South River unveils 300th anniversary banner kicking off year-long celebration

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Setting off its year-long celebration to commemorate three centuries of existence, the South River Historical and Preservation Society unveiled the borough's 300th anniversary banner.
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Setting off its year-long celebration to commemorate three centuries of existence, the South River Historical and Preservation Society unveiled the borough's 300th anniversary banner.
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SOUTH RIVER–Setting off its year-long celebration to commemorate three centuries of existence, the South River Historical and Preservation Society unveiled the borough’s 300th anniversary banner.

Members of the Borough Council, the South River Historical and Preservation Society and Mayor John Krenzel were present for the unveiling ceremony on June 26 in front of the South River Museum, located at 64-66 Main St.

On the left, the banner boldly announces South River’s 300-year history, while the right provides the years, 1720-2020. At the center of the banner is the official logo for the borough’s 300th anniversary designed by Kevin LaScala, a trustee of the historical society, according to a prepared statement from the South River Historical and Preservation Society.

Thanking them for their contribution towards the banner, Krenzel said the banner was sponsored by the South River Lion’s Club and thanked the members of the historical society for their help in coordinating upcoming events with the borough.

Krenzel said there will be a variety of different events to celebrate the borough’s 300th anniversary throughout the year; however, announcements will be made as the state mandates what events the borough to have events to be conducted, according to the statement.

Public events to celebrate South River’s 300th anniversary are still being planned by the historical society in conjunction with the South River Cultural Arts and Heritage Commission, according to the statement.

South River is thought to have been settled in 1720 when Hartshorne Willett settled on the bank of the South River. The borough has gone through several incarnations since that time. It started out as a small village, was designated a town by state law in 1870 and was finally incorporated as an independent borough in 1898. There were a variety of name changes along the way, Willettstown and Washington being the most often used, according to the statement.

A webpage for the 300th anniversary was created by the historical society. The site includes a timeline of South River history along with links to related resources; because the anniversary events planned for recent months could not be held the society established a YouTube channel.

Stephanie Bartz, who is a trustee and long-time society board member, has been creating and posting videos about aspects of South River history. Subjects include the borough hall erected in 1908, which is now the Criminal Justice Building, the post office from its inception in 1824 to the opening of the current building in 1942, a virtual tour of the museum and graveyard, and memories of Memorial Day parades from years gone by.

Further announcements will be made as plans are developed that will allow for events to be conducted safely and in accordance with the requirements set by the state, according to the statement.

For more information about South River history and upcoming events, visit www.sites.rootsweb.com/~njsrhps/southriverboro300.html.