June 2014: Solitude House, one of High Bridge’s most historic homes, has lain fallow over the difficult winter months and is now preparing for a rebirth with the arrival of spring.
The High Bridge Cultural & Heritage Committee (C&H) and the High Bridge Historical Society (HBHS) are teaming up to refurbish the former home of the Taylor family, who operated the iron and steel company that became core to the development of High Bridge. The current goal is to make Solitude House an important focal point in the community in order to preserve and celebrate our community’s rich history.
We are readying some of the ground floor rooms for public use. There will be display areas for long-term and short-term exhibits with space for meetings. Rotating displays will be offered, each highlighting a different aspect of community life and history. The first exhibit, which we hope to open sometime in June, will tell the story of our all-volunteer High Bridge Fire Department, whose members have been an invaluable human resource for more than 100 years.
More is needed in order to make Solitude House a viable heritage site to be passed on to future generations. The support and help of High Bridge residents is needed to make this happen. Making Solitude House what it needs to be can be accomplished through your donations of time, materials, money and grants.
YOU CAN HELP! Can you swing a mop, wash windows, or brandish a cleaning rag? Your help is needed. We are looking for volunteers willing to help with general clean-up, yard work, painting, carpentry and masonry. Volunteers are needed to perform such functions as grant writer, operations manager, collections manager, curator, public programmer, exhibit designer, archaeologist and historic architect. Solitude House workdays are being set up. Dates will be published on the Borough website.
Do you have suitable historic items to donate? We are especially interested in items that were owned or used by members of the Taylor family or the Taylor Iron and Steel Company as well as items owned or used by former employees of the Taylor Iron and Steel Company.
Do you have items that could be useful in setting up the exhibit spaces, community spaces and building maintenance? Donations of money, antique furniture, display cases, display boards, shadow boxes, picture frames, lumber, paint – all are welcome.
For all items to be donated, PLEASE send a photo in advance to Solitude House. We will get back to you with specific arrangements. If you are interested in volunteering in any of the capacities outlined above, please contact us via email with details.
Come be a part of this significant project.
Cultural & Heritage Committee