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PRESIDENT — Gwen Chaar (12/2019)

VICE-PRESIDENT — James Newquist


SECRETARY — Dale Hart (12/2020)

TREASURER — Betsy Browder (12/2019)



Cindy Cassini (12/2019)

Ray Lemasters (12/2020)

Joan Roehrich (12/2019)


Newsletter EditorSusan Morgan

(term expires)


Upcoming Programs

September 3, 2019

Bridgebuilder in Petticoats:

Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge

Presenter: Carol Simon Levin

October 1, 2019

Hidden New Jersey

Presenter: Linda Barth

November 5, 2019

Doughboys of Hackettstown

Presenter: John Torkos

Above Programs Held at 7:30 pm

American Legion Hall

494 Willow Grove Street, Hackettstown


Holiday Open House

Date TBA - Late Nov. or Early Dec.

5-8 pm at the Museum






Dear Members and Friends of the Hackettstown Historical Society:

As the song goes, “It’s Summertime and the livin' is easy.” Not so at the Hackettstown Historical Society. We are busy planning for the months ahead and our calendar is full.

Three exhibits at the museum this year are based on books published by our local authors. They included Ken O’Brien’s The War Effort in Hackettstown 1940-1945, Ray Lemasters’ A History of the Carriage Industry in Hackettstown, and Maryann McFadden’s The Cemetery Keeper's Wife. Each book is available for purchase. We are very proud of these authors.

To celebrate Hackettstown History Month in March the Society participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Next March 2020 we are working on a celebration for “Happy Birthday Hackettstown.” It’s still in the planning stage but it should be a special day for our town.

The June field to trip to Acorn Hall in Morristown was wonderful! We had a one hour guided tour with an extremely knowledgeable docent who brought the history of the house and the surrounding area to life. In the back of the Hall we viewed traditional gardens maintained by a local garden club. After lunch at the Pub House in Mendham we toured the Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville. 

In September our monthly meetings will resume at the American Legion. All meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month. We announce these programs in the newspapers and on Facebook. They are always well attended and interesting. Mark your calendars for the dates at left. Hope to see you there!

We are planning to bring back the October Lantern Tours this fall. Please watch for future announcements regarding this very popular event.

On a Friday afternoon in June, my day to volunteer at the museum, I had three high school boys come in. After they walked around for about a half an hour they announced on their way out, "This place is COOL!"

We need volunteers to work in this COOL PLACE! There are many areas that could meet your schedule and requirements. Please stop into the museum and talk with us. We have history at our house — come in and make a difference!

Gwen Chaar, President





Membership News

We warmly welcome new members Barbara Elms of Budd Lake and Paul & Ellen Weisenstein of Hackettstown.

Annual Membership Renewal for 2019

Reminder - If you haven't paid your dues for 2019, you will receive a little reminder inserted in this newsletter. Please fill it out and mail it TODAY! Any questions? E-mail Betsy at

We thank all our members

for your continued support

of the Society.



Museum Hours

Mon & Tues — 10-3

Wed — 10-4

Fri — 2-4

Special Hours and Tours by Appointment

106 Church Street




It has been a busy Spring and Summer at the museum. Several hundred items have been accessioned and added to our collection. Some highlights are:

  A large framed view of the route of the Morris Canal that can be used with the Morris Canal exhibit.
Forty-six items including photographs and memorabilia related to the McCracken and Herrick families, the last two proprietors of the American House.

Forty-eight photographs taken during construction of the new Civil War monument and its dedication ceremony on May 28, 2001.

Fifty-seven photographs of the 2001 Hackettstown Memorial Day parade.

As our President Gwen Chaar observed, "the improvements at the museum are ongoing. Like any house built in 1915, it needs maintenance and upkeep. Thanks to our town council, our hands-on museum assistant Rich Mesaric, and ongoing collection management efforts, we have a house that is providing a safe shelter for our town’s history."

Most recently, adjustable shelving has been added to two closets on the second floor to allow better storage and organization of artifacts that are not on exhibit.

Some donated items that have no historic significance are available and may be obtained for a donation. Stop by the museum or watch for items to be offered occasionally at upcoming meetings.


Stop by to see what's new that's old!



New feature:

Member Profile

Gwen Chaar

Gwen has quietly accomplished much since becoming HHS president in 2016. The San Francisco native has been an organized, hardworking, “let’s get to it!” presence in the day-to-day administration of Society business. She has greatly improved the quality of our speaker presentations, has put together several creative fundraising projects, and improved the publicity for our programs. Gwen is very proactive in the museum building’s improvements and has been strengthening our volunteer program. She does all this and more, and still finds time to travel several times a year with her husband, Amine, a retired civil engineer.




     Thomas Gingles, 66, passed away on April 14, 2019.  He was married to the former Jeanne Wolff, and they had a daughter, Erin, and two sons, Michael and Glen. The Gingles' lived in Belvidere, and Tom and Jeanne operated Gingles’ Florist in Bridgeville from 1995-2011. 

    Tom was knowledgeable about local history.  This proved to be a valuable asset when he served as an assistant at the Hackettstown Historical Society museum for four years through the Pathstone program.



American Flag Clip Art Free Vector Free Vector For Free Download Memorial Day parade





Pictured above is our float for the 2019 Memorial Day parade. A used trailer was donated and altered in size to allow the boat to show better. Member Betsy Browder donated the red and white geraniums.

We thank the following individuals who contributed parts and services to put the trailer in working order:



A. J. Biancone

Valhalla Restoration & Fabrication

460 Route 57, Washington, NJ


Alan Borgstrom


Donald and Richard Buschgans

Lodi Welding Co., Inc.

133 Willow Grove St., Hackettstown, NJ


Brian Lemasters


Quincas Corporation

112 East Ave., Hackettstown, NJ


James Tynan

Tynan's Service Center

6 U.S. Route 46, Hackettstown, NJ





Civil War Monument


A recently donated group of 48 photos taken in 2001 allow a look back at the erection and dedication of the town's Civil War Monument. They can be seen at the museum.

On the national level, the first official recognition of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first named, began in 1868 as a day of remembrance for those who had died during the War of the Rebellion, later known as the Civil War. The first observance of Decoration Day in Hackettstown was in 1878.

Something very special occurred here in 1896 when, as a result of a grass roots fundraising effort, the $700 needed to purchase a monument was quickly raised. The company of J. W. Fiske of New York assured delivery of the statue within three weeks of receipt of the order. The new monument was erected at the intersection of what is now Route 46 and Mountain Avenue and was ready for dedication on Memorial Day, 1896.

In 1926, due to the increasing volume of motor vehicle traffic, the State Department of Transportation ordered the statue removed from the middle of the busy intersection. Sadly, the monument was destroyed in the removal process.


soldiers monument_0002 civil war monument


Above left is an artist's rendering of the proposed monument that appeared on the Warren Republican (Hackettstown) in early 1896. To the right is a view of Hackettstown’s original Civil War monument which was dedicated on May 30, 1896.


In 1998 an effort to replace the town’s Civil War monument began. The Hackettstown Civil War Monument Committee was successful in raising the necessary funds. Through sheer serendipity, a mold made from another J. W. Fiske statue identical to Hackettstown’s was discovered, so that a new statue matching the original was cast in bronze. The base of the new monument was granite instead of metal.



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Above left is a view of the new Civil War monument, affectionately called “Billy Yank,” while under construction. To the right is a view of the monument being unveiled during dedication ceremonies on May 28, 2001.






“Billy Yank” now proudly stands about ninety feet from his original location. In a fitting elaborate ceremony on May 28, 2001, the new monument was unveiled, this time dedicated to fallen veterans of all conflicts.

A more complete story can be found in the book "Historic Main Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey."





A History of the Carriage Industry, Hackettstown, New Jersey by Ray Lemasters - $20.00.


The War Effort in Hackettstown: 1940-1945 by Kenneth E. O'Brien - $15.00


Books can be mailed for an additional $4.00 each s&h or both for $5.00.



Historic Main Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey

by Len Frank and Ray Lemasters


The History of Hackettstown by Dr. Ernest Dalton.


Union Cemetery Headstone photos, Vol. 1


Hackettstown Postcard Views, Vol. 1


Hackettstown Centennial Photos


All CDs - $5.00 ($7.00 mailed)


Holiday Ornaments:

Holiday ornaments featuring images of thirteen different historic sites will be on sale at the Society's monthly meetings and in the museum. Special orders will be considered.  $5.00 each



Reproduction of the beautiful Bailey & Fowler aerial view of Hackettstown originally printed in 1883. These two map makers are well known for producing accurate and highly detailed maps of many U.S. towns. The Hackettstown map is done in sepia tone and is available in four sizes, all suitable for framing:

8 x 10 - $10.00 16 x 20 - $25.00

11 x 14 - $18.00 20 x 24 - $40.00

Arrangements can be made to mail these. The three larger ones would be rolled and in a tube. Inquire.


Notecards - Vintage Hackettstown Scenes:

Single - $1.50 Pack of four - $5.00


Vintage Postcards - priced individually.