Bald Eagles, Our National Bird: Back from the Brink of Extinction – 3/19

What did Benjamin Frankin really mean when he said of the bald eagle, “He is a Bird of bad moral Character… Besides he iseagle photo a rank Coward”? Find out the answer and more on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Mary Jacobs Library at 7:00 pm when Van Harlingen Historical presents, “Bald Eagles, Our National Bird: Back from the Brink of Extinction.”

After a brief history lesson explaining the legend of the turkey vs. the bald eagle, Maria Grace, Education and Outreach Manager at Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, will discuss the efforts taken to protect bald eagles and their successful resurgence in New Jersey. These magnificent birds with wing-spans of 8 feet are found in our own area with nests as close by as Princeton and Manville. They also are the stars of a yearly eagle family “show” thanks to a hidden camera at Duke Farms in Hillsborough.

Born and raised in NJ, Maria shares rare wildlife stories with people of all ages. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from Stockton College and her MA in Environmental Education from Montclair State University. She lives in the Sourland Mountains, the largest contiguous forest in central Jersey. Her programs are always fun and informative.

Bald Eagles, Our National Bird is free and open to the public. School-age children are welcome. Space is limited. Register on-line at Mary Jacobs Library or call 609-924-7073. The library is located at 64 Washington Street, Rocky Hill, NJ.

“Sojourner Truth” Will Arrive at Mary Jacobs Library


Dr. Daisy Century as Sojourner Truth

CANCELLED and Will Be Rescheduled
On Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm, presenting in first person interpretation, Dr. Daisy Century brings former slave, abolitionist, suffragette Sojourner Truth to life. The program will presented February 13, 2014 at Mary Jacobs Library, 64 Washington St., Rocky Hill at 7:00 pm.

Born Isabella Baumfree, the slave from a small town north of New York City changed hands several times, sold by one brutal owner to another just as harsh. In 1826 she escaped her cruel owners, only to have an epiphany and became a devout Christian, renaming herself Sojourner Trtuth and becoming a traveling preacher. In 1850, Sojourner began speaking on women’s suffrage, believing the causes of abolition and women’s rights to be intertwined and equally important.

Dr. Daisy Century has had acting in her blood a long time. However, trained as a teacher, Dr. Century’s undergraduate work is in science and she holds a PhD from Temple University, also in Science Education. This naturally talented teacher and actor has continued to inspire through her thoroughly-researched, dramatically intense portrayals.

This event is funded through a grant from the NJ Council for the Humanities. Pre-registration required. Call the Mary Jacobs Library at 609-924-7073 or visit:

Both Chimneys Repaired at the Gulick House

Both chimneys have received significant repair as well as the wall along Route 601. In addition the peak on the east side was painted professionally since our volunteers were not eager to reach that high! Total repairs since February 2011 including the new furnace, roof and chimney work totaled $28,000. Thanks to a grant from the 1772 Foundation administered by NJ Historic Trust and help from Silvi Companies, our landlord, the cost to VHHS was about $16,000. Thank you to all our loyal donors for your help! We could not have made these necessary repairs without you.

Family-oriented program to be held at the Montgomery Farm Museum

On Sunday afternoon October 7th. noted historian and teacher,

Clarissa Dillon, Ph.D

Historian and teacher, Clarissa Dillon, Ph.D

Clarissa Dillon, Ph.D. will host a family-oriented program at the Montgomery Farm Museum. Clarissa’s doctorate in History is from Bryn Mawr College. She has been doing hands-on activities since 1973. Her programs have included Colonial cooking and early American pastimes for children.

Check back later for more information about her VHHS program.  To learn more about Dr. Dillon’s current classes and publications please visit her at: 

May In Montgomery – A Taste of the Sourlands

June 1st brought us May in Montgomery’s – A Taste of the Sourlands, a grand wine-tasting at Unionville Vineyards. The Taste of the Sourlands was a fundraiser to benefit the cost of the Gulick House cedar-shake roof.

VHHS_-_MiM_2013_Jackie,_kathy,_jess VHHS - MinM 2013 sonya

Attendees invited to taste samplings of Unionville’s fine wines and culinary treats from local chefs, while surrounded by some of New Jersey’s most beautiful, bucolic countryside. Guests were be entertained by the foot-stomping fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin music of the Farmers’ Almanac.

VHHS - MiM 20013 trio

VHHS - MiM 2013 Waltz Gribbon VHHS - MiM 2013 Tammy and lor VHHS - MiM 2013 Peter et al VHHS - MiM 2013 our crew VHHS - MiM 2013 main table VHHS_-_MinM_2013_kim,_lori_elain

A Taste of the Sourlands - Wine tasting

A Taste of the Sourlands – Wine tasting


May In Montgomery – Open House at the Gulick House

VHHS - Open House 2013 food 

Visitors to the Open House at the Gulick house enjoyed the peaceful grounds, refreshed landscaping, and the newly reorganized archives of historic maps, journals, genealogy, photos and local artifacts. A perfect setting to learn a bit of Montgomery’s rich Dutch and Colonial past.

VHHS - Open House 2013 Pat

VHHS members were excited to show our visitors the new cedar-shake roof at the 260-year old stone Dutch farm house, thanks to a matching grant from the 1772 Foundation Grant Program, administered by the NJ Historic Trust.VHHS - Open House 2013 house


Click here to continue to photos from our second event,  A Taste of the Sourlands – Wine tasting fundraiser for the Gulick house.

May in Montgomery

May in Montgomery – 2019
Our Farms to Your Table


Celebrating our 40thYear of making local history come alive

Bridgepoint Run Farmstand – photo Dale Johnson

The Van Harlingen Historical Society’s 2019 May in Montgomery celebrates a new way to make local farming successful, bringing people and our local farms together – “Our Farms To Your Table” – with a bus tour to three certified organic farms in Montgo
mery. Local farmers will be welcoming a tour bus, Saturday May 11, in the midst of their spring planting season, to explain how they qualify for a coveted certification and show off their early crops.

May in Montgomery is our annual fund raiser. Tour takers this year will discover a wealth of local farm produce on a luncheon menu prepared especially for us by Greenflash Farm and served in their handsomely restored early timbered barn.  Our luncheon will be accompanied by a showing of the film “Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past and Present,” which our late president Judy Peters was working to complete.

Our luncheon hosts, Steven Back and Wendy Golden, borrowed the name “Green Flash” from local lore after purchasing the old Gallup farm on Mountain View Road, which had fallen on hard times along with most dairy farms in this region’s milkshed. Since taking ownership in 2015, Stephen and Wendy have passionately developed an elaborate plan to produce vegetables, fruits, flowers and pasture raised livestock and free-range chickens in keeping with the principles of sustainable agriculture.  This is their second year as a certified organic farm selling cooperative shares of their produce.

Cherry Valley Cooperative is Montgomery’s branch of a group of nearby sister farms, including Four Barns Farm & Bubbly Jen’s Farm.  Our hosts here will be Alec Gioseffi and Lauren Nagy, who will demonstrate and share their collaboration efforts with us. They are fervently dedicated to growing healthy food which is produced using resilient ecological stewardship.  They offer vegetables, herbs, log grown mushrooms, and pasture raised chickens and are dedicated to gatherings and education around health, wholism, and an integrated connection to nature. Along with their assortment of organic products, they are selling farm shares for this year’s growing season.  They also offer education for beginning farmers, nature classes and walks, and yoga.

Dale Johnson of Bridgepoint Run Farm is enthusiastically adapting his historic family farm to be organic this year.  This stop on the tour will offer a chance to see farming as it was first carried on in Montgomery.  The homestead includes an original Dutch house and the original Dutch barn will be open to see, so we can appreciate the original structural barn framing characteristic of early Dutch settlers in the Millstone Valley.  Dale will also show us the latest farming techniques for hastening the harvest of spring produce.

Limited tickets are now available click here for details 

 Van Harlingen Historical Society is a registered non-profit organization.  For more information, email