How to Eat and Drink French Fluently – at the Merchants!

A sold-out Wine Pairing event – “How to Eat and Drink French Fluently” – was a huge success this weekend at the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum!

Chris Asay, Sommelier
Our marvelous Sommelier, Chris Asay

The parlor was packed with patrons, drinking and eating their way across France, with the help of our Sommelier, Chris Asay, who enthusiastically explained the finer points of each wine we sampled, all while listening to the live jazz music from the taproom, provided by The Hub Kings.

The Cheese Course

After the champagne course, the cheese course, the dinner course, AND the dessert course, we were surprised by a very special Cognac to finish the evening off perfectly.

Chris and Walter

A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed, including of course the marvelous Chris Asay as well as Frederick Wildman and Sons for the donation of the tasting wine, Il Forno a Legna for providing the wonderful food, and Grape Expectations for the donation of a case of wine for door prizes.  We’d especially like to thank to Walter and Betty Makarucha, who put together this whole event, as well as all the volunteers to helped make this event a success!

Please enjoy some pictures of the event.  And if you missed out – make sure you join our mailing list so you don’t miss the next one!  Or consider becoming a member, and you’ll always get first notice of upcoming events at the Merchants!

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The Westfield Avenue work has begun!

Did you notice the ladders? The tarps? Did you wonder what we were up to?

We’re thrilled to report that spring is on the way – and that contractors have arrived at the museum! As of March 8, the restoration of the Westfield Avenue side of the building has begun!

Over the course of the next few months, you’ll be able to spot progress when you drive by the corner of St. Georges and Westfield Avenues. Workers have started by removing the siding, in preparation for evaluation by the engineer, after which the structural repairs will begin.

We’re thrilled to be moving forward with restoring our circa 1795 building, to ensure its stability for the next 214 years and beyond.  Soon we’ll be able to say “two sides down, two to go!”

We’d like to thank all of our supporters – from members to our county, state, and foundation funders – who have made this phase of the work possible, and whose support the building counts on!

Keep watching this blog for more updates!


Help the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum Restore Our Legacy and keep Rahway’s history alive!  Your donation is fully tax-deductible, and will help us restore, maintain, and share one of Rahway’s most historic sites for our community and for future generations!


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President’s Message for Winter 2019

Welcome to 2019, the year we start celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Merchants and Drovers Tavern as a museum. Yes, it’s been 50 years since a group of Rahway residents, recognizing the historic importance of this site, formed the Rahway Historical Society to save it from demolition. They rallied the community and local businesses, including Merck and RSI Bank, to raise the funds which ultimately prevented this one-of-a-kind site from being razed and erased from living memory. Those early founders and contributors deserve our apprecia-tion and everlasting thanks for their hard work in ensuring our nation’s early roots are pre-served for generations to come. Some of them are still with us and continue on as members and volunteers. We salute you.

Naturally, the best way to show our appreciation of their dedication is to continue that work above and beyond the preservation of the site’s structures. Keeping these buildings standing straight and safe has been our primary objective these past 50 years, and as we come closer to reaching our goal both inside and out, it’s time to put more focus on how we are developing this museum as an educational resource to the community that has supported it for years. Therefore, we begin our next half century working to make sure this Museum is a place one wants to come to again and again for education, entertainment, and the simple pleasure of friendly communal gatherings with people who share an appreciation of history.

Last month we held our annual Member Potluck Dinner, and once again we filled the rooms to capacity. It was wonderful to kick off the 50th celebration year with members, staff and trustees. I believe events such as this are emblematic of the kind of organization we continue to build, one that not only serves this community through historic preservation, but also one that brings that community of people together, as friends and partners in this mission.

We have many events planned this anniversary year to celebrate our past and ongoing success in keeping this landmark open and thriving. Old favorites such and our cemetery tours and holiday evenings remain on the schedule, and we’ve added some new ones including our Wine Pairing Dinner event set for March 30th. Whether you choose to visit us for one of these events, or even if you stop by and hang out with Al in the office (he likes milk but no sugar in his coffee if you’re buying), we always want to see you. We can think of nothing better than celebrating this milestone with the very people who continue to make it possible, you our friends.

Thank you.

Annette Satkowski

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