Historical Society Receives Somerset County Grant

Historical Society Receives Somerset County Grant

Posted on October 18, 2019

The Van Harlingen Historical Society (VHHS) has been awarded a grant from the 2019 Historic Preservation Grant Program of Somerset County. This program is a part of the Somerset County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Grant applications are reviewed and rated by the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

A ceremonial check was presented to VHHS on October 8, 2019, at the Somerset County Administration Building. Accepting the check were VHHS President John Waltz, Vice President Elaine Zeltner, Corresponding Secretary Sonya Hunt, and Trustees John Connacher, William Forbes, and Jessie Havens. Representing Somerset County were Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine, and Tom D’Amico and Kaitlin Bundy of the Cultural and Heritage Commission.

VHHS received the total amount of their request, $64,443, to create a Conceptual Landscape Plan providing guidance on how to proceed with establishing a ‘farmstead’ for the historic Dirck Gulick House, 506 Route 601, Montgomery Township. This 2019 grant from the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission will allow VHHS to fund a comprehensive study by a team of experts to recommend a plan for a farmstead site development, including placement of a period Dutch barn and the best way to utilize the property surrounding the Dirck Gulick House.  A recipient of Somerset County’s 2000 & 2002 Historic Preservation Grants and a 2012 New Jersey Historic Trust/1772 Foundation Grant, the Van Harlingen Historical Society has already worked to replace the roof and complete many structural and masonry renovations at the Dirck Gulick House.

VHHS president John Waltz stated, “Van Harlingen Historical Society wishes to thank the Somerset County Freeholders and the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission for awarding us the grant, which will help us further our mission of keeping history alive in Montgomery Township and Somerset County.”

VHHS was founded in 1965 to help preserve the heritage of the Montgomery Township area and to interpret the area’s history through educational programs, publications, and exhibits. VHHS believes that by educating our people about our rich history, we create a stronger sense of community. VHHS organizes the annual “May in Montgomery” local history event, manages the 1752 Dirck Gulick House, as well as the one-room Bedensville Schoolhouse at Orchard Hill Elementary School, and the Montgomery Farm Museum. More information on the organization and upcoming events can be found on at vanharlingen.org or on Facebook @VHHSoc.

Photo caption above:  A ceremonial check for a $64k preservation grant was presented by Somerset County to VHHS on October 8 at the County Admin. Bldg. From left to right, VHHS’s William Forbes; Somerset County’s Kaitlin Bundy; VHHS’s John Connacher, John Waltz, Sonia Hunt, Elaine Zeltner, and Jessie Havens; and Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine.

Source: Van Harlingen Historical Society