Headquarters: Force Homestead
366 South Livingston Avenue Livingston, New Jersey 07039
The Livingston Historical Society aims to foster wide appreciation of the development of our community from its earliest days. In pursuit of this aim, it strives to discover, collect, preserve, publish and exhibit materials illustrating the history of the area. The monthly meetings frequently include addresses by specialists on topics of local interest and are open to the enjoyment of members and their guests. The Society has restored and maintains the Force Homestead, around which the programs of the Society are centered. It is also the trustee of the Ely Cemetery.
Anyone interested in preserving a small part of the History of Livingston is cordially invited to attend any of the monthly meetings held at the Senior / Community Center. They are held on the fourth Monday of the Month (September through April) at 7:30 pm.
The Force Homestead Museum, 366 South Livingston Ave., is open to the public the second Sunday of each month for tours conducted by members of the Livingston Historical Society. In addition, private tours may be arranged by calling Helen Shumsky of the Historical Society at 973 992-3017.
Built in 1745 by the Force family, early settlers in Livingston, the original home consisted of one large room and a loft area. The house was expanded in 1800. The home contains a fireplace in nearly every room and is furnished with period pieces and articles including grandfather clocks and spinning wheels donated by Livingston residents. The Homestead was purchased by the Township in 1962. Members of the Historical Society conduct free monthly “Open House” tours.
Members of the Society are also trustees of the the Ely Cemetery and open it for tours twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. The cemetery was established by Captain William Ely around 1777. In 1864, Ambrose Ely enlarged the graveyard to twice its original size and constructed a stone wall around it.