Meet the Historians


THSSH had hoped to interview two people who have been at the forefront of historic preservation in Bedminster, New Jersey. However we are sad to inform everyone of the losses of Pritch Matthews and Dutzie Robbie who are no longer with us.

Both Ms. Matthews and Ms. Robbie were heavily involved in preserving and promoting local history. Dutzie was dedicated to local residents and served as both Bedminster Township Historian and Historic Preservation Committee Lead.

Bernards Township

A long-time Basking Ridge resident and township historian, June O. Kennedy (1928-2018) was a trustee of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.   In addition to writing many books on local history, she lectured and gave tours to school and civic groups on local history, researched houses, and compiled genealogies.


Bernardsville was a section of Bernards Township (like Lyons and Liberty Corner) until 1924, when Bernardsville residents voted to become a separate borough. So much of the Bernardsville’s early history is also Bernards Townships. Schools remained in the Bernards Township School System until 19, when the Borough and the Township voted to go their separate ways.

Far Hills

Rising taxes led the 200 residents of Far Hills to decide to separate from Bernards Township and to incorporate as a Borough. The local property tax rate jumped from $2.72 in 1919 to $3.53 in 1920. Both the villagers and Far Hills estate owners objected to having to share the costs of road upkeep in the 60 square mile township with its population of 5,100 and also to the school taxes for educating the township’s 800, of which only 90 were from Far Hills. Further, they protested the lack of police protection.

Peapack Gladstone

Ruth is an octogenarian who lived in historic Gladstone, New Jersey, just down the street from the Save Ellis Island office. In late 2003 Save Ellis Island’s Charter Membership drive was in full swing. Having had a tremendous positive response from donors, Save Ellis Island needed help mailing acknowledgements and thank you gifts in this case tote bags to our new members as timely as possible. We posted flyers in area businesses and community spaces like the local public library. Ruth, a volunteer at the library, saw our ad, contacted us and began to volunteer for Save Ellis Island immediately.