1717 - The original Bernards Township (Bernardston) area (3,000 acres) was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James III of England, from the Lenape Indians in 1717 for only $50. That's only 1.6 cents per acre!
1912 - James Cox Brady named Hamilton Farm in Bedminster after his first wife Elizabeth Jane Hamilton.
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Per the weather forecast for Sunday, October 29, 2017, the Haunted Tour is going to be rescheduled to the following Sunday, November 5, 2017. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you are a ticket holder and can make the new date, please just arrive at your scheduled time. If you'd like to cancel so others can attend, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating you'd like to cancel.
Tickets will be available about 8 weeks prior to event. Members + One Guest: Free
Back by popular demand!
Join us for a fall classic as our Witch of Basking Ridge entertains with chilling tales that have held the test of time - Lady of the Swamp, the Express Train to Hell, the War Ghosts, Not an Ordinary House, and the Secret Room. And of course, the one-hour tour includes a nerve-shattering stroll through the historic graveyard!
Small guided groups will be led by our lantern-carrying witch. There are two convenient start times: 3 PM and 5:30 PM. Please note that the Haunted Walking Tour is probably not suitable for children under 10 years old.
Tickets are free for THSSH members and one guest. Non-member tickets are $10 per person. The popular event is held rain or shine. Purchased tickets are non-refundable, but can be transferred to another guest. The Haunted Walking Tour has limited space…hurry to reserve your place!
Also check out The Trilogy Repertory website. That organization is planning a Halloween program titled, “The Revolting Revolution Haunted History Tour”. This will be presented at the Ross Farm.
Exhibit: What Put Somerset Hills on the Map
permanent exhibit and tour is now at the Brick Academy - A permanent exhibit that showcases the Somerset Hills - Bedminster, Peapack-Gladstone, Far Hills, Bernardsville, and Basking Ridge/Bernards Township - is on display at the Brick Academy.
We're very excited to bring everyone to show off
the the jewels of the Somerset Hills.
Walking Tours of Historic Basking Ridge
The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is always looking for ways to promote local history. And now there are two walking tours and a more recent online virtual rendition of the same. Stroll the villages of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township and the Olcott Historic District in Bernardsville.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out when we have our live docent walking tours.
Watch the recorded live feed of the last 16 minutes with our town's oldest resident narrated by THSSH Walking Tour Docent Paula Axt including the Basking Ridge Great White Oak Tree.
Self Guided Walking Tour of Historic Basking Ridge Village
takes in the village center, which remains a favorite Bernards Township
gathering place, with attractive shops and restaurants, including
outside dining during warm weather.
You may download a pdf version of the tour here or
you may visit the Brick Academy to pick up a printed copy.
Virtual Walking Tour of Historic Basking Ridge
Walking Tour of Historic Basking Ridge Village now mashed with Google Maps
Two versions are now available - online and downloadable.
A great way to see some of the most noted historical sites
in and around the downtown Basking Ridge area.
Taken from the historic pamphlet from our online archives, here's a new way to get a virtual look at the historic hamlet of Basking Ridge.
You will start at the Brick Academy, home to the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (it's marked with a "Circled Question Mark".) Created by Trustee member Brooks Betz, "the interactive map allows people to recognize some of the historic buildings in the township without going outside". "Guided tours are given periodically by local historians, but we felt this might be a good way to allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the logistics of the tour before they visit," stated Betz.
The interactive map includes 27 historic buildings, three dining establishments, restroom stops, parking, and the best photo areas. The original tour book, written/published in 2004, is still available for download and available in the Historical Society's gift shop. "But nothing takes the place of a nice walk. So come spend a few hours, have lunch, and enjoy the historic village of Basking Ridge, New Jersey."
Click Here to be directed to the online interactive map and tour.
Olcott District Walking Tour - Bernardsville
Olcott Avenue was the first street in Bernardsville designed to appeal specifically to the rising class of local merchants and entrepreneurs. It was a planned neighborhood of comfortable homes constructed in the most fashionable architectural styles, on a broad new avenue set apart from working class neighborhoods. Restrictions were written into each deed by the developer to control how each buyer could use his property. The result was a residential district of substantial dwellings in a homogenous setting.
A number of architectural and technological innovations of the period are evident in the district, as a result of designs created by some of the most notable architects in America. The Historic district, established in 2009, has fifty-six contributing buildings, including a school, a church, a parsonage and thirty-seven dwellings, as well as carriage houses, garages and World War I memorial plaques. As a whole, the district possesses excellent historical integrity.
Welcome to the Olcott Historic District Walking Tour. The tour covers a distance of approximately 1.6 miles. The tour starts at the Bernardsville United Methodist Church on Wesley and Church Streets, where parking is available nearby, and ends at the Olcott Building. Please refer to the attached map.
Bernards Township resident and THSSH Trustee Paula Axt conducts walking tours that span 250 years of Basking Ridge village history. The earliest structures date back to when the name “Baskenridge” first appeared in the records of the Presbyterian Church in 1733. Many of the buildings were initially erected as
private residences and are based on “vernacular” architecture while others are impressive examples of formal architectural styles.
Highlights include the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church; the hat
shop of Aunt Carrie Cross assumed to be the oldest building in the
village, the grand manor house of Dr. Horatio G. Whitnall who served as the Chief Surgeon of the Union Army and many other
Please contact THSSH for updates on when we will schedule Guided Walking Tours of Historic Basking Ridge!
the Brick Academy
The Historical Society
of the Somerset Hills
15 West Oak Street,
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920