BASKING RIDGE, NJ- Even as the leaves have started falling in Basking Ridge, activity has picked up at the Ross Farm on North Maple Avenue. The Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate, led by President David Becker, is charged with creating educational and cultural events that enhance the public’s understanding of the historical legacy of the estate and the contributions of the Elias Boudinot, Samuel Southard and Edmund Ross families.
While the upcoming county-wide Weekend Journey Through the Past is the flagship event on the Ross Farm, the past couple of years have seen an emergence of new volunteers and board members which has enabled a wider variety of activities and events on the 50-plus acre property. In addition to “History Weekend,” the Farm is home to “Boudinot’s Garden,” a joint effort by the Friends group and local churches including St. Mark’s, St. Bernard’s, St. Luke’s and St. John’s on the Mountain, Trilogy Repertoire’s costume and prop shop, a brand-new bee hive, and a growing music series that continues to host up-and-coming artists as well as some established touring musicians.
In partnership with the Oak Street School PTO, the Friends welcomed Oak Street fourth graders to the estate for their annual “Colonial Day,” an event which used to take place in the classrooms but for the first time last year, unfolded on a site where its early residents actually played a big role in the American Revolution. ARTsee has also hosted two Happenings on the site, bringing local artists from all sorts of media to the home, barn and grounds, and a local photography student held an exhibit in the home this summer.
The Friends, led by co-chairwomen Hilary Klimek and Jan Malay, recently hosted their first major fundraiser in late September. Featuring a menu inspired by Boudinot’s Garden, the Farm to Table Event welcomed about 150 guests who enjoyed a fine menu by chefs Martin Hale and Nick Williams, assisted by John Evangelista and Julie Pascarella. Guests were entertained by local favorites The Altman Brothers Band. A nice array of silent auction items were augmented by a few select live auction items.
Just a week after the Farm to Table, the Ross Farm Music Series presented its first concert of the fall season with a very popular tour that is currently making its way through the East, Midwest and South with Tony Lucca and Alex Dezen, joined by a Ross Farm favorite, Christian Lopez, who made his third appearance at the Farm on the Heads or Tails Tour last weekend. Music continues this weekend as Brooks Hubbard, a New Hampshire native now living and making music in Nashville, is scheduled to play in the barn after the first day of History Weekend wraps up. Tickets are still available at rossfarm.org/event/brooks-hubbard/ and are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Ticket prices include free light refreshments, and seats will be available.
In addition, the Ross Farm will be open for two days this weekend for the annual Weekend Journey Through the Past, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. As usual, this event is free of charge, but light fare will be available to purchase. For more information, please visit the website at RossFarm.org and “like” the Facebook page at The Ross Farm – Basking Ridge.