about significant, and some lesser known, events from the state's past. Come absorb over FIVE centuries of NJ history in one afternoon, make connections, learn about new sites, become inspired and bring it all back to the classroom. An easy and enjoyable way to earn credit while getting ideas to enhance your lesson plans that will get your students excited about history. So if you are an educator come to the 2019 State History Fair and then visit the Division of Parks & Forestry table near the Visitor Center to receive an official signed certificate verifying your attendance. Put this event on your September calendars; it will be a great way to kick-off the new school year! And let your fellow educators know - SHARE AND SPREAD THE WORD!


Hard to believe but August is just around the corner and with it, the close of registration for the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair - only 4 weeks to go! Is your group registered? If not, visit https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/centennial/vendorform.htm to submit your application and join over 90 exhibitors, re-enactors, 1st person impressions, living history and military groups that are already on the roster of this amazing, one-of-a-kind, family-friendly, state-wide event. Today we give a special tip of the hat and a warm welcome to the 25 newcomers that have signed up to participate at 2019! Give a hearty HUZZAH and THANK YOU to the ...

American Revolution Round Table of South Jersey
Armed Forces Heritage Museum (AFHM)
County of Passaic, Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs
Deep Search Metal Detecting Club
Donegal Township Riflemen Inc
Drive By History
Historic Experience – Peyton Dixon (Theodore Roosevelt)
Historical Society of Ocean Grove
Howell Heritage and Historical Society
Hunterdon County Historical Society
Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society
Manalapan Township Historical Committee
Melissa Ziobro – “NJ's Dollar Princesses”
Morven Museum & Garden
National Society Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century
New Jersey Forest Service (Community Forestry)
NJROPE Paranormal
Old Tennent Presbyterian Church
Rev War Alliance of Burlington County
Seaside Heights Historical Society
The Heritage Trail Association
The Ladies of History- Alisa Dupuy (Alice Paul)
The New Jersey Questers
Traditional Earth Skills LLC
With Vision & Courage: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives / Laurie Gaulke (Alice Huyler Ramsey)

We welcome these new partners who join many of our long-time participants; together they will make the 2019 another memorable success. Get those registrations in! Don’t be left-out! This is your opportunity to come meet the public to tell them your piece of the NJ story and all the wonderful work you do. EVERYONE mark the date, location and time...Saturday, September 14th from 11am - 5 pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park (rain date Sunday the 15th). Get the family ready, bring your friends and we’ll see you there!


In early June 1919 the long uphill contentious struggle to secure the vote for women received an important win - both chambers of Congress passed the 19th amendment. It was ratified into the Constitution the following year after receiving approval by 3/4 of the country’s 48 state legislatures. At last women won the right to vote and officially participate in our country’s democratic process. But they had been integral participating members of society all along which is why generations of women fought hard for suffrage equality. This year the Spirit of the Jerseys recognizes that centennial win as well as the many contributions, milestones and everyday “participation” of women. Come learn about New Jersey native Alice Paul and her unwavering dedication to secure the vote. She will be joined by other notable women such as Amelia Earhart (pioneer aviator and a staunch equal rights activist), Alice Ramsey (the first woman - a “Jersey Girl” from Hackensack - to drive across the country in 1908), Molly Pitcher (the heroine of the Battle of Monmouth) and other women - sung and unsung - who worked hard and contributed in so many ways - large and small - to the broader New Jersey story. Visit www.njhistoryfair.com to explore the current list of participating exhibitors, special features and historic figures for 2019. And don’t forget to mark the date - Saturday, September 14 (rain date Sunday the 15th) from 11 am - 5 pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan, NJ. Come prepared to meet and learn about some of the historic women of Jersey!


As many in Europe and the United States pause today to commentate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we felt it only fitting to do the same. We are humbled to remember those who were part of that historic allied WWII operation - our fathers, uncles, cousins, grandfathers, great grandfathers and others - who braved that landing, that beach and all the battles before it and in the months ahead. They are justly remembered as the “Greatest Generation” - those that answered the call to liberate western Europe from N**i Germany and fight/die for the American ideals of freedom and democracy. We thank them for their sacrifice and heroic service - the country is forever in their debt! We invite you to learn more about WWII and those who served at the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair...plan to visit with our 20th century military exhibitors such as the 102nd Cavalry Group and the Armed Forces Heritage Museum (new this year). Mark the date - Saturday, September 14 (rain date Sunday the 15th) from 11 am - 5 pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan, NJ. We hope to see you there.


On June 28, 1778 Washington’s Continental Army engaged the British Army on open farmland located at what was then known as Monmouth Courthouse. The battle raged some 500 yards east of Old Tennent Church on that blisteringly hot summer day. As soldiers fell from injury and heat exhaustion many were brought to the sanctuary of this nearby church where a makeshift field hospital was hastily established. Soldiers were treated there and several of the day’s fallen were buried in its cemetery. The Battle of Monmouth Courthouse was a pivotal battle for the Continental Army who claimed victory over the formidable British regulars; it provided a much needed morale boost for the exhausted soldiers and the colonies.

On this Memorial Day weekend we pause to reflect and remember all those who gave their lives fighting for the ideals of liberty, independence and freedom- the foundations upon which this country stands - over 220 years ago and all the years going forward. This year The Spirit of the Jerseys happily welcomes one of our new exhibitors, Old Tennent Presbyterian Church, to our list of participants. Stop by their table to learn about their role in the War for Independence. Make sure those calendars are highlighted - Saturday, September 14th (rain date Sunday, September 15th) from 11am - 5pm at Monmouth Battlefield State Park.


It's here...the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair poster. A special tip of the hat to photographer and reenactor extraordinaire Meredith Barnes from Molly Pitcher Studio who snapped this year's featured shot and graciously granted permission for its use on this year's poster. THANK YOU Meredith! Please help spread the word about this fantastic and unique state event by sharing the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys poster to your pages. We hope many of you will join us at Monmouth Battlefield State Park on Saturday, September 14 from 11-5!


How well do you know New Jersey’s Rev War history? Even those among you who consider yourselves well-versed in it might be surprised to discover stories, people, events and/or sites that you may never have learned or heard about. For example...did you realize there were over 300 battles and skirmishes in NJ, that dozens of homes were used as a war headquarters for General George Washington or that he spent over 800 days in NJ during the war? One of our early registrants, and return participants to the 2019 Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair, is The Crossroads of the American Revolution - an organization dedicated to telling our state’s MANY Rev War stories and highlighting New Jersey’s countless contributions to the War for Independence. Come to the at Monmouth Battlefield State Park (a Crossroads site) on September 14th from 11am - 5pm and visit the Crossroads of the American Revolution table to learn about this important organization and all the amazing events/lectures/programs offered across the state at their partner sites. Get up to speed on your local Rev War history. You will quickly see that New Jersey IS the ! So much to learn, so many sites to visit, so much New Jersey history to discover...let the Crossroads of the American Revolution and the Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair get you started on your journey into the past! Mark that calendar, you won’t want to miss any of it! We’ll see you on September 14th at Monmouth Battlefield State Park! https://revolutionarynj.org


In 2004, the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry launched the SPIRIT of the JERSEYS State History Fair in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the acquisition of its first historic site - The Indian King Tavern. The fair was originally envisioned as an event to shine light on the many significant historic sites under the care and management of the Division. It was soon clear that the effort hit a cord and filled a niche in the history community. The fair has since expanded by leaps and bounds to include/highlight the vast diversity of groups/people who work everyday to save, preserve and interpret the rich, diverse history of our state. Thanks to your embrace of the event and involvement, the has been a stunning success and is hugely admired by our neighbors across state lines. It is a positive example to many in the history and preservation community. We THANK YOU for your participation - without it there would be no SPIRIT of the JERSEYS at all!

At its core the Park Service’s “Spirit” was built on the foundation of its state historic sites and by extension the dedicated staff that manage and interpret them for the public. We honor those sites and thank all the groups that help to support them and especially those that participate and “represent” at the SPIRIT of the JERSEYS State History Fair (don’t forget to register at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/centennial/vendorform.htm). Come learn about them, and many others, on September 14 (rain date - September 15) at Monmouth Battlefield State Park from 11am - 5pm.

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Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Manalapan, NJ

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