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Insights From Intern Julia

My time at the Historic Village at Allaire has been filled with interesting finds, lots of reading, and a bit of dirt. Although many people would not choose to rifle through piles of dirty, broken glass, I jumped at the opportunity to look through findings from an archaeological dig of the Village. The shards of pottery and bottles brought me closer to those who once called this village that I have come to love, home. We looked for any pieces of glass bottles with legible words and brought them to the library to research them. After some digging, we identified local bottles from Red Bank, Belmar, Spring Lake, Freehold, Point Pleasant, and Asbury Park. Local history is a special kind of history that connects the past to the present and touches the hearts of many and I am honored to be able to unearth a part of it. Many in the assortment of soda, beer, and medication bottles had a beautiful iridescent layer that would flake and leave a trail of glitter behind. This comes from years of erosion and a buildup of thin layers of glass that reflect light, creating an iridescent effect. The formation of this beautiful layer over time is a sort of physical depiction of what I love about history and its artifacts. As the years come and go, historic artifacts only get more wondrous and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with all sorts of them. I have not only gained experience with everything museum work entails, but have learned new ways to think about history itself. 

Written by Intern Julia Mandalakis

Insights from Intern Tom

I am often asked why history is my favorite subject, and I believe that I have a very unique answer. It all started when I was 8 or 9 years old. Like nearly all other kids of my generation, I loved video games and they consumed much of my time, to my parents dismay. At

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Archivist Ash: National Blueberry Month History

Happy National Blueberry Month, everyone! 2019 marks 113 year since the blueberries we know today were domesticated. Although, the idea of domesticating the little blue dynamos originated in 1893, the brainchild of Elizabeth Coleman White. White was the daughter of cranberry farmers from Whitesbog, New Jersey. She, along with USDA botanist Frederick Colville, began experimenting

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What is That?

When in the Visitor’s Center at Allaire State Park, you may notice in the Row House exhibit’s downstairs kitchen what looks something like a set of circular pliers with a spring geared handle sitting on the table. What you see is a pair of sugar nippers, which were a common household tool until roughly the

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Origins of Santa Claus

Representations of the gift-giver from Church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas (known in Dutch as Sinterklaas), merged with the English character Father Christmas to create the character known to Americans and the rest of the English-speaking world as “Santa Claus” (a phonetic derivation of “Sinterklaas”). In the English and later British colonies of North

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The Joys of First Person Interpretation. By Timothy Brown

When people converse, magic happens: they learn about each other. When you are impersonating someone else, the other is learning about that other person. This is what historic interpreters do; teach people about another time by being someone else. It is like acting, but more – the first person interpreter actually does the things as

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News from the Collection – October

Last month we learned about the Tilt Top Table/Bench in the Foreman’s Cottage, The Tape Loom and the Stitching Pony and the sausage stuffer – check last month’s blog if you missed it! Some new developments in the Village are well worth a mention. The Foreman’s Cottage is receiving a face lift courtesy, in part,

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News from the Collection

The Historical Village at Allaire is the caretaker of an extensive collection of historical objects from the 19th century – our collection is literally all around you!  Each of our historic buildings contains objects that were used by our ancestors in their daily lives – circa 1836. Although we try to stay true to the

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