Meetings

Meeting – May 22, 2018 – New Jersey: Pre & Post Revolution

17 May 2018

Scotch Plains & Fanwood: Have you ever thought about how New Jersey was created? Perhaps you’ve wondered about how East and West Jersey came to be? Or you’ve considered how life changed for landowners as the American Revolution intensified? The way the state developed before, during and after the revolution, including some of its distinctive features that still remain today, is fascinating. At the monthly meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood on Tuesday evening May 22nd, these significant topics like New Jersey’s role in politics, transportation, trade and agricultural on the eve of the revolution will be explored.

Our teacher and guide for this interesting program will be Jonathan Mercantini. He is the Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of History at Kean University where he has taught since 2007. He also serves as the Co-Director of the History Honors Program. He teaches a wide variety of courses: Colonial and Revolutionary America, Pirates in the Atlantic Work and the Civil War and Reconstruction to name just a few. Prior to his appointment at Kean he taught at the University of Miami and Canisius College. He has also taught at Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from Emory University.

Professor Mercantini has numerous major publications. His most recent in 2017 is The Stamp Act of 1765. His current research projects include: Make History @ Kean: William Livingston’s World—an exploration of the 18th Century Atlantic World funded by a Humanities Initiatives Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014 he worked with the New Jersey Historical Commission to plan activities for the 350th Anniversary of New Jersey. He received Emmy Nominations from the New York Region and the Mid-Atlantic Region for his work on It Happened Here—New Jersey a weekly series on NJ History topics featured on NJ Public TV and online.

This engaging meeting by a popular speaker is made possible by funding from the NJ Council for the Humanities. It is free and open to everyone. The meeting starts at 7:30PM on Tuesday May 22nd at Shady Rest of Scotch Hills Country Club on Plainfield Avenue & Jerusalem Road in Scotch Plains. Refreshments and fellowship follow the meeting.

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Meeting – November 22, 2016 – Model Railroading – “The world’s greatest hobby”

18 November 2016

Little model railroad car on tracks

Come on down to the Fanwood Train Station to learn or to reinforce why model railroading is “the world’s greatest hobby” at the November monthly meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains & Fanwood. Jack de Rosset will be the “conductor” and Warren Michalewsky the “engineer” for our meeting. Jack is the owner of The Model Railroad Shop in nearby Piscataway.  Warren is one of the shop employees. The Model Railroad Shop is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously operated model train specialty shop in the United States.  It was established by Howell Day on January 2, 1933 and continues through today. In the early days of the shop (and the infancy of the railroading hobby), Howell produced his own line of kits under the names of H.Owen & shop-Craft.  It was primarily a mail order business.  The next successive owners (1948 Leonard Lippman, 1950 Fred, 1997 Jack de Rosset & Rick Dunbar) expanded the business to include prototypical operations, Die cast models and promotions, handmade models, resin cast models, plastic models, special orders and advanced reservations on “limited runs”.  Additionally, there is a broad selection of model fire and rescue vehicles to purchase.

Jack and Warren will explain what the railroading hobby does, what it does not do and its present status with the changes brought about by the computer.  They can tell you the worth of collections and amaze the uninitiated with the various scale sizes of model trains, the types available by how made, etc.  Various models will be demonstrated.

Since we are meeting at the Fanwood Train Station where the Central New Jersey (CNJ) tracks run, the history of this “Big Little Railroad” will also be covered.  It was a short line running from Jersey City to White House Station but it carried a lot of immigrants from Ellis Island and contributed greatly to our NJ history.

The meeting is free and open to everyone. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the program.  The meeting starts at 8:00PM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016.  This meeting is being held specially at the Fanwood Train Station located on North and Martine Avenues.  So come on down and hop aboard for the model trains through the years and a history of the CNJ tracks.

For more information about this event, contact Connie Klock, 908-232-9489.  For more information about The Model Railroad Shop visit their web:  themodelrailroadshop.com

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Meeting – October 25, 2016 – Stories to warm or chill the heart

21 October 2016

The wit and wisdom, humor, horror and humanity of a people are found in their stories.  Compelling storyteller David Emerson retells (and embroiders) the colorful and ancient tales of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall that will “warm, tickle or chill the heart.” With or without a pint in his fist, MacCaffrey spins traditional lore of fairies, ghouls, ne’er-do-wells, tricksters, banshees, heroes and liars, plus original stories with an Irish tine.  In a style reminiscent of a cozy evening by a health at a family gathering, David will enchant us with his stories on Tuesday evening October 25th at the monthly program meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood which begins at 8:00pm.

David Emerson’s career as a storyteller, raconteur and prevaricator par excellence began back in the early 1980’s as a historical character interpreter.  David has fascinated visitors at such prestigious living history museums as Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantations, Morristown National Park and the Old Barracks Museum.  Striking out as a freelance interpreter in 1996 with partner Stacy Roth, David has become well-known in the mid-Atlantic for portrayals of real people such as George Washington and Davy Crockett and his own story spinning character David MacCaffrey and 19th century sea captain LeLand Emerson.

David has performed for hundreds of museums, festivals, cultural organizations, historical societies throughout the Northeast.  He is proud to be a popular speaker with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities’ Horizons Speakers Bureau which is funding this program for the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.  David has several film projects to his credit.  He portrayed George Washington in New Jersey Network’s “The Ten Crucial Days” and played the feature role of Sergeant Smith in “The Battle of bunker Hill.”

Everyone is invited to attend this warm but mostly chilling meeting (since it is close to Halloween).   The meeting is free and open to everyone. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the program.  The meeting starts at 8:00PM on Tuesday October 25th.  The meeting is held at the Scotch Hills Country Club located at Plainfield Avenue and Jerusalem Road in Scotch Plains.

For more information about this meeting please write to us.

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