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UPDATE: The Venue Has MOVED!
New location: BRPC Westmister Hall
"Tree Views" Essay Contest Winners to be Announced
at Westminster Hall Reception
June 8, 2017

Please join The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at from 7pm-9pm as we honor the winners of the recently completed Tree Views Essay Contest. The winners, as well as several honorable mentions, will recite their writings at the reception. Space is limited. Please RSVP by registering for the event below.  All entrants are invited to also come to receive their certificate for participating in the program. Admission is free. Do to extreme demand for attending, we have moved the event one block east in the hall just outside where the great oak tree stood. It's the Westminster Hall at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church.


Tree Views Essay

About the Tree Views Essay Contest

To honor the 600-year old white oak tree in Basking Ridge, The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH), sponsored the “Tree-Views” writing contest for public and private school students in grades K through 12 in Bernards Township and Bernardsville. “Tree-Views” asked students to consider the perspective of the historic white oak as it stood through six centuries of local history. . In all, students submitted 71 entries.

What events might the tree have “seen,” what people might have passed by its branches, what activities might have taken place near the tree? Writing through the “persona” of the tree, students may choose any variety of genres: essay, poem, fictitious news article, short story. Students in grades K-1 may present pictorial “stories” of the tree’s observations. Submissions were judged by a panel of local educators and members of THSSH Board of Trustees. Teachers throughout Bernards Township invited THSSH volunteers to visit their classrooms and discuss the extraordinary oak tree.

Awards & Recognition

In addition to participation certificates for all students, THSSH will award prizes for winning submissions in the following categories on June 8th: $500 for the high school winner, $50 for the middle school winner, gift certificate for one elementary school winner, and a participation certificate for K-1 entries. 

A special thank you goes out to the following people for making Tree Views possible: Bernards Township Language Arts Supervisors: (Amanda Hughes, Elementary; Dave Hunscher, Language Arts supervisor K-12; Kristin Fox, Social Studies supervisor K-12) and THSSH Trustee Meg Wastie for suggesting and sponsoring the effort.

Keepsake Book In Progress

The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project commemorative book is the ultimate honor to the Basking Ridge great white oak tree. Every school in Bernards Township participated in the Tree Views Essay contest including Cedar Hill School, Liberty Corner School, Mount Prospect School, Oak Street School, William Annin Middle School, Ridge High School, and the St. James Catholic School. Also in the book are over 30 William Annin Oak Tree T-Shirt contest entries. The WAMS effort raised over $5440 selling tee shirts online. Lastly, the WAMS Mural Teams honor to the Historic Oak is also included. Over 140 pages / color 8 /12 x 11". The book will be a fundraiser selling for $29.99. Proceeds from the sale will go to funding the THSSH Education Committee and to replenish the THSSH scholarship fund

"This is the one of the most thoughtful books we've put together in years!"
Brooks Betz, Editor

The stories are some of the most heartwarming tales we've ever see!
The book is 146 pages of art, poems, and stories.
We hope to have them available for the event.
To request additional information on The Historic Basking Ridge Oak Tree Project - Click Here

Cover - The Baskig Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project

UPDATE: THSSH WILL have books available to purchase at the Reception.

RSVP to Reserve Your Space Below - Space is Limited

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.



the Brick Academy
Click to See the Exciting New Look of THSSH's Newsletter

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

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