Discussion on ‘The Awful Disaster’ June 24

Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission will present “The Awful Picnic: The General Slocum Disaster” by Kathleen Hulser, public historian for the New York Historical Society, 7 p.m. June 24. The free program will be at East Jersey Olde Towne Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway.

In 1904, church members from the New York German community boarded the steamer General Slocum for the annual picnic, and a few hours later, 1,021 passengers were dead after the steamer started burning in the East River. Hulser’s talk will feature rare photos from the collections of the New York Historical Society showing the steamship.

Afterward, staff member Mark Nonestied will provide perspective on the General Slocum aftermath within Middlesex County. Photos show that the burned hulk of the steamboat was purchased by Thomas Gregory, Perth Amboy.

To register, call 732-745-3030 or the TTY at 711.