2018 Year in Review
Lambertville Historical Society / James Wilson Marshall House Museum
Michael Menche, President, Lambertville Historical Society
The Marshall House Museum was open and staffed from May through October, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm. This 1816 facility is maintained solely with LHS funds and grants 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. 2018 Museum attendance (counted) was 1426.
For 2018 the Lambertville Historical Society, a non-profit, had 4 Officers and 11 Trustees for 14 total voting. An Advisory Board (non-voting) had 7 members. We have a full slate of Trustees and Officers for the 2019 Board for election at our next Annual Membership Meeting of Jan. 20th, 2019.
Paid memberships total approximately 241. Since many memberships are couples, and some are family memberships, the actual count of total members is about 375 people.
We continue to look at ADA accessibility issues regarding the Marshall House Museum. Our public lectures, receptions and events are currently held at accessible sites. We have made professional connections for signing interpretation as needed. Studies continued for a possible ramp to improve access to the First Floor.
Major work was completed on the Marshall House including replication and replacement of the exterior fencing and improvements to outdoor landscape and drainage. The pumpkin pine flooring in the entrance hall, stairs and meeting room was professionally refinished.
For 2018 LHS received an operating support grant of more than $6,500 from the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, with funds from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS and SERVICES:
At our 2018 Annual Membership Meeting on Jan. 21 we reviewed our accomplishments and spoke of plans for the future. The meeting featured a performance of a rediscovered radio play from 1950 entitled the “Story of Lambertville” with members taking the various spoken roles. Attendance was approximately 50 people. Free and accessible.
The Societies’ 2018 Narducci Award for preservation or restoration of the exterior of a town structure was presented in January to Cathie and Ed Giambalvo, 75 N. Union Street, for re-creation of an historic porch and use of historically accurate paint colors for the exterior.
On March 10th, 2018, an auction and reception was held at the Rago Arts and Auction Center for the en plein air paintings inspired by the 2017 House Tour by 29 local artists. Proceeds after expenses benefit the Lambertville Historical Society. Approximately 300 people attended.
On September 30th, 2018, we presented a talk by Jim Walker on the “Postal History of the Lambertville Area.” Approximately 40 guests attended. Free and accessible.
Guided historical town tours were available 1st Sundays, April through November, and for Shadfest & Winterfest. Several additional custom town tours were given. Five tour leaders participated in the tours. Special tours included a Halloween-themed town tour and a children’s tour. For Shadfest, we operated a booth with historical information and games and provided town tours. 320 participants total touring.
Our Summer Membership Social Hour, Mixer and members’ Historical Walking Tour was held in June with about 60 members and guests.
LHS sponsored a 7th Annual Holiday CD with many original songs from musicians of the community. CD-release parties were held at the Elks Lodge, the Birdhouse Center for the Arts and Havanas. Sales were excellent with proceeds going to LHS.
Our 37th Annual Historic Lambertville House Tour on October 21, 2018, included 6 historic homes, the Marshall House Museum, and Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Ticket sales were strong at 650 paid. Approximately 140 volunteers and homeowners were involved and also toured. An informative program book with researched house histories was prepared. This event was a financial success with much local news coverage and great participation by local businesses as sponsors and purchasers of tour book ads.
LHS worked with City representatives and Michael Burns, Architect, to have the roof and surrounding trim stabilized at the historic 1840s former jail in Sheridan Park. After additional restoration, LHS and interested parties will look to find a good and proper use for the facility. LHS also supplied information to the City regarding protection of the Washington’s Headquarters Farmstead. The City considered re-zoning that might have put the circa 1733 historic home in jeopardy.
Approximately 60 private requests were made for historical information or images. Topics included:
– multiple inquiries for information on the history and family of James Marshall.
– many requests for information on local homes or businesses and on local families.
– background information on the Coryell Family was provided to a researcher.
– information on Hibernia Firehouse and St. Andrews was supplied.
– supporting research seeking an early letter of John Coryell.
We received several major gifts to our collection. James and Mary Studdiford donated an elaborate family quilt that is dated 1846. The Closson Family generously donated three historical documents: a 1743 original copy of the Last Will of John Holcombe; an indenture trading lands in 1815 between John Holcombe and Emanuel Coryell and; an original copy of Emanuel Coryell’s Last Will from 1748.
At an auction we also purchased a 1732 indenture selling land from John Purcell to Emanuel Coryell, a transaction that was important to the establishment of Coryell’s Ferry between NJ and PA. LHS also purchased an original copy of the 1885 Sanborn Fire Maps of Lambertville.
Five historic registry plaques were requested from LHS for town residents for their homes; dozens of historical registry 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. A professional video to promote the Museum was prepared and is in final editing. Additional videos are projected to document the second floor collections for those who cannot climb the Museum stairs.
For 2018, 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.