The Monroe Township Historic Society will welcome ‘George Washington’ to the Pfeiffer Center on March 26 to talk about important women in history during Women’s History Month.
Retired teacher Samuel Davis portrays Washington through different programs. At the Pfeiffer Center, he will discuss women like Molly Pitcher, a New Jersey native.
“He does the speeches in front of different groups and he has about five programs that he does,” said Monroe Township Historical Society President Susanne McKee. “This particular program is for Women’s History Month …
“We are hoping to have a nice audience come out; we reached out to some of the Girl Scout organizations and through the school, we try to drum up interest.”
Programs like Davis’ are often part of historical society programming in the winter months. Admission at Pfeiffer is free, but the organization wants participants to bring in a canned good item for the community pantry.
A previous event at the society included an ancestral specialist who helped area residents research their Black ancestors in honor of Black History Month in February. The most important programs for the nonprofit are spring tours of the historic buildings for fourth grade students in the Monroe school district.
“I think one of the most valuable things we do are the school tours,” said McKee. “We have every school come … I also think that when we do have these speakers or different programs, it is family oriented.”
The society has three historic buildings: the Ireland Hofer House, the Hall Street School and the Reading Room. Students are welcome at the facilities in spring to learn about the history of Monroe and the state.
“We have rooms dedicated to different parts of history,” McKee explained. “We have the Colonial and Victorian. The last person who had the Ireland House was a doctor, so we also have a room dedicated to all the doctors, current and former, dating back to the Civil War time.”
Each of these society buildings is open to the public and tours can be scheduled. They are also open and decorated for the holidays and tree lighting ceremony, and for the Spring Arts and Craft Festival on April 23.
According to McKee, most of the visitors who come for tours are Monroe district alumni who bring their children and show them what they learned on their visits.
“If a particular family wants to come in, we have a membership,” said McKee. And then for the schools, we have an alumni association, so (for) anyone who went to school there, we have all the school lists of every class. So people come in all the time to either see pictures of their classmates or the names of people that were in school with them.”
While a nonprofit, the historical society is unique in its funding. According to McKee, early in the 1970s, former Mayor Winne Sharp commissioned a group of volunteers to organize and preserve the history of Monroe. Each year thereafter, the mayor and council supported historical preservation, particularly for school children and residents. That helps the buildings and grounds – paid for through the township – to maintain the historic buildings and land.