Information about the DAR Museum in Wantage. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Ken Dispoto, the Santa Carver. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Some Santa Carvings by Ken Dispoto. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Baylie Touw, age 4, member of Children of the American Revolution (CAR) in period-style costume. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Historically-themed rubber ducks line the shelves of the museum gift shop. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Jersey Hills Wood Carvers Agatha Sherin, and Alice Reines, busy at whittling. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Wendy Van Dame of Mountain Lakes, NJ, with some of her quilted works. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Lori Harden, portrait artist, draws Val Cerny and her granddaughter, Alaina. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Jewel Brown of Jewel Gems holds up one of her "Tweets". Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Karen Punch of Wantage with hand-crocheted doilies. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Hay fork belonging to Job Clark (1930), and a wooden wagon from 1910, sit in the Wagon House, circa 1787. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Douglas Pitchell, Sally Shutler, and Andy Drysdale of the New Jersey Frontier Guard. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Local musicians Deb D'Anne and Mingo Lodge strum their guitars while in period-style costume. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A portrait of Britta M. (Cooper) Carnahan overlooks her wedding gown from 1871 inside the museum. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
An interior of one of the fireplaces in the Van Bunschooten (circa 1700's) side of the home. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The small bedroom where Sarah (Dodge) Cooper gave birth to their 10 children. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Allyn Perry inspects one of the outfits worn by the Cooper children in the early 20th Century. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The interior of a Betsy Ross Dollhouse Replica on display at the museum, and created by Elmer Tag, of Morris Mini Makers of NJ. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Elegant hair combs and shoe buckles are on display alongside of the Cooper Family Bible at the museum. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Children who assisted with the tours for CAR included: Kirsten Dunn, age 12: Samuel Touw, age 10; Baylie Touw, age 4; and Dominique Dunn, age 11. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The Elias Van Bunschooten Museum, run by the DAR Chinkchewunska Chapter. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The front of the Wagon House at the Museum. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Christmas in July in Wantage Through Today at the DAR Elias Van Bunschooten Museum
Sunday, July 22, 2012 • 10:27am
WANTAGE, NJ – Although the temperatures were warm and sunny on Saturday, the holiday season and spirit enjoyed a kickoff on Friday and Saturday, and will again on Sunday July 22, as the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) celebrate their annual Christmas in July celebration at the Elias Van Bunschooten Museum.
“We’re continuing the tradition, and adding new vendors to keep history relevant,” said Melanie Matthies, one of the members of DAR, who has coordinated the event for the past two years.
In addition to the DAR, and CAR (Children of the American Revolution) members mingling with the attendees while walking around and conducting tours of the museum in period-style costumes, there were local crafters in attendance giving demonstrations and peddling their wares.
Some of the groups included Santa Carver Ken Dispoto (along with members of the Jersey Hills Wood Carvers Agatha Sherin, and Alice Reines), portrait artist Laurie Harden, the Lost Art Lacers of New Jersey, spinners, quilters, and jewelry makers.
“The weather was great, people were coming and coming all day long,” said Dispoto on Saturday, who not only demonstrated his craft, but sold carving starter kits to benefit Jefferson Township High School wood shop students.
Also present were members of the 27th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers representing the Civil War, and the New Jersey Frontier Guard, pre-Revolutionary War re-enactors who also set up camp onsite.
“We are a military unit raised by the province of New Jersey in 1756,” explained Andy Drysdale, one of the Frontier Guard's members.
He said the volunteers of the Frontier Guard served for 30 days enlistment terms until they were “properly relieved”. And often, Drysdale said, women helped to hold down the fort.
Sally Shutler was one of the volunteers at the event representing those women of yesteryear.
“It wouldn’t have been unusual to have women accompanying the guard in a non-combatant role,” said Douglas Pitchell, Commander of the New Jersey Frontier Guard.
“Sally is quite capable of loading and firing weapons,” Pitchell mused. “You [an enemy] could be in trouble if you come into a camp.”
The Van Bunschooten Museum was the home of Elias Van Bunschooten, a reverend who never married or had any children.
“The reverend asked for his relatives, Elias Cooper and Sarah Dodge Cooper to take care of him as he was passing,” said Wendy Wyman, Regent of the Chinkchewunksa Chapter.
From there, the Coopers inherited the home, where Sarah Dodge Cooper eventually gave birth to 10 children.
The last of the Coopers who lived in the home was Britta M. (Cooper) Carnahan, whose wedding gown is now on display there, from her nuptials of October 11, 1871.
The home ended up with other families, before it was donated back to the DAR about 100 years later in 1971, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Over time, relics began returning to the home from all over the country belonging to the family.
The home now houses over 800 artifacts that have been traced to Elias VanBunschooten and the Cooper Family.
“They were a very wealthy family,” said Allyn Perry, another DAR member.
The home shows the two very different and distinct time periods on either side of it. The 1700’s from the time Reverend Elias VanBunschooten lived there, and the 1800’s, when the Cooper Family lived there, in terms of difference in decor and style.
"I don't know how they wores these clothes," said Samuel Touw, age 11, one of the costumed children involved with CAR who helped to give tours.
Kirsten Dunn, age 12, one of the other children with CARR said, "It's a lot of fun."
The children assisted with tours of the ice house, milk house, and privy (outhouse).
"They're great helpers," said Ashley Ziccardi, a DAR Chinkchewuska member.
Complimentary tours of the museum and its out buildings (ice house, milk house, privy, wagon house, and barn) will continue through today until 4pm, as will demonstrations, vendors, and crafters. Also "Attic Treasures" has items for sale, and there is a silent auction. Purchases can also be made from the museum gift shop, and "Cafe Elias" which will serve up hot dogs, burgers, side salads, chips, drinks, and ice cream.
The following businesses, individuals, and organizations have donated to the event: BJ's Wholesale Club, Chatterbox Drive-In, Clove Brook Market, Dales Market, Eastern Propane, Farmstead Golf and Country Club, Garden of Life Massage & Yoga, Home Depot, Laurie Harden, NJ Herald, NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show, PB&J Stores, Pochuck Fire Department, SK Paper Shred, Space Farm Zoo & Museum, Toni Carman Photography, Toni Gerhman, Tri State Rentals, Walmart of Franklin, Weis Markets of Newton and Franklin, Yetters Diner, and Members of Chinkchewunska.
Some upcoming events include the "Not So Scary Halloween Party" (date TBD), Annual Easter Egg Hunt (date TBD), the Mother's Day High Tea (Saturday, May 11, 2013), and the next Annual Christmas in July (Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28, 2013).
The Elias Van Bunschooten Museum is located at 1097 Route 23 North in Wantage. Their phone number is: (973) 875-7634.