Learn about the history of Kingston through a series of maps


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The village of Kingston has hosted colonial taverns, armies during the American Revolution, canal boats, railroad trains and travelers on the Lincoln Highway. One of the oldest settlements in central New Jersey, Kingston evolved with America over its 340-year history.

Kingston: On The Map will be exhibited from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through November, in the History Room at the D&R Canal Locktender’s House, on old Lincoln Highway off Route 27, in Kingston.

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The display uses journal entries and prints of a dozen historical maps to illustrate Kingston’s evolution, from settlement to commercial center to modern community. One map shows how Kingston moved between the colonies of east and west New Jersey. Another shows both Kingston and Princeton divided by county lines.

Railroads appeared in the 19th century, disappearing by the 20th.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built for commerce, but is now a recreation destination.

This display follows a talk by George Luck, Jr. and Charlie Dieterich, titled “Why is Kingston Here?” given in February.

Dieterich explained that “in preparing for our talk I looked at dozens of historical maps of central New Jersey. I was struck by the ways Kingston reinvented itself in every generation. In the 1600s it was a place to rest after crossing the Millstone River. In the 1700s Kingston thrived as the midway tavern stop on the Kings Highway and a place to change horses. During the American Revolution, Washington used the Kingston hill to gain perspective, returning to pass through the settlement in several directions during the war,” according to a prepared statement.

“In the 19th century Kingston changed to a prosperous mill town, a port on the canal, a station on two railroads (now long gone) and a stop on the Lincoln Highway. The village included two schools and supported two industries: Kingston Quarry and Princeton Nurseries. In the 21st century Kingston has become a multicultural community with many parks and open space,” he said in the statement.

The display allows visitors to go deeper on each of these “Kingstons.”

The Kingston Historical Society is planning events, including a community walk on May 21 and a panel discussion later this spring.

Details of future events and a video of the February talk are available at www.khsnj.org/.

The Kingston Historical Society (KHS) was formed in 1997 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization to preserve, enhance and promote the history of the village of Kingston. The society has its headquarters in the Locktender’s House on the Delaware and Raritan Canal where it maintains the original circa 1834 home of families who operated the Kingston locks on the canal.

Air circulation is limited, so masks and distancing are requested when visiting the exhibit

For more information, visit www.khsnj.org/

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