Education Programs

Education is an important part of the Society’s mission to protect and preserve the diverse cultural history of the Somerset Hills. The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) offers many programs for visitors of all ages to discover the people, places, and events that shaped and defined our past. We believe that constant references to common past experiences nurture and sustain a sense of community that links past, present, and future citizens.

Youth Education Programs

The education of youngsters is a cornerstone of THSSH’s mission.  Our children’s programs ensure we offer the community learning opportunities for children of all ages. Our goal is to design creative, interactive programs that encourage children to discover history together.

Through programs aligned with the schools of the Somerset Hills, we aim to ensure that students and teachers enjoy meaningful educational experiences.  With school curricula in mind, we have created programs for elementary level students that focus on the history of the Brick Academy and show students what life was like for students in the turn of the century (1900).  Our goal is to have each student return to the classroom with a greater understanding of the history of our area.

Our children’s programs seek to help students:

  • Develop historical thinking skills, including chronological thinking, and recognizing change over time.
  • Use critical thinking skills to develop an understanding of the issues and trends of the historical period studied.
  • Apply their understanding to examine such historical themes as human movement and interaction, and science and technology during this historical period.
  • Recognize the continuing importance of historical thinking and historical knowledge in their own lives and in the world in which we live.

Early American Schoolhouse

Age: 3rd grade students in the Somerset Hills schools

Time: 45 minute classroom experience and an optional 45 minute hands-on educational activity

Classroom Experience:
Discover what it was like to attend a typical one-room schoolhouse in the mid-1800s.  Young students role play by arriving at the Brick Academy with such ‘school supplies’ as water buckets, fire logs for the potbelly stove, study books, and writing slates.  Pupils sitting at period desks will learn the lessons taught in school and compare the classroom rules for students then and now.
Educational Activity:
A hands-on session engages visiting students to learn about local history with additional fun activities including an American craft, museum scavenger hunt, and word search puzzles. 
Offered at the Brick Academy to 3rd grade teachers in the Somerset Hills.
Sue Zibelli, Chairman

Young Historians

Age:  High School

Time:  Various

We have a great volunteer program for local teens as part of our Young Historians program.

Teacher / Chaperone Information

Access for children with disabilities should be discussed in advance.

The parking lot is adjacent to the Brick Academy.  Additional street parking is available.

Providing weather conditions aren’t extreme, all indoor activities will still be held.  If weather conditions are extreme, all activities will be cancelled.
After a brief greeting, student groups, teachers and chaperones are directed to their first activity and will follow a guide to that location.  Please note that the students move quickly through the building as the programs are planned using all of the allotted time.
Teachers and chaperones are expected to participate in all activities and to share in the class discussions whenever appropriate.
Cellphone use should be limited to emergencies only and must be silenced as they can become a distraction to our activities.
A restroom is available on site.  Students need to be accompanied by an adult chaperone.
Food and drink are not permitted during the activities.
Please inform THSSH in advance if any student cannot be photographed.

Teacher Resources

To Follow.

General Interest for All Ages

Basking Ridge Self-Guided Walking Tour



Rediscover 250 years of history in the village of “Baskenridge.”  The village buildings span a variety of periods and styles with the earliest structures dating back to the 1700s.  Enjoy human interest facts that include the first public library organized by the Barkalow sisters at their private residence; the vast estate of the Union Army’s Chief Surgeon Horatio G. Whitnall, and a fire that almost destroyed the fashionable Washington House Hotel.