With the end of 2022 in sight, I wanted to send you this note, both to recap some of the past year’s highlights at the Merchants and Drovers, and to offer a sneak preview of what we have planned for 2023 and beyond.
I am happy to report that we continue to make steady progress on our ongoing initiatives. With funding from the New Jersey Historic Trust and Union County, as well as with the generous support of members like you, we are optimistic that the exterior preservation of the main building will be fully completed by the end of 2023. But bringing one long-term capital project to successful conclusion only means moving on to the next item in need of our attention. As you already know from reading the newsletter, we recently commissioned a series of as-built drawings of the Terrill building, which is the first step in the restoration of that structure.
Meanwhile, work has continued on our “Rahway Girl Scout House” permanent exhibit. With support from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and some incredible college interns, we have catalogued our collection of Girl Scout artifacts, and are now soliciting formal proposals for exhibit design and installation. We are on track to publicly debut “Feels Like Home: The Girl Scout House, 1933-1969” by the end of next year.
Steady progress in the preservation and interpretation of our site is obviously important, but continuing to offer diverse programs – both old favorites and new ones alike – is equally important. I have had the pleasure of seeing many of you on site this year, and hope to soon welcome many more to our remaining December events, and to our January 2023 member dinner. And keep your eyes open for notice of a new event we plan to debut this spring, featuring Rahway’s Own Carolyn Wells and tentatively titled “I Love a Mystery!”
None of this would have been possible without your engagement, and the Merchants can continue to move forward only as far and as fast as the support from our members and friends allows. I hope that you will remember the Merchants and Drovers in your end-of-year charitable giving. Every dollar of support is vitally important, not only to preserving our historic structures, but also to our expanding focus of keeping Rahway’s diverse and fascinating history alive and sharing it with the world.
On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, I want to offer my most sincere appreciation for all your past support of our site and its programs, and my very warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season.
Forward into 2023!
Richard A. Zdan
President, Board of Trustees