CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- The story of a New Jersey farming community in the crossroads of war will come to life when Howell Living History Farm presents "Pleasant Valley in the Revolution" the weekend of May 2, 3 and 4.

Historian and award-winning author Larry Kidder of Ewing will open the program on Friday, May 2, with a talk based on his new book, "A People Harassed and Exhausted: The Story of New Jersey Militia Regiment in the American Revolution." The illustrated lecture tells the story of the American Revolution from the point of view of the people of Pleasant Valley, part of the New Jersey population described by George Washington as "a people harassed and exhausted." Kidder will sign copies of the book after the program with proceeds benefiting the farm's educational programs.

The program continues on both Saturday and Sunday, when members of Lamb's Artillery Company and Daniel Morgan's Rifle Company re-enact times when the farmers of Pleasant Valley belonged to the patriot militia fighting for America's independence from England. The story of the Phillips family who owned what is now Howell Living History Farm, as well as stories of other Pleasant Valley residents, will be told through militia drills, musket and cannon firings, cooking demonstrations and a re-enactment of soldiers mustering at the Justice John Phillips House. From 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the public can visit the encampment and talk with soldiers about their equipment, the types of duties they performed, and the many ways they served the patriot cause. There will be a 2 p.m. cannon firing on both days.

On Saturday, visitors can also get a glimpse of later times in Pleasant Valley by visiting the Henry Phillips barn, where farmers will be shearing sheep and processing wool. Food, a children's craft program and horse drawn hayrides can be purchased (Saturday only).

Howell Farm is a facility of the Mercer County Park Commission. It is located on Valley Road, just off Route 29 two miles south of Lambertville, NJ (GPS location: 70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville 08530). The farm is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.; parking and admission are free. On Friday, May 2, gates open at 7 p.m. for Mr. Kidder's talk; there is a suggested donation of $3 for the program.

For additional information about the farm's programs, call 609-737-3299 or visit websites www.howellfarm.org or www.mercercountyparks.org.

Contacts: Kathy Brilla, Program Coordinator:  609-737-3299 or kbrilla@mercercounty.org