Upcoming events to honor community’s rich heritage

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

EDISON — October is the time for the community to celebrate its rich history.

The Township Council designated October as Edison Heritage Month in 2001, said Ian Durand, executive director of the township Center for Community Renewal.

According to Durand, this month was always special in the township because on Oct. 21, 1879, Thomas Alva Edison perfected the first light bulb that would last more than just a few minutes in his Menlo Park workshop. That day is designated Thomas Edison Day in remembrance of the accomplishment.

Several events are scheduled throughout the course of the month to honor the history and people of the township.

The township celebrated the second annual Multi-Cultural Fair Saturday at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Division Street.

The fair was "a mix of educational displays, food and entertainment," Durand said.

The fair focused on all of the different ethnic groups in the township. There were educational displays on different cultures, ethnic foods and performances showcasing many types of dance and song from the various cultures.

"We’re really trying to get representatives from the different ethnic groups to come out [to the township events]," Durand said.

On Oct. 18, the third annual Edison History Day will take place at the Historic Stelton Baptist Church on Plainfield Avenue. Artifacts, photographs, maps and documents that span from the pre-Revolutionary War era to the end of the 20th century will be on hand, Durand said.

Members of the Metuchen/Edison Historical Society will also detail the rich history of Edison, he said.

The types of artifacts shown will range from a trunk that someone who fought in the Revolutionary War would have car­ried with him to the roster of the first Edison Fire Company which dates back to 1916, Durand said.

Selections from the Edison Tower Mu­seum, located on Christie Street, will also be available for public review, he said.

At the end of the month, the township will be honoring its namesake with edu­cational school programs on Oct. 21 and 22.

Jack Stanley, director of the Edison Tower Museum, will give presentations at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Oct. 21 and to John Adams Middle School on Oct. 22 to teach sixth- and seventh-grade students about the inventor.

The sixth- and seventh-graders were chosen for the program because the stu­dents are at "an age where they’re old enough to understand but young enough to still listen," Durand said.

Stanley will go to Herbert Hoover Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School next year, Durand said.

Each year the program will rotate among the four middle schools so that the program will be taught in two schools per year.

"Our intent is to have every public school student in the township know more about their town’s namesake," Du­rand said.