Ever wonder what life was like in Somerset County at different periods in time? If so, you’re not alone! This October, Somerset County is celebrating its 13th annual Weekend Journey through the Past on Oct. 13 and 14. The entire weekend is dedicated to experiencing what life was like 50, 100, and 200 years ago in Somerset County.
This is an initiative of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission who have collaborated alongside representatives of local history organizations, artists and arts organizations, as well as organizations throughout the local tourism industry.
“Each year, visitors and residents alike look forward to Somerset County’s ‘Weekend Journey Through the Past,’” said Freeholder Brian Gallagher, liaison to the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission. “The county is home to many sites that encompass centuries of historic significance, and 30 of these sites will be open and accessible to the public, free of charge, on Oct. 13 & 14.”
As one of the 13 original colonies, it’s no secret that New Jersey is full of old charm and historical sites. Participating historic sites are being grouped into three tours (Northern, Central, and Southern Somerset County).
Witness what life was like a century or more ago, from daily work responsibilities and pleasant pastimes to the hardships enduring during the American Revolution. Learn about former Somerset County residents, some of whom were distinguished statesmen and national leaders.
“Somerset County is proud to partner with local history organizations, whose members create and curate unique programs especially for this event,” said Gallagher. “All of the reenactors, craftspeople, musicians, artists, historians and many, many volunteers bring the past to life and create memories for families that will last a lifetime.”
Explore Somerset County’s quaint villages, rolling farmsteads, lively towns and unspoiled natural areas. Participating sites are grouped into three convenient tours by location: Northern, Central and Southern Somerset County. A new interactive map on the county’s GIS website will help you plan your trip.
Also new this year are Somerset County Commemorative History Trading Cards. Each card features a notable person, place, event or theme taken from four centuries of Somerset County’s rich history and deals out fun facts, activities and even a few mysteries to solve. Cards are available only during Weekend Journey. Ask for them when you visit this year’s participating historic sites; most sites offer at least one trading card.
In addition to free tours, participating sites will host a variety of programs and activities, including:
- Live performances of acoustic, contemporary folk songs
- Hands-on colonial pottery interactive workshops
- American quilting and sewing demonstrations
- Live 18th-century music
- Fife and drum performances
- An 18th-century fashion demonstration
- Hands-on fall fabric coasters crafting projects
- Costumed re-enactors and interpreters
- SNAG® (Starting New at Golf)
- A traditional rug-hooking demonstration