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Friday, August 08, 2014

Liberty Hall Museum



Inspiration is everywhere, but for me old houses have a way of sparking story ideas. So this past week, hubby and I visited Liberty Hall Museum in Union, NJ, on the campus of Kean University. Hubby simply wanted to go on a day trip because the weather was nice, but I was   hoping to feed my muse. :-)

William Livingston built Liberty Hall in 1772. Originally, it had fourteen rooms. Livingston soon became the first elected governor of New Jersey. Over the years, additions were made to the original structure. It now has fifty rooms and an extensive collection of antiques. Our tour guide claims the family never threw anything out, making it a treasure trove of artifacts.


The Livingston/Kean families were the movers and shakers of their times. They had lots of money, though they were not ostentatious about it. Nevertheless, they went on many trips and brought home an array of souvenirs. 

There are plenty of unusual antiques all over the house. There's a monstrous gas dryer in the basement unlike anything I've ever seen. There's a fantastic Victorian era dollhouse. There's a linoleum floor, which was originally in one of the children's rooms. The linoleum has a map of the United States on it with all the capital cities. There's a pair of three-wheeled roller skates. 


Beautiful gardens surround the house. There's an orchard and a boxwood hedge.

At the back of the house is an enclosed porch. For a $40 reservation, anyone can enjoy tea on a Wednesday afternoon in the enclosed porch. 

Weddings and other events can also be held on the grounds. 

And yes, there is a ghost story--of sorts. One visitor wrote about it at http://www.hiddennj.com/2011/11/was-that-ghost-i-saw-bogus-haunting-of.html. She claims the tour guides don't mention it anymore, but our tour guide did. :-)

Visit Liberty Hall online HERE. Then plan your own visit. You might get some ideas for a story. :-) 

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