The Next Phase of Restoration Has Begun!

The construction has begun on the Tavern Yard side of the Merchants and Drovers! This phase of work will include the restoration of the Tavern Yard side of the building and the kitchen exterior. Hopefully soon, this side of the building will look as wonderful as the Westfield Ave. side that was completed last year.

We’ll be posting updates regularly so you can see the progress!

This phase of the restoration of the historic Merchants and Drovers Tavern building (circa 1795) has been made possible by funding from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust, and by the Preserve Union County Grant Program, a service of the Union County Board of Commissioners, your Trust Fund dollars at work for you!

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Fall Cemetery Tours are on for 2020!

If you’re looking for something to do this fall, our Cemetery Tours are coming up in October!

Ghosts of the Past Tour

These tours, member-favorites for years, will run with some minor changes to ensure CDC guidelines for safety during Covid-19.

Our Daytime Ghosts of the Past Cemetery Tour will be Oct. 4, from noon to 4pm. The theme this year is Famous Ghosts of Rahway, and will include favorites such as the Unknown Woman and Ambo, as well as a new addition to the tour, Octave Challiet—a musician at the Regina Music Box Company—who will play a tune on an authentic 1892 Regina music-box.

And our Evening Spirits of Rahway Lantern-Lit Tour will be Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24. This tour will take you through the Rahway Cemetery at night, to hear ghostly tales of eerie occurrences, as experienced by local people and museum volunteers over the years. This event will likely sell out – so don’t hesitate to make your reservation!

Both of these events will have reduced tour sizes to ensure social distancing, so if you’re planning on joining us for either event, please call us at 732-381-0441 to reserve your space, or, reserve your space on our website via Paypal.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Museum Re-opening Plans

As you all know, the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum site has been closed to the public since mid-March – but the good news is, we are ready to re-open! There will, however, be a staged re-opening process, and new protocols that will have to be observed for the time being.

The board and staff are pleased to announce that the building is currently open for tours by appointment only in the month of August. The weather is still hot and the building is not climate-controlled, but if you wish to visit in August, please call or email us, and we’ll set up a time for your visit.

As of September 1, the museum will re-open for regular walk-in hours, as follows: Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the first and third Saturdays and second and fourth Sundays of every month, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. As al-ways, some holiday exclusions may apply, so we still recommend calling or checking the website first.

For all visits, the following protocols will apply:

1) Visitors over the age of two years will be required to wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth while in the building.
2) Group size will be limited to 25% of capacity, which means no more than 15 people may be in the main tavern building at one time.
3) In the past, we have allowed some handling of certain items (including a game in the permanent exhibit), but for the time being, we will be enforcing a “please don’t touch” policy for all items on display.
4) We ask that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID in the last 14 days, or who is experiencing any symptoms of respiratory infection or fever, to please refrain from visiting the museum.
5) Only the main Merchants and Drovers Tavern building will be opened to visitors at this time; the smaller Terrill Tavern building will remain closed to the public.

Additionally, the museum staff will be cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched areas and items after each group of visitors, and hand sanitizer will be available for your use.

The above protocols are based on requirements and/or recommendations from both government officials and our colleagues in the museum field, and intended to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff. We appreciate your compliance, and look forward to welcoming you back safely!

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