Cumberland County Historical Society

Cumberland County Historical Society 2017 Lecture Series at Lummis Library in Greenwich

On Sunday, April 2, at 2 PM, author Bill Sprouse, will help celebrate the annual reopening of the Gibbon House by discussing his  2013 book, The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil or, Bebop's Miscellany.

Bill Sprouse grew up in Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township.  His grandmother was a Leeds from Leeds Point.  When he was about nine years old, she told him he was distantly related to the Jersey Devil (she had a sense of humor).  Those are his main qualifications for his book, which traces the history of the story from his (the Devil's) probable origins in a seventeenth century pamphlet war, through the nineteenth century, through its connection with the residents of the Pine Barrens (the notorious "Pine Rats" as they were once called), and up to its modern iterations as a folk story and sometime reality TV celebrity.

Bill has a undergraduate degree in history from Yale and works as a local reporter and editor, based in South Jersey. He will bring copies of his book for sale.

On Sunday, May 7, at 2 PM, the Swedish Granary Tree Ring Project researcher Bill Callahan will present a seminar on the project and the resulting final report.

In 2014 and 2016, the team of Prof. Ed Cook and Bill Callahan undertook the tree ring project in order to date the Swedish Granary, the log cabin that was thought to date from the 17th century colony of New Sweden on the Delaware.  It was underwritten by two project grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission. The process was lengthy and fraught with challenges, but ultimately rewarding. The team wrote a concluding report which should be read before the seminar.  It will be posted soon on the Society's website,   Bill, who gained his experience in Sweden, may be joined by his partner, Ed Cook. Come to learn about how the intriguing science of dendrochronology was used to interrogate building timbers, living trees, and preserved logs throughout South Jersey.

Light refreshments served. Lectures are free, though donations are encouraged to defray expenses. We will try to reschedule in case there is inclement weather. For further information, call Lummis Library at 856-455-8580.

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Cumberland County Historical Society
PO Box 16, Greenwich, NJ 08323

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