It all really began with a 200-year-old Governor. Or, at least, someone dressed as Aaron Ogden, New Jersey’s Governor in 1813. After a fife and drum entry, a welcome by Livingston’s 2013 Mayor Rudy Fernandez and a lovely rendition of the National Anthem performed by the Livingston High School Select Chorus, Livingston Township’s Founders’ Day Celebration on February 5th got started.
“Beginning at the mouth of a ditch…”
Those are the words within the township Charter that first describe the location of what‘s now Livingston. As the words of the township’s original Charter were read aloud, those and similar phrases resonated throughout the Council Chambers at Township Hall. More than 300 people braved the cold and light snow to gather together and celebrate those individuals – and their descendants – who started it all.
People Make a Community
The evening couldn’t have boasted a better keynote speaker than former Governor Thomas H. Kean. A proud descendant of Livingston’s founding fathers, he spoke of growing up in the town. His talk evoked images of fields and farms, and days of hard work and well-earned rest. And mainly, of the people. He spoke of the long-standing abundance of volunteers in Livingston, and the difference they make. “The people ,” he said, “are what truly make a community.”
At Last, The Sweets!
Have you ever had Raspberry Flummery? Or Queen Cake? How about Weary Willie Cake, Curates, or Forgotten Yum Yums? All those and more were set out amongst silver trays and an antique coffee service, and guests were all-too-happy to give them a try. But, who provided all of these treats? And where on earth did they get some of these recipes?
Patty Arnold and her Bicentennial Historical Committee were able to pull together women from various organizations within the town: the Woman’s Club, the Historical Society, the Oak Club and others . Thanks to their overall vision, Denise McDonald and her dedicated group of researchers and bakers – Terry Allan, Rose Bucich, Debbie Dalton, Rachel DelTufo, Peg Ernst, Terry Ford, Nancy Gesek, D’Ann Ippolito, Rita Levy, Pegeen Lightner, Renee Lompomo, Catherine Mignone, Lorraine Palmer and Betty Weber – got to work.
They painstakingly researched recipes from the “olden days” and tried out their newly found recipes of old. When all was said and done, and when the ingredients had been double-checked and taste-tested, they put together a cookbook of the best ones. In addition to all the recipes, there are also snippets of memories – like “Shopping Way Back Then” and “Trips to the Big City” – provided by some of the township’s descendant families.
Livingston is celebrating its bicentennial year with events every month during 2013. For more information, please visit the township’s bicentennial web site at www.livingston200.org, or visit them on Facebook at Livingston at 200.
Bicentennial cookbooks are available for $10 per book, with all proceeds a gift to the Historical Society in honor of its 50th anniversary this year.. Please call Patty Arnold at 973-992-1180 for more information or to purchase a book.