Local historians to host Sussex County History Day

NEWTON. Enjoy historical talks, reenactments, cemetery walks and even a petting zoo!

Newton /
| 06 Sep 2022 | 12:25

In its long and storied past, Sussex County has grown from a quiet, agricultural community to a thriving destination rife with prosperous businesses, restaurants, busy Main Streets and eco-tourism opportunities. It is a story of soldiers, farmers, music, hardship, joy and celebration.

On Saturday, September 17, local residents will have the opportunity to step back through the ages as part of the Sussex County Historical Society’s (SCHS) annual Sussex County History Day celebration.

The event, scheduled to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Academy Green located behind 75-79 Main Street in Newton, will feature performances by the Long Hill String Band, a living Civil War encampment by the 27th Regiment, a presentation by the New Jersey Frontier Guard, needlework demonstrations by the Lost Art Laces, and displays by the SCHS and other local historic organizations.

Visitors to Sussex County History Day will also have the opportunity to join costumed docents for a tour of the Old Newton Burial Ground.

Interpreters (SCHS members Geoffry Ithen, Alex Everitt, Wendy Wyman, Jennifer Brylinski and Wayne McCabe) will guide participants through a series of first-person accounts of what life might have been like for those buried in the peaceful grounds. Highlights of the tour include Wyman’s portrayal of Letitia Thornton-Anderson, whose husband, an attorney by the name of Thomas Anderson, entertained George Washington at their family home in downtown Newton. The Anderson House, located near the Newton Green, still stands today.

Ithen, meanwhile, will provide insight into the hidden stories of the gravestones themselves, along with stories of the carvers who created them.

Cemetery tours will run at noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and will be limited to 20 people per tour.

Sussex County History Day is a family-friendly event that will also feature a petting zoo and demonstrations by a local blacksmith.

All activities, with the exception of the cemetery tours, will be offered free of charge.

Tickets for the cemetery tours will cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Reservations are recommended. Tickets can be purchased at the Hill Memorial Museum, located at 82 Main Street in Newton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays leading up to the event, or online via the Sussex County Historical Society’s Paypal account (sussexcountyhs@gmail.com).

Parking will be made available courtesy of Sussex County Community College in the lot of the Old McGuire dealership, located at 47 Main Street in Newton.

A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, September 18.

For more information, call Mario Poggi at 973-864-7852 or Wendy Wyman at 973-383-0015.