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Past Historic Speaker Talks
On February 6, 2024 Adrian Hendricks was the Meadowlands Museum's Zoom History Speaker as he presented his writings on his memories of growing up in the 1940s in Rutherford, NJ's black community and memories of growing up in and becoming a member of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Rutherford. Adrian's father was one of the original members of Rutherford's Civil Rights Commission when it was first established in 1964, and Adrian has helped the Meadowlands Museum by providing historical data for the Museum's Black History Month exhibits in 2023 and 2024.
On March 28, 2023, Robin Reenstra presented a talk on the recent "Black history in Rutherford and the Meadowlands Area" exhibit at the Museum. The talk covered the history from slavery and the Underground Railroad in our area, to the first black family to own a home in Rutherford, discrimination, the creation of the Rutherford Civil Rights Commission in 1964, notable African Americans in Rutherford, the Mt Ararat Baptist Church, and the Murray Hodge American Legion Post.
On February 28, 2023, Andrew Fede presented a talk on "Slavery in Northern New Jersey: When North was South." Based on research from his three books, he gave a historical perspective on Slavery in Northern New Jersey from the 1600's to post Civil War years.
On February 16. 2023, Thomas McKenna gave a talk on the History of Housing Segregation in Rutherford and What He Learned While Conducting Research for His Novel. His talk focused on the cultural shifts that started to develop in the mid 1960s with regard to desegregation of housing for the Black Community in Rutherford, NJ
On January 26, 2023, Michael Corcoran gave a presentation by zoom on the architectural styles of the John W. Berry House, aka the Meadowlands Museum building at 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford. The Talk included information of various architectural styles of buildings in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and a look at why the Berry House is considered transitional in that it incorporates features of styles from each of the Dutch Colonial, Federal and Greek Revival styles. Based on his research of styles and materials used in the original construction, he believes the house was likely first built in 1825. The talk can be seen on the recording link below.
On June 14, 2022 7:30 pm Al Klase spoke on: "From Edison's Phonograph to Streaming: The History of Music and Sound Playing and Recording Devices and New Jersey's Role in its Beginnings"
Al Klase serves as Technical Coordinator for the New Jersey Antique Radio Club and is a founding member of their Radio Technology Museum staff. He is a long-time collector, restorer, and operator of vintage military communications equipment and is a student of radio receiver design history. His professional career included both analog and digital design engineering, as well as sales. He spent a quarter century in field applications, explaining esoteric things to engineers on behalf of major semiconductor companies, and he can explain things to normal folks just as well!
February 24, 2022 - Guest Speaker, Rutherford Borough Historian, Rod Leith, spoke on the topic of The Life and Home of Lafayette and Harriet Hoage who are believed to be the first African-American family to settle and own their own home in Rutherford in 1868, Lafayette was born a slave, but gained freedom and actually fought in the Union Army in the Civil War. He came to Rutherford to work as a coachman for the Iveswold family. And the family owned their home at 127 Donaldson Avenue until the mid 1930s. The Meadowlands Museum collections include a number of items from the original house. To listen to this zoom talk click the link below .
May 20, 2021 - in connection with the Rutherford Historic Preservation Committee, Scott T. Hanson talked on on "Historic Houses for Contemporary Lives."
April 20, 2021 - Robert Montgomery, "Rocks and Minerals of the Meadowlands Area"
March 16, 2021 - Peggy Norris, "Stitches in Time: Quilts 1800-1976"
February 18, 2021 - Rod Leith and Della Rowland, “William Carlos Williams—the Doctor and the Poet”.
Nov. 24, 2020 - Danielle Morrin, “A Stitch in Time: Clothing & Textiles of the Meadowlands,1890 to 1915."
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