National Parks lovers will be thrilled to know that Union County’s historic sites, including the Caldwell Parsonage in Union, have almost 30 new "Passport To Your National Parks" cancellation stamps for Four Centuries in a Weekend--October 21 and October 22.

          Union County is part of the National Park Service's’ Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage area, which acknowledges the role our state played in the American Revolution.  Needless to say, there are many significant Revolutionary era sites in our county.  Each now has its own unique stamp, recognizing its inclusion in the Crossroads of the Revolution NHA.

“It's a great feeling to help our local historical societies promote their sites,” said Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski at a recent Four Centuries meeting, where she helped distribute the new stamps.

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“We know that people travel to certain sites, in part, to add more stamps to their Passports,” Kowalski added, noting there have already been inquiries from Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, as word about the new stamps has started to get out.

“The Passport stamps, along with our new History Trading Card series, will encourage visitors to see more sites and gain a deeper appreciation of just how rich our history really is,” she said.

Several sites will have two stamps because of their locations.  For example, the Caldwell Parsonage in Union is a historic site in its own right--and is commemorated on the Union County seal--and also has a stamp for its connection to the Battle of Connecticut Farms.

For more information about Four Centuries in a Weekend and exact addresses for the various sites, go to:  ucnj.org/4C.

The new stamp program was coordinated by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and funded by Union County.  OCHA will continue to provide the free "Union County Across the Centuries" passports at all the county historic sites.  However, those interested in purchasing a national passport can go to: eparks.com/store/category/30/278/Passport.

Launched by Eastern National in 1986, the "Passport To Your National Parks" program consists of a guidebook that highlights the national parks and provides spaces for dated ink “cancellation” stamps that let visitors commemorate their trips to each site.  More information on the program is available at: easternnational.org/what-we-do/passport.

To learn more about the Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs. visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs.