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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.

Brick Academy Museum Tour - Basking Ridge History & Flag

Age:  All

Time:  90 minutes

Learn the origin of some of our historic street names and tour the Museum display. Then follow the footsteps of long ago students up to the second floor 1890s schoolroom and create a copy of our Bernards Township flag to learn its significance.

This program fulfills the Scout American Heritage Badge requirement.

Brick Academy Museum Tour & Basking Ridge Center Walking Tour

Age: 8 to 80! 

Time:   2 hours

Hear the varied history of the Brick Academy and walk in the footsteps of long ago students up to the second floor 1890s schoolroom.  See the initials of nineteenth century pupils carved in the coatroom and sit in desks around the pot belly stove. Then follow your teacher for a walk through Basking Ridge town center to hear fascinating stories of the Great Fire of 1890 and pause at ‘Bake Shop Hill’.

Basking Ridge Center Walking Tour



Enjoy the human interest stories of the historic buildings.  A docent, in 19th century dress ensures a fun family adventure!

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 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.

How ChiLdren Played!

Age: Grades 1 & 2 

Time: 50 minutes

Early American toys did more than provide amusement to children long ago. Children commonly used handcrafted treasures made by family members. But these toys taught adult lessons. Play with our toy collection to experience the skills children learned in the 1800s. This unique program demonstrates the meaning of playthings.

Early American Schoolhouse

Age: 2 to 5

Time: 90 minutes

Discover what it was like to be a student attending a typical one-room schoolhouse in Colonial times.  Students role-play by arriving with such ‘school supplies’ as buckets and logs in addition to books and slates.  They will learn the lessons taught in school and compare the rules for students then and now.

Offered at the Brick Academy by The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (METC)

Education Director at 973-377-2982 ext. 12
METC, 9 Main St., Madison, NJ  07940

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.