KHS participates in Scavenger Hunt

Page with words "The Locktender's House 39 Old LIncoln Highway, Kingston" and "Place label here" with old photograph of the house and canal lock.
Excerpt from the “Passport” showing Kingston Locktender’s House on D & R Canal

October 21, 2023 was South Brunswick Township’s History Day Scavenger Hunt. The goal was to explore South Brunswick’s historic buildings and sites in a family friendly way. Participants received a “Passport to local history” which would be stamped at five locations in the township

The event was sponsored by the South Brunswick Library and the South Brunswick Historical Society. The Township was celebrating 225 years.

The Kingston Historical Society and Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands assisted in the “hunt” hosting three locations. Members of the Kingston Presbyterian Church, which celebrated its 300th birthday this year, opened their sanctuary as a scavenger hunt location.

Here are a few photos:

Trustee Sharon Hansen stamped passports on the Kingston Bridge, built in 1798– the first stop on the Scavenger Hunt
Rev. Dixon affixes a stamp to a Scavenger Hunt Passport at the Kingston Presbyterian Church
seated man, with balsa wood model of a canal lock
KHS President Robert von Zumbusch demonstrates how the lock works, at the Kingston Locktender’s House, a stop on the Scavenger Hunt
In a classroom, a woman stamps a passport.
Members of the Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands opened their classroom at the Mapleton Preserve (The Princeton Nurseries) 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston. A stop on the Scavenger Hunt
A sign and two people sitting under a canopy popup.
The Titus Farm, in Kendall Park, NJ was the final stop on the 2023 Scavenger Hunt.

The Marker says:

The Titus Farm

For 53 years, Thomas Titus and his descendants farmed this plot of land. Once an enslaved person, his remains lie here in an unmarked grave, as if keeping watch over the old farmstead.

Gerardus Beekman, the slave holder, was a member of the prominent Beekman family of New York and New Jersey. In 1814, Beekman penned his final wishes, ” I will that my Negro man Thomas shall have freedom after serving my heirs, or any man he shall choose, so long as the time to make fifteen years from the first day of March eighteen hundred and two.”

Although not yet a free man, Thomas and his wife, Sarah TenBroeck, purchased a small farm for #50 from Ferdinand Van Dyke, in August 1817. On August 2rd 1818, the official manumission was written and filed at the County Clrek’s office in New Brunswick. Thomas farmed this land for the next 32 years. Oats, wheat, potatoes and corn were cultivated near an orchard of peach trees.

Thomas and his wife Sarah also raised twelve children, six of whom were born after the family’s manumission. On July 21st 1849, Thomas Titus died of the Plague at 64 years of age.

Cemetery Tales, October 14, 2023

Entrance Gate Kingston Cemetery
(Kingston Presbyterian Church image)

Kingston Presbyterian Church in celebration of its 300th Anniversary presented “Cemetery Tales” on October 14, 2023

Rev. Dixon introduces speakers

On a rainy afternoon… Rev. Sharyl Dixon welcomed nine persons buried in the Kingston Presbyterian Church cemetery…

Woman with broom at podium, grave marked POTTS in background
Dorothea “Jimmie” Potts (1921-2015) (Carol Luck)

Dorothea “Jimmie” Potts, local business owner and investor talked about the development of US Route 1 and life in Kingston

Man at podium in minister clothing
Rev. David Comfort (1764-1853) (Peyton Dixon)

Pastor David Comfort spoke of ministry in Kingston and beyond

Woman in Japanese style blouse with photo of grave behind
Umeko Hinomura (1900-1994) (Mariko Shumimora)

Umeko Shimomura spoke of her life in Japan and as a farmer in 1920’s California, and then internment during World War II in Arizona.

Man in colonial outfit at podium
William van Tilburgh (1729-1804) (George Luck Jr.)

William Van Tilburgh spoke of his time as Inn Keeper in Kingston

Planter in hat sits before photo of grave "Flemer"
William Flemer, Jr. (1895-1985) (William Flemer IV)

William Flemer Jr. spoke of founding Princeton Nurseries in Kingston, life in the army, and being a nurseryman

Woman in blouse with sweater and photo of grave "Briggs"
Lusu Briggs (1899-1981) (Marie Luck)

Lulu Briggs spoke of her love of Kingston and desire to help all Kingston children to further their education

Civil war soldier at podium with rifle
Peter V. Shann (1842-1926) (Rip Diringer)

Peter V. Shann spoke of life in the Union Army, and farming after the war.

Woman with apron at podium "Woolf" on grave in photo
Blanche Peebles Woolf (1890-1965) (Rebecca Robinson)

Blanche Woolf, born Blanche Peebles, spoke of running Peebles General Store in Kingston

Man in long coat (similar to photos of Abraham Lincoln) at podium
Senator Charles B. Moore (1822-1904) (Nick Robinson)

Senator Charles B. Moore spoke of life in Kingston and in the New Jersey Senate.

Reflections were based on research by George Luck Jr. and Peyton Dixon.

Video of the event….

Although the event was planned for the cemetery itself, the rain that day caused us to move to the lower level of the Presbyterian Church, a location which allowed us to record the event for posterity. The video of the event (1 hour and 21 minutes long) is available HERE.