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Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project CoverThe Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project Keepsake Book to be Unveiled
June 8, 2017

If you've been touched by the story of the Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree's 600 year history, you have to see this new book. Entitled "The Historic Basking Ridge Oak Tree Project", it is a compilation of the areas children from Kindergarten through High School who have written or drawn pictures of the historic oak that was recently taken down.

The keepsake book is a fundraiser that not only includes some of the most touching writings and images, but it also gives back to the community. With each purchase of the book, a donation is made to a high school scholarship fund. Also, there is a coupon for a free student membership for young historians to join the Historical Society's Young Historian program.

The inaugural run of the book will be available on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at a the Tree Views Reception. Get additional details and reserve your copy today.

Click here to receive updates and reserve your copy.

Community Go Fund Me Campaign

Show your support and make a donation today!

Community Outreach

The historic oak tree at the center of Basking Ridge, New Jersey has adorned the Basking Ridge community for what is estimated to be over 600 years. Recognized as possibly the oldest white oak in North America, it comes with tremendous sadness that the time has come where the iconic landmark will soon no longer be standing.

The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH, is sponsoring a GoFundMe fundraiser campaign named the “Basking Ridge Historic Oak Project”- to help the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church preserve the history of the tree and provide community outreach and fundraising support. “The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Project is more than just a church responsibility. This historic oak tree is a community icon and is our community’s responsibility to support the tree that has given so much to all of us over the past 600 years,” said Brooks Betz, Trustee at The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, who’s organization created the online campaign. “Our organization is about preserving our areas history and this project fits exactly with our mission and we know the community wants to help.” Donations will help the church offset the incredible expense to dismantle, preserve and honor the legacy of the historic oak in the future.

ALL Donations Go to the Historic Oak Tree Cause

ALL donations to the GoFundMe campaign will be placed in a dedicated account for The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Project. The disbursement from this fund will be overseen by the Church Trustees responsible for executing this specific project. All donations are tax deductible and also qualify for corporate matching. 

According to the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, they have been quoted the costs of the project to prune, dismantle, and store the limbs will be in excess of $40,000. The reason for such a high cost is there is a Revolutionary War cemetery surrounding the tree that cannot be disturbed, so every limb needs to be carefully cut, tied, and craned off to the street, and then eventually trucked and placed in storage for future use. "We can't thank the Historical Society enough for jumping in with their community support," said Jon Klippel from the planning council at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church. "Their mission to help preserve the areas history and the history of the tree is a perfect match. We're so glad they reached out to help us inform the community and raise money for the cause. We really appreciate their support."

The Historical Society is Proud to Support

The Historical Society’s goal is to preserve and promote our local history and we are honored to be a community partner with the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Churn to make the Basking Ridge Historic Oak project a historic community effort.

Click Here to Donate Now!
Please pass this Go Fund Me link to as many people you can.

Learn More about the history of this community icon

THSSH The History of the Greatest White Oak in the Western Hemisphere - Click Here

Additional Information

Please Donate to the Tree Cause

Brooks Betz, Trustee, THSSH
October 11, 2016



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About The Brick Academy

BR_Brick_Academy_Sketch_08_sm.jpgThe Brick Academy (also known as the Basking Ridge Classical Schoolhouse) is a 1809 Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. The Brick Academy has been a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for several fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. It currently serves as the headquarters of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, as well as a schoolhouse and museum to local history. The Brick Academy also celebrated its bicentennial in 2009.


About the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH)

Founded in 1928 originally as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, the mission and name of the society was later changed to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization including all five communities of the Somerset Hills region: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville ,Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone which are all located in Somerset County, New Jersey.

The mission of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is to acquire, conserve and share local artifacts and information on matters of local historic interest; cultivate interest in local history; encourage the preservation of local historic resources; facilitate historic research; and preserve, operate, and interpret the Brick Academy.

To further this mission, THSSH sponsors events and activities that promote community awareness and appreciation of the history and architecture of the Somerset Hills. THSSH headquarters is at the Brick Academy in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, where our collections of items of local historic interest are available to the public.



the Brick Academy
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Street Address:
The Historical Society
of the Somerset Hills
15 West Oak Street,
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
(908) 221-1770

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