Foundry Festival-275th Anniversary Taylor-Wharton – High Bridge – Oct 14 & 15

On October 14 and 15, High Bridge will celebrate the 275 year long history of Taylor-Wharton, the iron and steel company the town was built around, with two days of great events!

The Foundry Festival starts at 10:00 on Saturday with a Street Fair with vendors and sidewalk sales along Main Street.  The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) will demonstrate forging and CRAFTS of New Jersey will show how smelting and sand casting were done by Taylor-Wharton years ago.  Food vendors will open on the Commons at 11:00.

At 1:30, there will be a parade with over 200 participants from local organizations and businesses.  There will be floats, fire department and emergency squad vehicles and a gold dredge bucket, made by Taylor-Wharton over 80 years ago, which has traveled from Chatanika, Alaska  (outside Fairbanks) for this event.  Following the parade, the Street Fair and iron demonstrations will continue.  There will be music in the Commons and the dredge bucket will be on display with members of the Chatanika Gold Dredge Co. LLC, available to tell about its long history.  A 12 foot by 22 foot model railroad exhibit with Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) trains will be operated by Central Jersey N-trak at the High Bridge United Methodist Church. In the evening, there will be a welcome by Mayor Desire, brief statements by other dignitaries, and a premiere showing of Taylor-Wharton film footage which has been in cold storage at the Hagley-Museum and Library (Wilmington, Delaware) for nearly fifty years.  Other short films will be shown highlighting Taylor-Wharton products plus a brief film about Custom Alloy which now owns the former Taylor-Wharton steel plant.

On Sunday, the celebration will spread out across town.  Walking tours of historic Main Street and Railroad History sites will be offered, as well as tours of the High Bridge Reformed Church and parsonage and the Host Masonic Lodge.  Solitude House will be open for tours and fun activities for kids run by the local Girl Scouts.  History exhibits will be set up by the High Bridge Historical Society, American Legion, High Bridge High School Alumni, the Boy Scouts, Host Masonic Lodge and others.  The N-trak model railroad exhibit will be open.   The recently digitized Taylor-Wharton films from the 1930s and 1940s, additional films about the giant dredges and other historic films will be shown at the Emergency Squad building.  Most of these Sunday events and activities will be from 1:00 to 4:00, others at different times.  Schedules with times and locations will be available on Saturday and on Facebook.