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“Back in Time” Offers Enriching Experience for Union County Residents with Special Needs


The Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs hosted its first “Back in Time” history program last week at the Deserted Village of Feltville in the Watchung Reservation. The new program aims to provide an interactive learning opportunity for County residents including those with disabilities and special needs.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to support our parks, our history and our local historical organizations, and we strive to ensure that our recreational programs are accessible to all Union County residents,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “The ‘Back in Time’ event combined all of these elements into an enriching and educational experience.”

“Back in Time” featured representatives in historically accurate costumes from the Deserted Village and two other historic sites in Union County, the Miller-Cory House in Westfield and the Caldwell Parsonage in Union.

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Each of the sites portrayed a different time period: Colonial life for the Miller-Cory House, the Revolutionary War for the Caldwell Parsonage, and the Early Industrial Period for the Deserted Village.

The event was attended by 22 clients from the Arc of Union County, a nonprofit organization located in Springfield with a mission to empower and support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

The participants handled and smelled herbs commonly used during in Colonial times, played popular games of the Revolutionary War era like hopscotch and nine-pin bowling, and explored artifacts and documents at the Deserted Village, the site of an Early Industrial paper mill and planned community owned by the 19th century entrepreneur David Felt.

Back in Time was developed by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, which is funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the New Jersey Department of State.

For information on Back in Time and other activities of the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, call 908-558-2550, email, or visit online at

The Back in Time program supports the goals of the Union County Office for People with Special Needs. The first office of its kind in New Jersey, the Office for People with Special Needs was established under Chairman Granados’s 2018 Moving Union County Forward initiatives for inclusiveness, diversity and individual empowerment.

To learn more about services and resources provided through the Office of Special Needs, contact Manuel Ramirez at or call 908-527-4781.

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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