24 September 2022


Photo of New Jersey Palisades

In a presentation called “Palisades Cliff-hanging” Marcia Anderson, PhD, will guide participants through a historical journey to Palisades, NJ, venturing from 200 million years ago to the early 20th century. She will explore geology, plate tectonics, dinosaurs, the American Revolutionary War, the birth of our US film industry and “cliff-hangers” at the September meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th at the Shady Rest Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd. (at the corner of Plainfield Avenue) in Scotch Plains.

Anderson, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Specialist for 13 years who also has a Master’s degree in Education and Curriculum in Earth Science, can explain Giovanni da Verrazzano’s description of the Palisades sill as “looking like fence stakes” along the Hudson River in 1594. She will also detail the Dinosaur Fever that hit New York City when a crocodile-like dinosaur was found in the Palisades. And for us American History buffs, she will look back to a rainy 1776 November night, when Lt. General Lord Charles led the invasion of the Red Coats into NJ to take Fort Lee, an American rebel stronghold. Finally she will answer why the film industry began in NJ, specifically at the majestic Palisades.

Founded in 1972, the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood operates the historic Osborn Cannonball House in Scotch Plains, while providing guest lectures at its monthly meetings and taking care to preserve some of the historic artifacts and legends from the area’s early days.

The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.

Museum Open Sunday, September 4th 2pm to 4pm

1 September 2022

Our grape arbor is still producing grapes despite the infestation of Spotted Lanternfly nymphs earlier in the year and the current drought. On Sunday, September 4th from 2pm to 4pm the Osborn Cannonball House Museum, located at 1840 Front Street, Scotch Plains, NJ will have its September public opening. For questions email or call 908-322-6700 Extension 230.

The 18th Century Child at Work & Play

12 August 2022

On Saturday, October 15th from noon to 5pm and Sunday, October 16th from noon to 5pm, come visit the Osborn Cannonball House Museum, located at 1840 Front Street, Scotch Plains, NJ. Step back in time to experience the simple joys of childhood. Costumed docents will provide hands-on activities, including quoits (ring toss) and 9-pin bowling.  Make a colonial hat and wear it as you stand next to our colonial children cut-out boards for an amazing photo-op! This program is presented as part of the Union County Four Centuries in a Weekend celebration. For questions email or call 908-322-6700 Extension 230.

Imagine waking up each morning shortly after sunrise. In the winter, there might be a thin layer of ice on the water in the pitcher you would use for washing up. In the summer, you sweated while the mosquitoes bit and the flies buzzed in your bedroom. Life in colonial days was vastly different than life in the 21st century.

In each family children were expected to do chores. Boys worked with their father to plant, water, and harvest crops. They helped raise livestock and hunt wild animals to feed the family. They chopped wood, built fences, and some even went to school. However, many children did not attend school because there was no free public school like we have today. The girls helped their mother do all the cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening, child care, and sewing to make clothes for their large families.

Children of long ago had fun despite their many chores. They always found time to play. Most of the toys were simple and a good imagination made playtime the most enjoyable time of each day. Boys played with spinning tops, jacks, or clay marbles. They made whistles out of blades of grass and made boats out of sticks and leaves. Girls played with corn husk, handkerchief, or wooden dolls. They made bracelets and necklaces out of dandelions and daisies. Both boys and girls had fun running while spinning a large wooden hoop with a stick. Some of the most popular toys were ball in a cup, Jacob’s ladder, spinners, quoits (ring toss), and draughts (checkers).


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