The CHPS Annual Meeting to kick off 2024 was held on January 8 at The Cranbury Public Library. Annual meetings are open to all members. This was the first annual meeting held in person since 2020, and the first ever to be held at the new Cranbury Public Library.
In addition to introductions and delivery of the annual report by co-Presidents Jo D. Andrews and Audrey Smith and some board member updates, the group was honored to host Civil War era reenactors Steve and Irene Curcio. Steve and Irene are a married couple portraying another married couple: William Henry and Frances Seward. Attendees were treated to stories of William's affairs as Governor of New York and Lincoln's Secretary of State, as well as stories from his childhood through later life. His wife Frances was there to add insight into her life as an intellectual, committed abolitionist, and mother to their five children.
Audrey Smith delivered these 2023 highlights:
Cranbury Museum was open on Sundays and at other times for scheduled tours and had interesting exhibits throughout the year.
The Elizabeth M. Wagner History Center welcomed visitors who did research on Thursday mornings. The History Center volunteers provided photos, video and information for the Cranbury School’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in April, processed acquisitions throughout the year and provided a table for the Mayor’s Walk to School in the spring and fall
The Parsonage Barn was the setting for a wedding and an Art Show.
The 1713 East Jersey Cottage was the setting for the Colonial Fair in May
Mailed newsletters to members in March and November and more membership brochures were printed.
Updated our website throughout the year and used social media to advertise events.
Continued to offer Historic Plaque Restoration to residents who have historic plaques on their homes.
Maintained our four buildings, which included the roof repair and painting of the Parsonage Barn; added steps, a new roof and began interior work at the 1713 East Jersey Cottage; maintained the Museum gardens and worked with an Eagle Scout candidate to expand a brick walkway at the Museum.
Had members who participated on a panel at Cranbury School’s 125th Anniversary in April.
Attended ceremonies by the New Jersey Civil War Association at Brainerd Cemetery and Memorial Park on Memorial Day.
Were represented by members who walked and carried our banner in the Memorial Day Parade.
Participated in the Health & Wellness Fair at Cranbury School in June.
Hosted a book talk by American Ramble author, Neil King Jr., at Cranbury Public Library in June and held a Book Signing for him at the History Center in July.
Participated in Cranbury Day with a sales and membership table and a Porch Sale at the History Center
Presented a program on Cranbury Museum at Cranbury Public Library in November.
Hosted the Christmas Tea on Sunday, December 3rd at our beautifully decorated Museum
Opened the History Center Holiday Gift Shop three Saturdays in December.
Opened the History Center to more than 50 visitors for a beverage and cookies on the evening of the Luminary Walk on December 16th.
After emailing many membership notices throughout the year and having the membership form in the November newsletter, we finished the year with 156 members.
Steve & Irene Curcio, William Henry Seward & Frances Seward reenactors, can be reached at: