MAKE HISTORY! GET INVOLVED

 Be a part of a dynamic, 125 + year old band of history lovers of all ages

 redefining what an Historical Society in the 21st century can be.


Stay Active!

  • Visit.  The house  is open every Tuesday  from 11 am-3 pm and the 2nd Saturday of each month from 12 to 3 pm.  Quarterly we hike in the Wetlands in front of the house. Periodically we present speakers and set up info tables at local events.  


Keep Learning!

  • Subscribe to our email list and keep up to date.
  • Check out our Facebook page.  Come to one of our History Talk programs.  


Make a Difference!  Find your niche!

  • Use Your Skills and Talents for a purpose.  Check out our wish list. 
  • You can help in a mighty way.  For example:  Like to solve puzzles or mysteries?  Help us research the untold stories of Somerset County.
  •  Handy around the house?  Help with building and grounds maintenance.  The Van Veghten house is almost 300 years old and needs constant loving care. 
  •  Like to bake?  Help with refreshments at our events.  
  • Love mysteries or  puzzles?  Help us research the untold stories of Somerset County.


Find New Friends!

  • There's a lot of chatter and laughter at the house, not to mention some pretty good coffee.  Pretty soon you'll have a lot of new "old friends"


Donate

  • Time, talent, treasures or funds.  All are welcome!  Wondering what to do with those treasures you know your family won't want when you pass on?  Consider donating locally relevant artifacts, pictures or documents to our archive!  That's how we have acquired our spinning wheels, standing case clock, portrait of an early Van Veghten, etc.


Can't wait to get started?  You can join by mail or online.  


  • BY MAIL:  Download our membership application below, complete and mail with membership fee to Somerset County Historical Society, 9 Van Veghten Drive,  Bridgewater, NJ, 08807.  
  • ONLINE:  To submit membership application online, scroll down to the "Join Online" button below the application button and submit payment via PayPal or credit/debit card.  Thank You!
  • FEES:   2020 Annual membership is $25.00 and includes an email copy  of our quarterly newsletter.  To receive a print copy of the newsletter please check the appropriate box on the application.  


2020 SCHS Membership application 02.01.2020 (docx)

Download

Join Now Online

$25.00
Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

 

  • To submit a membership application online, click the "Join Us" button.  Enter amount, note "Membership",  and give us your email in the Notes field.  
  • If you are a new member or have a change of address, be sure to click the box "Share my mailing address."
  • Please consider adding a donation.  These help us meet the matching funds required by one of our grants.
  •  Thank you!

Somerset County Historical Society Wish List


As with any all-volunteer organization, there are always more things we’d like to do than there are hands or time. We’ve decided to share our wish list to see if other history lovers out there can help.

Can you make a donation or gift in kind for any of the items listed below? We are a 5013c organization and your gift may be tax deductible. Please email us at info@somersethistorynj.org to discuss options. Use the topic: donation.


Are you looking for something to pass the time/make a contribution/have some fun? There are many options at the Van Veghten House with the Somerset County Historical Society. Check out our people skills requests. Some are one time things, some can be done off site, some are at the headquarters building, some can be done alone, some get you involved with others. There is no age limit!


Material goods 


2-4 card tables, 

 long table to seat 8,

 Folding chairs, 

small bistro- size round tables

Coat rack

Bike parking rack 

Sign/historical marker about 1778-79 encampment in wetlands (placed near parking lot?)

Microphones, projection screen, hearing assistance devices

Easels or floor display stands

Official name tags for board positions (not disposable) for events

Bulletin boards

Circular or oval meeting table and chairs

Colonial period music CDs

Manikins or dress maker forms to display period costumes

Table top Brochure Rack 

Metal utility storage shelves (for archives)

Seedlings and transplants for landscaping (we have a list of deer resistant suggestions)


Repairs/Maintenance


Outside

Help with mowing and yard maintenance

Potholes in driveway filled

Move stone mile marker out of side porch

Mend and Paint outside window sills, repair screening on side porch

Address cracking of interior walls

Signage to house added/improved 

Bamboo grove removed/cut back


Inside

Clean all layers of windows and curtains (must remove plexiglass to accomplish this) 

Clean display cases and label all items

Fix/replace braided rug in “parlor.” 

Reorganize and inventory storage under stairs and in telephone closet off “parlor”

Set up Society work space/office in upstairs back room (non- public area)

Spruce up hearth in original kitchen. (Add period appropriate period cookware ?)

Wash and wax all floors

Address cracking plaster walls 


People With Skills 

-  Landscaping plan, including improved ADA accessibility from parking lot and around house, improved sight line to river (trim bushes and tree branches) stairway or path down our hill into wetlands on our property, design decorative bridge to span irrigation channel. Suggest garden design (deer resistant, please) 

- Writing to:  

      -Create FAQ handout for visitors

      -Help creating pdf program and scripts for talks about 

           1. the house,

           2. the Van Veghten family,

           3. the history of the society, and 

           4. brief bios of visitors to the house        during the Revolution

-Writer/ display artist to regularly research and highlight treasures in our collection 

-Research/prepare articles for quarterly newsletter

-Grant writer

-Create brochure about our property and wetlands as handout for hiking tours

-  Marketing/Publicity 

      -Technician to help with Mail Chimp             email distributions, newsletter prep, website and Facebook accounts

-Organize and develop material for fundraising efforts with businesses and  corporations

- Use house’s dog  mascot, “Hoss,” creatively in marketing. 

-  Visitor follow-up coordinator (revise postcard; create digital post card and letterhead  paper. Thank all visitors)

-  Museum assistant to label all items on display (to meet federal ADA guidelines).

- Volunteers Coordinator – people link specialist

- Interviewers and transcriptionists to assist with collecting and recording oral histories

- Organizer to plan and coordinate special events ie., work days, celebrations, memorials, outreach events, fund raisers, cleaning, etc.

- Someone to transcribe original documents on display ((handwritten script is hard to read and children are no longer learning to write script)

- Assist with researching genealogy requests

- Manager for museum “store” to better display, add merchandise, improve income.

- Set up microfilm reader area. Test all old equipment  and recommend disposition

- Develop a “traveling museum” lend/lease kit for use in schools.

- Programming coordinator-work with committee to organize public lectures and speakers

- Identify how to incorporate child oriented features in everything—outreach   materials, displays at house, talks, etc 

-Create a “coloring book” project about the house, its history, or life in the last 300 years on the property

-Develop a “traveling museum” lend/lease kit for use in schools