War Between the States

This is Dominic Longo, research historian at the Historic Village of Allaire.

When you ask someone about the war between the states, most people will give you an answer about the American Civil War, but 25 years prior to the American Civil War, another war between the states erupted. (Well… a war between a state and a territory. Michigan was not yet a state!)

In 1805, thirty years prior to the Toledo War, Michigan was created as a new territory and Ohio was a young state. The Ohio constitution and the Northwest Ordinance (the document used to create parts or all of six Great Lakes states) placed the border of Ohio and Michigan at different places. The Ohio constitution stated that its border with Michigan was further north than the Northwest Ordinance stated, giving Ohio access to all of the southern coast of Lake Erie west of Pennsylvania.

Residents of the Port of Miami, the current city of Toledo, Ohio, pushed for a resolution, but that resolution was delayed by the War of 1812. After the war, two different surveys of the land were taken, one by the United States and one by the territory of Michigan. Predictably, each survey disagreed with each other and the issue ceased to be resolved. The surveys created a strip of land eight miles wide stretching across the border between Michigan Territory and the State of Ohio that came to be known as the Toledo Strip.

This strip included the Port of Miami on the Maumee River which empties into Lake Erie. Before railroads and modern forms of transportation, rivers and the Great Lakes were an important way of transporting goods throughout the United States. After the Erie Canal was completed, cities along the coasts of the Lakes in these states and territories grew rapidly. Detroit was close to the strip, but was less suitable for water travel, and later on, railroad travel. This made Toledo the most likely city to expand in the region. West of Toledo was prime farm land as well used for corn and wheat crops. Both Michigan and Ohio had much to gain from owning the strip of land.

With no resolution in place after 30 years, the leader of Ohio militia brought hundreds of men to occupy the disputed territory in 1835. Those men were allegedly fired upon in April of 1835 in a battle titled “The Battle of Phillips Corners.” Nobody was wounded or killed and Michigan denied attacking the Ohio militia. Throughout the spring and summer of 1835 a large number of confrontations and arrests similar to The Battle of Phillips Corners erupted in the disputed area. These confrontations led to the only injury of the Toledo War when Michigan Deputy Sheriff Joseph Wood was stabbed with a small pen knife attempting to arrest four Ohioans.

By June of 1836 President Andrew Jackson stepped in, allowing Michigan to finally enter the union as a state if it ceded the Toledo strip to the state of Ohio. For ceding the strip of land to Ohio, Michigan would then receive the entire region that is now the upper peninsula. Michigan rejected the offer in September 1836, claiming that the upper peninsula was useless woodlands. However, as 1836 wore on Michigan found itself in an increasingly poor financial situation due to its own financing of the Michigan militia. Michigan realized it would have to accept the offer to gain federal funds to get the territory out of its financial crisis. On December 14, 1836 Michigan agreed to President Jackson’s terms and the Toledo War officially ended at a convention in Ann Arbor. On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted into the union as the 26th state. Michigan received the upper peninsula while alleviating its debts and Ohio received the Toledo strip.


The Results are In!

This is Dominic Longo, research historian at the HIstoric Village of Allaire.

On November 2 we celebrated the Election of 1836 with our own Allaire Election and Women’s Suffrage demonstration, but the actual election of 1836 was a month long. Without the ability to quickly tabulate and report votes, elections stretched out over the course of weeks.

On December 7, 1836 Martin Van Buren, Jacksonian Democrat, was announced the winner of the presidency over future president William Henry Harrison and three other Whig Candidates, Hugh White, Daniel Webster, and William Person Mangum.

Van Buren, the vice president under Andrew Jackson, was chosen by “Old Hickory” as a hand picked successor to his presidency. Although unpopular with Southern Democrats for his northern New York roots, Van Buren was voted unanimously as the Democratic Candidate for the presidency during the 1835 Democratic National Convention. Martin Van Buren won the 8 electoral votes from the state of New Jersey by a margin of only 545 votes.

Locally in New Jersey, there were no Senate seats up for bid and there was no election for Governor, but the election for the House of Representatives saw wholesale change. All six incumbent members of the House of Representatives lost their reelection bids. The Democrats were ousted by six Whig representatives. All representatives from the state of New Jersey were “at large” candidates, meaning that there were no Congressional districts in the state of New Jersey like today. The most local candidate to the Howell Iron Works was Joseph Fitz Randolph, who was from Freehold and worked as a prosecuting attorney for Monmouth County. Joseph Fitz Randolph would serve three terms as a New Jersey Representative and later become a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Around the nation, the state legislature of New Hampshire appointed future president Franklin Pierce as Senator. (More than 75 years would pass before the 17th amendment was ratified which allowed the people to directly elect Senators as opposed to state appointment.) Millard Fillmore was also elected as a Congressional representative for the 32nd district in New York for the second time. Fillmore would become the Vice President under Zachary Taylor and became president upon the death of President Taylor. Also elected to the House of Representatives was John Wesley Crockett, son of David Crockett, who represented Tennessee’s 11th district.

Meet our New Executive Committee!

The Historic Village at Allaire welcomes in a new team of Executive Officers and leadership to the Board of Trustees of Allaire Village, Inc. They all share a common goal- a love for Allaire and working to make it the premiere historic site of NJ!

Hance M. Sitkus, CPA- Chairman of the Board of Trustees
IMG_0319GreatPortraitOfHanceSitkus8x1272Hance Sitkus’s family history dates back to the 1600’s and they are related to employees of Arthur Brisbane, the last private owner of the Allaire property. Allaire has always been a part of Hance’s life; his first memory is riding the steam train at the Pine Creek Railroad. At the young age of 16, he became Manager of the Allaire Village General Store and Bakery where he blended history and business. After receiving a double degree in Accounting and Public Relations/Journalism with a minor in history, he pursued a career in public and private accounting from 2000 to present. After working for companies in NYC such as Ernst & Young, Primedia, Channel One News, and Visible World, Hance launched his own business out of Sea Girt, NJ: Hance Accounting & Business Advisors, LLC. Hance has sat on the Board of Trustees at Allaire Village, Inc. since 2002, serving as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, as well as serving on various committees. One of his tasks as treasurer was the running of operations of the General Store, which in 2014 was inducted into the Museum Store Association! 2013 marked the highest revenue and net income achieved for the Store.

Hance has stepped in as Chairman this year and logs in over 1,200 volunteer hours each year. As Chairman, he hopes to increase visibility and awareness of the Village’s history, as well as the need for preservation. Other anticipated projects include the strengthening of events and programming on a year-round basis. Hance has high hopes for Allaire: “There are no limits to what we can do at Allaire Village if we all work together!

Pat Lundervold- Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
IMG_3434ALovelyLadyWalksFromBakery8x1272Until her retirement in 2002, Pat worked as a high school Spanish teacher and a multi-lines insurance representative. That year she also became Activities Chair for the Chichester Property Owners Assn and served as its president from 2008 until 2011. In 2007, Pat joined her mother, Vernie Van Dyke, as a member of the Allaire Auxiliary, and has served as an officer since 2008. Pat is currently its President. An avid quilter and sewer, Pat formed the Bog Iron Quilters within the Auxiliary, who make the annual raffle quilt for the Village. Most importantly, “Allaire has given me a love of living history and the people who work and volunteer here.”

Ray O‘Grady- Treasurer of the Board of Trustees
ASquicci_8526Ray O’Grady has been a volunteer at The Historic Village at Allaire for over 15 years! In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees for five years, Ray is the Village tinsmith guild master where he mentors and trains new volunteers and develops historic tinsmith programs. In addition to his role as tinsmith, Ray is also a member of the Bog Iron Boys townball team who recently played against the Hoboken 9! Outside Allaire, Ray holds various instructor positions at local vocational schools and is an avid golfer. Ray has received many awards over the years and recently was the recipient of the 2013 Guild Master of the Year Award! Ray is excited to serve in his new role for the Board!

Tom Laverty- Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Tom Laverty has been on the Allaire Village Board since 2007 and a Secretary of the Board since 2009. Tom is a retired New Jersey State Park Service employee where he worked in several different capacities during his 34-year career there. His most recent assignment was Supervisor of the Office of Interpretation and Resource Management. There he had oversight responsibility for Historic Sites, and natural and cultural history interpretive programming at all State Park properties. His early career included being a historic site manager at Washington Crossing State Park, then at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage historic sites, and finally at Twin Lights Historic site. Tom is a past president of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society.

Upcoming Events at Allaire Village

Allaire Village hosts dozens of events year-round. Check out what’s coming up later this year!

Saturday, August 16th: 1800’s Baseball Reenactment
11am-4pm. Join us for a day of family fun as Allaire Village’s Bog Iron Boys play the historic Elizabeth Resolutes in a double-header baseball reenactment! Learn about the 1860’s baseball rules, play historic games, and learn more about your local history! There is a $5 parking fee for this event.

Sunday, August 17th: Rolling Iron Antique Auto Show
8am-3pm. At this premiere show of the Jersey Shore, hundreds of antique cars will be on display at the Historic Village! 30+ trophies will be awarded to winners of multiple classes, and the first 250 registered cars will receive commemorative dash plaques. The price for registration is $18 per car. For spectators, there is a $5 parking fee. Rain date of Sunday, August 24th.

Saturday, August 23rd: Rescheduled “Ducky Derby” Special Fundraiser
10am-4pm. Rescheduled event! Rubber ducks race down the Mill Pond for a $500 Grand Prize Package for Corporate Sponsors, and plenty of fun prizes for children’s races! Ducks go on sale at 10am and races run from 11am-3pm. Other fun activities include Lucky Ducky children’s “fishing” for ducks, music, face painting, games, and more! There is a $5 parking fee for this event.

Saturday & Sunday, August 30th & 31st: Garden State Wine Festival
12-5pm. Dozens of NJ wineries and vineyards will be returning to Allaire Village for the annual Wine and Jazz Festival this August! Including the two days of wine tasting, visitors can enjoy jazz music, food from gourmet vendors, entry into the historic buildings and more! Visit http://www.newjerseywines.com for more info & ticket purchases.

Saturday, September 13th: Fall Craft Market & Art in the Park
10am-4pm. Shop for unique, hand-crafted artistry of all kinds at our Annual Fall Craft Market! Admission is $2 for adults, and free for children under age 12- includes entry into the historic buildings. During the day you can also view local artists demonstrating and displaying their crafts. Children can enter an art contest themed “My Allaire Village”! Entries will be displayed at the Art in the Park/Craft market event and prizes will be awarded. For more info, or to reserve a vendor space, please call 732-919-3500 or visit http://www.allairevillage.org.

Saturday, September 20th: Late Summer Flea Market
8am-3pm. Shop for goods of all kinds at our monthly flea markets! While you’re here, be sure to stop by the historic homes, General Store, and Bakery. Admission is $1, children under age 12 free. Vendor space is available.

Saturday, September 27th: 1830’s Fall Harvest Festival
12-4pm. Celebrate the Harvest at Allaire Village! Join the Villagers for a day of family fun as they welcome in the Autumn season! Historic activities include apple cider pressing, apple toss and other authentic children’s games, hearth cooking, militia demonstrations, town ball games, blacksmith/carpentry demonstrations, horse and wagon rides, and more! Admission for this event is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12. Horse and wagon rides are an additional fee.

*The Historic Village at Allaire hosts events thru December! Visit http://www.allairevillage.org for events and building hours, year-round!*

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Sunday Walking Tours in the Village

Sunday Walking Tours jpegThis Summer, enjoy 90-minute walking tours of The Historic Village at Allaire! Every Sunday until August 24th, tours guided by a historic interpreter will leave the Visitor’s Center at 12pm and 2pm for a walking tour that visits our historic indoor spaces, as well as the beautiful outdoor Village.


During the tour, you will visit all thirteen of our historic buildings and learn more about:

  • James P. Allaire, owner and founder of The Howell Works
  • The iron production business that was housed on the site
  • Allaire’s impact on Monmouth County
  • Daily life in the 1830’s
  • Education and the impact children had on the Works
  • Women’s roles in industrial communities
  • The “current events” of 1836
  • 1836 politics and the economy
  • Arthur Brisbane, the Boy Scouts, and the Howell Works post 1900

P1020943Visitors will also get a chance to watch historic demonstrations of blacksmithing, carpentry, and children’s games! The tour begins in the Visitor’s Center and all who are interested may sign up and pay for the tour on the day of the event. This Sunday’s tour (the 27th) will be presented free of charge as we are still in the experimental phase. Beginning next weekend, there will be a small fee attached to this tour (tentatively $3 for adults, $2 for children under age 12).

This tour is fun and appropriate for history lovers of all ages! Visitors will gain a behind-the-scenes look at our historic village, will get to participate in some hands-on activities, and will have the advantage of an experienced tour guide with a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm.

For more information on this tour, please call 732-919-3500.

An Intern’s Look into the Archives

An Intern’s Look into the Archives
By Jessica Ciano

James P. Allaire, founder and owner of The Howell Works, the site that is now The Historic Village at Allaire.

James P. Allaire, founder and owner of The Howell Works, the site that is now The Historic Village at Allaire.

Mr. Allaire once made a transaction with a man rumored to be a pirate who was later put to death! That is just one of the historical accounts of Mr. Allaire’s life that I have discovered while working on the digitization project as a volunteer for The Historic Village at Allaire.

As I type up Mr. Allaire’s original thoughts (after deciphering his handwriting!), I realize that I am reading and learning about some of the most private aspects and thoughts of his life. Not only am I helping to save previous memories of The Howell Works, but I am also reading documents that very people have had the opportunity to read. It’s an incredible experience!

The pieces I am digitizing include Mr. Allaire’s handwritten letters, Hal Allaire’s (Mr. Allaire’s youngest son) musings on the day-to-day life in the Howell Works, and some of Allaire’s notes found in his study. Upon completion of the digitization project, the documents will be safely preserved in digital format and accessible to those doing research on the Allaires.

Jessica Ciano is one of our dedicated interns who volunteer their time at The Historic Village at Allaire. Her article first appeared in The Village Star, issue no. 4 of the 2014 volume. For more information on the digitization project going on in the Allaire Village archives, or for more information on conducting research at Allaire, stay tuned for future blog posts or call us at 732-919-3500. 

A Look Back at Spring Events

Allaire Village is always bustling with historic events and programs! Now that Summer has begun, let’s look back at some of our Spring events!

“Bog Iron Boys Pitching the Past” 19th Century Baseball Reenactment


Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

Photo by Angela Squicciarini Photography

19th Century Spring Market Auction




Annual Civil War Encampment

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett


The Historic Wedding of Maria Allaire




Thank you to everyone who visited and volunteered at our Spring events! Hope to see you out this Summer!