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PRESIDENT    Gwen Chaar 1/2016-12/2017           

VICE-PRESIDENT  James Newquist 1/2016-12/2016

SECRETARY   Kayleen Mitchell 1/2016-12/2016     

TREASURER    Betsy Browder 1/2016-12/2017



Diane Cece  1/2016-12/2018

Raymond Lemasters 1/2014-12/2016    

Ursula Naumann  1/2015-12/2017)                   

Judy Truex   (Immediate Past President)





February 7, 2017           Linda Barth

A History of Inventing in New Jersey
March 7, 2017             

To be Announced   
April 4, 2017               Speakers Bureau Program

Alice Paul (American suffragist) Player: re-enactor

May 2, 2017     Ray Lemasters & Gwen Chaar

How to do Basic Genealogy

June, 2017        Annual field trip coordinated by President Judy Truex.  Date and details to be announced.



**   2017 DUES   **


    Please note the Membership Committee report further on in the newsletter.        Thank you.






     Our museum is really looking like a fine house as another exterior improvement was completed in 2016.  Thanks to the Town Council we got a new walkway, steps, wrought iron railing and landing.  They also made repairs to the  driveway.  Many thanks to the Town Council.

     I do want to mention that at the Historical Society we have several committees and they cover a lot of ground.  Committees include Archives, Hospitality, Museum Display, Publicity and School Outreach.  If any members are interested in joining a committee, assisting with fundraising or volunteering in some other way we would love to hear from you.  There are many volunteer opportunities at the Museum.  Volunteering keeps a person active, meeting

and greeting people, interacting with guests and working with our historical collections.  Please consider volunteering. Remember, “If you rest you rust”.  Please stop in and talk to us.

     In addition to our ever changing museum exhibits; we have wonderful and very informative presentations on the first Tuesday of the months of September, November, February, March, April and May at the American Legion.  These presentations cover a great range of historical as well as present day events.  

     Some may think that during the summer the Historical Society takes it easy; enjoying our rocking chairs and mint juleps on the veranda.  The summer of 2016 was just a bit different.  Several members got together and made pine cone door hangings as a fundraising activity.  These door hangings were available at our fall monthly meetings and at Harper’s Bakery and The Family Attic Antiques in Hackettstown.  They were fun to make; and many of our members were out collecting pine cones.  It was a wonderful and successful group effort.

     Another area I would like to mention is Genealogy.  Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in America.  The Hackettstown Historical Society provides access to rich resources for Hackettstown, Warren County, New Jersey and the nation.  Our volunteers can help.

     I would like the community to be proud of what has been done.  Come and visit, bring the children.  Children learn more when they can see the exhibits, and use their natural curiosity; they always ask the best questions.

     I am at the museum on Friday throughout the year, please stop in and say hello, I would love to meet you. 

     A quote I like to use is: “We have history at our house”

Gwen Chaar, President



     A Happy New Year to all of our members! May it be a truly wonderful year for each of us.

     Unless you are a life member, it’s time to renew  your annual membership for 2017.  The levels are  $5 for students; $20 for an individual; $35 for a couple/family; $200 for a single lifetime membership; $300 for a couple lifetime

membership.  Dues are delinquent after March 15th.

There is a renewal form included with this newsletter to fill out and send with your check, made out to the Hackettstown Historical Society, and mailed to 106 Church St., Hackettstown, NJ 07840. If you prefer, you may give the completed form and check to Betsy at our March meeting.

     We currently have 71 members in good standing. 

Please note that member Gerry Kuehn has a new address:  3121 Stockbury Street, Ames, Iowa 50010. His telephone number is 908-334-7613.

     We warmly welcome new members Richard and Bonnie Stanics, Rodger and Paulette MacBride and  Sharon Ault.



     It has indeed been a busy year at the Museum and one filled with many accomplishments.  Our talented assistant, Rich Mesaric, has made several significant improvements to the second floor of the museum.  They include converting a small connecting hallway between two rooms into a document storage closet; building a shadow box display into a closet door and designing and constructing a wonderful enclosure with rails that allow viewing and usage of several large wall maps that previously had to be kept rolled up and stored,  They are now readily accessible to visitors and researchers.

     With Rich's help, accessioning of the document collection pertaining to Hackettstown Branch 51 of the American Federation of Hosiery Workers (union) was completed.  It is now housed and indexed.  Ironically, after this collection waited for years to be organized, museum visitors from Colorado last fall were seeking information about this organization and we were ready!

    Three non-member volunteers assisted with our frequently used information about houses and buildings in town.  Visitors often want to learn more about the age of a house or the history of a building or property.  Jen Trang spent many hours scouring our files for photos and information to be added to the binders.  Sonja Gaertner and Amanda Lemasters (Ray's granddaughter) spent considerable time scanning two collections of older 35mm slide images of houses so printed copies of these images can be added to our information binders.

     Our president, Gwen Chaar, calls attention to the fact that many new displays are in the works for the museum.  Some of these will be permanent and others will change.  She draws our attention to the following:

     In 2017 Centenary University is celebrating its 150th anniversary.  We have put together a timeline display and some of the students will be lending a hand. It’s great when young people help out they have as such great ideas.

     Another event being marked this year is the 140th anniversary of the Cataract Hose Company No. 1 of the Hackettstown Fire Department.  We have assembled an impressive display of Hackettstown Fire Department memorabilia in the Museum collection including a uniform, helmets, medals and more.

     These two displays will remain in place throughout the year.  Read more about these events later in this newsletter.



     Historical Society news is currently being posted on the internet at:

Hackettstown Historical Society.blogspot.com

Be sure to visit us there.   



     An editor is still needed to prepare this newsletter that has been resurrected after a hiatus.  In the past it has been issued twice per year, summer and winter.  It is not hard as items for the newsletter are typically supplied by the president and membership and archives committees and others who have contributions to make.  Please let Ray Lemasters know if you can help.





     Anneliese M Divito, 88, of Chester, passed away on  September 21, 2016 at Little Brook Nursing Home of Califon, NJ.   A daughter of the late Paul and the late Margarete (Tilgner) Willam, she was born on August 30, 1928 in Oppeln, Germany.  Anneliese was a life member of the Hackettstown Historical Society.




 Historic Main Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey by Len Frank and Ray Lemasters - $23.00.  Can be mailed for $23.00 + $4.00 p&h.



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)



     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.


Vintage Hackettstown scenes.

Single               $1.50

Pack of four      $5.00


     There are a few vintage postcards available.  They are priced individually.




     The year 2017 will mark the Sesquicentennial of Centenary University, the 140th anniversary of Cataract Hose Company No. 1 of the Hackettstown Fire Department plus the Hackettstown Fire Department will be hosting the 131st Annual Convention of the New Jersey Exempt Firemen's Association.


      1867 - 2017

     2017 marks a the Sesquicentennial of Centenary University.  At the time when American Methodism marked its centennial in 1866, the Newark Methodist Conference wanted to mark this anniversary with the establishment of an “institution for the promotion of learning”.  On April 4, 1867, a committee was appointed by the Newark Conference to select the site for the new institute.  The committee visited and considered many municipalities including Bernardsville, Flanders, Hackettstown, Irvington, Madison, Morristown, Newark, Orange and Plainfield.  Ten progressive Hackettstown residents, namely Robert Q. Bowers, Alpheus Clawson, Issac W. Crane, Joshua H. Curtis, brothers George W. & William L. Johnson, George Roe. David Shields, Caleb H. Valentine and Jacob Welsh, Jr., each donated $1,000 as seed money and together donated ten acres of land on which to build such an institution.

     Thus Centenary Collegiate Institute came to be built in Hackettstown.   The cornerstone was laid on September 9, 1869 but, because of the struggle to raise money to complete the building,  it was not until September 9, 1874 that Centenary Collegiate Institute opened its doors. 

(The following is taken from the Centenary website)

The Evolution of Centenary

     No stranger to change, Centenary evolved from its origin as a coeducational preparatory school to a girls’ preparatory school (1910), a junior college for women (1940), a four-year women’s college (1976), a coeducational baccalaureate-degree-granting institution (1988), a master-degree-granting institution (1995), and now a university (2016).

     Centenary plays a significant role in providing educational programs to the adult population of northwest New Jersey. In 1976, Centenary began to offer coeducational degree programs for evening students.

     True to its Methodist origins, Centenary is proud to bear the distinction of being the first college within the State of New Jersey to require service education as a condition of graduation. Centenary is also proud of its international outreach, with international students from as many as 20 nations providing a distinct international character to the University’s student body.

Center for Adult and Professional Studies

     In 1999, it developed the Center for Adult and Professional Studies (CAPS), with an off-campus learning center located in Parsippany, New Jersey. This program provided working adults with accelerated degree programs at the undergraduate (BSBA and AA) and Graduate (MBA) levels.

School of Professional Studies

     In 2011, Centenary’s dedication to reaching out to students increased significantly with renaming of the program to the Centenary University School of Professional Studies (CUSPS). This change added a new accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in Organizational Studies, and solidified Centenary’s partnerships with area corporations.


     Cataract Hose Company No. 1  




(The following is taken from the Hackettstown Fire Department website)

     With no formal training and meager equipment including a hand pumper dating from 1698 purchased by a few local men and a few items acquired from a group of Philadelphia Fire volunteers, a group of Hackettstown men organized themselves into a volunteer fire fighting group known as fire company Relief No. 2 in 1855.  By 1865 interest and membership in the group was declining and it disbanded.

     On December 3, 1877, with the express desire to organize a new fire company, dedicated men banned together and formed the Cataract Hose Company #1.  The thirty-six charter members dedicated themselves to the protection of life and property in Hackettstown.  

     Their first equipment consisted of a two-wheeled hose cart and the aforementioned hand pumper, to which they fastened 10-foot lengths of leather hose when they reached the scene of the fire.  Each fireman carried a section of this riveted hose.  Water for the pumper was supplied from a brook or a well by the bucket brigade.  This pumper, which is still preserved and in working condition at the Moore Street Firehouse, is believed to have been built in London, England in the late 17th. century.

     The Hackettstown Firemen's Relief Association was formed on May 23, 1879.  It allows local firemen to help each other in times of illness or death.

     Prior to 1900 there were at least three different firehouses or engine houses.  In 1900 the main building was erected on Moore Street with the truck bays being added in 1950, when the old wooden floor couldn't stand the weight of the modern trucks.  As the town grew, a need was seen for another fire station and in 1971 the Miller Street Firehouse was built.

     In December of 1946 the women of the firemen's families organized a Ladies' Auxiliary. By providing refreshments at extended fires and also financial support, these women have provided an invaluable service to the Hackettstown Fire Department and the town.

    During the early years only a few alarms of fire were given per year, but today the dedicated men of the Hackettstown Fire Department answer between 300 and 400 alarms per year. Whether it be day or night, when someone needs help and the alarm is sounded, the dedicated men of the Hackettstown Fire Department will be on their way, in a matter of minutes, to answer the call.


                        The New Jersey Exempt Firemen's Association




     It will be a busy year for the Hackettstown Fire Department.  On June 10, 2017 the Hackettstown Exempt Firemen's Association will host the 131st Annual Convention of the New Jersey Exempt Firemen's Association.  It will be held at Centenary University at the David & Carol Lackland Center.

     Established in 1889, the New Jersey State Exempt Firemen's Association is comprised of members from the local exempt organizations throughout the state of New Jersey. The organization was formed for the charitable purpose of organizing and coordinating all of the local exempt fire associations in the state of New Jersey, thus lessening the burden of government in this process.

     The NJSEFA also provides a venue for mentoring and support within the ranks of the fire service from those members who have earned their exemption and from their experience can lead and assist the new members of the fire service as they take up the protective fire service in both career and volunteer fire departments.   

     The founders of this organization were people who had the foresight and the understanding that as time moved on, the fire service in New Jersey would change and that our "Great Association" would be there to assist the fire service in meeting those new challenges.