Revolutionary War History Comes Alive on Oct. 1 in Basking Ridge

da9c1f87a06a02f87fbe_LordStirlinghimself.jpg
Lord Stirling himself each year appears at Somerset County's 1770s Festival to tour his troops and answer visitors' questions. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
40b288a5a58b5523bdd2_LordStirlingblacksmith.jpg
At an earlier Lord Stirling 1770s Festival, Bruce Hockenbury demonstrated the art of blacksmithing, a vitally important early American trades. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
2e0728a3d57dd5f8e950_LordStirlingcamp.1770s.jpg
Colonial soldier re-enactors set up an authentic camp from the era at a previous 1770s Festival at Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
eb52878ba29346309579_LordStirlingHistoricMarker.jpg
Historic markers give historic background on Lord Stirling and the part he and his manor in Basking Ridge played in the American Revolutionary War. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
f6d663655b54f3c3641a_LordStirlingcampcook.jpg
Re-enactors with Heard's Brigade, New Jersey Militia (Somerset County) demonstrate Colonial cooking. Carol Harabin of South Bound Brook prepares pea soup. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
ab21141054c9e8034385_Lordstirlingchick2.jpg
Justin Kavanaugh of Oldwick took part in the Somerset County 4-H display at an earlier Lord Stirling 1770s Festival at Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
332ea766a05a8be0b133_LordStirlingBallads.jpg
Colonial Music entertained children, and even encouraged a few to dance, at an earlier 1770s Festival at Somerset County's Lord Stirling Park. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
da9c1f87a06a02f87fbe_LordStirlinghimself.jpg

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Many people know that Basking Ridge was at the crossroads of the American Revolutionary War, but not all know just how significant a role the town played. With the return of Somerset County's annual "Living History - 1770s Festival" on Sunday, both adults and children will have an opportunity to learn about the history in their back yard - as well as what life was like for residents in this area almost 250 years ago.

Each year, Somerset County hosts the festival at Lord Stirling's Manor House in Lord Stirling Park, at 96 Lord Stirling Road, nearby the Environmental Education Center at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge.

1770s Festival begins at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday

Sign Up for E-News

This year's Colonial-era festival is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. 

The 1770s Festival promotes historical and environmental education, highlighting the unsung and little-known Revolutionary War hero William Alexander, Lord Stirling, who lived on the site and served under General George Washington.  

Lord Stirling built a manor house and courtyard on the property in 1762. He was appointed to command the 1st New Jersey Battalion in 1775. 

Each year the estate at Lord Stirling Park comes back to life in the late 18th century, with reenactors and when Lord Stirling himself joins visitors, answering questions about his many business ventures and his successes in battle against the British.

Visitors are invited to enjoy Lord Stirling as he reviews his troops, visits with local craftspeople, and tours his personal wine cellar. The historic home's wine cellar is only open this one day of the year.

Suggested donation is $5 per person. The 1770s Festival will be held rain or shine.
 
With reenactors attired in replicas of 1770s clothing, visitors will meet a blacksmith, tinsmith, furniture maker, cooper, and other trades people of the times. Crafters make toys, lace, decorative arts, woodcarvings, and spin wool into yarn. No crafts are sold at this entertaining and educational event. 

However, modern (and healthy) food will be available for purchase as provided by Dean's Natural Food Market of Basking Ridge. 

The festival is held each year on the first Sunday in October.

The event provides an authentic portrayal of the historic era. Demonstrations will be given by a blacksmith, tinsmith, furniture maker, cooper, and other trades people of the times, in replicas of clothing true to the 1770s period. Those who attend the annual event also sometimes enjoy dressing in garb that recalls the era.

Children and other history lovers can see crafters make toys, lace, decorative arts, woodcarvings, and spin wool into yarn. Colonial women will demonstrate how butter was made and how simple household chores were done without the help of electricity and modern appliances. No crafts are sold at this entertaining and educational event. 

Music from the era is also provided. 

For more information about the 1770s Festival call the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489 or for Relay Service dial 711 for individuals with hearing impairments. Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Somerset County Park Commission website at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Piscataway Man Identified in Pedestrian Fatality on I-287 in Bridgewater Wednesday

June 7, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Piscataway man was identified as the tow truck operator killed when he was struck by another vehicle on I-287 in Bridgewater Wednesday afternoon, according to NJ State Police Sgt. Lawrence Peele.

Nicholas Coble, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by a vehicle while clearing another car from the roadway at 1:44 p.m.

According to Peele, Coble was in ...

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 18, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, June 19, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, June 20, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Stable Start June 23

June 17, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...