The Hoboken Museum is constantly evolving in new and exciting ways to bring the history and vibrancy of Hoboken to life for everyone. Here are 25 ways that we’re achieving this.
A special opening reception for each exhibit is held for Museum members. This was the opening for “From another time: Hoboken in the 1970s.” It featured photos from that period by three talented photographers: Caroline Carlson, John F. Conn and Benedict J. Fernandez. Our current exhibit is “Yum-Yum, Tootsie Rolls & Chocolate Bunnies on Motorcycles: A Sweet History of Hoboken.”
Published Museum Books
To extend the life of an exhibit and to be able to share it with more people, the Museum publishes its own books, which are for sale in the Museum’s gift shop. Along with From another time: Hoboken in the 1970s, which feature 150 black and white photos, you’ll find Greetings from Hoboken, 350 lavishly produced postcards from Hoboken’s “Golden Age” (1890-1910); On The Waterfront, The Great Ships of Hoboken, 170 photographs and illustrations that give a pictorial tribute to Hoboken’s once booming waterfront by maritime historian William H. Miller; and 100 Hoboken Firsts by Hoboken historian and Museum founder Jim Hans who celebrates the fact that more firsts happened here in Hoboken than any other mile-square town in America.
School Visits & Education Programs
As the Museum has formed new relationships with Hoboken teachers and schools, our Education Curator has designed a variety of programs which explore the Museum’s current exhibit in relation to Hoboken history and grade-level curriculum guidelines. A local field trip to the Museum can help students see a link between what they’re learning in school and the world around them. Learn more about this and all our Education Programs, by emailing Robin Westervelt at email@example.com.
Guest Speakers & Author Events
The Museum hosted Tom Vincent’s “Kitchen Table Music” — a reunion of musicians celebrating the sounds of the 1980s. This lecture series dovetailed perfectly with the Museum’s exhibit: “Hoboken Tunes: Our Musical Heritage.”
Oral History Chapbooks & Event Party
Amada Ortega and her family were honored at the Oral History Chapbook party that promoted the chapbook “Hoboken Was Like Heaven to Us: Recollections of Amada Ortega.” You can read about her experiences as well as our other published chapbooks in 25 Oral Histories. Chapbooks are produced in partnership with the Friends of the Library.
Hoboken Baby Parade
While dressing up babies and parading them through town may have a historical basis, today it’s just plain fun for parents to come up with creative ways to dress up their baby and baby carriages as they parade them through town. Each year, the Museum is proud to present trophies for Best Dressed Child, Most Creative Carriage and Best Dressed Family.
Hoboken Secret Garden Tour
For over ten years, the Museum has been attracting garden lovers everywhere who enjoy discovering the new and enchanting secret gardens of Hoboken. This garden was featured in Better Homes & Garden magazine.
Hoboken Heirloom Tomato-Tasting Festival
For almost ten years, the Museum has held an Annual Heirloom Tomato-Tasting event in the breezeway outside of the Museum’s entrance. Heirloom tomatoes, which are usually the most flavorful, are grown from seeds that gardeners have saved and passed on from generation to generation.
Parents or a caretaker can bring a child between the ages of two and five to the Museum to hear stories read by Hoboken librarian Penny Metsch, who is also a Museum trustee. Uptown Storytime is offered the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 10 a.m. No registration required; $2 donation appreciated.
The Upper Gallery space allows the Museum to showcase a wide range of works from photographs to three-dimensional pieces. Currently, we’re featuring “Unfolding Landscapes: Books and Boxes by Barbara Mauriello.” With her artist’s eye, she is drawn to rich colors and geometric shapes. She admires the work of French artists of the mid-20th century, including Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, and particularly Sonia Delaunay, who created her own books without any formal training. Mauriello has made books from fragments of fire-damaged 18th century illustrated manuscripts and 19th century contracts written on vellum, and created books inspired by Apache playing cards, Russian constructivist costumes and good-luck charms embroidered on kimonos. Her work has been exhibited in many museums.
Museum Shop (travels outside, too)
Whenever there’s a festival in town, you can be sure that the Museum is there to offer you the opportunity to purchase the gifts you’d find in our store. We have everything from tee-shirts, hats, pins and magnets to beautifully illustrated books and prints.
Hoboken Pet Parade
Our Annual Pet Parade was October 2nd with a Pet Fair at noon. This year, the parade moved up the waterfront to Maxwell Place Park and Pier, between 11th and 12th Streets. Dressing up your pet is always encouraged as trophies are awarded for Best Costume, Best Pet-Owner Look-Alike and Best Group Costume. Participation is free.
Hoboken Heirloom Garlic Festival
While this is a poster from our 2nd annual Heirloom Garlic-Tasting Festival, it shows how we offer free garlic tastings with lots of delicious fresh-from-the-farm produce for sale. The event is always free.
Hoboken House Tour
While Hoboken is certainly home to lavishly decorated Victorian brownstones, many of which are typically on the tour, you’re also usually in for some stunning surprises. This year’s Hoboken House Tour is Sunday October 23rd. Self-guided tours leave from the Museum starting at 10 a.m.
How many communities can boast that they have a real live cave in town? Sybil’s Cave was once a draw for 20,000 weekend New Yorkers who came to picnic in Hoboken and spend a penny to taste the cave’s spring water. Today, you can buy a bottle of water from the Museum with a Sybil’s Cave label to give you the feel (but not the taste) of that long ago time.
Summer Camp Programs
While the Museum’s Uptown Storytime took a break during the summer, that’s when our summer camp program went into full gear. In June, we had City Stories with arts, crafts, and neighborhood walks to learn about city life. In July, we had History Explorers where we explored the Museum’s exhibits, learned about early Hoboken and how objects from the past can teach us about the way people lived. During August’s Hoboken History Detectives, we explored the maritime history of Hoboken’s many piers along the Hudson River, examined objects from the Museum’s education collection, and learned about dinosaurs and Native Americans who lived in the area long ago.
Hoboken Kid’s Map
How many maps do you know that are designed by kids? Our Hoboken Kid’s Map shows the favorite places Hoboken children have told us they like to visit, explore and indulge in — especially when it comes to their ice-cream loving taste buds.
Hoboken Fire Museum
For many, the Fire Museum at 213 Bloomfield Street was a building they passed not knowing when it was open. Now the Museum is manning it on weekends with volunteers so everyone in the city can enjoy seeing a treasure trove of fire gear and memorabilia documenting Hoboken’s bravest in battling fires — the fiercest being from the early 1900s. Stop by the Fire Museum Saturday or Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. to learn more.
Frank Sinatra Walking Tour
After visiting the Fire Museum at 2nd and Bloomfield Streets, you’re not too far from 415 Monroe Street where a Hollywood Boulevard-style, three-foot square, bronze star — designed and installed by the Museum — commemorates the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. There are over 20 stops of this tour — all designed to give you a new way to look at this Mile Square town that Frank once called home.
The Great Hoboken Auction
While The Great Hoboken Auction may have appeared in many locations (old Maxwell House building, old Hollywood Video store and, as pictured above, outside in a tent) — the excitement has remained the same. One-of-a-kind experiences are yours for the bidding. This year, we plan to outdo ourselves with our live auction at the GalaPalooza25 party at the W Hotel on November 4th to celebrate the Museum’s 25th anniversary. Check out our auction preview.
Whether you’re in charge of Cub Scouts, Daisies, Brownies or Girl Scouts, the Museum has an educational scout program to satisfy the troops and meet merit badge requirements. Each of our programs are sixty minutes long and filled with fun ways to learn that result in positive experiences in the discovery of local history and architecture. To learn more, contact our Education Curator.
Reenactment of 1864 Baseball Game
The Hoboken Museum knows how to play ball — for real! We recreate the excitement of what it was like back then and make sure everyone involved enjoys this great American pastime. Whether you love to play or just like to cheer on your winning team, this is game worth attending.
Hoboken Walking Tours
Hoboken has always been a walkable city. The Museum has a self-guided walking tour map of some of the most interesting architectural places in town. And, thanks to Allen Kratz and Paul Sommerville, we also had a guided tour titled “Tours through Time” where Allen Kratz, a Historic Preservation expert, provided additional insights into our buildings’ historic past. “The Moveable Feast” was another walking tour the Museum offered, which visited historical local eateries and bakeries. Today, we’re featuring a “Sweet Tour” on Saturdays at 10 a.m. to coordinate with our current exhibit.
The Hoboken Ball
The Museum is always trying something new. Our first Masked Ball, where over 1,000 people attended, was held in the upper level of the Lackawanna Train station. Later it was moved and re-created as Hot Night in Havana. This year, our event extravaganza will be GalaPalooza25 — the party of the year. Don’t miss our 25th anniversary celebration, because once its gone — it’s history.
Online Collection of Hoboken History
Last, but not least, the actual last drop from the Maxwell House Coffee Sign is one of 50,000 items that the Museum has in its collection. Many pieces are available on the Museum’s website for online viewing.