FLEMINGTON, NJ - The County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved County History Partnership Program (CHPP) re-grants for four history organizations, totaling $15,195, with a Cultural & Heritage Commission $5,000 grant administrative allowance Feb. 18.

Carrie Fellows, executive director of the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, announced the round of CHPP grant awards, asfunded through the New Jersey Historical Commission, leading with $5,000 to the Flemington-based Hunterdon County Historical Society, as well as $4,800 for the Lambertville Historical Society and $4,395 for Readington Museums headquartered in Stanton at Bouman-Stickney Farmhouse, a 1741 Dutch bank house on 68 acres of preserved open space.

Both Hunterdon County Historical and Lambertville Historical Society are registered 501c3 nonprofits. Readington Museums are governed by a museum committee appointed by Readington Township Committee, and its properties are owned and operated by Readington Township.

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“The 2020 CHPP re-grant awards are allotted to local constituent organizations that carry out activities outlined by contract,” Fellows said. “This is the first year of a three-year grant cycle providing annual awards of $15,195 to the Cultural & Heritage Commission. No cash match is required.”

The newly-appointed administrator of the Hunterdon County Historical Society is David Harding, also the director of outreach of Hunterdon Land Trust. Harding brings vast career experience in communications and PR, grant writing and growing membership.

He previously worked as communications coordinator for the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton. Harding was also a founding trustee of the East Amwell Historical Society, and he has served on the County Historical Society’s board of trustees.

Harding told the freeholders about how a $5,000 CHPP grant helps promote and preserve the incredible collection and its breadth and depth of artifacts, genealogical materials and resources going back to collections of Hiram Deats in the 1880s (HCHS’ Research Library is named Hiram E. Deats Memorial Library).

“This re-grant is invaluable to us in order to achieve HCHS’ mission of sharing and promoting Hunterdon County’s rich history,” he said. “This grant will go very much toward helping us to organize the collection to be able to get things online and share and promote resources with others. It also helps Hunterdon County Historical Society towards programming.”

On March 15, the Historical Society will host its spring program, a lecture and slideshow from Dr. Gary Grover, an East Amwell resident, on “Early Medicine in New Jersey.” The free program begins at 2 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

Freeholder Matt Holt commented on George Washington crossing the Delaware River into Hunterdon County during the 10 crucial days of late 1776 into 1777, and Harding explained that, on June 28, the Hunterdon Land Trust will feature a presentation from historian Larry Kidder on Washington’s crossing the Delaware in Hunterdon County during the farmers’ market at Flemington’s historic Case-Dvoor Farmstead (111 Mine Street).

For more information on the Hunterdon County Historical Society, call 908-782-1091 or visit their website at hunterdonhistory.org

Suzanne Gitomer, a former Flemington resident, accepted the re-grant as a trustee and past president of Lambertville Historical Society.

“We have a pretty little museum on Main Street, and we are so grateful to the county C&H and our freeholders,” she said. “In cleaning out the historical society’s headquarters, we have been able to maintain the old house building over the last 20 years. Specifically, we can use this $4,800 for catching up with technology. Our computers’ operating system and website need to be upgraded, and we have PastPerfect, an online collection management program, which has to be upgraded. The good news is, through such funding, we’re getting much closer to making our entire collection available to the public to view online. That’s our ultimate goal.”

Margaret Smith, program director for Readington Museums, told county freeholders that her historic houses and buildings are sites of programs for children, schools and community members, with everything from ice cream or chocolate-making demonstrations to lectures, presentations and music, as well as Monday Mornings for families throughout the summer.

“We hope to use this grant to fund our presenters and to support programs, as well as heating and security issues,” Smith said.

On March 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bouman-Stickney Farmstead, Dana Bala will present “Dressed to Kill: From Arsenic in Clothing, and Lead in Cosmetics, to Blazing Crinolines.” Smith said Victorian period clothing will be showcased.

On April 5, Readington Museums will host Susan McLellan Plaisted to demonstrate colonial-era chocolates and the use of the metate, by turning the cacao bean into chocolate.

To register, call 908-236-2327 or email readingtonmuseums@gmail.com. Readington Museum’s program information is listed online by Flemington-based nonprofit Hunterdon County Tricentennial at Hunterdon300th.org.

The county freeholders also approved a CHPP mini grant of $1,000 for the Union Forge Heritage Association, in the north part of Hunterdon County, to enable them to create downstairs displays and setups of laptops and monitors for people who cannot access the upstairs. UFHA created the Solitude House Museum in High Bridge Borough and operated it until 2012, and founded the 1760 Joseph Turner House in Union Township in 2014.

More information can be accessed at unionforgeheritage.org