Here in the Garden State, every home has a story. From Colonial times to the Victorian era and more, New Jersey is the proud home of a unique and varied housing stock. Throughout the state, including right here in Trenton, we have the distinct opportunity to enjoy neighborhoods full of homes with centuries of history. These properties have stood the test of time, offering a glimpse into the past in an ever-evolving community. Many of these homes have fascinating stories just waiting to be discovered, but how can you begin to uncover these tales? As it turns out, with a bit of help from the experts, you’ll be well on your way to discovery in no time!

On Tuesday, January 16th, you are invited to join the New Jersey State Library for their upcoming virtual author talk, “Researching the History of a New Jersey House”. The conversation will be held on Zoom, beginning at 12pm. The discussion will be hosted by Douglas McVarish, an architectural historian and historic preservation expert. This event is free to attend, but advanced registration is required. In order to sign up, please RSVP on Zoom, linked here: Register – NJSL.

Throughout the afternoon, guests will learn about the resources and tools available to discover more about New Jersey’s historic homes. By the end of the discussion, guests will feel confident in seeking out vital information about these residences, including when a home was built, who built it, and what the home was used for. All this and more will be illuminated by Douglas McVarnish, the mind behind of “Researching the History of a New Jersey House.” Covered topics for the afternoon will include:

  • How to gather information
  • Where to look for information
  • How to organize and interpret the information you uncover
  • Tips on preparing your house history

With a whole host of historic homes to choose from, with a bit of sleuthing, who knows what you’ll discover! Whether you use these skills to learn more about your own home or to explore sites all over town, this knowledge is certain to leave you feeling more plugged in to the history of your community.

Mr. McVarnish is a semi-retired architectural historian and subject matter expert on historic properties. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Vermont and has 30 years of professional experience as an architectural historian in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. McVarnish has also worked as a reviewer for the National Register of Historic Places, which is responsible for identifying and marking locations which hold particular historic significance throughout the nation. When it comes to the history of homes here in the Garden State, you’d be hard pressed to find a better source!

For more information on this and other upcoming events at the New Jersey State Library, please visit their website, linked here: NJSL – Home. If you have any questions or would like any help with registration, please contact the NJSL at (609) 278-2640 for additional assistance. A whole host of history is waiting to be discovered within the walls of your home, so be sure to register today to discover what’s in store!

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