FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Plante, 908-527-4746
Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Grand Re-Opening of Masker’s Barn in Deserted Village
Will Be a Highlight of ‘Four Centuries in a Weekend,’ Oct. 15-16
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – On Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16, the ghost of David Felt will return to the Deserted Village of Feltville and lead tours of the factory town that once housed hundreds of workers and family members. The mile-long tours, which start at 2 p.m. each day, occur during the weekend-long open house of the historic site, as part of Union County’s “Four Centuries in a Weekend” celebration.
Feltville’s general store/church building was previously restored and opened as a visitor center, complete with interpretive exhibits and restrooms. This weekend marks the re-opening of Masker’s Barn in the village.
“The Freeholder Board is very excited to announce the grand opening of the newly restored Masker’s Barn during the Four Centuries weekend,” said Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “With funding assistance from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, the carriage house has received an extreme makeover for adaptive reuse as a lecture hall and meeting room.”
The $1.4 million restoration of Masker’s Barn lasted two years and was completed last month. During the restoration, the building was levitated and held in mid-air for months as the foundation was replaced. The circa-1882 building will be open throughout the weekend and the public is invited to join County, State and local officials on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 12:30 p.m. as the building is formally dedicated. Before and after photographs will illustrate the dramatic rebirth of the historic building.
As part of the Four Centuries in a Weekend program, staffed activities will occur at the Deserted Village from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16. Most of the Village’s buildings and grounds can be seen from a hayride, which will run continuously both days. Visitors may pick up a map and narrative at Feltville’s parking lot for a self-guided tour.
The restored Church/Store houses an exhibit of artifacts, photographs and maps that depict the Village’s history across four centuries. A hands-on demonstration of apples being pressed into cider will be ongoing. Elsewhere in the Village, visitors can hear how the site of David Felt’s house was discovered from the Director of the Feltville Archaeology Project. Nearby, children can play old-fashioned games. All of these activities are offered free of charge. Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Picnic tables are available for families wanting to pack a lunch.
All activities for the Four Centuries weekend are rain or shine. Enter the Deserted Village via Cataract Hollow Road, off of Glenside Avenue on the Berkeley Heights side of the Watchung Reservation. Wear warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes.
For additional information about the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park, call Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, (908) 789-3670. Tickets are still available at Trailside for Haunted Hayrides that will run at the Deserted Village on Oct. 21-23. Information about 24 other Four Centuries in a Weekend sites is available from the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, (908) 558-2550, or on the Union County website at www.ucnj.org/cultural/4centuries/4Centuries11.pdf.
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For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/countyofunionnj .