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On Saturday, February 25th, approximately $6,600 was added to $100K previously raised for creating the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM). The museum will be located in the former home of Mt. Zion AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church on Hollow Road (Skillman), and will educate visitors about African American history within the Sourland region which includes Lambertville, East Amwell, West Amwell, Hillsborough, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, and Montgomery. Some of the many artifacts to be displayed will include photos, diaries, wills, deeds, slave records, and military uniforms and weapons.

(left to right) John Buck, SSAAM Board President with Advisory Board Members S. Elaine Buck, and Beverly Mills. Ms. Buck and Ms. Mills are co-authors of the forthcoming book entitled “If These Stones Could Talk”, a book about the African American presence in Hopewell Valley and surrounding area

Success of the museum weighs on its committed cast of volunteers, SSAAM Board Members: John Buck (President), Bruce Daniels (Vice President), Catherine Hogan (Treasurer), Marylou Ferrara, Kevin Burkman, Rev. Edwin Lloyd, Jack Koeppel, and Shana Williams, and Advisory Board Members Caroline Katmann, Beverly Mills, and S. Elaine Buck, and its partnership with the Sourland Conservancy. At this stage, partnership with the Conservancy has been critical as its Executive Director, Caroline Katmann, is devoting much of her time to writing grants for the museum. To date, she has obtained a $67K Somerset County Historic Preservation grant and $20K New Jersey Council for the Humanities grant.

According to Katmann, an additional $80K must be raised by the end of 2017 for needed structural repairs to the museum’s future home. The repairs are not only critical to the museum’s opening but to its inclusion in national and state historic registries and its ability to borrow materials and exhibits from other African American museums.

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Information about the museum can be found on Facebook (@stoutsburgsourlandafricanamericanmuseum) and Twitter (@SSAAMuseum). To donate, click here.

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