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Spring Assembly - Westfield Historical Societies


Spring Assembly

Hosted by Westfield Historical Society

April 8, 7:30 PM

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At the Presbyterian Church Westfield, NJ

“Sugar, Oysters and War”

Elizabeth 1664-1776

By Ken Ward


Raising cane was not only what most of the American patriots did during the Revolutionary War but  was one of the most profitable concerns that the British/American Colonists could be involved in back in the late 17th century.  A couple of early Elizabethtown inhabitants learned to blend politics and finances to help fund our fight for freedom from the British. Learn more about the sugar and slave economy and the part Westfield played in the world economy.  Ken Ward will also discuss a few of the remaining structures from these times that still grace present day Elizabeth, NJ.

About the speaker:

Ken Ward's association with the history of Elizabeth and Union County began in the early 1970s when he worked with Mrs. Mary Alice Kean on the inventory of Liberty Hall in Union New Jersey. Shortly thereafter he became the Secretary of the Elizabethtown Historical Foundation which maintained the Belcher-Ogden Mansion, Bonnell House and St. John's Parsonage, all historic buildings in Elizabeth, New Jersey. 

In 1999 the Historical Society Elizabeth NJ Inc. was founded. As Trustee and Vice President of the new organization, Ken accepted the responsibility for the care and use of Bonnell House and the Belcher-Ogden Mansion from the Elizabeth Historical Foundation, positions he retains today. With Future City Inc., the Historical Society has restored both buildings and made use of them for high school and college students, for regional stakeholders working on environmental and cultural projects, and for in-depth historical studies of individual community sections of the City of Elizabeth. The properties are a model for urban adaptive reuse and an ecological oasis in midtown Elizabeth.

Outside Elizabeth, Ken has been a Governor of the New Jersey Historical Society and Secretary of that organization in Newark, and in Westfield he has been a four term warden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Donations are always appreciated to any of the 5 Historical Organizations at the Spring Assembly.

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