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Tree Views Reception Celebrates Participants,Honorees, Winners, and the Basking Ridge Oak Tree

June 8, 2017
Basking Ridge, NJ

Tree Views Essay


Image: Group photo of Tree Views participants in attendance at the reception.

It was a fantastic night at Westminster Hall as almost 100 people gathered to hear entrants from the recently completed Tree Views essay contest and the unveiling of the book "The Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project book. Hosted by THSSH Trustee Meg Wastie and the historical society's education committee, the night honored 12 entries and presented awards in four school categories. The final prize, a $500 scholarship check was presented to Rebecca Kilroy from Ridge High School. Seventy five entries were submitted and all were included in the Basking Ridge Historic Oak Tree Project book, along with over 50 images including those submitted in the William Annin Oak Tree T-Shirt contest.

Parents, students, and guests were invited originally to hear the readings at the Brick Academy, home to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, but the program attendance was so large the event had to be moved to the Presbyterian Church's Westminster Hall. It was a perfect venue considering it was right outside where the once mighty oak tree stood.

Anyone who wrote an essay that was included in the book wrapped up the celebration with an old fashioned "book signing".

Trustee Meg Wastie who created the event afterward noted "It came out exactly how I had pictured it in my mind six months ago. I was so moved and honored by the students who participated. It was just fantastic." In addition, anyone who purchases one of the first 100 copies of The Basking Ridge Oak Tree Project book there is a free membership for students to join the "Young Historians", a recently revived THSSH program. Also, $5 from each sale goes to the HSSH's scholarship fund.

A special thanks goes out to Meg Wastie, Margaret Skelly, the volunteers, the THSSH Programming Committee, the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, and Kristin Fox and Melanie Dupuis from the Bernards Township school system.



K Winner

Annabelle Caruso
Kindergarten - Liberty Corner Elementary School


Gwynivere Elefante - Winner - Kindergarten - St. James Elementary School

Elementary Group

Image: Elementary Group Honorable Mentions and category winner

Sidarth Shekhawat – “The Great Oak Tree”
2nd Grade – Cedar Hill Elementary School
Ryan Fish - “Never Alone” * Winner
2nd Grade - Assumption
Eliana Yerow - “Boom! Crash!”
1st Grade – Cedar Hill School


Image: Elementary Group Honorable Mentions and category winner

Gianna DiLorenzo - “The Great Oak Tree”
3rd Grade - Cedar Hill Elementary School
Katherine Li – “A Survival Experience” (Not Pictured)
3rd Grade - Cedar Hill Elementary School
Aanvi Trivedi - “Harold & Me”
3rd Grade - Mount Prospect Elementary School
Ashley Maschhoff - “The Great Oak Tree” *
4th Grade – Cedar Hill Elementary School

Middle School

Image: WAMS Group Honorable Mentions and category Winner

Molly Laska - “Tree-Views”
7th Grade - St. James School
Elizabeth J. Reynolds – “The Basking Ridge Oak: 1417-2017”
8th Grade – William Annin Middle School
Emerson Sheehan - “Tree-Views” * (Not Pictured)
6th Grade - St. James School
Jillian Yao – “1740: George Whitfield’s Visit” (Not Pictured)
8th Grade – William Annin Middle School


High School

Image: High School Group Honorable Mentions and category Winner

Rachel Betz - “My Time is Up”
9th Grade - Ridge High School
Victoria Vena - “The Oak Tree”
12th Grade - Ridge High School
Rebecca Kilroy - “Tree-Views: 1750” *
10th Grade – Ridge High School
Samantha Betz – “The Life of the Tree”
12th Grade – Ridge High School

Rebecca Kilroy

Scholarship Winner: Rebecca Kilroy and Program Lead Meg Wastie

Book Signing

Image: Post event book signing

Books Still Available


FOR THE FIRST 100 BOOKS SOLD, The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH)and T3 Consortium (publisher) is graciously offering a student membership to anyone who picks up this special book. The objective is to build on a renewed THSSH Young Historians program.

Books are available now at THSSH's Brick Academy and online.

Click Here to order online

Click Here to connect with our publisher's secure T3 Consortium Etsy Storestore

And to top it off it was Meg's birthday! Happy Birthday and Thanks for all your efforts!

Meg Birthday


Submitted: June 9, 2017
Submitted By: Brooks Betz


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
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