Weekend Festival Promotes Local History

CLARK – Next Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, you can experience the rich history of Union County as you travel back in time during “Four Centuries in a Weekend, 2008.” The annual heritage festival, sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is a free, two-day festival scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18; and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19.

The Clark Historical Society invites you to visit the first stop along the “Four Centuries in a Weekend” tour at the Dr. William Robinson Plantation House and Museum. Some of the planned events include guided tours of the plantation, a Civil War underpinnings display, presentations about the Confederate Navy with ship models, and hearth cooking on Sunday. Bring the whole family and take a walk through history.

The Dr. William Robinson Plantation House and Museum in Clark is one of 25 sites taking part in the 2008 Four Centuries in a Weekend heritage festival.

The Dr. William Robinson Plantation House and Museum in Clark is one of 25 sites taking part in the Union County 2008 Four Centuries in a Weekend heritage festival.

The Dr. Wm. Robinson Plantation, located at 593 Madison Hill Road was built in 1690. It is Clark’s first farm and homestead and is listed on the National and State registers of Historic Places.  The farmhouse has been under the care of the Clark Historical Society since 1978. The Plantation House was closed in 2002 for renovations and re-opened its doors to the public in last October.

Among the many other special attractions at the 25 sites of “Four Centuries in a Weekend”:

  • Tour the historic burial grounds and see the newly installed steeple atop the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, home of the oldest English-speaking congregation in New Jersey, whose members included a signer of the Declaration of Independence, three governors and the founder of the college that became Princeton University.
  • Tour the luscious gardens and beautiful grounds of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit; and Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union, home to New Jersey’s first governor and a silent witness to 235 years of American history.
  • Listen to Alicia Washington, actress, storyteller and teacher as she returns to the Drake House Museum in Plainfield to portray the 19th century abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth.
  • Join the Miller-Cory House Museum staff in Westfield as they demonstrate 18th century open-hearth cooking and pay tribute to Union County Native Americans including the Lenapes, Mohawks, Micmac and others.
  • Visit the Deserted Village of Feltville-Glenside Park in Berkeley Heights for a personal tour by founder David Felt at 2 p.m. and the grand opening of the Visitor Center in the village’s restored church/store building.
  • Hear a live performance of 18th century music at the Cannon Ball House in Springfield, and view 19th century bridal fashions at the Osborn Cannonball House in Scotch Plains.
  • Hear about Abraham Lincoln at the Merchants and Drovers Tavern in Rahway; and learn about Thomas Edison’s inventions while you listen to wax recordings played on a historic phonograph at the Abraham Clark House in Roselle.

Free maps and guide booklets featuring photos and information about the 25 participating heritage sites, their historic significance, and a list of all the special weekend activities will be available at each site.

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