Video of Spring Talk now online!

The Kingston Historical Society celebrated the centennial of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 with Chief George Luck Jr. (retired) speaking at the firehouse and via Zoom.

A video of the May 14, 2024 presentation, with a description of the program, is now available HERE

Our streaming video file is hosted on, a non-profit repository for community videos. Consider donating a few dollars to them!

The KHSNJ on-line archive ( also has items related to the 100th anniversary, view that collection HERE

100 Years of Volunteers-Opens

A new display “100 Years of Volunteers-The Kingston Volunteer Fire Co.” is now up in the Lock-Tender’s House. On the left the display shows a section from the 1924 KVFC Certificate of Incorporation. The rest of the display is divided into the three “objects for which the corporation is formed:”

  • …to Reduce the Fire Hazard in the Vicinity of Kingston,
  • …to Promote Good Fellowship Among its Members,
  • …to Forward the General Welfare of the Community.
Display board of 100 Years of Volunteers is viewed by a man pointing out one face in a photo
Viewing the Display in the Lock-Tender’s House

The display is in support of the KHS spring talk “100 Years of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company” A talk by George Luck Jr. to be held at the Kingston Fire House on May 14th at 7:30 PM

For more information on the May 14th talk, go to the registration page HERE

To view the display, visit the Kingston Lock on the Delaware and Raritan Canal on weekends between 10 AM and 5 PM.

This Display celebrates the members of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company No. 1. May the images on display here remind us of the foresight of those who formed the Fire Company one hundred years ago, and all who have kept our village safe.

Newspaper articles and photographs are from the archives of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company and the Kingston Historical Society, selected and arranged by Charlie Dieterich and George Luck, Jr. Assembled by the KHS Archivists. May, 2024

Open House Weekend a Success

April 6 and 7, 2024 was opening weekend for displays at the Kingston Lock-Tender’s House. Several dozen folks came through our expanded display space — from local historians to joggers taking a break from their canal run.

Society president, Robert von Zumbusch demonstrated how the Kingston canal lock worked and how the swing bridge, just downstream of the lock, could be swung away from the canal to allow boats to travel through. Both the lock and swing bridge have been removed from the D&R canal.

Charlie Dieterich and Peter Shell, who assembled the new display “Kingston’s Lock: History Preserved” stand in front of the large panel.

In addition to the new display, two continuing displays drew attention. One concentrated on Inns and Taverns of Kingston and the other on Main Street Kingston.

This weekend was also the first chance for visitors to see the North Room, the Lock-Tender’s living room. Recently renovated, it includes a few items including a large desk built in Kingston by Mr. Moor, who later became the Lock-Tender.

The Lock-Tender’s House will be open weekends from 10-5 until the end of October, and 10-4 in November, 2024.

Holiday Tree Lighting- 2023

Photo by Glen McParland

The weather cleared just in time for our community tree lighting, Sunday December 3rd, 2023. The crowd was not as large as other years, but the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 came to provide lights, and the Kingston Women’s Chorus came to provide a joyous sing-along.

Photo by Charlie Dieterich
Photo by Charlie Dieterich

The Kingston Women’s Chorus sang seasonal favorites and reminded us that they have a concert on December 10th at the Kingston United Methodist Church. See OUR EVENTS LIST

Before the event the Kingston Historical Society opened the history room in the Kingston Locktender’s House for one last view of the 2023 displays. The Locktender’s House is now closed until April, 2024. The windows of the house were decorated by Karen Linder and Anne Zeman, with evergreen arrangements made at the December 2nd Wreath and Garland Making Workshop put on by the Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands.

Photo by Glen McParland

The Historical Society provided cookies and hot chocolate, the assembled crowd provided magical power to light the tree for the holiday season.

Photo by Glen McParland

Trustees Sharon Hansen and George Luck, Jr. were in charge of food and setup. Deputy Chief Robert Weissman led the Fire Company’s lighting detail

Photo by Glen McParland

Thanks to all who attended. See you next year!

Nov-Dec Events in Kingston 2023

November December (and beyond) Events

Kingston Book Talk / KHS Annual Meeting

Local author Markus McParland spoke on his NEW BOOK: “Community Collection for Kingston, NJ” at the Kingston Historical Society Annual Meeting

Markus McParland shows off his book

Video of this presentation is now available HERE

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023: Annual Thanksgiving Day Walk.

10 -11:30 am Mapleton Preserve, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston, NJ.
Join Karen Linder and FPNL for our annual Thanksgiving Day morning walk at the Mapleton Preserve.

On this easy, family-friendly walk, we will focus on nuts, seeds and berries that wildlife, including turkeys, use as food. Free and open to all. Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands ( Call 609-683-0483 for more information.

Wednesday, November 29th: Turtles at Kingston Greenways Annual Meeting

Turtles are the subject of the KGA Annual Meeting and Program: Thinking Outside the Box about Your Woods and Bogs: How Private Forestry Practices Can Protect Rare Turtles. Speaker: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) biologist Christine Healy.

The video of this presentation is available here on YOUTUBE

Saturday, Dec. 2: Craft Show at Firehouse

Kingston Ladies Auxiliary craft show- 9 AM to 2 PM at the Kingston Firehouse, Heathcote Road, Kingston, NJ. Huge variety. Vendor spaces already sold out! Come early for best selection. “Santa at Ten O’Clock!”.

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023: Wreath and Garland Making Workshop.

1-3 PM. Mapleton Preserve, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston, NJ.
Learn how to make your own wreath or garland. Limited to 20. Pre-registration is required [609-683-0483].

A $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of supplies. Greens, materials and tools will be available, or bring your own to incorporate into your design. Cookies, cocoa and holiday music will round out the event. Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands (

Sunday, Dec. 3 Holiday Tree Lighting

Meet KHS members, friends and neighbor’s while enjoying holiday refreshments and the music of the Kingston Women’s Chorus outdoors.

The TreeLighting will be at 5:00 pm. The Chorus will sing before the Tree Lighting and then lead the traditional “sing-along” after the Tree Lighting.

UPDATE: See photos of the event HERE

Sunday, Dec. 10: (NEW) Kingston Women’s Chorus Holiday Concert!

“Home and Hearth- Songs for a peaceful and cozy holiday season”
Featuring our not-to-be-missed community choral singalong!
7 PM on Sunday, 10th December (celebrating World Choral Day)
Kingston United Methodist Church, 9 Church Street, Kingston NJ

Heather Robbins, director
Dottie Westgate, piano

Concert is free. Donations to benefit the Rare Kidney Disease Foundation

Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023: Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

7 am-4 pm.
Join Kingston Greenways Association ( for their annual survey of the birds of Kingston as part of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) .

Experienced and novice birders are welcome to participate in the 124th anniversary of the CBC, where the goal is to identify and tally as many Kingston birds as we can on one day. We start at 7:30 am and bird until noon, break for lunch, and then go out again from 1 until dusk.

This is a great way to get to know your local open space and learn about your local birds while providing continent-wide population data. Please call Karen for more details [609-683-0483]

Sunday, December 24, 7 PM Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

The Kingston Presbyterian Church completes their celebration of 300 years with a traditional candle light service in their sanctuary. 4565 Route 27, Kingston NJ 08528.

And in 2024….

Monday, Jan. 1, 2024: First Day Hike.

Noon – 2 pm. Mapleton Preserve, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston, NJ
Start the New Year off right with an easy walk through the Mapleton Preserve. We know you want to sleep in a little, so the event begins at 12 noon. Dress for the weather, whatever it is. The walk is sponsored by Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands ( and will start at the Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters at 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston. Socialize after the walk with hot drinks and cookies. It is FREE – all are welcome. Call 609-683-0483 for more information.

Monday, Jan. 15, 2024: MLK Jr. Day of Service.

Noon-2 pm. Mapleton Preserve, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston, NJ
Join Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands (FPNL) for a winter work session in the Mapleton Preserve! Honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday by spending a winter afternoon outdoors with us and discover the special joys of stewardship!

Gloves and tools will be provided, or bring your own saws, clippers, loppers and rakes if you prefer. Work gloves, sturdy shoes, warm clothing and hats are a must. Call 609- 683-0483 for more information, or if you would like to involve a group. Service hours are available to those in need. FREE. Refreshments served.

Continuing: Kingston Historical Society needs Archivists!

Local folks with an interest in history meet to organize and catalogue the KHS collection. See THIS LINK to join them. Here’s one item we recently archived:

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.

Kingston is Busy This Autumn (2023)

Community groups and historic sites are making Kingston a destination this fall. (click on event for details)

Continuing: Rockingham Tours

Rockingham State Historic Site tours resume, pre-registration is required. See for details. Rocky Hill Kingston Road.

Until Nov. 24: South Brunswick Art Show

“Memorable Places,” the Fall 2023 Art Show of the South Brunswick Arts Commission at Municipal Building 8:30AM- 4PM through November 24, 2023 Free and open to the public. (Monmouth Junction)

This show features the Princeton Nursery Lands as one of the township’s memorable places. More information at

Sept 30 FPNL Public Lands Day (change)

New Date: Saturday, September 30, 2023, 2 to 4 PM (postponed from 9/23) Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands is celebrating National Public Lands Day with a cleanup at the Mapleton Preserve on Saturday Sept. 30 from 2 to 4 PM Pre-register at

Oct 14 Cemetery Tales, Kingston Cemetery

Join members of the Kingston Presbyterian Church at Kingston’s historic graveyard on Church St. for a Saturday, mid-day remembrance of those buried in Kingston. Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 2pm

NOTE: In event of rain, talks will be given at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street. (4565 Route 27, Kingston)

Meet some of Kingston’s ancestors, as they tell you their story, during an afternoon stroll through KPC’s historic cemetery. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested. call: (609) 921-8895 or email:

Oct. 15 Pancake Breakfast– Kingston Vol. Fire Co.

Sunday Morning- before or after church! It has been a few years since this many-decade old tradition was last offered. Come 8AM-1PM at the Kingston Fire House. Good food, good community, show our volunteers how much we support them. This year you can reserve tickets, or make a donation, at

The Fire Company regularly provides space for KHS public meetings. We thank them for their part in community building. Learn more about the Kingston Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 (and directions and how to become a firefighter) at

Oct 21 South Brunswick Twp. History Day 11 AM

Presented by the South Brunswick Township Historical Society. A Saturday “Scavenger Hunt” encourages groups to visit locations across the township over a three hour period from 11 AM to 2 PM, with a birthday cake at Woodlot Park at 2:30 PM.

The Kingston Historical Society will be participating in this Saturday mid-day event. Tours and docents will at the Kingston Bridge, the D&R Canal Locktender’s House on the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and the State Park Headquarters at the Princeton Nursery Lands on Mapleton Road, as well as the home of Kingston’s 300 year old church community, the Presbyterian Church on Main Street.

See more information and download a “passport” at

line drawing of Kingston Presbyterian Church with modern steeple
Visit the Kingston Presbyterian Church…

Oct 21 KGA Fall Foliage Walk (updated)

“Seeds, Nuts, & Whirlygigs” Kingston Greenways is hosting a 1.5 mile family-friendly Saturday afternoon stroll admiring fall colors and exploring methods that trees use to spread into new territories.
Meet at the D&R Canal State Park Headquarters 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston at 3 PM.
See for more details

Nov 14 KHS Annual Meeting Tuesday Evening

Local author Markus McParland will speak on his new book about Kingston at 7:30 Tuesday Nov 14 at the Kingston Fire House on Heathcote Brook Road.

“Community Collection for Kingston, NJ” is a book compiled by Markus McParland for the benefit of the Kingston Historical Society.

We plan to have the talk available online as well as in person at the Kingston Fire House.

Nov 23 (new) Thanksgiving Day Hike

Join the Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands for a mid-morning all-ages “ramble” around the Mapleton Preserve. Check for details as the day approaches (and photos from last year!)

Dec 3 Holiday Tree Lighting– Sunday

Come down to the Locktender’s House! The Kingston Historical Society, with help from the Kingston Womens Chorus will brighten the canal at our traditional tree lighting. Event will be at 4:30 PM. Dress warmly!

19th Century view of Kingston lock with telegraph building

Kingston Tavern Walk 2023 Video

Taverns of Kingston, A Saturday Afternoon walk led by George Luck, Jr. on May 6, 2023

Half way between New York and Philadelphia, Kingston, New Jersey was a natural place for inns and taverns for travelers. The first inn/tavern was established by Henry Greenland in 1683 on the west side of the Millstone River; subsequent taverns/inns were all on the east side.

The two hour walk was led by lifetime Kingston resident (and KHS Vice President) George Luck, Jr. George is frequent speaker on Kingston history, both in character as a historical figure, or as himself.

We started at the Kingston Presbyterian Church parking lot (4565 NJ Route 27), then proceeded down Main Street (Route 27) toward the D&R Canal. On the way George points out the sites of the various former inns and taverns that once made Kingston an important and busy stopping place for travelers as well as a gathering place for locals from colonial times, through the Revolutionary War, the early republic, the Lincoln Highway and today.

The talk ends at Eno Terra Restaurant, formerly “The Kings Inn” and then “The Winepress” The video is 70 minutes. Video and Audio by Charlie Dieterich, Post-Production by Doug Miller.

Maps at the end of the video are from the Library of Congress
and The Story Of New Jerseys Civil Boundaries 1608–1968; John F. Snyder, 1969 reprinted by New Jersey Geological Survey 2004.

Images are from various Kingston Historical Society collections.

The Kingston Historical Society thanks for hosting our community video. The video can be downloaded from their website

Video File rights: