Revolutionary War relic ready to call Piscataway museum home ahead of next fundraiser

A museum in Piscataway listed on the state and national registered historic sites shows the rich history of Middlesex County, but needs help to stay open, especially now that a Revolutionary War relic is getting ready to call the museum home.

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2022, 10:40 AM

Updated 626 days ago

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A museum in Piscataway listed on the state and national registered historic sites shows the rich history of Middlesex County, but needs help to stay open, especially now that a Revolutionary War relic is getting ready to call the museum home.
The executive director of the Metlar-Bodine House Museum is proud to speak of the treasure the museum now owns: a wall which is all that's left of George Washington’s headquarters, Ross Hall, that sat along the Raritan Bay near the museum and held the nation's very first July 4 celebration.
“Right after the Battle of Monmouth, they marched 11,000 troops up here and he ordered the troops to celebrate the 4th of July by marching across the river,” says executive director Junelynn Sadlowski. Then he had a ball at headquarters with Alexander Hamilton. The wall is in Tennessee being conserved, and it's going to come back and be installed in the building.”
But the museum building in Piscataway with a theme that starts the Raritan Aalley's Indian Trail history from 15,000 years ago and goes up to New Jersey's history in the 20th century can't stay open without its next fundraiser.
“This is the first one since COVID, and the fellowship needs to keep the lights on, the heat on and for staffing,” says Sadlowski.
The staff is committed, not only to keeping the doors open but preserving the history of what's stored inside this building -- the oldest section built in 1728. There's even a doctor's ledger that also lists slaves who were treated on a local farm.
“We aim to teach everything,” says associate director Hara Durkin. “The good and the bad. History isn't sexy to a lot of people, and it's really a shame people are into genealogy about their family, which is wonderful, but how about the genealogy of where you live.”
The cocktail fundraiser for the museum is Saturday night at the Piscataway Community Center. As for the Ross Hall Wall, finishing the restoration and bringing it back to New Jersey, the museum wants everything completed before the nation's 250th birthday in 2026.


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