Cranbury Museum

4 Park Place East
Open Sundays 1-4 p.m., or by appointment call (609) 655-2611 or (609) 395-0702 or (609) 409-1289
Suggested donations of $3.00 (per adult) appreciated
Curator: Don Jo Swanagan
Co-curator: Jerry Pevahouse

museum
History of Museum
Current Exhibit
Schedule of Events

2004 Current Exhibits

November 2004 Cookie Jars, Cookbooks, & Christmas Cookies! The Exhibit Room will feature colorful and humorous cookie jars fdrom the collection of Wilma Shimer, long-time Cranbury resident. To compliment this special feature will be cookbooks from the Society's own collection, one of which is "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls" which appeared in 1957 and featured a panel of 12 Cranbury boys and girls. These children cooked in their own kitchens and only the recipes they liked best and found easy to follow were printed in the book! To top off the exhibit will be examples of colorful Christmas cookeis in the display cases. For cookies to sample, come to the Christmas Tea on Dec. 5!


History

Based on Middlesex County Records, Dr. Garret P. Voorhees probably built the original two-room house at 4 Park Place East in 1834. The Isaac Snedeker family added more rooms between 1850 and 1862, which include the parlor, the second floor master bedroom and the Amy Evans Memorial Sewing Room. The property was inherited by Gertrude Snedeker, daughter, and her husband, Dominicus C. Mershon. Their daughter, Cornelia, lived in the house until her death in 1913. The house was rented until 1923 when Paul and Helen Azadian bought it. The Azadians used their theatrical name, LaVarre, while in Cranbury. Marvin Dey purchased the house in February, 1972 and sold it to the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society on March 30, 1972 .

From May until October, 1972, seventy volunteers worked to convert a simple house into a Museum. The wide pine floorboards, the cooking fireplace with crane, the rough plaster walls, the original window sash with wavy glass panes and the old blue paint of the original two-room house were preserved during the restoration. With few exceptions the Museum is furnished by gifts from Cranbury families, many of them descendants of Cranbury's earliest families.

After the grounds and brickwork around the Museum were completed Sara and Bill Hoffman, who were born and spent most of their lives in Cranbury, planted a garden. Some of the bulbs are still growing in the garden today. Later Anne Berger added herbs. After Sara retired as the Society's first Curator in 1984, the enlarged garden was dedicated to Sara and called "Sara's Garden."

In 1975 the Arthur E. Perrine Memorial Wing was added, a gift to the Museum from his daughter, Mary E. Perrine. Mr. Perrine, noted horticulturist, was the sixth generation of the Perrine family to live in Cranbury. The first floor of the Perrine Wing serves as a meeting and exhibit room, where special exhibits are arranged at periodic intervals. Here hangs the Tercentennial Quilt of sixteen scenes that tell the history of the community. The Bicentennial Quilt of twelve historic scenes is in the History Center. The basement area houses permanent exhibits of farm implements, early tools, memorabilia from early businesses and activities, Lenape Indian artifacts, and artifacts recovered during the 1977 archaeological dig at Main Street and Park Place West. Also open to the public are Sara's Garden (herb garden) and the Victorian Garden located on the site.


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Document created on July 27, 1998
Document last modified April, 2002