Arts & Entertainment

The Chain That Saved the Colonies

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The Drake House Museum in Plainfield, NJ Credits: The Drake House Museum
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PLAINFIELD, NJ –- The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a lecture entitled “The Chain That Saved The Colonies” on Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m. at the Drake House Museum.   The lecture will given by Donald “Doc” Bayne.

“Many New Jersey residents are not aware of the Great Chain that spanned the Hudson River at West Point during the American Revolutionary War.  Doc Bayne has spent years researching the Great Chain and locating many of the remaining huge links of the hand-forged chain,” said Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield.  This is the story of one man’s quest to find the surviving links and to tell an amazing account of ingenuity, fortitude, and determination of the men of the Continental Army.

Donald “Doc” Bayne has been interested in history since the age of 8.  He was drafted into the U.S. Army, and then became a commercial pilot. He worked for the Minolta Corporation, and later started a career with an audio visual company designing distance-learning classrooms for William Paterson University and U.M.D.N.J. as well as video conferencing systems for various companies at the World Trade Center.  He then became a full-time Park Ranger, Environmental Educator and Historian at Sterling Forest State Park.  He is now retired, and is on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Historical Society, the Board of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site, the Board of The Incorporated Orange County Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association, the President of The Friends of Sterling Forest, and a member of the Greenwood Lake Historical Association.

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Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served.  A suggested donation of $5 is requested, and free to members of the Historical Society of Plainfield.  Drake House Museum is air conditioned.

It was at the Drake House that George Washington consulted with his officers during and after the Battle of Short Hills fought over the entire Plainfield area on June 25-27, 1777. On permanent display at the Drake House Museum are three Colonial era rooms--the kitchen, the Queen Anne dining room, and the Washington bedroom. The parlor and the Harberger Library are interpreted as period Victorian rooms. 

The Drake House Museum also displays two large paintings by noted Civil War painter Julian Scott, a Plainfield resident and a Medal of Honor recipient.  A National and New Jersey Historic Site, the Drake House Museum is an exciting link to Plainfield’s Revolutionary War history.  

The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, New Jersey. Donations are always appreciated.  Onsite parking is available. For directions and more information about the Drake House and the Historical Society of Plainfield, visit www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org.

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Department of State through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Recreation; a HEART Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; the City of Plainfield; the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission; the Hyde and Watson Foundation; the McCutchen Foundation; the Plainfield Foundation; and the Gannett Foundation.

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