Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

New Things are Happening in the Old Deserted Village During ‘Four Centuries in a Weekend,’ Oct. 21-22

a1efd6fa101af2db6364_general_store_deserted_village.jpg
General Store at Deserted Village
a1efd6fa101af2db6364_general_store_deserted_village.jpg

 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – In spite of its name, the Deserted Village of Feltville receives thousands of visitors every month.  More than 2,500 visitors are expected on this coming weekend alone for the Village’s annual open house during Union County’s “Four Centuries in a Weekend” program.  Even those who have been to the Deserted Village before will find lots of new things to see at the historic site in Union County’s largest park, the Watchung Reservation.

Staffed activities will occur at the Deserted Village from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22.  Visitors may pick up a map and narrative at Feltville’s parking lot for a self-guided tour.  Or take a leisurely ride and see most of the Village’s buildings and grounds from a narrated hayride, which will run continuously both days.

If you are interested in a more detailed excursion, join the ghost of David Felt at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday for a 1-mile/2 hour tour of the factory town that he built in 1845 to house a printing mill and the 175 people who worked in his mill, on his farm, in his store or school, or in other occupations.  On Sunday at 2:00 p.m., Mr. Felt will provide a 30-minute long armchair tour on the porch of his general store for those who don’t have the time or stamina to make the walking tour.  At other times, the ghost of David Felt will be available at the general store to converse with visitors.

Sign Up for E-News

Would you rather read more about it?   Fifteen professionally prepared interpretive signs will be formally “unveiled” during the Four Centuries celebration.  They use text and photographs to provide both a general history and very specific stories about the Deserted Village. 

In one of his movies, Indiana Jones said that in archaeology, X never marks the spot.  But take a tour of the Deserted Village at 3:00 pm on Sunday, and learn how an X on the ground yielded not only a great assemblage of artifacts, but also revealed an interesting social history.  The tours will be led by Matthew Tomaso, Dr. Richard Veit, and Carissa Scarpa, all of whom are professional archaeologists who have conducted archaeological investigations at the Deserted Village.  And children can get their hands dirty digging for artifacts throughout the weekend.

At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Revolutionary War historian and author Robert Mayers will speak in Masker’s Barn about General George Washington’s troop movements in the Watchung Mountains.  His talk will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

“We are fortunate to have an author of Mayers’ caliber come to talk with Union County residents about the Revolutionary War history in their own backyard,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski.  “When the County created the Battle of the Short Hills Historic Trail several years ago, we recognized the route Washington’s retreating forces took up what is now New Providence Road – just to the west of where everyone will be listening to Mayers’ presentation.”

The original settler of the area that is now the Watchung Reservation, Peter Willcocks, built a sawmill in the Blue Brook Valley in 1736 and supplied lumber to farmers as they built farms in what was then the frontier of America.  will find Peterin the Deserted Village cemetery, visiting the graves of his , Phebe Badgely WillcocksJohn a New Jersey militia soldier who was killed early in the Revolutionary War

Because of those Revolutionary War connections, Union County is now one of 14 counties formally designated for inclusion in the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area.  Since the Crossroads program is administered by the National Park Service, visitors are now able to get their Passport to Your National Parks stamped in the Deserted Village’s general store.  If you have not started to collect National Park Passports stamps yet, you can make the Deserted Village your first stop and buy a Passport right in the store.

Some visitors are expected to travel to Feltville from other states to take part in the Four Centuries program, and to get their NPS Passports stamped.  Whether coming from near or far, up to eight families will, for the first time, be able to stay in the Deserted Village for the weekend in their own recreational vehicles.  Permit applications are available at www.ucnj.org/dv.

The Church/Store Building was built by David Felt in 1845 to serve the needs of his mill town inhabitants.  The general store downstairs and the church upstairs met the Feltville residents’ needs, both materially and spiritually.  Today the general store serves as the Village Visitor Center and is open to the public most Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from noon to 5 p.m.  Exhibits of artifacts, photographs and maps depict the Village’s history across four centuries.  Starting this weekend, the Visitor Center will be a general store again, with nostalgic candy, snacks, toys and games on sale.  A food vendor will be grilling nearby for those who want something more substantial to eat or drink.  Picnic tables are available for families wanting to pack a lunch.

David Felt’s store provided the residents of Feltville with food from his 600-acre farm, which included livestock and apple and peach orchards.  A small apple orchard was recreated along Cataract Hollow Road earlier this year.  A hands-on demonstration of apples being pressed into cider will be ongoing throughout the Four Centuries weekend.

Children will be excited to play old-fashioned children’s games on the Deserted Village’s grass tennis court.  They can also buy a small pumpkin and draw a face on it.  And at the general store, they can learn from a schoolmarm how to write with a goose quill pen and ink.

All are welcome to tour the beautifully restored circa-1882 Masker’s Barn carriage house.  Outside the Barn, sit for a while and roast marshmallows at the new campfire ring.

All activities for the Four Centuries weekend are rain or shine, and most are free of charge. Enter the Deserted Village via Cataract Hollow Road, off of Glenside Avenue (GPS address – 1 Cataract Hollow Road, Berkeley Heights). Wear warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes.

For additional information about the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park, visit the County website at www.ucnj.org/DV.   Tickets are already sold out for Haunted Hayrides that will run at the Deserted Village on Oct. 27-29.  Information about over 30 other Four Centuries in a Weekend sites is available from the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, (908) 558-2550, or on the Union County website athttp://ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs/.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Caregiver Conference Sunday, Feb. 25, Focuses on Caregiver's Needs

 

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, (JFSCNJ) a non-sectarian health and social service agency, will be hosting a Caregiver Conference called, “Caring for a Loved One While Being Mindful of Your Own Needs,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Halpern Building, 655 Westfield Ave. Elizabeth.  

 The Conference, ...

'RAD Kids' Program Continues to Grow; Fundraiser Set for Feb. 24 in Summit

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Begun two years ago by just a few families whose parents were seeking a safe space for their children to play and, according to group organizers, "meet other kids like them," 'RAD Kids' -- as the group is now known -- has become a safe space for gender-fluid children in North Jersey. 

“We’re now serving ...

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, February 23, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4ca4b046b48f94f03540_unnamed_4

Fri, February 23, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

VInyasa Flow with Lauren

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Fri, February 23, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...