PLAINFIELD, NJ -  Stop by The Drake House Museum on April 23rd to meet Rikki Lyn Hauss, author of "The Duchess of South Somerville."  The book details the life of Doris Duke, the inspiration behind Duke Farms.

  • DATE:  Sunday, April 23rd
  • TIME:  2:00 pm
  • PLACE:  The Drake House Museum, 602 West Front Street

The full press release follows:

The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a book-signing and “Chat and Chew” with local author, Rikki Lyn Hauss, who wrote “The Duchess of South Somerville”  on Sunday, April 23, 2017, starting at 2:00 PM at the Drake House Museum.   Her book discusses the life of New Jersey icon Doris Duke.

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Hauss wrote “The Duchess of South Somerville” following her experience as a member of The Demolition of Residence is Senseless (DORIS) Group in their effort to preserve the legacy of Doris Duke “the richest girl in the world.” “The Duchess of South Somerville” pays homage to the cosmopolitan philanthropist, her estate, and her property in Hillsborough, NJ: Duke Farms.

Doris Duke, the only child of American tobacco baron James Duke, is a veritable New Jersey icon who used her vast inheritance to contribute to society as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.  Ms. Duke created centers of art and culture including: Duke Farms and Shangri La in Honolulu, Hawaii, and she established the Newport Restoration Foundation.  During and after World War II, Ms. Duke reported from various cities in war-torn Europe, and many times she offered her estates in New Jersey and Hawaii to veterans causes. When Doris Duke died in 1993, a charitable foundation was formed to continue her philanthropy by awarding grants to the arts and artists.

DORIS, a grassroots group, was created to protect and preserve the cultural heritage left by Ms. Duke in Hillsborough, NJ. “Ms. Hauss’ book recounts the efforts of local citizen volunteers who tried to save Ms. Duke’s favorite residence from demolition.  Ms. Hauss was the youngest member of DORIS, and her book describes the efforts undertaken for the sake of preservation,” said Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield.

Books will be available at a cost of $22.00 each.

This program is made possible by the Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum.  Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served.  Members: free and non-members: donations are always appreciated.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PLAINFIELD - 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.

The Historical Society of Plainfield received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Recreation; the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust/State of New Jersey; the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund; a HEART Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; the City of Plainfield; the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission; McCutchen Foundation; the Plainfield Foundation; the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the New Jersey Historic Trust; the New Jersey Cultural Trust Fund; and the Gannett Foundation.