Coloring book fans will soon have a new opportunity to color the local history of the Somerset Hills area of New Jersey while learning about the areas historic sites and most memorable moments. What has been in the works for almost 10 years the Somerset Hills History Coloring Book is scheduled to released soon and a lot of people are excited.
Image: Front Cover of Somerset Hills History Coloring Book
The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book highlights the history of Somerset Hills, New Jersey. The area is in the northern section of Somerset County including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, and Peapack Gladstone. The book contains 34 images including the areas famous people, places, and events in the Somerset Hills local history. General George Washington, General Charles Lee, Widow White, King George II, Governor Sir Francis Bernard and Betsy Ross are just a few of the historic figures that will be ready to color in the book. Historic sites include the Brick Academy schoolhouse, the Vanderveer House (home to General Knox), the Boudinout-Ross House, the Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead and many other local historic sites. Story images also include America’s first military academy, the lost Pluckemin Cantonment, the ghost of Phyllis Parker, and the infamous capture of General Charles Lee at Widow White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge.
Image: Back Cover Somerset Hills History Coloring Book
The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book is authored by Brooks Betz, a resident of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township. The idea came up during the Bernards Township 250th celebration where a local friend Jen Stiles volunteered to create a beautiful historic mural of the township at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge.
“When I moved to Basking Ridge in 2003, I felt it was important to learn the local history. Once I met the local historical society, I immediately got involved”, says Brooks Betz, author of the book. Then at an annual book sale in Bernardsville, Brooks found an old coloring book that was prepared by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Bernardsville. “I was so psyched to see the illustrations I immediately reached out to them.” The AAUW couldn’t find any information on the original drawings but gave authorization to include them with this project.” It was then that he began the project.
Introducing Artist Linda Arnold
With the initial drawings set, Betz reached out to local artist Linda Arnold who lives in the nearby Liberty Corner section of Bernards Township. “Linda is such a great person and I’ve loved her artwork and dedication to many of the history efforts she had done with the local historical society. “Linda’s involvement in the project is the only way I would have ever done the book,” said Betz. “Her love of art and history made here the perfect person for the project.” Linda created many of the local iconic images in the book.
Pricing & Release
The retail price of the Somerset Hills History Coloring Book will be $9.95. The intent is for every book that’s sold, one will be donated to a local history educational program. Betz noted,”there’s no intent to make money on the book, I just hope that we can raise enough money to give away hundreds of books so kids can learn about our history and have a little fun”.
The plan is to offer the books to the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills education program, housed in a 1809 classical schoolhouse in Basking Ridge. Also the book will be shared with local public school programs that focus on 3rd graders who already study New Jersey history. A preschool program is also being discussed. Organization will be permitted to copy single pages for individual programs, but if multiple images are needed, it’s suggested that a book be acquired for each pupil.
The Somerset Hills History Coloring Book should be available in late March 2017 and will be available for purchase on Amazon.com. T3 Consortium will be happy to order books for organizations at cost if they order 10 or more.
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