Seeing the Sourlands with Jim Amon – Feb 27th

Seeing with a keen and knowing eye lets us discover a wonderland of nature according to Jim Amon. Those who go on his popular nature walks and follow his blog, Seeing the Sourlands (https://www.sourland.org/seeing-the-sourlands) , agree.

So, Van Harlingen Historical Society has invited him to expand on that theme for us at Mary Jacobs Library, Thursday, February 27, 7 pm. in a talk about his new book, Seeing the Sourlands, published just last year by the Sourland Conservancy.
A self taught naturalist, Jim Amon spent 29 years cultivating that interest while he was the executive director of Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, developing an abandoned waterway into our state’s most visited park, and after that 10 years as director of stewardship for D&R Greenway Land Trust working to restore nature preserves.
To be sure of a seat, sign up in advance with Van Harlingen Historical Society at info@vanharlingen.org or 908 359 8304.

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Enjoy an afternoon of Local History at Blawenburg Church – with Dave Cochran

On Saturday, March 7, Van Harlingen Historical Society and Blawenburg Church will present a free afternoon of history for the community at Blawenburg Church. The program, entitled Tales of Blawenburg, will begin at 2:00pm with a multimedia presentation by local educator and author David Cochran. The presentation will chronical several periods of time in the history of Blawenburg.

Some of the questions that will be answered in the presentation include:

  • Who were the indigenous people in this area?  When were they here and why did they leave?
  • When did the Dutch arrive and why did they come to Montgomery Township?
  • How did Blawenburg get its name?
  • When did the historic village develop and what led to its development?
  • Which were the first houses and businesses built in the young village?
  • When/how was Blawenburg Church built and how did it serve the village and farm residents?
  • What are some unique events that drew thousands of people to Blawenburg over the years?

The program will also tell the tales of some famous people who were connected with Blawenburg—a famous business family, a long-serving postmaster, entertainers including a child star and two Hollywood actors, one of New Jersey’s oldest bands, and a world-famous scientist.

Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for self-guided tours of the 1830 sanctuary.  Guides will be on hand to provide information about the history of Blawenburg Church and to answer questions.

The program will continue in Cook Hall, where exhibits about the history of Blawenburg prepared by Van Harlingen Historical Society will be displayed.  Photos and artifacts from the Society’s archives will relate to the Dutch beginnings, Blawenburg Church and Cemetery, the general store and post office, the Blawenburg Band, and more.  Refreshments will be served.

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The Keith Line with Joe Grabus and Bruce Blair – coming in April

The “Why” and the “How” of Province Line Road, a remnant of the dividing line between East Jersey and West Jersey determined by surveyors in 1686 is a tale of amazing skill, remarkable endurance and intractable disagreements preserved in a name.

The true story of how George Keith leading a little survey crew over salt marsh, through pine forest and over steep hills to lay down a perfectly straight line 60 miles long in five weeks using only primitive instruments will be told for us in April by two of the old deans of surveying with transit and compass, Joe Grabus and Bruce Blair. Watch for date and details. This is a don’t miss special treat.


  As always, thanks to our business members:

While you are here we hope you might consider becoming a member, visiting our store or making a donation to help support our historical societies,many projects including the Gulick House, farm museum and the Schoolhouse.

Like us on our Facebook page to be among the first to know about future events.

 Show your civic pride – get your Montgomery flag

Montgomery Township proudly flies the official Montgomery flag at Veterans Memorial Park.   A 2.5 x 4 foot “ home” size version of the flag is now available to the citizenry of the Township.   The Van Harlingen Historical Society is selling a limited quantity of flags, made in the USA, for $40.

To order, contact info@vanharlingen.org for more information.   A 2” x 4” stick flag is also available for $5.


The Gulick House library, located at 506 Route 601 in Belle Mead, is opened the last Saturday of the month from 10 – 12. Drop by for a visit.  We’re having a pop-up book sale and you can obtain gently used local history books for ½ price.

The Van Harlingen Historical Society

was founded in 1965 to help preserve the heritage of the Montgomery Township area and to interpret the area’s history through educational programs, publications, and exhibits.   VHHS believes that by educating people about our rich history, we create a stronger sense of community.