“How To Make It In Salem County: Stories of Creativity, Craftsmanship and Industry”
The current changing exhibit, “How To Make It In Salem County: Stories of Creativity, Craftsmanship and Industry” features selected stories of the creation of new things in Salem County over our more than three hundred years of history. Starting with the very first peoples in our area, the Lenni Lenape, the exhibit looks at art, crafts, industry of our region. Featuring objects such as stone tools, glass and earthenware, paintings and manuscript materials, the exhibit celebrates the creative spirit of Salem County whether for fun or profit. Highlights include a survey of glass making in the Salem County region, samples from the Society’s extensive Lenni Lenape artifact collection, original manuscript material from local author George Agnew Chamberlain, and memorabilia of the Richman’s Ice Cream Company among many more.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Noble Prize awarded to Salem City resident Charles Pedersen in 1987 for his
work on methods of synthesizing crown ethers. The prize represents the height of science and creativity in our area, and the Society would particularly like to thank Shirley and Robert Brooks for the generous loan of the prize.
The exhibit also includes art from the collection of the Society as well as on loan from numerous local artists. This art includes original paintings, sketches, photography and sculpture from around the county past and present.
The exhibit is open until the beginning of 2017.
The Legacy Room highlights some of the most important pieces in the collection of the Historical Society. In the Legacy Room you will find on display furniture, paintings, clocks, glass pieces, ceramics, and decorative arts representing over three hundred years of Salem County history. Highlights include the one of oldest object in the Society’s collection; the Denn chair. This chair was brought over from England by the Denn family in 1678. Also in the Legacy Room is the tall case clock of militia Colonel Benjamin Holme that was taken from his house by the British when they occupied the area in 1778. In the room hangs the painting “The Holiday Occupation” painted by local artist Lucy Holme in the late 1800’s, and it represents the work of one of the finest artists to come from our area.
The Legacy Room also includes a display on Salem County glass with pieces that date all the way back to 1735 and the Wistarburg Glass Works. Ceramics on display in this room date back to the early 1800’s and represents the manufacture of bricks and pottery in the county for generations. The room includes the Pledger Deed, one of the very first land grants given out by the first colonial governor of our region, John Fenwick.
The Keeping Room is the oldest part of our Grant House complex, dating back to 1721. The room features a large and beautiful example of a working fireplace of the period. The room displays a spinning wheel, period dishes, cooking pots, tools and implements of everyday life in Colonial Salem County. The hand hewn beams and wide floorboard are original to the house, and the chairs, tools and fireplace implements all date to colonial life in Salem. The Keeping Room is featured prominently in the Historical Society’s educational programs, and is a great place to imagine what life was like 250 years ago.