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Contact: Paul C. DiNero

Once Upon a Time: A New Exhibit at Liberty Hall

UNION Ė Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University will open a new interactive exhibit for children, Once Upon a Time: The Story of the Children of Liberty Hall. This extraordinary display will explore five distinct generations of children who grew up at Liberty Hall during the Revolutionary War, New Nation, Civil War, Late Victorian and Modern Age eras. The exhibit will be on display during regular museum hours beginning April 23 and continuing through December.

Through the use of artifacts, reproductions and hands-on activities, children will discover the evolution of education, recreation and technology and grasp an understanding of how the world of a child is constantly changing. The exhibit features photos, clothes, toys and furniture of the times, as well as a newly created interactive nursery circa 1899.

"Children are overwhelmed with curiosity," said John Kean, who grew up at Liberty Hall and whose family lived in the home for nearly two centuries. "As crucial as it is to read about history, it is equally, if not more important to see, touch and relive history. We hope every child that walks through our doors leaves with a greater appreciation for our nationís history and their lives."

The museumís staff has also built a story book nook with an oversized window seat for children to sit and read a story about the kids of Liberty Hall, written by Terry Golway, director of the John Kean Center for American History. The exhibit ends with a tour of Liberty Hallís historic gardens where children can run around in the formally sculpted maze.

A gallery guide is available for adults and provides detailed information about the exhibit. A viewing of the exhibit is included with the purchase of a general admission pass. Costs are adults, $10; seniors, college students with a valid I.D. and children, $6; and children under three, free. For more information about the exhibit or to make reservations, call (908) 527-0400, e-mail or visit

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 200 years of American history. Built in 1772 by William Livingston, New Jerseyís first elected governor, the Victorian style mansion is a treasure trove of historic riches. Along with forgotten letters from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Liberty Hall also houses extensive collections of antique furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse is the latest addition to the Museumís complex housing two antique fire engines and a collection of fire memorabilia.

Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey. It is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.