Thanks to a 2022 grant from the Union County HEART (History, Education, and Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant Program, Hearth Cooking is returning to the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum!
On a very warm day in August, our intrepid volunteers and board members participated in a “practice run” of traditional hearth cooking in our historic kitchen, in anticipation of the upcoming Four Centuries in a Weekend event, coming on October 15, 2022. The Bill of Fare for the day was roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, three sisters soup and of course, for dessert, an apple pie. And yes, it was REALLY hot in that kitchen!
Please mark your calendars for Union County’s Four Centuries in a Weekend, coming up on Oct. 15 and 16th. Our museum will be open both days, but the Hearth Cooking Demo will ONLY be on Saturday. For more info – check out event!
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On June 11th, your Elizabeth Resolutes once again graciously accepted the invitation from The Neshanock Base Ball Club of Flemington to play at the beautiful grounds of The Howell Living History Farm near Lambertville, NJ. The staff at the farm are always accommodating and welcoming, and we enjoy our matches played here immensely. Not just because of the welcoming atmosphere, the spectators on hand, or the beautiful scenery, but we match up against a team that scorekeeper John Zinn of The Neshanock confirms as “New Jersey’s oldest vintage baseball rivalry”. The field was a bit smaller than one would expect, given the trees that were in the outfield, but once the ground rules were agreed upon, we moved on to play a game of 1864 rules base ball. (more below slideshow)
The Flemington Neshanock and The Elizabeth Resolutes have been playing vintage base ball together in The Garden State for over twenty years, and the history between the two clubs is highly respected and our games are eagerly anticipated each season. Saturday, June 11th was yet another crackerjack game that saw close and fun competition right up to the last at bat for Flemington. Having won the coin toss (a rarity in Resolutes history!), The Resolutes opted to strike at the bottom of the inning, bringing The Neshanock up to bat first. Defense was strong on both sides, though “muffs” were made by both teams, though pitching was a strong point on both sides. The Resolutes captain, Craig Combs, started the game and kept Flemington honest through seven innings, only allowing 13 runs total. Paul Wortman traded first base duties with Craig to finish out the game, not allowing another Flemington run while pitching. It must be mentioned that Flemington had incredibly strong pitching as well from Bob Ritter and Dave Harris to keep the score close.
Ultimately, The Resolutes came up victorious, tallying 14 runs to Flemington’s 13 at the bottom of the ninth inning. And while a victory is always nice to take away from a game, more importantly is the camaraderie that we share with The Neshanock Base Ball Club of Flemington, who share our passion to recreate the game as it was presented for the era that we play, share insights with the spectators on the differences in the game now as opposed to the era we play in, and to ultimately have fun on field with teammates and opponents alike. Our next match-up is another home game, and sure to be a slap-up day for base ball fans of any fanbase! We play host to The Connecticut Bulldogs of Hartford, CT and The Rising Sun Base Ball Club of Rising Sun, MD in a triple header that is sure to provide a clipping day of vintage base ball excitement!
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as our opponent. Our matches today consisted of 1870 rules for Game One, and 1884 National League rules for Game Two.
Our first game started slow for The Resolutes, as The Grays arrived primed and ready to play spirited base ball. Providence’s bats were hot early on, while Elizabeth’s defense put up a solid display to keep the score in single digits. Once we found our rhythm, we began scoring runs to answer Providence inning by inning. Alas, our rally would come up short. By the end of the nineth inning, we were tied. Ultimately, Providence proved to be more offensively potent, and took the game in the tenth with a score of 8-7.
After a short break, we readied for game two, playing 1884 National League rules. Considering this style of gameplay is not entirely foreign to us, it is a lot to adjust from our 1870 rules. With both teams refreshed, we took the field for game two, and Providence showed that they were well within their element playing their familiar ruleset. The Resolutes’ bats at the beginning may have been cold only scoring three runs, but our defense rose to compensate and held Providence to just five runs by the end of the sixth inning. With the day getting late, the sun getting hot, and the teams getting exhausted, both captains decided it was best to end the game early after just seven innings instead of the usually nine. The seventh inning started for The Resolutes strong, ultimately scoring five runs to take the lead. Once Providence stepped up to bat, we had to hold them to no more than three runs to close out the game with a win. With a few well struck pitches, Providence was able to score two more, but ultimately The Resolutes were victorious over The Grays by the exact same score as game one, 8-7.
It was a fantastic pair of games, playing some great friends and superbly talented ballists in The Providence Grays. To split the weekend with a win apiece felt like a bigger victory overall, considering the talent we faced today. But as the dust settled, and the handshakes made between opponents, we broke down and embraced each other as good friends who had an immeasurable amount of fun and respect for each other, playing the game that we truly care for and love. And that is why we take the field as The Elizabeth Resolutes; to recreate the game as it was, as accurately as possible, and to hopefully engage and educate any and all spectators we may encounter.
Your Elizabeth Resolutes travel to East Jersey Old Town Village to play our good friends, The New Brunswick Liberty in a double header of 1854 and 1870 rules base ball. Playing at Liberty Field, this is certain to be a … Continue reading →
Your Elizabeth Resolutes travel to Old Bethpage, New York to contest the New York-New Jersey Cup, presented by The Mutual Base Ball Club of New York! Several teams from both New Jersey and New York will come to compete in … Continue reading →
Mystery at the Museum April 21 & 22, 2023 So, you think you have attended a Murder Mystery Party before? Well, you probably haven’t attended one quite like what’s happening at the Merchants and Drovers’ “I Love A Mystery!” fundraiser … Continue reading →
MDTMA - 1632 St. Georges Ave - Rahway, NJ 07065 - (732)381-0441 ***
Mailing address: PO Box 1842 - Rahway, NJ 07065
Funding is made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation; the Union County Board of County Commissioners HEART Grant Program; the New Jersey Council for the Humanities; the New Jersey Historical Commission; RSI Bank Foundation; the Rahway Chamber of Commerce; and by numerous individual donors. Phases III-IV of the exterior restoration of the historic Merchants and Drovers Tavern structure is funded by capital grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust and Union County.
The mission of the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum is to preserve the historic Merchants and Drovers Tavern and Terrill Tavern structures; develop the site as a museum; preserve and interpret local history in partnership with the community; and serve as an educational, cultural, and historic resource.