Kingston Presbyterian 300th Year

2023 is an anniversary year.

Along the trading routes of the Lenape people, the village of Kingston began to be home to some Dutch, English, and Scotch-Irish settles around 1675.
It wouldn’t be until 1723 that there would be a formal declaration of a village church.
Settlers gathered in faith inside homes, and then in a log cabin along the Millstone river. The faithful grew into a gathered community and took a charter to affirm publicly what it had grown into—the worshipping body of the Kingston community.

By the time of the church’s official charter, January 21, 1723, the church had already moved up from the river, having acquired land from Jedediah Higgins sometime before his death in 1715.
The church was built on land which is now Kingston Presbyterian’s cemetery; the graves grew in number around it, as was the custom of the day.
In 1852, the community moved from the cemetery to its present position. For three centuries Kingston Presbyterian Church has sought to love God and love their neighbors, all to God’s glory.

Throughout 2023 the church will celebrate. The whole Kingston community and neighbors are invited to share in the festivities.

Rev Sharyl M Dixon Kingston Presbyterian Church

The congregation has scheduled many events for the anniversary year 2023

  • January 21st 300th Charter Luncheon
  • January 22nd Kick off of 300th Anniversary Worship with Quilt Presentation
  • January 29th Annual Meeting
  • March 5th Chili Cookoff Lunch
  • April 9th Easter
  • May 21st Welcome Home Worship, Welcoming John & Shirley Heinsohn, and others
  • June 3rd Historical Society Conversation and Refreshments
  • June 24th Blueberry Festival
  • July 29th Vacation Bible School Worship and Picnic
  • September 17th Friendship Sunday and Celebration of 50years + members
  • October 14th Cemetery Tales
  • October 15th Worship in the First Church in Cemetery
  • October 28th Friends For Health In Haiti Luncheon
  • November 19th Thanksgiving Service and Time Capsule
  • Dec 24th Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

Watch Picnic Video Online!

At the Kingston Village Picnic in August 27, 2022 we showed:

KINGSTON: Crossroads to History (2001)

Here is a link to the full video (this takes about 20 seconds to load… please have patience. You may have to tap the video once it loads.)

You can also view the video directly on Archive.org by clicking HERE

(and consider supporting archive.org with a donation! They provide free hosting for our videos.)

also, you can read all about the picnic at this blog post

Kingston Picnic Aug 27 – Details

Allthough the event has passed, you can review the event invitation and view video shown at the picnic. Hope to see you next year!

It’s Village Picnic Time

Allthough the event has passed, you can view the video shown at the picnic HERE

Table of Contents

Who?

Kingstonians from near and far.
Newcomers and friends of General Washington.
Families, Frisbees, and Fans of Jazz.

If the weather cooperates on Saturday, August 27, come end the summer with a community celebration.

What to bring?

Bring a chair, blanket, and a picnic and enjoy live music and the delightful company of your neighbors and friends (and meet some new ones!)

What to see and do?

While we have not had a village picnic in several years, the KHS and KVAC are ready to say “we are back!” It won’t be the full extravaganza of years ago, but we will have the usual Kingston things…. Fire Trucks, fine music, and even a movie at 8 PM

Local churches will have tables, and local organizations too, so come meet everyone in town. Yes, you can even learn about volunteering with the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company!

We are proud to announce that music will be provided by Phil Orr & Steve Hiltner, both members of Sustainable Jazz Ensemble (link).

STEVE HILTNER is a longtime jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and leader of Sustainable Jazz. A 2018 CD, “Until I Find the Words”, features his original compositions across a broad range of jazz and Latin styles.

(from their website)

Pianist/composer PHIL ORR has been interpreting Steve Hiltner’s very personal music since 2006—a good, long ride…

(from their website)

Where: Kingston Park (Lauel Ave. Schoolyard)

Entertainment Schedule

5:30 or so: Bring a picnic and a blanket/chairs
6 PM Music By Phil Orr & Steve Hiltner
8 PM Movie: Kingston: Crossroads of History


Sponsors

Sponsored by the
Kingston Historical Society
and Kingston Village Advisory Committee

Kingston: Main Street Reflections — June 22nd 2022

Table of Contents

A video of this presentation is now available below.

Panel for Kingston: Main Street Reflections

About the evening

The Kingston Historical Society hosted an evening panel discussion featuring stories of Main Street through the eyes of longtime residents. Led by Anne Zeman, the panel included

  • Sharon O’Donnell Hansan’s family owned and operated the Union Line Hotel.
  • George Luck, Jr., former Chief and 50-year member of Kingston Fire Department
  • Theresa Russo is a third generation Kingstonian.
  • Bob Brian, Kingston’s most popular native son and lifelong resident.
  • also scheduled was Kathy McCarthy, whose father, Lou Sincak, was one of Kingston’s barbers for over 50 years. Anne shared some of Kathy’s memories at the end of the evening.
Postcard of Kingston Main Street, early 1900s (KHSNJ collection)

Video of evening (90 minutes)

Good evening everybody;thank you all for coming
I’m Robert von Zumbush, president of the Kingston Historical Society.
I’d like to, first of all, thank the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company for letting us use this hall as they have so many times, we are very grateful to them…
The program this evening was organized by Anne Zeman…
Anne is a long time member and trustee.

Charlie Dieterich technical help and Tari Pataleo provided publicity. And our trusees present tonight: Tom Jacoby, Charlie Dieterich, George Luck Jr (our vice president), and Anne Zeman

Introduction, KHS President Robert von Zumbusch

This video is viewable here. It is hosted from archive.org’s website. We thank them for providing hosting for our video presentations. click on their “Columns” logo to download the presentation for later (higher quality) viewing.

A .pdf poster for the June 22nd event is available HERE

Kingston Inns and Taverns 2022

George Luck, Jr. led a well attended but abbreviated tour of taverns and tavern locations in Kingston, NJ on May 21st.

George Luck explains the history of the Union Line Hotel

George Luck, Jr. led a well attended but abbreviated tour of taverns and tavern locations in Kingston, NJ on May 21st. We were able to capture video of some portions of the walk, and will be editing them together for posting on this website.

Although the walk was shortened, George did agree to answer further questions in air conditioned comfort at Eno Terra Restaurant on Route 27 near the Kingston Lock. The building was actually intended to be the final stop on the tour, having been Fisk’s Store, Feldman’s Store, The Kings Inn, and the Winepress Restaurant before being converted to Eno Terra. We thank the owners and staff of the restaurant for their hospitality.

We will create another event in the future to share more of George’s research. We will post the video when it is available.

George Luck, Jr. answers questions after the walk

Kingston: On The Map

The display of maps showing Kingston’s evolution from pre-history to the 20th century is now available HERE Below is the press release announcing the opiening of the display.

Press Release

Kingston: On The Map, opens April 9th 2022 in the History Room at the D &R Canal Locktender’s House, on old Lincoln Highway (off Route 27) in Kingston. On view Saturdays and Sundays April to November from 10 AM to 4 PM. Air circulation is limited, so masks and distancing are requested.

Kingston 1850 from “Map of Middlesex County, New Jersey,” Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

The village of Kingston has hosted colonial taverns, armies during the American Revolution, canal boats, railroad trains and travelers on the Lincoln Highway.  One of the oldest settlements in central New Jersey, Kingston evolved with America over its 340-year history.  

The display uses journal entries and prints of a dozen historical maps to illustrate Kingston’s evolution, from settlement to commercial center to modern community.   One map shows how Kingston moved between the colonies of East and West New Jersey.  Another shows both Kingston and Princeton divided by county lines.  Railroads appeared in the 19th century, disappearing by the 20th. The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built for commerce, but is now a recreation destination.

This display follows a talk by George Luck, Jr. and Charlie Dieterich, titled “Why is Kingston Here?” given this past February.

Dieterich explained that “in preparing for our talk I looked at dozens of historical maps of central New Jersey.  I was struck by the ways Kingston reinvented itself in every generation.  In the 1600s it was a place to rest after crossing the Millstone River.  In the 1700s Kingston thrived as the midway tavern stop on the Kings Highway and a place to change horses.   During the American Revolution, Washington used the Kingston hill to gain perspective, returning to pass through the settlement in several directions during the war.

“In the 19th century Kingston changed to a prosperous mill town, a port on the canal, a station on two railroads (now long gone) and a stop on the Lincoln Highway.  The village included two schools and supported two industries: Kingston Quarry and Princeton Nurseries. In the 21st century Kingston has become a multicultural community with many parks and open space.”  

The display allows visitors to go deeper on each of these “Kingstons.”

The Kingston Historical Society is planning events including a community walk on May 21st and a panel discussion later this spring.  Details of future events and a video of the February talk are available on the organization’s website, https://www.khsnj.org/.

About the Kingston Historical Society:

The Kingston Historical Society (KHS) was formed in 1997 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization to preserve, enhance and promote the history of the village of Kingston, New Jersey. The KHS has its headquarters in the Locktender’s House on the Delaware and Raritan Canal where it maintains the original circa 1834 home of families who operated the Kingston locks on the canal.