Donation Covers a Range of Stillwater's History

Betty English, Tuesday 08 March 2011 - 23:21:00

Dr. Edward Cosgrove, lifetime member of HSST, donated a large collection of Native American artifacts, Stillwater photos and vintage postcards to the Society. His donation is a wonderful addition to HSST's collection and we extend our thanks to Dr. Cosgrove for his generosity.

Following is just a sampling of items in the Cosgrove Collection. We encourage you to visit the Museum this summer during our Sunday openings to see the collection or -email- to arrange an appointment.

Native American Artifacts

The Native American artifacts were found on the property of Mr. Levi T. Serey. Mr Serey, a Middleville farmer in the early-mid 20th Century, was married to May Hill, Dr. Cosgrove's relative. The farm was located on the current Route 521 in the Keen's Mill area and is shown on the map below:

The artifacts range from arrowheads and axes to ornamental pieces and pestles.

Ax Head:

Gorget (ornamental piece worn around the neck; had a ceremonial purpose):

Nutter (used to grind nuts in the concave area):

Photo Albums

There are two photo albums in the Cosgrove Collection, both of which belonged to May Hill Serey. The earlier album (before circa 1917/1918) centers around the Lake House, a hotel May's parents owned in Swartswood. The later album (post circa 1917/1918) centers around the Middleville farm that would later belong to May and Levi Serey. It had a boarding house called Lake Cottage as well as a schoolhouse.

This line crew, shown in Swartswood, laid the first phone lines in the area:

Levi Serey, working the Middleville farm:


The postcards in the Cosgrove Collection primarily consist of Stillwater area postcards, though New Jersey at large and other geographic locations are represented. The messages on some of the postcards give us a glimpse into everyday life in our area in the early 20th Century. One postcard promises a secret if the reader looks under the stamp. Of course, the stamp is long gone - and the secret along with it.

Robbins Store:

Swartswood Post Office and General Store:

High Falls House:

this content item is from Historical Society of Stillwater Township
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