Millstone Township Hits a Milestone By Pam Teel Millstone Township will soon be celebrating its 175th Birthday. The town was incor- porated in February 1844 and consists of 37.36 miles of rolling countryside, although some early settlers took up residence in the area as far back as the early 1600’s. Rich in history, Millstone Township is located in the southwestern portion of Monmouth County. Named after the Millstone River by early settlers, the town was first home to the Lenape Indians who called the area Mattawang. It’s interesting to note that seven waterways originate within the town with many lakes and private ponds dotting the landscape. What makes our town different from many other towns is the dedication of our town historians and the volunteers who care about preserving the past and who look forward to sharing their stories and their love for the history of our town and the sur- rounding area to a whole new generation. Recently, I met with three of our town’s historians, past and present, at the Thomas Baird Homestead on Baird Road, a Greek revival homestead, circa 1830. These three women have passed the title of township historian to each other for the past thirty years. Together, with the help of the members of the Friends of Millstone Township Historic Registered Properties and the Historic Preservation Committee, they strive to protect our history and keep it alive for the community. The restoration of the Thomas Baird Homestead is one of their accomplishments. It is now an Educational facility and a Museum to be enjoyed by all Millstone residents. The Friends of Millstone Township, with the help of the governing body of Millstone, will be burying a time capsule at the grand opening of the new “Millstone Park” on Red Valley Road in the spring of 2020. The capsule will have its own marker on it and will see the light of day again 75 years from now in the year 2094. The Friends are asking for Millstone residents to help them fill the 30 gallon stainless steel drum barrel, which was donated by township resident William Guttridge Jr. It’s extremely import- ant that the Millstonians of today get involved and send messages to the people of the future. We can’t imagine what 75 years from now will bring. From September 23rd to December 31st, you can drop off letters to be included in the time capsule at the Municipal building or you can mail your letters to Millstone Township Municipal Building, 470 Stagecoach Road. Just mark it “Time Capsule.” Questions can be sent to Doreen Polhemus, town Historian at: save-history@opton-
Music Jar Productions Presents
The Perry Award-nominated Outstanding Original Musical “They Call It Gravy ; WE Call It SAUCE !”
Second-generation, New York-born Rosa Garraffa discovers she’s pregnant by her Jewish fiancé , Aaron Goldman, prior to marriage. Her traditional Sicilian father, Dante, disowns and banishes her. Twenty years later, Rosa’s Jewish-raised daughter, Barbara, and her Brooklyn-born, Neapolitan lawyer boyfriend, Matt Volpe, step into the picture and attempt to reunite the broken family. Come and share the laughter, tears and love. BROOK ARTS CENTER 10 Hamilton Street, Bound Brook, NJ Friday, Oct 11 & Saturday, Oct 12 - 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct 13 - 2 p.m. General $25 / Seniors & First Responders (Police, Fire, EMS) $20 / Students & Wounded Warriors $15 Get tickets at the door or online at: musicjar.booktix.com
line.net. You can also visit the Friends of Millstone Township Historic Properties booth on Millstone day, Sunday, September 22nd, on the Frogbridge grounds from 12-5, where they will be handing out special 100 percent cotton paper to be used for the time capsule. Letters should be written in pencil not ink or markers. You can print it as long as the paper packages states acid free. Resume paper is the best. Letters can be about your family, your experience living and growing up in Millstone, your genealogy in this town, pictures, business cards, etc. (This would be a great writing assignment for the middle schoolers and those in high school.) Township Historian Doreen Polhemus’s dedication to this town’s history is admirable. She has been highly involved with all historical projects that the Friends take on. Her husband Raymond was born and raised in Millstone and his family dates back in this area to the early 1600’s. Jean E. Mount‘s family also has a lot of history in the area. Jean spent a great deal of time researching and gathering information about the early inhabitants of Millstone Township. In 1982, she published a book calledThe History of Millstone. It’s a great informative book about Millstone’s past residents and buildings that once stood here in town and those still remaining. It includes pictures, maps, and descriptions of the different areas of the town. There is a copy in the Allentown Library and the Millstone Municipal building has a copy if you would like to stop by and thumb through it. According to Jean Mount, "It took us about 6 years to complete our work regarding the "The History of Millstone Township". Although I did most of the actual writing (text), I was fortunate to have the help of many people during the research phase. My motivation for the process was a love of history, a sincere sense of "place" and a reverence for the people who lived in this area before I became a resident of Millstone, and of course, personal curiosity." Ms. Mount is considering reprinting her book. She was wondering how many people in town would have an interest in purchasing the book. If you are interested in obtain- ing “The History of Millstone” for yourself or your family, please email Doreen Polhemus at: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s well worth it. I have one and have learned a lot of history about our town from it. Your input will help Ms. Mount decide if she will go ahead with the 2nd reprint. Joann Kelty, our past town historian, worked at Showplace farm in 1979 and grew to love the area. In 1995 she fell in love with an old house on Conover Road. The home, circa 1785, was first built by the David Cook family. Captain David Cook served in the Revolutionary War. Later it was known as the Conover home. The home still includes the original section dating back to both families. Joann is an avid researcher and was hands on in helping to restore the Thomas Baird Homestead among other restoration projects. A special thank you to these ladies who have made such a difference in preserving Millstone’s past so that future generations can keep it alive. Their time and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed. Also, a special thank you to Pat Butch, President of the Friends of Millstone Historic Registered Properties, for all of her knowledge and hard work with grant writing and for making good things happens! Her dedication to this town is beyond words. The Friends of Millstone will also be hosting a farm to table Dinner at the Thomas Baird House on September 21st. Dinner will be prepared by award winning Chef Michael from Harvest Moon in New Brunswick, NJ, and served in the historic 1800’s red barn, rain or shine. This three-course dinner will include wine and an assortment of desserts. ($60.00 per person.) To make reservations please contact Melissa Peerboom at 732-446-4249, ext 1103. Don’t forget to visit The Friends of Millstone Township booth on Millstone Day. Pick up your writing paper or write a letter there and drop it in the time capsule. If you love history, especially learning the history of the town that you live in, why don’t you think about joining the Friends of Millstone? You can be a part of the future by helping to preserve its past. College students are encouraged to come join in with the Friends. Volunteers are always needed for their fundraising events. Also, Girl Scouts and Eagle Scouts looking to do a project, feel free to email: www.savinghistorywithfriends.org. Or email@example.com.