Veterans’ Winter

Clothing Drive

Inspired By Late Vietnam Veteran



John E. McDonough, the son of a World War II veteran, was born on the fourth of July, in Elmira, New York. Described as a “gentle, fun-loving athlete and accomplished musician,” John enlisted in the US Air Force in 1969,  just a few months after his 18th birthday.  Read More

The Jacobus Vanderveer

House & Museum

16th Annual

Colonial Christmas

BRJ Online

Including  new and expanded content and images not available in our print edition 


Raritan Headwaters’ Mobile Classroom Hits the Road

Black River Roasters


A New Album

by Singer/Song Writer

Gordon Thomas Ward

Review By C.G. Wolfe

On a “dry” morning in 1919, news that the Eighteenth Amendment had passed, which outlawed the production, transport, and sale of intoxicating liquors and began the failed experiment known as prohibition, reached Califon in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

With no radios, televisions, or internet to spread the news, the  

Café, and tours of the gorgeously decorated historic house & museum. Kick-off the celebration with the Colonial Christmas Tree Lighting, where there’ll be caroling, hot chocolate, and hot pretzels, as they light the patriotic red, white, and blue Christmas Tree and ring in the holiday season. Events are scheduled each day on November 24 - 25 and December 1 – 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Jacobus Vanderveer House, 3055 River Road, Bedminster, NJ. (Conveniently located near Routes 78, 287 and 22 at the River Road exit on Routes 202/206 in Bedminster, New Jersey. Enter through River Road Park.) Visit for ticket information and a full schedule of events. We’ll see you there!

As if there weren’t enough to worry about, now many of the cooks in the family have another reason to lie awake at night this November – Thanksgiving dinner! For most of us, it’s the one time a year we are asked to roast something the size of a small Volkswagen (except for those crazy enough to make a second attempt at Christmas) and have it be cooked to crowd-pleasing perfection.  Read More

Storyteller, Gordon Thomas Ward, has returned from the studio with another gorgeously produced album, Providence, once again showcasing his multi-stringed artistry and poetic, folk lyricism. In the true vein of the Celtic bards, high lonesome Appalachian pickers, and American balladeers, Ward weaves a tapestry of emotions and poignant visualizations...

Read More

Photo courtesy of Don Freiberg

Tewksbury Tree

& Menorah Lighting

​A Community Celebration

The Curse of the Turkey:

A Thanksgiving Horror Story

(or Tell Ben Franklin to Stuff It!)

Presbyterian Church did the next best thing and gleefully rang their church bells to herald the news that “John Barleycorn,” the traditional personification of alcoholic beverages, was dead! 

According to an excerpt from The Califon Story, by Helen Haggerty Geist, a man sitting on the porch of Beaty’s Store on Main Street was perplexed by the pealing bells and wanted to know whom they were tolling for. 

“What’s them bells a ‘ringin fur…?” the man on the porch asked the first passerby. 

“Why, don’t you know?’ came the answer, “they’re ringing for John Barleycorn, he’s dead you know.”

 The man on the porch scratched his head. 

“No, I hadn’t heard of his death, and I’ll be darned if I ever knew before that John Barleycorn was a Presbyterian.”

One of our favorite holiday events is back for its 16th year. The Revolutionary-era Dutch farmhouse in Bedminster, once the winter headquarters of George Washington’s Artillery Chief, General Henry Knox, will be decked out in its holiday finest, as colonial musicians, period re-enactors, and Continental artillerist from Lamb’s Company, join boutique merchants, crafters and artisans, for two festive weekends of musical performances, family and children’s activities, visits with Santa Claus, pony rides, gingerbread house workshops, military demonstrations, a special exhibit from the Knox Museum in Thomaston, Maine, exclusive holiday shopping, wonderful food from a variety of food trucks and the Colonial 

The winter sun began to set, and luminaries lit the way up both sides of the main road through Oldwick, New Jersey, while people gathered around the Christmas Tree and Menorah at the Tewksbury Township Library. Folks, families, and friends sipped steaming hot cocoa and munched homemade cookies in the frosty air as “Here Comes Santa Claus” played... Read More


Keep your eyes peeled for a shiny new van on local roads, painted the vibrant blues of water and sky with a bright white wave. It’s Raritan Headwaters Association’s new mobile classroom, and it’s ready to take the organization’s education and outreach programs on the road! Read More

In Our Current Issue...


Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House Receive State, Couny Grants for Dutch Barn Project

celebrating a sense of place


John Barleycorn

was a Presbyterian


Two key grants, which will further propel the nonprofit organization’s plan to reassemble a Voorhees Dutch Barn – a rare and important example of early Dutch agricultural architecture...

Read More