2013 Year in Review

 Lambertville Historical Society / James Wilson Marshall House Museum

 The Marshall House Museum was open and staffed from May through October, for Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm.  This 1816 facility is maintained solely with LHS funds and all proper documents, bills and tax accounts were filed.  

The Museum was also open for extended hours for Shadfest Weekend in April and Winterfest Weekend in January, and by special request.

2013 Museum attendance (counted) was approximately 1660 visitors, up from 1460 in 2012.

For 2013 the Lambertville Historical Society, a non-profit, had four Officers and ten Trustees for 14 total voting.  An Advisory Board (non-voting) had 8 members.  We have a full slate for the 2014 Board of Trustees for election at our annual membership meeting of Jan. 19th, 2014.

Paid memberships total 217 and this reflects an astounding 82 new memberships due, in large part, to a successful, targeted membership drive in early 2013.  Since many memberships are couples, and some are family memberships, the actual count of total members is about 318.

We continue to look at ADA accessibility issues regarding the Marshall House Museum and have a dedicated committee.  Our public lectures, our receptions and our events are currently held at accessible sites. We have made professional connections for signing interpretation as needed.

We received a major competitive grant of $6632 from the State of New Jersey, Department of State, Historic Trust, for General Operating Funds for a much-needed updating of our office computer hardware and software and other technologies.  We have also applied for a grant to professionally evaluate our Marshall Museum displays and develop an improved Heritage Tourism plan, including ADA components.

As part of on-going care for the Marshall House Museum, repairs were made to the roofing drainage and downspouts and to the bathroom utilities. The landscaping was improved and cleaned and pachysandra was added replacing crawling weeds. A period Sheridan-style sofa was purchased for the collection for the front parlor. 

Community Programs and Services

 Our 2013 Annual Membership Meeting on Jan. 20th featured Fred Eisinger who presented a talk entitled “Going Places: A Brief History of Transportation in Lambertville.”  Attendance was about 80 people – open to the public, free and accessible.

Guided historical town tours were available 1st Sundays, June through October and for Shadfest & Winterfest. Several additional custom town tours were given. Five tour leaders participated in the years’ tours. For Shadfest we also operated a booth with historical information and games.

On January 26th  an auction and reception was held at the Rago Arts and Auction Center for the 30 en plein air paintings done live during the 2013 House Tour. Part of the proceeds benefits the Lambertville Historical Society. Approximately 120 people were in attendance.

On April 21st, our former President, Sharon Bishaha, presented an illustrated talk on her new book “In the Beacon Light, Lambertville New Jersey, from 1860 to 1900. The talk was free and accessible.

We co-sponsored with Janet Hunt the 32nd Annual Coryell Gallery / Lambertville Historical Society Art Show, at the Beck Gallery and Academy during February and March, and hosted a Member’s Opening and then a Chamber of Commerce reception.

Our Summer Membership Social Hour at Kalmia Clubhouse was held June 23rd with about 82 members and guests in attendance.  Free and accessible.

With our highly successful 2013 Membership Drive, we held a new member cocktail party on May 18th to meet and greet the new members and talk of our programs and mission.

Board and Members prepared and sold a 2nd Annual December Holiday CD with original songs from musicians of the community.  Community CD-release parties were held at the YMAC and at the Methodist Church. Sales were excellent with proceeds to LHS.

We conducted a summer educational event for children of the Lambertville Academy.

Our Annual Historic Lambertville House Tour on October 20, 2013, included 7 homes, 2 history museums, a historic church and a historic firehouse, a historic B&B, plus the City Hall mansion and a new arts center in a historic barn. Ticket sales were strong at 800. Approximately 120 volunteers were involved and an 85-page program book was prepared. The tour, our major fundraiser, was a financial success with much local news coverage and great participation by local businesses as sponsors and purchasers of tour book ads. Regional artists were present at the house sites and painted en plein air. These paintings will be sold with part of the proceeds to benefit the Lambertville Historical Society at a show and reception on February 1, 2014 at the Rago Art & Auction Center.

Two LHS Narducci Awards for historical preservation and restoration were presented in 2013.

Approximately 40 private requests were made for historical information regarding family or old town businesses. Information and images, where possible, were supplied. Topics included:

  • As part of a program to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Lambertville -New Hope Bridge in 2014, a film is being prepared that includes our archival images and narration.
  • Multiple inquiries were answerer concerning the history and family of James Marshall.
  • Images for a new book on Route 29, now a Scenic Byway, were supplied.
  • Images of interest to the D&R Canal Staff were supplied.
  • Images and information were supplied for a new book on covered bridges in New Jersey.
  • Several people inquired about the Kohl Brewery and properties.
  • Several inquiries of the Lambertville Rubber Company and Snagproof boots were answered.

New donations to the collection included the Yvonne Warren archives. Yvonne was a noted volunteer, leader and friend of LHS over 4 decades. The materials will be added to our archives and provide a rich history of town sites and buildings. Additional donations from others included: printed materials on the Coryell Family; a large Holcombe photo album; a 1930’s local autograph book; an antique grammar text; a large-format image of George Green and documentation on his Lambertville life and career. 

Seven historic site plaques were purchased from LHS by town residents for their homes or businesses; dozens of historical register sheets on homes were given to requesters.

We continue to be active on Facebook and Twitter and our website features an interactive map, an active calendar and historical and membership information.  

For 2013, four editions of the LHS newsletter were published and sent to members and friends with stories of local history, items regarding James Wilson Marshall and news of member events.