As our 2023 calendars reach their last pages, I wanted to take a few moments during this busy season to send you a note, both to recap some of the past year’s highlights at the Merchants and Drovers, and to share some of what we have planned for 2024 and beyond.
Our new permanent exhibit, “Feels Like Home: The Girl Scout House, 1933-1969,” continues to make progress towards becoming a reality. Based on proposals we received for exhibit design and installation, we are working to make sure the necessary electrical and structural elements are in place to support the new exhibit. Once that work is done, we will be ready to solicit grant funds (and possibly donations) to complete the installation. Meanwhile, we have already begun research to inform another future exhibit, focused on the history of tavern labor over the years. We’ll have more details on that project later in 2024.
While progress on preservation and interpretation goals is obviously important, continuing to offer diverse programs – both old favorites and new ones alike – is equally so. Our tavern nights and cemetery tours continue to welcome sold-out audiences, and we’ve been very pleased with the success of both our new “I Heart Horror” literary event and the immersive Murder-Mystery Dinner fundraiser we debuted last year.
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 membership 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 expanding our focus of keeping Rahway’s diverse and fascinating history alive and sharing it with the world.
On the 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 2024!
Richard A. Zdan
President, Board of Trustees