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PRESIDENT    Gwen Chaar 1/2016-12/2017           

VICE-PRESIDENT  James Newquist 1/2017-12/2018

SECRETARY   Kayleen Mitchell 1/2017-12/2018     

TREASURER    Betsy Browder 1/2016-12/2017



Cindy Cassini  1/2017-12/2019

Joan Roehrich  1/2017-12/2019)            

Judy Truex   (Immediate Past President)





September 5, 2017         Denis Sullivan

Taking a Trolley


October 3, 2017            Charlie Prestopine 

Restoration of the Old Presbyterian Burial Ground


November 7, 2017         Patricia Galperin

In search of Princess White Dove


December 1, 2017         Christmas Open House at the Museum from 5 - 8 pm.

(In conjunction with the Hackettstown Business Improvement District Main Street holiday event.)



**   2017 DUES   **


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

Thank you.






     To members & friends of the Hackettstown Historical Society:

     Back in February Linda Barth gave a presentation on her book, “The Garden State, Where Ideas Grow”. Her presentation was great.  I actually got a call from a resident who attended explaining that she was so excited about all the things she learned from Ms. Barth that she was looking into starting an appreciation group to spread the word!

     We spend a lot of time and effort getting good speakers for our free programs.   Please try and come, they are the 1st Tuesday of the month from September though May at the American Legion 7:30 pm. Who knows, “it could change your life and ideas”.

     Our float in the Memorial Day Parade was a hit.  This boat was used at the annual Memorial Day services since the 1930s but had not been used since 2008.  Kenneth Roehrich donated money that covered the cost of the signs and Greenway Florist donated the flowers used during the parade.  Ray Lemasters assembled the float and donated the hardware and lumber to mount the signs.  Brian Lemasters provided his trailer and allowed his car to be used to tow it in the parade. More about the boat in this newsletter.

     Betsy Browder our treasurer and new trustee Cindy Cassini began accessioning, sorting and storing the textiles at the museum.  A big job that for too many years was put on the back burner. 

     Centenary University celebrated 150 since the opening back in 1867. At our March meeting Dr. Raymond Fry, a professor of history and University Historian, gave us a presentation about the history of the University.       We have two feature displays at the Museum featuring Centenary as well as the 140th anniversary of the Cataract Hose Company, Hackettstown Fire Department.  They will be in place until the end of November so please stop by and see them.

     We are in the planning stages for a Lantern Tour of the Old Presbyterian Burial Ground in October.  Please consider volunteering for/to help with this important fundraiser.


I am at the museum most Friday during the year, please stop in; I would love to meet you.

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

Gwen Chaar, President



     We currently have 70 members with 63 in good standing.  (see note below)

     We warmly welcome new members Tanya Friedman of Hackettstown, Caroline R. Helmuth of New York City and returning members Dale and Elizabeth Hart.

     Unless you are a life member, it’s time to renew  your annual membership for 2017 if you haven't already done so.  If unsure, please check with treasurer Betsy Browder.  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 September meeting.

     We hope to see you at our terrific September meeting!




     Our Museum assistant Rich Mesaric, who was with us for a little over two years, has moved on to other employment.  The good news is that we have a new assistant through the Pathstone program.  Please join in welcoming Lenny Roche.  He has been with us for about two months and is busy with archival work.  Stop by for a visit and introduce yourself to Lenny.

     We have recently received two interesting donations.  A collection of factory photographs and literature from the Triumph Machinery Company was brought in by Douglas Heel, a former employee.  This Hackettstown company produced mowing attachments for many different brands of tractors and road equipment.

     A Hackettstown resident donated an album of photographs of signs from around Warren and Morris Counties.  Quite interesting as many of these signs are no longer in existence.  Both of these collections are in the process of being accessioned.

     We call attention to two major feature displays that will remain in place until November.  One is a timeline display of memorabilia and photographs associated with the history of Centenary University.The university is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.  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.  Please stop by and view these exhibits.



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.



Ursula Naumann, 71, NJ passed away on May 1, 2017. She was born in Heidelberg, Germany.  Ursula was employed as a design draftsman. She was a member of the Hackettstown Historical Society and many will remember her serving for many years as Hospitality Chairperson.  Ursula also served several terms as a trustee.


Alfred B. Dellicker, 94, died on Monday, May 8, 2017 in Cranberry Lake, NJ.  Born in the Rockport, lived for many years in Hackettstown.  Alfred was predeceased by his beloved wife of 67 years, Wanda Ruehle Dellicker.  Both were charter members of the Hackettstown Historical Society.A graduate of Hackettstown High School, class of 1940, Alfred served his country during World War II from 1943 to 1945 in the Army Air Corps, attaining the rank of tech sergeant, and accumulated over 2,000 combat flying hours.  He is survived by his son Robert, daughters Peggy, Cathy and Susan their families.













 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.















Image may contain: one or more people, tree, outdoor and nature     In the fall of 2015, a very interesting item relating to the observance of Memorial Day in Hackettstown was donated to the Museum.  Some background about Memorial Day is in order before the story continues.

     Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed each May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.  Originally known as Decoration Day, it came to be through a proclamation issued by General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic.  That fraternal organization for veterans of the Union Army was founded in 1866.  Logan's proclamation decreed that an observance be held to honor those who died “in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

     On Decoration Day mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers.  On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

     The first observance of Decoration Day in Hackettstown took place in 1878 after an editorial in the Hackettstown Gazette in 1877 lamented the fact that the graves of soldiers buried in area cemeteries were not being decorated with flowers.  After preparations were made in early 1878, those first observance took place here on May 30, 1878.  Heavy rain prevented the march to Union Cemetery.  Instead, the Union veterans, numbering about 75, formed in front of the Clarendon Hotel and marched to Trinity Methodist Church where ceremonies were held indoors.

     Now know as Memorial Day, the observance honors all veterans who died in all wars and conflicts.  It became an official federal holiday in 1971.  The annual Memorial Day parade in Hackettstown has become an institution with hundreds of participants and thousands of people lining the parade route from the Post Office to Union Cemetery.  American Legion Post 164 coordinates the parade and the ceremonies that take place at the cemetery to honor our fallen veterans.

     That artifact mentioned at the beginning of this article is a modest home-made wooden boat about seven feet long.  Sometime in the mid 1930s Frank L. Tynan, a Hackettstown resident, took it upon himself the construct this simple boat.  It was filled each memorial day by ladies who were members of the Torbit Circle # 38, Grand Army of the Republic, Hackettstown.  The boat was stored at the Tynan home on Water Street and readied each spring by family members.  The tradition continued every year until 2008 when planting along the river bank at cemetery by the Musconetcong Watershed Association made it impossible to guide the boat along the river with attached ropes.

     The Tynan family donated this important piece of local history to the Hackettstown Historical Society.  The Board of Trustees had wanted for some time to have a presence in the Memorial Day parade.  The float pictured on a trailer, was part of the 149th parade held her on May 29, 2017.