April 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Historical Society held its open house at The Salt Box Museum on Sunday afternoon.
Attendees toured the museum, furnished in the manner of a simple four-room home of the late 18th Century. New Providence Historical Society members served as guides. Attendees also examined binders full of photos of New Providence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Historical Society provided refreshments.
Linda Kale, president of the New Providence Historical Society, spoke about the significance of the museum. “This is a part of our history. And it’s important to know our history. This museum depicts the farming era of New Jersey,” she said. Vice President Rick Anderson added, “So much history took place in New Providence. This building is where it all started.”
The Salt Box, currently located at 1350 Springfield Ave., bears a complicated history: It consists of two houses constructed at different times and in different places. In the mid-19th Century, Augustus Garrison, sexton of the Presbyterian Church, organized the move of the building (that now makes up the east half of the museum) from its original (and present) location to across Springfield Avenue. The west half of the museum, thought to be built soon after the east half, was then moved from an unknown original site – perhaps from Union or Springfield –- and was joined to the east side. In 1967, the entire house was moved across Springfield Avenue, to where it currently stands.
The museum is free and open to the public. Tours may be made by appointment.
The New Providence Historical Society will be hosting its annual dinner on April 24 at Berkeley Plaza. The dinner will feature Robert Mayers, historian and author. They will also be holding the Salt Box Craft Fair & Sale on May 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those who wish to contact the historical society may call (908) 665-1034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.