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Rockingham offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year. Our largest annual events are the Holiday Candlelight Tour in early December and Children's Day in early May, both presented with the help of the volunteers from The Rockingham Association, the Montgomery High School Live Historians and the Stony Brook Garden Club.



ENCAMPMENT DAY

Outwaters Militia returns for a fourth time to Rockingham on Saturday, September 20th, from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be musket firings, drills with dummy muskets and an equipment display. In addition there may be spinning demonstrations and a chance to try the drop spindle, medical equipment on display and a discussion of medical practices in the 18th century. In addition to Outwaters activities, there also will be basket weaving demonstrated by Deb Buonocore and cooking will be done throughout the day in an outdoor cooking pit. Apiarist Pier Guidi will have an information display about bees, beehives and honey production. Visitors can try their hand at scrubbing clothes in a wooden tub on a wooden scrubbing bat/paddle or try playing trapball or battledore and shuttlecock with a different kind of bat/paddle. In addition to the encampment, there will be house tours and the Museum Store will be open for shopping. Light refreshments will also be available. The event is free, though donations are gratefully welcomed! This event is sponsored by the Rockingham Association. For further information, please call 609-683-7132.


CELEBRATING NEW JERSEYS 350TH ANNIVERSARY AT ROCKINGHAM

Rockingham Historic Site will be offering two events in September in conjunction with the Princeton-area celebration of New Jerseys 350th anniversary. The first program incorporates one of the state-wide celebration themes, Liberty, and the second program embraces New Jerseys early Dutch connection. Both programs will be held in the newly completed Dutch barn on the property.

Revolutionary Tea, offered September 27, will be presented at 1:00 pm by Stacy Roth of History on the Hoof. Why was tea so important in the lives of 18th century people that fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets? Did Great Britain lose her American Colonies over "the cup that cheers?" Find out in this unusual costumed presentation of tea lore, history, songs, poetry, living history display and demonstration, including a bit of trivia on how tea played a role in George Washingtons first introduction to Rockingham. The program lasts approximately one hour and will be followed by light refreshments, including teas available during the 18th century. The 1 and 2 pm house tours will not be offered that day.

This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the NJ Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Council for the Humanities, with extra support supplied by the Rockingham Association.

A concert by Practitioners of Musick will be presented September 28 at 3:00 pm featuring Dutch music of the 17th century, celebrating not only the early history of New Jersey, but also the heritage of John Berrien, New Jersey colonial Supreme Court Judge and 18th-century owner of Rockingham. The concert, with John Burkhalter on English flute and Donovan Klotzbeacher on harpsichord, will be accompanied by a presentation on the history of the music.

This program is sponsored by the Rockingham Association. For further information, please call 609-683-7132.



Other programs focus on various aspects of Colonial life and may be more appropriate for adults only or may be of interest to children as well.

Recent events have included: photo

  • a workshop "From Fleece to Wool and Flax to Linen",  explaining harvesting, preparing and spinning sheep's wool and flax in the 18th century; attendees were given the chance to card wool and spin yarn on a drop spindle.
  • a celebration of George Washington's birthday. Director Lisa Flick designed an afternoon of special Washington themed tours and trivia questions for which visitors--adult and children alike--could win prizes. Special birthday tri-corner hats, Washington cake and punch were provided to all those who attended.
  • "Anatomy of a Death: Death and Dying in the 18th Century" - Volunteer actors re-enacted the activities which occurred after a death in the colonial period. Participants then followed a trail along the Delaware and Raritan Canal to the Kingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery for a tour of the gravestones there.
  • entertainment by The Practioners in Musick with English flute and harpsichord.
  • reenactments of the Berrien family and Revolutionary War artillery units

Please check the website regularly for announcements of future events and programs.

History to Go!  

The Children's Museum at Rockingham sponsors an outreach history project: History to Go!. This program is an opportunity for your groups to prepare to come to Rockingham, or to have Rockingham come to them! This program enables groups to see and use some of the most popular items from our Children's Museum in the convenience of their own classroom, living room or civic center.

How did this program begin?

Rockingham, with the support of the New Jersey State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, realized that many people of all walks are interested in learning about American History. The most effective way of teaching is a "hands-on" approach where one can touch items, play games, and try on clothing from Colonial times. Rockingham wanted a program that would be available to all, regardless of their ability to come to our historic site.

Who can use this program?

Anyone who wants to learn! Classroom groups that are planning to come to Rockingham while studying the Revolutionary War may use History to Go! In preparation for their visit. Other schools who are unable to come to Rockingham may want to use this project to supplement textbook explanations of the Colonial period. Scout troops, church groups, community centers, clubs, families, or home school organizations and all interested parties are encouraged to contact the site office for further information.

What is included in the project?photo

The basic program consists of lesson plans, recipes, children's period-style clothing pieces, accessories, hats, personal items, games, books and craft projects all housed in three baskets. Extra quill pens with ink can be requested (must be ordered in advance) for an additional charge of $4.00 each.

What is the fee for?

There is a $35 fee for this program, to be paid at the time the baskets are picked up.

To Reserve the Program:

Call the Office (609) 683-7132 when the site is open to arrange a time to see the baskets and contents. We will help you to tailor the program to the needs of your group!

Or write:

Rockingham State Historic Site
P.O. Box 496
Kingston, NJ 08528

This program was made possible by a generous donation of the New Jersey State Society of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Children of the American Revolution, Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and Forbes Newspapers.