John Buzby Goes Home!

A painting of John Buzby former owner of 1 West Main Street now home to BAYADA Home Healthcare

A painting of John Buzby former owner of 1 West Main Street now home to BAYADA Home Healthcare

For the past several years, visitors to the Smith-Cadbury Mansion have noticed the large framed painting of the kind-faced gentleman on the wall in the parlor. The painting came to Moorestown via the Morristown Historical Society when they realized that the subject of the painting, John Buzby, was a resident of the former, rather than the latter.

Last month, John Buzby made one final journey – back to his home at 1 W. Main St. in Moorestown. The Buzby painting is now on permanent loan from the Historical Society to BAYADA Home Healthcare, the new owner of the property. Buzby built the house at 1 W. Main St. in 1858 when he purchased the lot from his brother William who lived across Main St. The property remained in the Buzby family until 1920. Over the years, the house has been known as the Hotel Rulon, the Colonial Inn, the Vanity Beauty Shop, and Prudential and Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate offices. BAYADA bought the house two years ago and meticulously restored it to its former glory! John Buzby would undoubtedly be pleased.


Annual Joint Meeting Talk

On January 24, 2017, the Historical Society of Moorestown hosted the Annual Joint Meeting at the Community House with several other Moorestown organizations: the Moorestown Improvement Association (MIA), Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM), the Pompeston Creek Watershed Association, and the Moorestown Garden Club. This was the first Annual Joint Meeting in which the Historical Society has participated. The other groups presented information about their latest projects and the challenges that they face. Margo Foster, Treasurer of the Friends of Percheron Park, also gave an update on the proposed park.
Lenny Wagner, the President of the Historical Society, then provided an overview of the Society’s history, mission, notable artifacts, and latest exhibit. Mr. Wagner mentioned the ongoing History Rocks! exhibit, which displays a mind-boggling array of Native American tools, weapons, and other every-day items, many of which are thousands of years old, and all of which were discovered in recent, Moorestown archaeological digs. He stated that the mission of the Society is to preserve data, collect and preserve material things, and perpetuate the memory of those who made Moorestown what it is today. He also noted the resources of the Society, which include a nationally-recognized collection of quilts, several centuries-old grandfather clocks, 18th, 19th, and 20th century clothing, and archives that allow the Society to provide, among other things, genealogy services, as well as resources that Moorestown residents and others may peruse, including maps, books and yearbooks, photos, and family archives.

Chet Dawson speaking about Strawbridge Lake.

Chet Dawson speaking about Strawbridge Lake.


The next speaker for the evening was Chet Dawson, chairman of the Moorestown Open Space Advisory Committee, whose informative, insightful talk was called, “Strawbridge Lake Park: Then, Now, and The Future.” Mr. Dawson said that the site was originally a swamp, and got its start as a park following donations of various properties from local residents, including the Strawbridge family. Construction commenced in the 1930s with funding and workers from the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration. Then came dredging, conducted in the 1950s and 60s, and from 1998 to 2001.
Pollution has been a consistent problem. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection have indicated that the water contains too much phosphorus and that fish in the lake are contaminated with the insecticide chlordane. The lake is also plagued by sedimentation and the overgrowth of invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed, Purple Loosestrife, and macrophytes, the latter of which resemble water lilies. Poison ivy has also been ubiquitous, and the lake is in need of different species of fish that will consume the overabundance of plankton in the water.
Mr. Dawson said that the environmental engineering firm, Princeton Hydro, has assisted with monitoring water quality, analyzing the watershed, harvesting weeds, and studying the build-up of sediment. Looking toward the future, the lake will need non-invasive plantings that can help discourage sedimentation, and a restoration of the lake’s shoreline. A new program, “Adopt the Lakefront,” invites people to receive training in maintaining portions of the lake and has been very successful. Clean-up of weeds has yielded some dividends. Poison ivy and other overgrowth have been removed so that some trails and benches are visible and usable again.
Maintenance of the park is partly funded by a grant from Burlington County. Mr. Dawson stated that he plans on contacting Rutgers and the Burlington County Soil Conservation District for additional assistance.

-Liz Rosenthal


Sarah Franklin Homer Memorial Scholarship

For the fourth year, the Historical Society has awarded a $500.00 scholarship to a Moorestown High School student who has excelled in history or related subjects, and who plans to continue those studies in college. For the last two years the award has been named in memory of long time trustee and volunteer Sarah Franklin Homer. This year’s recipient is Julie Baum. Julie will be majoring in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall. The award was presented as part of the MHS class of 2016 Commencement festivities in June. Congratulations and Good Luck, Julie!


Save the Date!

The Historical Society’s major fundraising event of 2016, An Evening in Mo’Town, will be held at the lovely historic home of Karla & Jim Varrell on Saturday evening September 17th. This is a great opportunity to spend a fun evening in our own Mo’Town and support an important community organization. Proceeds from our fundraiser will go toward our Pathway to History project that will create handicapped access to the history of Moorestown. Invitations coming in August! We look forward to spending a fun evening with you in Mo’Town! Click here for more information.


Revolutionary News!

Thanks for the shout out Crossroads of the American Revolution!
For those of you unfamiliar with this organization, they are dedicated to connecting the people and places of New Jersey’s rich Revolutionary heritage to inspire community pride, stewardship and civic engagement!

The Historical Society of Moorestown Gets a New Website


Welcome to our newest Trustee!

The Board of Trustees welcomes Elizabeth Rosenthal to the Board!
Liz has been helping us organize our maps and she also recently wrote about our latest Speaker Series event. We’re so glad she’s going to stick around for more! Here’s what you need to know:
Elizabeth J. (“Liz”) Rosenthal is honored to be invited to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of Moorestown. She recently retired from 28 years of service in New Jersey State government as legal liaison for the Civil Service Commission. Liz is also the author of two books. The most recent is Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson, which has just been re-released in paperback and e-book by the Lyons Press, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. Her first book was His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John (Billboard Books, 2001).

After graduating magna cum laude in 1982 from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Liz attended Rutgers-Camden School of Law, graduating with Honors in 1985. Subsequently, she was admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 1986, she married Stan Shur, another Rutgers law graduate, who has served many years as an attorney with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. This year they will be celebrating 30 years of marriage.


Speaker Series Grant

The Historical Society of Moorestown is deeply grateful for the generous grant of $2500 made by the Elizabeth Tuttle Fund. It is designated for the support of the Society’s NJ History Speaker Series and will make it possible to offer interesting and educational presentations on a variety of subjects pertaining to the history of our state.


Welcome!

Welcome to the Historical Society’s new website! It was constructed using WordPress by Matthew Weiss & Jill Weiss. Take a look around! We hope you find it easy to navigate and full of useful information about what we do at the Historical Society. Feel free to post a comment!