The historical photographs on this web site depict 150 years of growth and prosperity in our town. As we celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary, I am pleased to offer my sincere congratulations to all residents, businesses and community organizations.
While the town was established on March 14, 1867, our region’s distinctive history actually began in the Colonial Era. On July 4, 1668, Major William Sandford purchased a very large tract of land from Native American Chief Tantaqua, which encompassed all the area between the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers – going as far north as East Rutherford and as far south as present day Harrison. Major Sandford named his settlement New Barbadoes Neck. A portion of that area is what we now know as Kearny, named to honor Major General Philip Kearny, Commander of the First New Jersey Brigade in the Civil War. General Kearny had resided at the well-known “Belle Grove” estate on what is now Belgrove Drive in Kearny. His mansion was also known as Kearny Castle. General Kearny gave his life for his country, killed in action in the Civil War Battle of Chantilly.
Throughout the coming year, I encourage you to participate in the town sponsored events that will mark the historic milestone of our remarkable town. The theme of our celebration is “150 years of Community.” The Town of Kearny extends its gratitude to the many volunteers and businesses whose generous contributions of time and resources will make the 150th Anniversary events memorable, capturing how the town has evolved and setting the tone for celebrations for generations to come.
We are proud to call Kearny home. A strong sense of community has thrived in Kearny since our humble beginnings in 1867. It defines who we are – an inclusive community composed of people of diverse cultural traditions and faiths, of young and old, of immigrants, first-generation Americans, and those whose families have lived in Kearny for many generations. We share a commitment to our town, a sense of caring for the well-being of members of our community, and a willingness to work together to confront the challenges that we face.
Please accept my best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe New Year.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 10:00am to 4:00pm
IAs part of the Town’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, Historian Bill Styple is hosting a Living History Event at the site of the former New Jersey Home for Disabled Soldiers & Sailors in Kearny which operated from 1887 to 1932 and housed thousands of veterans from the Civil War. The site is the present-day location of Veteran’s Field and the Kearny American Legion and VFW Posts on Belgrove Drive. The event includes lectures and walking tours of the site.
Kearny 150th Kick-Off Event
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m.
Where: Kearny Town Hall and Bicentennial Park, 402 Kearny Avenue, Kearny
This event will include a reenactment of the signing of the town charter in 1867 and a town crier in authentic period costume! A performance by a concert band will follow the reenactment.
See more about the Kick-Off Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/153766505062899/
Bus Tour of Kearny’s Notable Historic Architecture
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ TBD
Where: 10:00 a.m. – Bus leaves Kearny Town Hall.
This bus tour of Kearny’s notable historic buildings in the uplands, including the First Lutheran Church and Exempt Fire House, will be guided by Architectural Historian John Gomez. Light lunch and refreshments will be served.
Kearny’s Shipbuilding History Lecture & Tour
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ TBD
Where: 10:00 a.m. – Bus leaves Kearny Town Hall
Learn about Kearny’s significant history as major shipbuilding center with Architectural Historian John Gomez. This event includes a tour of several shipbuilding facilities in South Kearny. Light lunch and refreshments will be served, and transportation to the event location will be provided.
Historical Lecture Series & Celebration of Major General Philip Kearny’s Birthday (June 1, 1815)
When: Thursday, June 1, 2017 @ 7pm to 9pm
Where: Lincoln School
Join us for a riveting lecture by William Styple, who has extensively studied and written about Philip Kearny’s extraordinary life. Light food and refreshments will be served.
Poetry Reading by Barbara Krasner and Joshua Humphrey
When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 @ 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Where: Poetry Center, Passaic County Community College in Paterson, The Prudent Building, 44 Church Street (corner of Church and Ellison Streets on opposite side of Ellison Street)
The “Celebrating 150 Years of Community with Poetry: Kearny, New Jersey’s Sesquicentennial” is part of the “Celebrating the Poetic Legacy of Whitman, Williams, and Ginsberg” conference. This event will be Panel A-4 of the conference. Poetry will be read by two prominent Town of Kearny residents. Free parking is available at parking lot #3 located one block away on College Boulevard between Church Street and Memorial Drive.
See more about this poetry reading here:
Kearny: A True American Warrior
W.H.A.T. is hosting AUDITIONS for the world premiere of “Kearny: A True American Warrior.” The new musical, written by Joe Ferriero, will be presented as part of Kearny’s 150th Anniversary this October. AUDITION DATES are August 4th & 6th. More info at http://whatco.org/get-involved/auditions/
Banner Sponsorship Program
Residents and businesses may sponsor a banner for a lamp post on Kearny Avenue in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Town of Kearny. Banners are available for purchase through September 2017.
Kearny 150 JWC Photography Reception
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Sesquicentennial Block Party & Kearny150 Closing Event
When: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Where: Veteran’s Field
Celebrate the noteworthy history and diverse culture of the Town of Kearny! This fun, free, and family-friendly event will feature entertainment, food, and presentations from several of Kearny’s civic and cultural organizations.
Kearny 150 Lecture: Kearny Castle by Bill Styple
Thursday, October 5, 2017, Kearny Museum, 3rd floor of Kearny Public Library
West Hudson Arts & Theatre Original Production of a Contemporary Musical based on the life of General Kearny
When: Thursday, October 19, Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m.
Come watch Kearny’s own West Hudson Arts & Theatre put on an original musical, in the style of Hamilton, based on the extraordinary life of General Philip Kearny.
Learn more about the West Hudson Arts & Theatre Company here:
Civil War Encampment
When: Saturday, October 28th 2017
Where: Veteran’s Field, located on Belgrove Drive near Bergen Avenue
Immerse yourself in the Town of Kearny’s past! Kearny used to be the location of the former Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Home, which is now the American Legion and VFW posts. Guests will witness Civil War reenactors camping on the grounds and learn about how more Confederate soldiers died at the Old Soldiers Home than during the Civil War! Light food and refreshments will be served.
Kearny: A True American Warrior
A New Musical presented by West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T.)
W.H.A.T. is creating an exciting new production, Kearny: A True American Warrior , as part of the 15oth Celebration! The musical dives into the heroic yet controversial life of General Phillip Kearny. To many he was a hero and to some a nuisance. This new contemporary musical tells his personal and professional Civil War story. From the tragic death of his son to finding true love and winning countless battles, Kearny’s story will melt your heart and make you proud to be an American.
If you are a citizen, organization, or business interested in participating in the variety of yearlong events which will mark the Town of Kearny’s Sesquicentennial, please contact:
Josh Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyla DeCastro Lawdanski at email@example.com
If you are a citizen, organization, or business interested in sponsoring any of the Town of Kearny’s Sesquicentennial events, please contact:
John Peneda at firstname.lastname@example.org