2015 Press Releases


HSP Reopens at Updike Farmstead

The Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) reopens its museum at Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, on January 6, 2016. The new hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 4 PM. Admission remains at $4 per person. Thursdays will have extended hours until 7 PM, with free admission from 4-7 PM.

Visitors will enjoy a brand new multimedia exhibition, The Einstein Salon and Innovators Gallery, which celebrates the worldly and entrepreneurial spirit of the citizens of Princeton. Albert Einstein, renowned scientist and thinker, anchors the gallery, while changing displays highlight others from the galaxy of Princeton stars.

Photographs, documents, and other interpretive material contextualize the captivating highlight pieces from HSP’s Einstein Furniture Collection, painting a fascinating and comprehensive picture of Einstein’s time in Princeton from 1933 to 1955. Visitors can expect an intimate and up-close encounter with furniture from Einstein’s home at 112 Mercer Street, including his writing desk – complete with ink spill – situated with Einstein’s favorite chair.

Throughout 2016, the gallery will also explore featured innovator John von Neumann, the Hungarian-born mathematician who led the team that pioneered one of the first modern, stored-program electronic digital computers – initially dubbed “MANIAC” – at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Visitors will come to understand von Neumann’s involvement in the Manhattan Project and see his ID card for the Los Alamos assembly plant. Also on view are the original physical components from the MANIAC computer, generously loaned by the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Every Sunday at 2 PM in January and February, a “virtual” tour of Princeton will be lead by HSP’s walking tour guides. The tours focus on early Princeton, including the founding of the University and the Revolutionary War. For the January 31 program, Shirley Satterfield will present a tour of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. These special tours at Updike Farmstead are included with museum admission, and refreshments will be served. Downtown walking tours will resume in March, and will continue to launch outside Bainbridge House, the Society’s former location, at 158 Nassau Street.

On January 2, at 10 AM, HSP will offer a family walking tour celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Princeton. The tour begins at Bainbridge House, home of loyalist Absalom Bainbridge during the battle, and members of the Continental Congress in 1783, then retraces part of the battle at Nassau Hall, and concludes at the Princeton Battle Monument. Tickets are available online at www.HSPwalkingtours.eventbrite.com.

In January, HSP will also host Tuesday morning Kids Music Around classes. A free Jamboree will be held on January 5 at 9:45 and 10:45 AM. Children can sample a music class and make a fun winter craft. Space is limited; email Heather@KidsMusicRound.com to register.

Upcoming programs include a two-part lecture series in February on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars; part two of our Inspirational Speaker Series in March, an April program celebrating the life of Paul Robeson; walking tours of historic Stony Brook; a music series featuring Charlotte Kendrick and friends; an American Girl doll themed event; spring and fall family fun days. Visit www.princetonhistory.org for updates.


HSP Announces Izzy Kasdin as new Curator of Collections and Exhibition

Izzy Kasdin, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions

The Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) is pleased to announce the hiring of Isabel (Izzy) Kasdin as Curator of Collections and Exhibitions.

Overseeing all collections management operations, Izzy is also responsible for establishing and enforcing HSP’s collecting priorities. She also plans, researches, and executes all of HSP’s exhibitions, on-site and in other area businesses and locations. As an overall advocate for HSP’s holdings, Izzy is passionate about centering HSP’s programming and public presence around its incredible collections in innovative and unexpected ways.

“Izzy has arrived at HSP at the perfect time,” said Executive Director Erin Dougherty. “As we launch our exciting new headquarters at Updike Farmstead in January, Izzy is already putting her great knowledge, experience, and love of Princeton history to use in our moves and future plans.”

Izzy earned her BA in History at Princeton University, where she focused some of her independent work on local Princeton histories. In addition to graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Izzy received the prestigious Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, as well as the Lawrence Hutton Prize in History and the C.O. Joline Prize in American History. She recently earned a Masters degree (MPhil) in Archaeological Heritage and Museums at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

While attending Princeton High School, Izzy volunteered as a docent in HSP’s museum at Bainbridge House and served as Research Assistant in 2014.

“I am thrilled to be back at the Historical Society in this new role,” said Kasdin. “Working as a high school docent at HSP is what cultivated in me a passion for museum and public history work, and interfacing with HSP visitors everyday demonstrated to me the importance and power of local history.

“I am so happy to be able to curate the stories of a town where I have spent so much of my life and that originally endowed me with a love of history. I feel I am truly blooming where I was planted.”


Fall at the Historical Society of Princeton

Fall at Updike Farmstead. Courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton.

Fall is the perfect time for a walking tour of beautiful and historic Princeton! The Historical Society is pleased to offer a variety of programs for visitors and residents alike. In addition to the Classic Princeton History tour every Sunday at 2 PM, the popular Princeton University Architecture Tour will be held on September 19th and enlightening Early Life of Woodrow Wilson on October 10. Both special tours start at 10 AM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.HSPwalkingtours.eventbrite.com.

On Saturday, October 3, at Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, members of the Princeton Photography Club will be on site to capture the brilliant autumn landscape. In addition, at 1:30 PM, the group will present the latest in a photo series entitled, “Through the Lens: The World Around Us.” Two photographers will showcase a body of work, providing a glimpse of the world not always obvious or accessible. Viewers will connect with a place or theme through the power of images.

Hillsborough’s Diana Frost will present “Papua, New Guinea — The Land That Time Forgot” at 1:30, followed by Princeton’s Judith Keneman showcasing “Four Seasons at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge” at 2:00.

The museum and grounds are open from 12 to 4 PM. Visitors are welcome to bring cameras and pack a picnic lunch. A box lunch is available for $12, payable at the door, but reservations are needed; please e-mail ppcphotoclub@gmail.com.

The Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) is thrilled to make the Updike Farmstead its permanent headquarters, beginning in January 2016. Purchased by the Society in 2004, the Farmstead is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and lies within the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Historic District. As the Society departs Bainbridge House, friends and supporters are invited to visit the museum at 158 Nassau Street for a final time before October 4th. Built in 1766, Bainbridge House is one of the area’s finest surviving examples of Georgian architecture, and was the location of the Princeton Public Library from 1910 to 1967. As a proud tenant since 1967, the Society is grateful to Princeton University for having had the opportunity to occupy such an important historic building. Please plan a visit now. Wednesday-Sunday, 12-4 PM. $4 Admission.

For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.


ArtSpace at Updike Farmstead on August 1st

Children enjoying a scavenger hunt at Updike Farmstead. Courtesy of the Historical Society of Princeton.

On Saturday, August 1, from 12-3 PM, spark your creative energy with a visit to Updike Farmstead! Be inspired by artists from HomeFront’s ArtSpace program as they paint “en plein air.” Visitors can learn more about ArtSpace, as well as view and purchase completed work.

Pack a picnic lunch and join in the fun with painting, games and a scavenger hunt around the six-acre property, then venture inside the farmhouse to see vintage photographs of farm life. Explore the Unity Garden and pick some veggies and herbs to take home and enjoy. All activities are included with $4 museum admission.

The Historical Society is pleased to be a collection site for Homefront, which works to break the cycle of poverty and end homelessness in Central New Jersey. Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries, linens and household items are accepted at Updike Farmstead at every First Saturday Community Day.

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton. For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.

ABOUT THE ARTSPACE – ArtSpace is a HomeFront program housed in Homefront’s Family Preservation Center, a shelter for homeless women and children. ArtSpace uses art as a tool to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their clients. By encouraging creativity and self-expression in a safe and nurturing environment, their goal is to assist in the process of uplifting the souls of individuals suffering from poverty, homelessness and family abuse. Through exhibition and sale of the art created, ArtSpace provides entrepreneurial skills and opportunities to the artists. It educates the public about and advocates for the plight of the underprivileged members of our community. For more information regarding HomeFront or ArtSpace, contact: www.homefrontnj.org


A Concert Under the Stars June 13th

Princeton’s Charlotte Kendrick to perform at A Concert Under the Stars at Updike Farmstead

The Historical Society of Princeton is pleased to be hosting its fourth annual Concert Under the Stars fundraiser on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 6:30 – 10:00 PM. This year’s event will feature a 90-minute live performance by local singer/songwriter Charlotte Kendrick.

Charlotte, accompanied by her four-piece band, will premiere several songs off her upcoming release, Worth the Wait, and perform classics that are sure to make for a memorable evening. Guests dine at red and white checked tables and mingle throughout the historic six acre grounds of the Farmstead before dancing and singing along with Kendrick’s Americana-Folk music, reminiscent of storytelling artists like Patty Griffin and John Prine.

After teaching herself to write songs while serving in the Peace Corps, Charlotte emerged on the New York Folk scene in 2003. Over the next decade, she toured nationally, released three albums, and won countless accolades from critics and fans alike. With her next album, she continues to pursue her musical goal, to write songs that resonate. Charlotte, along with husband and long-time musical collaborator Dan Rowe, has three children and lives in Princeton.

Concert-goers are encouraged to wear blue jeans and boots to fit the fun and casual atmosphere of the Updike Farmstead. According to Committee Co-Chairs Tracy Sipprelle and Debora Haines, “The Historical Society of Princeton’s Concert Under the Stars has become a signature summer event! Princeton and our surrounding communities now look forward to this big outdoor party, with great food and drink, lots of friendly faces, and dancing and singing at the Updike Farmstead. It’s a guaranteed great night every year in support of a great organization!”

Star level corporate sponsorship for the event has been received from Peapack-Gladstone Bank Private Banking and Baxter Construction.

Back this year is a “Bring Your Friends” ticket: 8 tickets for $1000, a savings of $200 over the $150 individual ticket price. Stargazer level tickets are $350, and include first-out onsite parking.

Net proceeds from A Concert Under the Stars go to support the Society’s mission of providing its signature programs in education and community service to new and diverse audiences, in particular, children who will benefit from an unforgettable outdoor learning experience at Updike Farmstead. For 2015, HSP is proud to host a variety of local organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County, HomeFront, National Junior Tennis and Learning of Trenton, and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

Tickets are available online at www.princetonhistory.org, or by phone: (609) 921-6748 x105.

TASK Artists and Musicians at Updike Farmstead on June 6th

On Saturday, June 6, Updike Farmstead’s Community Day features art and music for the whole family to enjoy. From 12-4 PM, the public is invited to observe members of the Trenton Community A-TEAM “plein-air” painting on the beautiful six acre Farmstead, and enjoy a variety of music, from folk to funk, performed by the FunkTASKtiks. In addition, supplies will be available for those inspired to create their own masterpieces.

All programs are included with $4 museum admission ($2 with a donation of art supplies or non-perishable food items for TASK.)

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton. For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.

ABOUT THE TRENTON AREA SOUP KITCHEN (TASK) – The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen was founded in the early 1980’s by a small group of individuals from local churches and service organizations. Their goal was to feed the truly needy people of Trenton five days a week. TASK feeds those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offers programs to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons.

The Trenton Community A-TEAM, formerly the A-TEAM Artists of Trenton, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that meets at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). The artists and program coordinator meet once per week to create artwork in all different media. The work of the A-TEAM artists is shown at TASK and at exhibitions throughout Mercer County.

The “FunkTASKtiks” band grew out of the TASK Performing Arts Program, entitled “The SHARE Project.” The program allows patrons to come together and play and sing with a variety of 5 instruments: keyboard, bass, drums, electric/acoustic guitars, and a number of rhythm instruments.

Historical Society of Princeton offers two events on May 2

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals at Updike Farmstead on May 2nd

On Saturday, May 2, SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals will present an adoption day at Updike Farmstead’s Community Day. From 12-4 PM, in addition to showcasing adoptable pets, a variety of family friendly activities will be ongoing, including a scavenger hunt and crafts for kids. Girl Scouts will demonstrate how to make their “pet” project, knot blankets for SAVE’s cats.

All programs are included with $4 museum admission ($2 with a donation of gently used towels and sheets or canned dog or cat food.)

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton. For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.

SAVE, A FRIEND TO HOMELESS ANIMALS – Founded in 1941, SAVE is an independent non-profit animal shelter dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of homeless companion animals in the greater Princeton area. Through six core programs of Rescue, Shelter, Health and Welfare, Spay/Neuter, Adoption, and Humane Education, SAVE focuses on the rehabilitation and successful placement of treatable and adoptable animals. SAVE endeavors to build, foster, and strengthen the human-animal bond.

Princeton University Architecture Tour on May 2nd

Back by popular demand, the Historical Society of Princeton is pleased to present a walking tour exploring the phenomenal architecture on campus, dating from 1756 to the present. Buildings on this two mile walk include the Georgian style of Nassau Hall, collegiate gothic marvels, and extraordinary contemporary designs, including the Frank Gehry-designed Lewis Library, the Stadium, the Icahn Laboratory, and the brand-new Princeton Neuroscience Institute/Psychology facility.

The tour starts at 10 AM at Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street. $10 per person. Advanced purchase is recommended, as space is limited. Available online at http://www.HSPwalkingtours.eventbrite.com.


Celebrate History and Nature at Updike Farmstead on April 4th

The themes of history and nature are featured in the special events offered at the Historical Society of Princeton’s April 4th Community Day at Updike Farmstead. Steve Hiltner, local naturalist, musician, writer and editor of the blog, Princeton Nature Notes, will lead three different programs to educate and inspire visitors.

At 1:00 PM — Siting a Raingarden in Your Yard — Raingardens are a popular, creek-friendly and attractive way to create habitat while filtering runoff from your house. Join a tour around the Updike farmhouse as Steve Hiltner discusses factors to consider when deciding where best to put a raingarden in your yard. Downspouts, sump pumps, air conditioners — all will be discussed as potential sources of water to sustain a wildflower garden through droughts.

At 2:00 PM — Preserving Oswald Veblen’s Historic House and Legacy — Oswald Veblen was a famous mathematician and visionary who was instrumental in bringing Einstein and the Institute for Advanced Study to Princeton. A “woodchopping professor,” he loved the woods, and founded Princeton’s open space movement in 1957 by donating 100 acres for Herrontown Woods, Princeton’s first nature preserve. He and his wife also donated their home and farmstead for a public purpose. A new nonprofit, the Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW), is seeking to acquire and restore this unique, historic house, and realize Veblen’s vision. FOHW’s president and co-founder, Steve Hiltner, will talk about the passion, sweat-equity and serendipity that has made the restoration of Veblen’s Herrontown Woods such a rewarding experience.

At 3:00 PM — Tree and Wildflower Walk –Learn about plants on this informal walk around the Updike Farmstead grounds to learn about the stately trees and plants growing along the fence lines of the property, including the giant red mulberry tree that bears delicious berries in June.

All programs are included with $4 museum admission. Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton. For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.



Boys and Girls Clubs’ kids show off the Native American dreamcatchers they made during a field trip to Updike Farmstead.

Boys and Girls Clubs Featured at Updike Farmstead’s March Community Day

The Historical Society of Princeton’s Updike Farmstead, at 354 Quaker Road, is a community resource offering education, timeless beauty and wonder. Acquired in 2004, and opened to the public in 2011, the site has allowed the Historical Society to pursue new avenues in education and service, to better serve its growing audience. The six acre site, once a working farm and still surrounded by preserved farmland, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and lies within the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Historic District. 

HSP is proud to partner with a variety of non-profits for First Saturdays at Updike Farmstead in 2015. These organizations from the greater Princeton area will offer public programs, including workshops, lectures and performances.

The first partnership this year will be on with Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County. On March 7, families are invited to visit between 12 and 2 to learn more about Boys and Girls Clubs, take a short guided tour of the Farmstead and make a craft. Presentations will be at 12:30 and 1:30, tours at 12, 1 and 2. Visitors are also invited to browse the museum galleries and explore the great outdoors. All activities are included with $4 admission.

Additional Community Partners for 2015 include Friends of Herrontown Woods; SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals; Trenton Area Soup Kitchen’s A-Team Artists and the FunkTASKtics, HomeFront, and Princeton Photography Club.

More information on First Saturdays will be posted on HSP’s website, www.princetonhistory.org, closer to each date.  For questions, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at (609) 921-6748 x102 or eve@princetonhistory.org.


Historical Society of Princeton presents “New Jersey’s Postsuburban Economy”

The Historical Society of Princeton invites Members and friends to the 2015 Annual Meeting and Lewis B. Cuyler Lecture, to be held at the Nassau Club on Wednesday, February 11, at 7 PM.

James W. Hughes, Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, will be the guest speaker. Dean Hughes will discuss the topics addressed his most recent book, New Jersey’s Postsuburban Economy, which was co-authored with Joseph J. Seneca, Rutgers University Professor of Economics, and based on the nearly three-decade-long Rutgers Regional Report series.

New Jersey’s economy, from its colonial origins to the present day, has continuously and successfully confronted the challenges and uncertainties of technological and demographic change, placing the state at the forefront of each national and global economic era. On the brink of yet another transformation, this one driven by a new technology and an internet based global economy, the state will have to adapt itself again.

Generous support for this event is provided by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; please RSVP to the Historical Society at 609.921.6748 x105 or “mailto:eve@princetonhistory.org”>eve@princetonhistory.org.

The Historical Society of Princeton Celebrates the Battle of Princeton

On Saturday, January 3, the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton, the Historical Society of Princeton will offer two programs to commemorate this pivotal event of 1777, when General George Washington launched a cunning attack on British troops and dealt the enemy a stinging defeat.

At 10 AM at Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, families with children ages 8 and up can learn about the battle by examining war artifacts and visiting historical hot spots, including Nassau Hall and the Princeton Battle monument. The program runs approximately 1 hour. Registration is suggested, as space is limited. Tickets are $4 per person.

In addition, at 1 PM at Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, a tour of historic Stony Brook will be offered for teens and adults. Following a portion of the trail George Washington took from Trenton to the Battlefield, this 90 minute tour includes stops at the Stony Brook Meeting House and cemetery. The tour is included with museum admission of $4.

For more information on these events, visit www.princetonhistory.org. To register, please contact Eve Mandel at eve@princetonhistory.org.or (609) 921-6748 x102.