County-Wide Event Offers Opportunity To Explore Elizabeth’s Past

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ELIZABETH — As part of the Four Centuries in a Weekend Heritage Festival on Oct. 15 and 16, the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth and Boxwood Hall State Historic Site invite all elementary school students of Union County to become Junior Elizabeth Historians. Young people who visit both sites in Historic Midtown Elizabeth will receive a certificate proclaiming their achievement.

In addition to regular tours of the sites, both the Presbyterian Church and Boxwood Hall will offer additional programs. At the church, a free booklet will guide visitors through the oldest cemetery in Elizabeth. Buried here are John Dickenson, founder of Princeton University, numerous American Revolution figures including Rev. James Caldwell and his wife, Hannah, and many “ordinary” men, women and children. Inside the church will be an exhibit of artifacts from the collection of the congregation, which dates back to 1664. Also inside will be photos and plans of the renovation and future adaptive use of the Snyder Elizabeth Academy, formerly the First Presbyterian Church Parish House.

The exhibit and activities at Boxwood Hall will focus on the question: How can you have fun without TV, computers or elaborate sports equipment? Visitors will be able to tour a small exhibit entitled, “Our Forbearers at Leisure: Fun in the Eighteenth Century”. During the Four Centuries Weekend, visitors will also have the opportunity to craft a modern version of a classic toy, and perhaps learn a colonial style dance.

Admission to both sites is free. For further site information, telephone Boxwood Hall at 1-908-282-7617, or The First Presbyterian Church at 1-908-764-8271. For more information about the Four Centuries in a Weekend Heritage Festival, which includes 23 other historic sites in Union County, telephone the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs at 1-908-558-2550.

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