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.
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. Please see below for more information.
A TOAST TO GENERAL WASHINGTON'S 288TH!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND
OPEN HOUSE 1:00 - 4:00 PM
George Washington, retired Continental Army Commander in Chief and First President of the United States, requests your presence at Rockingham on Saturday, February 22nd, to help commemorate his 288th birthday with an open house event. General Washington will be present in spirit (and in the form of our wonderful life-sized mannequin in exactingly-recreated uniform on the second floor) as visitors listen to fiddle music, courtesy of James Kurzenberger, and perhaps dance a step or two. There will be a mini scavenger hunt and a Washington (George and Martha) tchotchke display. Children can pick up an activity pamphlet with puzzles and a coloring page. Also, there will be light refreshments available in the kitchen to complete the celebration.
Several rooms of the house will be open from 1 to 4 pm and guests can take their time perusing the rooms with knowledgeable staff available in period dress to answer any questions (and asking Washington trivia questions of the guests!). Call 609-683-7132 for more information. A donation of $5 is suggested.
Please note that the regular house tours will not be taking place on this day and the house will only be open during this event. However, visitors are always welcome to return and visit the house on another day. See our Visitor Information page for regular hours and tour information.
BARN PROGRAM: “WESTON MILL AND DAM – A HISTORY”
SATURDAY, APRIL 18TH
1:30 PM IN THE DUTCH BARN
On Saturday, April 18 at 1:30 pm, John W. Jengo will present a PowerPoint program on the former Franklin Township Weston Mill and Dam (also known as Van Neste’s Mill) in the Rockingham barn. The history of the mill includes the infamous 1779 John Simcoe raid, which took place near the site during the Revolutionary War.
As part of the Millstone River restoration project to remove the Weston Mill Dam in Manville/Franklin Township, Mr. Jengo lead a comprehensive archaeological investigation of the former Weston Mill, which began grist- and saw-milling operations circa 1747. This presentation will include information on the investigation, which revealed new information about the ownership history of the mill, the numerous rebuilding efforts over its 235-year existence, how the mill operated over time, the artifacts that were recovered from the mill following its collapse in 1982, and the timber crib dam that was discovered during the removal of Weston Mill Dam in 2017.
Mr. Jengo is a licensed geologist and licensed site remediation professional who works in an environmental consulting firm in southeastern Pennsylvania. He has degrees from Rutgers University and the University of Delaware. He played a key role in the Natural Resource Damage (NRD) assessment that lead to a groundbreaking legal settlement to remove numerous low head dams on the Raritan River and the Millstone River to restore historically significant migratory fish spawning runs
The talk will be presented in the Dutch barn at Rockingham, with time for questions and light refreshments to follow, as well as the chance to view a 10-minute video of the dam removal project. Seating is limited and it is suggested to call and register to guarantee a spot at 609-683-7132. This program is presented in partnership with Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park.
Recent events have also included:
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 Practitioners of 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?
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!
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.