We are living in a new reality. Things that we have taken for granted – such as going to the grocery store and always finding toilet paper – now present unique challenges.

Talking to your neighbor involves social distancing. Schools are closed as are playgrounds so there is nowhere for your children to run off all their energy. Yet, as hard as it is to believe, this too shall pass. At some point in the future, these restrictions will become a thing of the past and eventually, a distant memory. However, like the events of 9/11, the changes to our daily outlook and understanding of the world will become part of our collective memory.

As a historical society, it is our mission to have records of events that happen in our town.  We have the Jimmy Littlejohn diaries that chronicle 48 years of Chatham history. The Fishawack papers are filled with handwritten memories of life in Chatham. In our archives, there are anecdotal stories of growing up here including how our residents coped with the events of 9/11. Through all of these stories, we learn to understand ourselves and our neighbors and how we are all in this together in our hometown of Chatham, NJ.

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We are asking your help with adding to our stories of Chatham. This is an unprecedented time. How have you, your family and neighbors been coping with the state’s stay-at-home orders and other procedures to deal with the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic? Do you know people who are health care or frontline essential workers?  How have you been affected by all that is happening in the country and the world?

Please share your thoughts about living through this difficult time. It can be as brief or as detailed as you like. You can include your name or not. What is important is to provide a glimpse into what we are living through for future generations. You can submit your thoughts and photographs via chathamnjhistory@gmail.com.