Beth's Book Review

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who is not generally recognized as an everyday hero in American jurisprudence, made the color black the new black during her long and prestigious career as one of only 1000 women lawyers in the United States in the early 20th century. However, Humiston, a woman of incredible will and fortitude, was so much more than a lawyer as Brad Ricca describes her in the compelling account entitled Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Always garbed in black clothing, including wide-brimmed hats that shielded her face, Humanist honed her skills as lawyer-turned-detective to solve cases that were seemingly impossible to untangle. She became a beacon of hope for downtrodden immigrants and offered legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convicted of crimes that led to the death penalty.

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The featured story of this fascinating read is Humiston's determination to find a young woman who had gone missing in New York City on February 13, 1917 and to bring relief to her grieving parents. Beautiful, eighteen year old Ruth Cruger had disappeared one winter afternoon after announcing to her sister that she was on her way to a machine shop to pick up a pair of skates that she had sharpened there. When Ruth had not returned as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, her sister, Christina, started to panic. At first Christina rationalized that Ruth must have gone skating at a local rink, but as darkness fell, Christina called her older sister, Helen, who promptly went out in search of Ruth. When her endeavors to locate her sister proved futile, Helen called her father's partner in their oil business, who sent a telegram to her father directing he and his wife to return home immediately from a trip.

Although the police were notified immediately of Ruth's disappearance, and detectives were dispatched to interview the Cruger family the day after Ruth went missing, the police suggested that Ruth had eloped, rather than had been kidnapped. They never seemed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the investigation from the start.

Months later Grace Humiston, who had been working on another daunting death penalty case outside of the city, heard about Ruth's disappearance, she felt compelled to investigate, enlisting the aid of her partner, detective Julius J. Kron to help her solve the mystery of what had happened to the young woman. Humiston's investigation started at the Metropolitan Motorcycles shop, the last place where the last confirmed sighting of Ruth had been made. “Grace didn't know if Ruth Cruger was alive or dead, but she had a feeling that this place held the key to answering that question. She just didn't know how Grace was still wearing black, even in the summer.” (p.163)

Through a labyrinth of clues, Humiston and Kron followed up stories of alleged romantic alliances that Ruth had enjoyed, the possibility that she had been abducted and used in a white slavery ring, and a deep dig into the basement of a building to find the truth of what had happened to the teenager. Through it all, Humiston followed her instincts as a woman, and as a tenacious detective, to find the dark truth of what had happened to the missing girl.

Ricca intricately weaves the tale of the dauntless career of Grace Humiston, a woman of self-less intellect and character, who wound up being appointed as the first female U.S. District Attorney in history. Humiston also succeeded in becoming the first woman used by the New York Police Department as a consulting detective, which allowed Grace many opportunities to investigate cases that she wouldn't have had without her detective's shield.

Despite her incredible career, Humiston had all but disappeared from history. In the Author's Note at the book's end, Ricca explains how he came across America's first female detective. He writes, “A book of 1978 student essays designed to use crime to teach the research paper had an entry called 'Grace Humiston: The First Woman Detective,' by Tim McCarl. There are some great academic articles on Sunny Side by Randolph Boehm and others that have appeared in history publications. Grace's story appeared in an article by Karen Abbott on the Web site for Smithsonian Magazine and in a novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, by Charles Kelly. I found her by chance when I stumbled onto her 1917 interview in the New York Sun while researching the Black Hand.” (p.368)

After his initial introduction to Grace Humiston, Ricca went on to solve the mystery of her incredible career, and the result is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. With precision and intricately researched stories about Humiston's passion for justice, Ricca presents the modern audience with the story of a true pioneer in the field of justice for the downtrodden. The book is eye opening in that many of the social problems that are prominent in America today were issues going back to the early 20th century, including the abuse of immigrants as they land upon our shores, and the enslavement of young woman for sexual purposes. Grace Humiston was, indeed, a woman ahead of her times, but more importantly, she is a woman for all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who is not generally recognized as an everyday hero in American jurisprudence, made the color black the new black during her long and prestigious career as one of only 1000 women lawyers in the United States in the early 20th century. However, Humiston, a woman of incredible will and fortitude, was so much more than a lawyer as Brad Ricca describes her in the compelling account entitled Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Always garbed in black clothing, including wide-brimmed hats that shielded her face, Humanist honed her skills as lawyer-turned-detective to solve cases that were seemingly impossible to untangle. She became a beacon of hope for downtrodden immigrants and offered legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convicted of crimes that led to the death penalty.

The featured story of this fascinating read is Humiston's determination to find a young woman who had gone missing in New York City on February 13, 1917 and to bring relief to her grieving parents. Beautiful, eighteen year old Ruth Cruger had disappeared one winter afternoon after announcing to her sister that she was on her way to a machine shop to pick up a pair of skates that she had sharpened there. When Ruth had not returned as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, her sister, Christina, started to panic. At first Christina rationalized that Ruth must have gone skating at a local rink, but as darkness fell, Christina called her older sister, Helen, who promptly went out in search of Ruth. When her endeavors to locate her sister proved futile, Helen called her father's partner in their oil business, who sent a telegram to her father directing he and his wife to return home immediately from a trip.

Although the police were notified immediately of Ruth's disappearance, and detectives were dispatched to interview the Cruger family the day after Ruth went missing, the police suggested that Ruth had eloped, rather than had been kidnapped. They never seemed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the investigation from the start.

Months later Grace Humiston, who had been working on another daunting death penalty case outside of the city, heard about Ruth's disappearance, she felt compelled to investigate, enlisting the aid of her partner, detective Julius J. Kron to help her solve the mystery of what had happened to the young woman. Humiston's investigation started at the Metropolitan Motorcycles shop, the last place where the last confirmed sighting of Ruth had been made. “Grace didn't know if Ruth Cruger was alive or dead, but she had a feeling that this place held the key to answering that question. She just didn't know how Grace was still wearing black, even in the summer.” (p.163)

Through a labyrinth of clues, Humiston and Kron followed up stories of alleged romantic alliances that Ruth had enjoyed, the possibility that she had been abducted and used in a white slavery ring, and a deep dig into the basement of a building to find the truth of what had happened to the teenager. Through it all, Humiston followed her instincts as a woman, and as a tenacious detective, to find the dark truth of what had happened to the missing girl.

Ricca intricately weaves the tale of the dauntless career of Grace Humiston, a woman of self-less intellect and character, who wound up being appointed as the first female U.S. District Attorney in history. Humiston also succeeded in becoming the first woman used by the New York Police Department as a consulting detective, which allowed Grace many opportunities to investigate cases that she wouldn't have had without her detective's shield.

Despite her incredible career, Humiston had all but disappeared from history. In the Author's Note at the book's end, Ricca explains how he came across America's first female detective. He writes, “A book of 1978 student essays designed to use crime to teach the research paper had an entry called 'Grace Humiston: The First Woman Detective,' by Tim McCarl. There are some great academic articles on Sunny Side by Randolph Boehm and others that have appeared in history publications. Grace's story appeared in an article by Karen Abbott on the Web site for Smithsonian Magazine and in a novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, by Charles Kelly. I found her by chance when I stumbled onto her 1917 interview in the New York Sun while researching the Black Hand.” (p.368)

After his initial introduction to Grace Humiston, Ricca went on to solve the mystery of her incredible career, and the result is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. With precision and intricately researched stories about Humiston's passion for justice, Ricca presents the modern audience with the story of a true pioneer in the field of justice for the downtrodden. The book is eye opening in that many of the social problems that are prominent in America today were issues going back to the early 20th century, including the abuse of immigrants as they land upon our shores, and the enslavement of young woman for sexual purposes. Grace Humiston was, indeed, a woman ahead of her times, but more importantly, she is a woman for all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who is not generally recognized as an everyday hero in American jurisprudence, made the color black the new black during her long and prestigious career as one of only 1000 women lawyers in the United States in the early 20th century. However, Humiston, a woman of incredible will and fortitude, was so much more than a lawyer as Brad Ricca describes her in the compelling account entitled Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Always garbed in black clothing, including wide-brimmed hats that shielded her face, Humanist honed her skills as lawyer-turned-detective to solve cases that were seemingly impossible to untangle. She became a beacon of hope for downtrodden immigrants and offered legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convicted of crimes that led to the death penalty.

The featured story of this fascinating read is Humiston's determination to find a young woman who had gone missing in New York City on February 13, 1917 and to bring relief to her grieving parents. Beautiful, eighteen year old Ruth Cruger had disappeared one winter afternoon after announcing to her sister that she was on her way to a machine shop to pick up a pair of skates that she had sharpened there. When Ruth had not returned as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, her sister, Christina, started to panic. At first Christina rationalized that Ruth must have gone skating at a local rink, but as darkness fell, Christina called her older sister, Helen, who promptly went out in search of Ruth. When her endeavors to locate her sister proved futile, Helen called her father's partner in their oil business, who sent a telegram to her father directing he and his wife to return home immediately from a trip.

Although the police were notified immediately of Ruth's disappearance, and detectives were dispatched to interview the Cruger family the day after Ruth went missing, the police suggested that Ruth had eloped, rather than had been kidnapped. They never seemed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the investigation from the start.

Months later Grace Humiston, who had been working on another daunting death penalty case outside of the city, heard about Ruth's disappearance, she felt compelled to investigate, enlisting the aid of her partner, detective Julius J. Kron to help her solve the mystery of what had happened to the young woman. Humiston's investigation started at the Metropolitan Motorcycles shop, the last place where the last confirmed sighting of Ruth had been made. “Grace didn't know if Ruth Cruger was alive or dead, but she had a feeling that this place held the key to answering that question. She just didn't know how Grace was still wearing black, even in the summer.” (p.163)

Through a labyrinth of clues, Humiston and Kron followed up stories of alleged romantic alliances that Ruth had enjoyed, the possibility that she had been abducted and used in a white slavery ring, and a deep dig into the basement of a building to find the truth of what had happened to the teenager. Through it all, Humiston followed her instincts as a woman, and as a tenacious detective, to find the dark truth of what had happened to the missing girl.

Ricca intricately weaves the tale of the dauntless career of Grace Humiston, a woman of self-less intellect and character, who wound up being appointed as the first female U.S. District Attorney in history. Humiston also succeeded in becoming the first woman used by the New York Police Department as a consulting detective, which allowed Grace many opportunities to investigate cases that she wouldn't have had without her detective's shield.

Despite her incredible career, Humiston had all but disappeared from history. In the Author's Note at the book's end, Ricca explains how he came across America's first female detective. He writes, “A book of 1978 student essays designed to use crime to teach the research paper had an entry called 'Grace Humiston: The First Woman Detective,' by Tim McCarl. There are some great academic articles on Sunny Side by Randolph Boehm and others that have appeared in history publications. Grace's story appeared in an article by Karen Abbott on the Web site for Smithsonian Magazine and in a novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, by Charles Kelly. I found her by chance when I stumbled onto her 1917 interview in the New York Sun while researching the Black Hand.” (p.368)

After his initial introduction to Grace Humiston, Ricca went on to solve the mystery of her incredible career, and the result is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. With precision and intricately researched stories about Humiston's passion for justice, Ricca presents the modern audience with the story of a true pioneer in the field of justice for the downtrodden. The book is eye opening in that many of the social problems that are prominent in America today were issues going back to the early 20th century, including the abuse of immigrants as they land upon our shores, and the enslavement of young woman for sexual purposes. Grace Humiston was, indeed, a woman ahead of her times, but more importantly, she is a woman for all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who is not generally recognized as an everyday hero in American jurisprudence, made the color black the new black during her long and prestigious career as one of only 1000 women lawyers in the United States in the early 20th century. However, Humiston, a woman of incredible will and fortitude, was so much more than a lawyer as Brad Ricca describes her in the compelling account entitled Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Always garbed in black clothing, including wide-brimmed hats that shielded her face, Humanist honed her skills as lawyer-turned-detective to solve cases that were seemingly impossible to untangle. She became a beacon of hope for downtrodden immigrants and offered legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convicted of crimes that led to the death penalty.

The featured story of this fascinating read is Humiston's determination to find a young woman who had gone missing in New York City on February 13, 1917 and to bring relief to her grieving parents. Beautiful, eighteen year old Ruth Cruger had disappeared one winter afternoon after announcing to her sister that she was on her way to a machine shop to pick up a pair of skates that she had sharpened there. When Ruth had not returned as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, her sister, Christina, started to panic. At first Christina rationalized that Ruth must have gone skating at a local rink, but as darkness fell, Christina called her older sister, Helen, who promptly went out in search of Ruth. When her endeavors to locate her sister proved futile, Helen called her father's partner in their oil business, who sent a telegram to her father directing he and his wife to return home immediately from a trip.

Although the police were notified immediately of Ruth's disappearance, and detectives were dispatched to interview the Cruger family the day after Ruth went missing, the police suggested that Ruth had eloped, rather than had been kidnapped. They never seemed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the investigation from the start.

Months later Grace Humiston, who had been working on another daunting death penalty case outside of the city, heard about Ruth's disappearance, she felt compelled to investigate, enlisting the aid of her partner, detective Julius J. Kron to help her solve the mystery of what had happened to the young woman. Humiston's investigation started at the Metropolitan Motorcycles shop, the last place where the last confirmed sighting of Ruth had been made. “Grace didn't know if Ruth Cruger was alive or dead, but she had a feeling that this place held the key to answering that question. She just didn't know how Grace was still wearing black, even in the summer.” (p.163)

Through a labyrinth of clues, Humiston and Kron followed up stories of alleged romantic alliances that Ruth had enjoyed, the possibility that she had been abducted and used in a white slavery ring, and a deep dig into the basement of a building to find the truth of what had happened to the teenager. Through it all, Humiston followed her instincts as a woman, and as a tenacious detective, to find the dark truth of what had happened to the missing girl.

Ricca intricately weaves the tale of the dauntless career of Grace Humiston, a woman of self-less intellect and character, who wound up being appointed as the first female U.S. District Attorney in history. Humiston also succeeded in becoming the first woman used by the New York Police Department as a consulting detective, which allowed Grace many opportunities to investigate cases that she wouldn't have had without her detective's shield.

Despite her incredible career, Humiston had all but disappeared from history. In the Author's Note at the book's end, Ricca explains how he came across America's first female detective. He writes, “A book of 1978 student essays designed to use crime to teach the research paper had an entry called 'Grace Humiston: The First Woman Detective,' by Tim McCarl. There are some great academic articles on Sunny Side by Randolph Boehm and others that have appeared in history publications. Grace's story appeared in an article by Karen Abbott on the Web site for Smithsonian Magazine and in a novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, by Charles Kelly. I found her by chance when I stumbled onto her 1917 interview in the New York Sun while researching the Black Hand.” (p.368)

After his initial introduction to Grace Humiston, Ricca went on to solve the mystery of her incredible career, and the result is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. With precision and intricately researched stories about Humiston's passion for justice, Ricca presents the modern audience with the story of a true pioneer in the field of justice for the downtrodden. The book is eye opening in that many of the social problems that are prominent in America today were issues going back to the early 20th century, including the abuse of immigrants as they land upon our shores, and the enslavement of young woman for sexual purposes. Grace Humiston was, indeed, a woman ahead of her times, but more importantly, she is a woman for all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who is not generally recognized as an everyday hero in American jurisprudence, made the color black the new black during her long and prestigious career as one of only 1000 women lawyers in the United States in the early 20th century. However, Humiston, a woman of incredible will and fortitude, was so much more than a lawyer as Brad Ricca describes her in the compelling account entitled Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Always garbed in black clothing, including wide-brimmed hats that shielded her face, Humanist honed her skills as lawyer-turned-detective to solve cases that were seemingly impossible to untangle. She became a beacon of hope for downtrodden immigrants and offered legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convicted of crimes that led to the death penalty.

The featured story of this fascinating read is Humiston's determination to find a young woman who had gone missing in New York City on February 13, 1917 and to bring relief to her grieving parents. Beautiful, eighteen year old Ruth Cruger had disappeared one winter afternoon after announcing to her sister that she was on her way to a machine shop to pick up a pair of skates that she had sharpened there. When Ruth had not returned as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, her sister, Christina, started to panic. At first Christina rationalized that Ruth must have gone skating at a local rink, but as darkness fell, Christina called her older sister, Helen, who promptly went out in search of Ruth. When her endeavors to locate her sister proved futile, Helen called her father's partner in their oil business, who sent a telegram to her father directing he and his wife to return home immediately from a trip.

Although the police were notified immediately of Ruth's disappearance, and detectives were dispatched to interview the Cruger family the day after Ruth went missing, the police suggested that Ruth had eloped, rather than had been kidnapped. They never seemed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the investigation from the start.

Months later Grace Humiston, who had been working on another daunting death penalty case outside of the city, heard about Ruth's disappearance, she felt compelled to investigate, enlisting the aid of her partner, detective Julius J. Kron to help her solve the mystery of what had happened to the young woman. Humiston's investigation started at the Metropolitan Motorcycles shop, the last place where the last confirmed sighting of Ruth had been made. “Grace didn't know if Ruth Cruger was alive or dead, but she had a feeling that this place held the key to answering that question. She just didn't know how Grace was still wearing black, even in the summer.” (p.163)

Through a labyrinth of clues, Humiston and Kron followed up stories of alleged romantic alliances that Ruth had enjoyed, the possibility that she had been abducted and used in a white slavery ring, and a deep dig into the basement of a building to find the truth of what had happened to the teenager. Through it all, Humiston followed her instincts as a woman, and as a tenacious detective, to find the dark truth of what had happened to the missing girl.

Ricca intricately weaves the tale of the dauntless career of Grace Humiston, a woman of self-less intellect and character, who wound up being appointed as the first female U.S. District Attorney in history. Humiston also succeeded in becoming the first woman used by the New York Police Department as a consulting detective, which allowed Grace many opportunities to investigate cases that she wouldn't have had without her detective's shield.

Despite her incredible career, Humiston had all but disappeared from history. In the Author's Note at the book's end, Ricca explains how he came across America's first female detective. He writes, “A book of 1978 student essays designed to use crime to teach the research paper had an entry called 'Grace Humiston: The First Woman Detective,' by Tim McCarl. There are some great academic articles on Sunny Side by Randolph Boehm and others that have appeared in history publications. Grace's story appeared in an article by Karen Abbott on the Web site for Smithsonian Magazine and in a novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, by Charles Kelly. I found her by chance when I stumbled onto her 1917 interview in the New York Sun while researching the Black Hand.” (p.368)

After his initial introduction to Grace Humiston, Ricca went on to solve the mystery of her incredible career, and the result is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. With precision and intricately researched stories about Humiston's passion for justice, Ricca presents the modern audience with the story of a true pioneer in the field of justice for the downtrodden. The book is eye opening in that many of the social problems that are prominent in America today were issues going back to the early 20th century, including the abuse of immigrants as they land upon our shores, and the enslavement of young woman for sexual purposes. Grace Humiston was, indeed, a woman ahead of her times, but more importantly, she is a woman for all time.

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Moroney, former English teacher and administrator in the Edison Public School District, specialized in teaching Creative Writing and Journalism. Recently Moroney published Significant Anniversaries of Holocaust/Genocide Education and Human/Civil Rights, available through the New Jersey Commission on the Holocaust. A passionate reader, Moroney is known for recommending literature to students, teachers, parents, and the general public for over forty years. Moroney can be contacted at trackdak19@hotmail.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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