METC Spotlight

To mark the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) and emphasize the significant work of history organizations and programs across the state, we asked our FY2017 and FY2018 grant recipients to submit a short narrative and photos describing the impact of NJHC funding. Each week until the end of our fiscal year in June, we will post a spotlight featuring the responses of our grant recipients. Whether NJHC support contributed to general operating, a brand new exhibit, an engaging education program or the restoration of a historic object, it’s truly amazing to see what New Jersey history organizations, libraries, and individuals have to offer.

This week we spotlight the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, New Jersey!


This narrative was presented by METC Director, Deborah Farrar Starker, at the NJHC’s 50th Anniversary Meeting on December 4, 2017:

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts (METC) is a unique history museum.  Our stories are about the creative men and women who made New Jersey their home in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Audiences at METC discover the fascinating stories of the hardworking craftspeople, farmers, tradespeople, inventors and artisans who forged new communities throughout New Jersey. Grant support from the New Jersey Historical Commission allows us to properly tell these stories, to explore more deeply how the lives of these early settlers helped form the place called New Jersey, and how the gradual industrialization in the late 19th century led to new innovations, new technologies and new prosperity for our state. The museum’s primary mission is teaching New Jersey history from a different point of view–the perspective of the everyday person who lived just like us in a changing world.  We work hard to help our guests feel a connection to the people who came before them. Our primary audience is students and our exceptional educational programs provide a framework to help develop critical thinking and encourage questions and new ideas.  With funding from the NJHC, we are given the opportunity and resources to expose all our students and visitors to history that does not single out only the rich, the prominent, or the well-known, but focuses on the stories of the common people whose contribution to the history of New Jersey are equally important.

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For questions about NJHC Grantee Spotlights, please contact Greer Luce, Communications Officer, at 609-633-0776 or



About the New Jersey Historical Commission

The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.