Hilltop Happenings

Nearly Eight Years Per Hour: Summit Sites Featured in County's 'Four Centuries in a Weekend' Oct. 21-22

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Four historic Summit sites, from top left clockwise, Twin Maples, Carter House, Wisner House at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, and The Summit Playhouse, will be part of 'Four Centuries in a Weekend'.
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ELIZABETH, NJ - How much of 370 years worth of history can one soak in during one weekend?

Through Union County's annual trip through time, entitled 'Four Centuries in a Weekend', residents can take advantage of a buffet-style spread of the County's history and heritage October 21-22, with Summit serving as one of the prime stops on the journey.

The Hilltop City locations are among 35 historic sites Countywide hosting special events and activities, providing the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the men, women and children who shaped more than 370 years of Union County history.

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Summit locations and programs include:

Carter House, 90 Butler Parkway-- 'Summit Show & Tell' exhibit of more than 100 items from the archives of Summit Historical Society, showing the city’s history from the 1830s, when the first train arrived, up to the present.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, 165 Hobart Avenue -- Open October 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Sunday, October 22) -- Library/lounge features historic photos, maps, drawings, artifacts, letters and original materials from noted architects Calvert Vaux, Ellen Biddle Shipman, and Carl Pilat. Each visitor will receive a copy of “The Clearing,” a book detailing the history of this arboretum. Saturday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.: Drop-in children’s workshop focuses on history (in English and Spanish).

Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue – View a display documents past performances by one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating community theatres.

Twin Maples, 214 Springfield Avenue -- Ballroom dancing demonstrations on October 22.

Nineteen of the 21 municipalities in Union County are represented in the Four Centuries event.

All Four Centuries visitors can pick up a free Union County: Across the Centuries history booklet at any of the sites, and representatives at many of the sites of the sites can mark the Time Traveler Passport with new “Passport to Your National Parks” cancellation stamps. Adult visitors are welcome to use the Time Traveler Passport as well. New cancellation stamps are available at sites included in the National Park Service’s Crossroads of the American Revolution national heritage area, which includes parts of Union County. 

Complete details including hours, special events, addresses and contact information are included in the fully illustrated Four Centuries in a Weekend 2017 program. The program is available free of charge at each site as an insert with Union County: Across the Centuries.

To request a free copy of the Across the Centuries and the 2017 program, call the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 908-558-2550 (NJ Relay Users dial 711) weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or contact culturalinfo@ucnj.org.

Both documents are also available on the Four Centuries web page by visiting ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs, using the Across the Centuries and “Special Events” links at the top of the page. The Four Centuries web page also includes links to mass transportation alternatives, activity books, lesson plans and passport sheets, along with a map and detailed description for each site.

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