Giving Back

Press Releases

Cranford Historical Society Marks its 90th Anniversary

89560d65d4410ebfe8ce_IMGP0835.JPG
Credits: The Cranford Historical Society
ff9310d81dab7f538a34_cranford_historical_society_sign_on_hanson_house_001__2_.jpg
Credits: The Cranford Historical Society
89560d65d4410ebfe8ce_IMGP0835.JPG

It’s been an honor for me to be President of this fantastic non-profit organization for the past six years.  We have a wonderful Board of Trustees: Mary Wade, Vice President; Charles Goodfellow, Treasurer; John Dreyer, Chairman of the Board, William Curtis, Nancy Bender, Linda Bristow, Barbara Klaus, Christine Glazer, Pat Pavlak, Jean Kreiling, Jean Pascarella, Vic Bary Lori Hoffner, Louise Engstrom and our part-time Office Administrator, together we work as a team to preserve and perpetuate the history of Cranford.

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Cranford Historical Society on February 11, 1927 by a group of Cranford citizens in preserving and perpetuating the history of our fantastic town.  These citizens worked endlessly researching the history of Cranford finding old maps, collecting documents and photographs, etc.  They formed a Board of Trustees and would have their meetings in each others’ homes or at the Union Junior College.  To raise money, they needed the support of the community, like we do, and started a membership drive for only $2.50 a year.  In 1929, the Township of Cranford acquired the “Little House” on North Union Avenue.  In 1932, the Township gave the Cranford Historical Society the front room to display their archival possessions.  Mrs. Fannie Crane Hopfensach gave tours of this house four days a week until 1962.

In 1962, the Trustees started to make repairs to the “Little House” which was renovated with a half bathroom and kitchen facilities.  Support beams were placed in the basement.  The archival wing was added through the generosity of the Cranford Junior Service League and the “Little House” became a museum called the Crane-Phillips House Museum named after the two previous owners of the house.

Sign Up for E-News

In 1964, the Cranford Historical Society placed a plaque commemorating the Pepperidge Tree called “Old Peppy” dated 200 years at that time.

In 1964, in celebration of New Jersey’s 300th anniversary, Trustee Homer Hall wrote a book called “300 Years at Crane’s Ford.”  This book shows the areas background in the days when Indians were its only inhabitants.  Also in 1964, the Cranford Historical Society discovered during the Revolutionary War, the militia assembled and crossed the Rahway River to join troops fight the “Battle of Springfield.”  The Cranford Historical Society also discovered the first school house in Cranford was located at the corner of South Union Avenue and Lincoln Avenue West.

In 1995 and 1996, the late Trustee and Curator Robert Fridlington and the late Past President and Trustee Larry Fuhro wrote two books for the Images of America series; Images of Cranford and Images of Cranford Volume II. Larry Fuhro also drew a map of Cranford in the early years. Maps and books are sold at the Hanson House office or at the Crane-Phillips House Museum.

More of the achievements of the Cranford Historical Society are:

Recordings of the Oral History of Cranford were recently put on CD’s.

Annual historic tours and visits by third graders and scouts of Cranford are given at the Crane-Phillips House Museum to show what life was like in the 1870’s without plumbing and electricity in Cranford.

The Cranford Historical Society has a newsletter called “The Mill Wheel” which is mailed to members five times a year.

All our free programs both for children and adults are held twice a month at the Crane-Phillips House Museum or the Hanson House.

 

In 1990, the Township of Cranford leased the Hanson House located at 38 Springfield Avenue to the Cranford Historical Society for their headquarters.  The Cranford Historical Society maintains the Hanson House and Crane-Phillips House museum under the leadership of the President and Board of Trustees.  The Cranford Historical Society maintains these two historical homes through grants, donations and membership dues.  Our dues now have risen from the start of $2.50 to now $15, $25, $50 or $100 of your choice.  We are always looking for new members.  If you are not a member, we cordially invite you to do so.

 

For many years, the Cranford Historical Society has restored the Hanson House and the Crane-Phillips House Museum. 

 

At the Crane-Phillips House Museum, Boy Scouts earned their Eagle Scout Award; one for building us an “Outhouse” and one for building a picket fence and arbor.  This fence separates the Victorian flower garden from the historic tool garden which years before were done by an Eagle Scout to showcase them and also our stone garden.  Another Boy Scout built a kiosk depicting historic sites in town located at Grey’s Funeral Home. A Girl Scout Troop built a vegetable garden bin so we could plant vegetable for our annual “Four Centuries in a Weekend” program for visitors to see.  A Girl Scout working on her gold award set up a monitor downstairs so that visitors unable to climb the steep steps to the second floor can view the two bedrooms.  The Cranford Historical Society also honored the Civil War by presenting programs to honor the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.  In addition, the Cranford Historical Society participates in the Cranford Memorial Day Parade every year.

 

The Cranford Historical Society has achieved so much through the years.  Our fundraisers in addition to receiving grants from Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historic Preservation Commission, donations from the community and membership dues have enabled us to achieve all that we have done and there is still more to do to continue to preserve and perpetuate the history of Cranford for future generations.

 

We had a food drive last year for Cranford Family Care at our Ice Cream Social which was a success.  The Cranford Historical Society also has the Cranford High School History Award Scholarship fund which is given to a Senior High School student every year.  We also train high school students to become docents at the museum to help our Trustees give tours. 

 

The Hanson House office is opened Monday and Tuesday from 9:30am to 11:30am and Monday through Thursday from 3:30pm to 5:30pm for the community to research their homes or have questions about the history of Cranford.  We have helped Cranford residents research their homes, some historic and some not.

 

In 2017, the Cranford Historical Society will be celebrating our 90th Anniversary at the “Moonlight Gala” on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at Dreyer Farms on Springfield Avenue in Cranford.  This celebration is opened to our members and the community at a price of $35.00 per person.  R.S.V.P. by August 31st, 2017.  Flyers with attached remittance form will be in our newsletter, at the Cranford Library, Dreyer Farms and the Hanson House office and on our website.  If you would like to attend please fill out the invitation remittance form with your check made payable to the Cranford Historical Society and mail it to the Cranford Historical Society, 38 Springfield Avenue, Cranford NJ 07016. 

 

 

We will have a buffet table consisting of wine, cheese, fruit, shrimp, stuffed clams, eggplant parmesan on Italian bread topped with mozzarella cheese, cake, coffee, tea, soda and water.  There will be raffle baskets, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction basket and door prize.  Music will be supplied by Tom Langmaark if you wish to dance under the moonlight.

 

Hope everyone will come out to celebrate with us on this historic 90th anniversary at historic Dreyer Farms. 

 

Proceeds benefit the Cranford Historical Society’s History Award Scholarship fund, maintenance of the Hanson House and Crane-Phillips House Museum and grounds.

 

I mentioned previously, the Society participates every year in “Union County’s Four Centuries in a Weekend” this year on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.  Our theme is Cranford Historical Society 90th Anniversary Celebration and to emphasize our anniversary we will be placing 90th anniversary stickers in each Four Centuries passports and giving out 90th anniversary pencils.  We hope all visitors and school students will come out to celebrate with us during this historic anniversary which will take place at the Crane-Phillips House Museum, 124 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ.

 Any questions please call our office at 908-276-0082 or email us at cranfordhistoricalsociety@verizon.net.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Video: ‘Westfield 6’ Arrested at ‘Clean Dream Act’ Protest Hold Press Conference

June 20, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ —  Six people, including four clergy members, who were arrested at a sit-in to support “dreamers” Feb. 6  at Congressman Leonard Lance’s Westfield office continue to wait for their day in court. A trial that was expected to take place Tuesday was put off until a future date at the prosecutor’s request.

Rev. Ann Ralosky ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

June 16, 2018

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Senior Awards Recipients

CRANFORD - On Thursday, June 7th, Cranford High School held its annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Here is a full list of the awards and winners. 

 

Cranford High School Award for Outstanding Achievement

Top 5% of the Class of 2018

Recipient: Jack Callan, Alannah Clarke, Meg Cui, Caroline Kelly, Julia Kelly, Nicholas Macchi, Katherine Ruane, Layla Serna, Katherine Stochel, ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Kick-Off Dance Party

June 20, 2018

Put on your dancing shoes and join us at the Clark Public Library for the kick-off of our annual Summer Reading Program!  The Dance Party will run from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm with SuperSounds DJs playing your favorite songs. Kids can register for the summer reading challenge, get their face painted or a temporary tattoo, and make a craft.  We will also have raffles for prizes ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Between Park Street and Washington Street, Westfield

Walking Tour: What Makes a Great House and ...

Home & Garden

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...