Arts & Entertainment

Take a Trip Back in Time at the Deserted Village and Littell Lord Farmstead in Berkeley Heights

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Catch a ride to or from the Deserted Village in the Watchung Reservation from the parking lot off of Glenside Avenue. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Catch a ride to or from the Deserted Village in the Watchung Reservation from the parking lot off of Glenside Avenue or walk along trails through the woods. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Catch a ride to or from the Deserted Village in the Watchung Reservation or walk along the trails through the woods. It all begins at the parking lot off of Glenside Avenue. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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The church in the Deserted Village is a stopping point for the hay wagon. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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The Deserted Village of Feltville is no longer deserted. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Off to see the sights! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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The ice house and summer kitchen at the Littell-Lord Farmstead. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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It's official, it's historic. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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This side of the home faces Horseshoe Road. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Enter through the side door or the back door, into the kitchen. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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Credits: Barbara Rybolt
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Visitors to the two sites in the township that opened for Four Centuries in a Weekend got a real glimpse of life in the 18th and 19th Centuries on Saturday. These two sites will be open again on Sunday, Oct. 22, beginning at noon.

Littell-Lord Farmstead at 31 Horseshoe Road, with its stone springhouse and summer kitchen, was built In 1760 by  Andrew Littell who lived there with his wife and seven children. There’s a pond, acres of land for the children to run in and, from noon to 5 p.m. today, a tour guide who will escort visitors through the house and explain how the family used the home’s many rooms and the interesting equipment on display.

The second site, The Deserted Village Of Feltville, is nestled in the woods of the Watchung Reservation, just off Glenside Avenue - follow the signs to the parking lot. After that, visitors can walk along a partially paved road, then on trails through the woods to the village or take a hay wagon, complete with tour guide who will explain the history of the village. It’s about a half-mile walk and visitors can catch a ride back after they've toured the village. Print up a copy of the walking directions and guide to the sights along the way and in the village here 

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The story, in brief, is that a sawmill built about 1736 provided lumber to early settlers. In 1845 the land was bought by David Felt, who built a printing plant and a town which grew to a population of 175 people by 1850. When the printing factory closed upon Felt’s retirement, no other successful ventures survived. The village was deserted, then became a resort, Glenside Park, for people seeking relief from the summer’s heat, but they soon discovered the shore and it was once again deserted. 

In 1916 the resort closed and the land was acquired by Union County in 1921.

There’s a barn, a cemetery, David Felt’s home, a church/store, an old-fashioned play area for children and more. There are volunteers at all the sites to answer questions, Boy Scouts will make fresh cider the old-fashioned way and, at 1 p.m. Sunday, historian Robert A. Mayer’s will speak about the Battle of the Short Hills at Masker’s Barn.  

These are only two of the historic sites open today, Sunday, Oct. 22, in Union County. See what else is open here

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