CAMDEN, NJ — A celebration of Camden County history will take place during October, and the Camden County History Alliance invites the public to join in the fun of more than 50 events.
From Oct. 1 to 31, citizens can check out any of 30 participating historic sites and history organizations throughout the county hosting special exhibits, reenactments, and guided tours. The vast majority of the numerous events and activities offered during the month are free.
The county history month is hosted by the History Alliance, an association of 49 county organizations, historic sites, and support agencies. It was created in 2016 to identify resources, increase the number of visitors, and institute projects that promote Camden County heritage. The Camden County Historical Society, located in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, manages the work of the History Alliance.
Events during Camden County History Month include activities for both children and adults that span centuries of history. A full list of all 55 events during the month, with hours and locations, is available at this county link.
Of the special tributes in Camden City, the Historical Society will host an exhibit on historic Camden High School and its sports on Oct. 27 with reminiscences from alumni.
To highlight the county’s colonial history, the 1756 Gabreil Daveis Tavern Museum will host children’s games and chores on Oct. 13 and 27. The colonial Burrough-Dover House and Griffith Morgan House in Pennsauken will host living history demonstrations and hearth cooking on Oct. 6. Also on that day, the Historical Society of Haddonfield will have pop-up exhibits at Greenfield Hall.
The county’s involvement in the Revolutionary War will be highlighted at in a program of the Haddon Heights Historical Society on Oct. 21, featuring Ira Jersey of Crossroads of the American Revolution. The Indian King Tavern Museum, where New Jersey’s newly-formed government met in 1777, will offer tours each weekend, with a special presentation on Oct. 19.
In honor of Camden’s patriots, an exhibit of memorabilia of Ye Olde Newton-Nassau Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be on display at the Collingswood Library from Oct. 8 to 30. The American Revolution Round Table of South Jersey will host a program on “John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail” on Oct. 13.
Continuing the maritime history of Camden County, the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table will host a program on “African Americans in the Union Navy” on Oct. 10. The Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum will be open for tours on Oct. 19 and 20, and the Battleship New Jersey will offer special activities throughout the month with the purchase of a tour. On Oct. 12, a special STEAM Day on the Battleship will give visitors the opportunity to look at the science of communication with hands on activities. Then on Oct. 26, the 75th Anniversary of the Leyte Gulf naval battle will be commemorated with a panel discussion on the Battleship.
To commemorate Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, the Whitman Stafford House will host an event “Walt Whitman Returns to Laurel Springs” on Oct. 17, along with open houses on Oct. 22 and 29. The Walt Whitman House in Camden will hold special “legacy tours” on Oct. 5, 19, and 26, focusing on the work that the renowned artist created while living in Camden. Also in Camden City, the Cooper Street Showcase and 30th Anniversary Bash on Oct. 10 will have exhibits and a multimedia presentation “Just for the Record,” featuring Christopher Andrew Maier channeling Eldridge Reeves Johnson of Victor Talking Machine Company.
Railroad enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Magnolia Historical Society, which will feature a history of the Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Line and trolley line on Oct. 12 and 13. The Heights Heritage League will host an open house at the Haddon Heights Passenger Station on Oct. 5, with a period interpreter explaining the role of the railroad in developing her farm into Haddon Heights. The Historic Berlin Railroad Depot, built in 1856, will be open on Oct. 26 with special exhibits.
Many events celebrate the origins of Camden County’s residents throughout the centuries. Remember Camden’s Quaker origins on Oct. 20 by touring Newton Friends Meetinghouse, the oldest active religious building in Camden City, built in 1827. The Lawnside Historical Society will host a presentation about geo-mapping the graves of African Americans in Mount Peace Cemetery on Oct. 19. The Berlin Township Historical Association will celebrate Italian Heritage Month on Oct. 19 with bocce ball, live music, and food. Learn about Camden’s Polish heritage by touring the 1914 Saint Joseph’s Polish Roman Catholic Church on Oct. 20, and viewing the traditional animated Polish manger scene.
Participate in the March of Remembrance on Oct. 6 to learn the consequences of hatred that the Holocaust teaches. The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center will also be open for tours on Oct. 17, 27, and 29.
For those seeking spooky tours and ghost stories, the Pennsauken Historical Society will hold paranormal investigations at the Burrough-Dover House and Griffith Morgan House on Oct.12. The Camden County Historical Society will host Sunset Tours at Pomona Hall on Oct. 16 and 23, with information on paranormal activity at the colonial house. Kids will enjoy Halloween at the Griffith Morgan House on Oct. 26. The Long-A-Coming Historical Society will host a History Comes Alive Cemetery Tour at Berlin Cemetery on Oct. 26 with reenactment of past residents.
Other museums and historic houses that will be open during the month include:
Clementon Historical Museum — Oct. 9
Winslow Township History Center — Oct. 12, 13, 26, 27
Stratford Quaker Store — Oct. 19
Haddon Township Environmental and Historical Center — Oct. 19
Visit the History Alliance Facebook page for additional details, or pick up an event guide from any of the historic sites or the Camden County Historical Society at 1900 Park Blvd. in Camden.