Author Archives: Janet Markman

A Thanksgiving Cartoon

CARTOON by Thomas Nast, UNCLE SAM’S THANKSGIVING DINNER: 1869. Nast, a Republican, became a staunch supporter of Democrat Grover Cleveland during the 1884 election. Nast is credited with creating the iconic images of the donkey and the elephant that would come to represent the two major parties.

READ MORE: Notice at the top, center of the cartoon, the small banner draped over the portrait of President Ulysess S. Grant with the words, “15th Amendment,” and in the table’s centerpiece, “Self Governance” and “Universal Suffrage.”  This scene was the artist’s, and the magazine’s, endorsement of the 15th amendment which had been undergoing vigorous debate, with removals and revisions in Congress throughout the year. It would finally pass the following February of 1870, during Grant’s presidency. https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xv   In 1884, Despite Thomas Nast’s party affiliation as a Republican, he found he could not conscientiously vote for, or support, Cleveland’s opponent, James Blaine, who Nast saw as a thoroughly corrupt leader. Throughout the 1884 election year Nast drew scathing cartoons of the Republican candidate portrayed as a thief and conversely, published glowing cartoons portraying Grover Cleveland as a heroic non-partisan reformer. In the words of the artist’s grandson, Thomas Nast St. Hill, “it was generally conceded that Nast’s support won Cleveland the small margin by which he was elected. In this his last national political campaign, Nast had, in fact, ‘made a president.'”

 

 

Volunteers Deliver Totes of Christmas Decor at The Grover Cleveland Birthplace

From left to right are Members of BSA Venturing Crew 59 of Caldwell – Noraleigh Brown, Ashna Razdan, Nora Brown, Steve Brown, Matt Summers and JB Mollet  Photo and text by Sharon Farrell, Caretaker Grover Cleveland Birthplace New Jersey State Historic Site

Proof that ‘many hands make light work,’ our totes full of Christmas decor were passed “bucket brigade style” up from the museum cellar and into the 1830s kitchen by a contingent from local Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 59. Faux greenery and foods are used in our arrangements to ensure protection of the museum artifacts from such things as pine tar and insects. Museum-quality faux evergreens, holly, magnolia, rose hips, berries, and fruits, with touches of ribbons and bows will be unpacked with tender loving care and decked throughout the house. Thank you to everyone who helped us get our Christmas decorations from storage!

Caldwell Ghost Historical Walk and Talk

A locomotive going too fast, fires going out of control, stories about a world famous hotel, and an individual being pushed in a wheelbarrow for winning a bet are just a few of the stories which will be told at the Halloween Ghost Walk presented by the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Association on Friday October 25th.  (Raindate will be Saturday October 26th.)    Tours will start at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace, 207 Bloomfield Avenue at 5:00 and will continue every half hour into the early evening. The walks will travel west on Bloomfield Avenue and will make stops at the First Presbyterian Church and many historical storefronts.  The final stop will be at the well-known Cloverleaf Tavern.  Tickets are $15.00 each and will be available at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and the West Caldwell Public Library after October 1st. Each tour will be one hour in length.  (Tickets must be obtained before the event and will not be sold on October 25th.)
Tour guides will include members of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association, local historians, and local educators.  The walk will be a great way for participants to learn about Grover Cleveland and the Grover Cleveland Birthplace, and Caldwell, Essex County, and New Jersey History.  For additional details, please contact Paul Maloney at EssexNewsMaloney@aol.com or call the Grover Cleveland Birthplace at 973-226-0001.

 

July 4th – Ice Cream Social – Historic Bake off – Lavender Cookies

 

 

Once again the Fourth of July Ice Cream Social at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace will feature an Historic Cookie Bake-off. This year’s cookie is the Lavender Cookie in honor of our cookie loving native son, President Grover Cleveland. Start looking through family recipes, old cookbooks or historical food sites to find your own Lavender Cookie recipe

Lavender Cookie Bake-off Rules:

  • Entries must be from scratch. No mixes permitted;
  • Only one entry per person;
  • By entering this contest, you give permission to the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association to use your recipe for distribution and, if not under copyright, publication;
  • No entry fee;
  • Entries must include 2 dozen cookies: one for judging and one for sale. Please use disposable plate and cover;
  • Entries must include entry form (inside) and a copy of the recipe, typed or written legibly;
  • Entries cannot require refrigeration;
  • Judging criteria: Most Attractive Cookie: 50% for Appearance, 30% for Taste, 20% for Use of Traditional Ingredients; All other categories: 80% for Taste; 20% for Use of Traditional Ingredients. Avoid 20th/21st century ingredients such as Baking Powder, vegetable shortening, margarine, etc.;
  • Decision of Judges will be final (Judges are volunteers);
  • Entry must be received by 1:00 pm, July 4, 2019 at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace, 207 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ. Winner need not be present;
  • Entries must be cookies and can be a shaped, rolled, or dropped. Items such as breads, cupcakes, etc. won’t be accepted.

2019 Ice Cream Social –  Lavender Cookie Bake-off – entry form

Name:           __________________________________________________________________________________

Address:          __________________________________________________________________________________

Phone:       __________________________ Email:          _______________________________________________

Any personal history of your recipe you would like to share:  _________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Download Rules and Entry form  – Click Here

 

 

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association Receives Outstanding Service Award

Melissa Castellon, – Hopatcong State Park Superintendent with GCBMA President Dave Cowell – photo courtesy of New Jersey State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites.

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association (GCBMA) was granted the OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD by the New Jersey Governor’s Office on Volunteerism and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism “for your efforts and talents in sustaining the communities of New Jersey”.  The award ceremony, part of the Department of the Environment’s April 29th recognition day event at Batsto Historic Village, a New Jersey historic site in Burlington County, was to recognize the achievements of the friends organizations that support the state parks and historic sites.  Tahesha Way, the Secretary of state noted “that everyone can be great…..because anybody can serve.” citing Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Jr.’s observation on volunteering for the public good.
Also at the same service, the Division of Parks and Forestry of the DEP awarded a certificate of Appreciation to the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association signed by Olivia Glenn the Director of the Division.  The award was in response to a nomination from Melissa Castellon the Hopatcong State Park Supervisor.  Superintendent Castellon noted in her nomination that the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association has staged large historical events such as the re-enactment of the Inauguration of 1893 with the Montclair Symphony Orchestra, active community events such as the annual Ice Cream Socials on July 4th, sponsored scholarship on Grover Cleveland’s life and times in New Jersey, and supports the work of the State in making the visitors welcome and encouraged.  The GCBMA also has raised large funds to help build a new Visitor Center incorporating the Carriage House, part of the historic structures at the site.
The  GCBMA is a not for profit Officially Recognized Friends Organization for the site; indeed, the group was formed in 1913, purchased and preserved the birthplace, and turned it over to the state for the public’s use in 1933, making it one of the oldest friends organizations in the state.  The birthplace is located at 207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ open Wed. thru Sat. 10am – 4pm Closed 12pm -1pm for lunch and Sunday 1pm – 4pm.  School and group tours are also available, you can call the birthplace at (973) 226-0001, and free parking is available.    Also Follow/ like us on facebook  –https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandBirthplaceAssociation/ .

Louis Picone – Presentation at Grover Cleveland’s Birthday Ceremony, March 18, 2019

Louis Picone – a presidential author, scholar, faculty member of William Paterson University.and Trustee of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association gives a presentation to commemorate the 182nd anniversary of president Grover Cleveland’s birth. Photo by Janet Markman

Remarks delivered by Louis L. Picone at  Grover Cleveland’s Birthday Ceremony, March 18, 2019 in Caldwell, New Jersey

Today we gather to commemorate the 182nd anniversary of President Grover Cleveland’s birth. On March 18, 1837, two midwives delivered baby Stephen Grover Cleveland in the back room of this home. Before he died in Princeton in 1908, he had celebrated 71 birthdays. He spent his first three birthdays right here in Caldwell, New Jersey. By his fourth the young boy had moved to Fayetteville, New York.[1]

Over the following years he celebrated his birthdays, first as the young boy Stephen Grover, and later as the ambitious, hard-working man, simply known as “Grover.” By his fifteenth birthday he had left school to work at a grocery store to help support his family. He welcomed his 17th year as a teacher for the New York Institute for the Blind. On his 19th birthday he was a clerk in a law office in Buffalo and by his 23rd he was a lawyer and still sending a portion of his paycheck home to support his younger brothers and sisters. By his 26th birthday he was the assistant district attorney of Erie County, and by his 34th, the Sheriff of Erie County.[2]

Soon each birthday marked a giant leap on his meteoric rise to the stratosphere of American politics. In 1882 he celebrated his 45th birthday as the Mayor of Buffalo. In 1883 he celebrated his 46th birthday as the Governor of New York. By his 47th birthday in 1884, his reputation for honesty made “Grover the Good” a leading Democratic candidate for President. The next year, his 48th birthday, Grover Cleveland was the 22nd President of the United States of America. The boy born in Caldwell, New Jersey had become the second youngest president ever elected behind Ulysses S. Grant. While much can be said about his presidency, I would rather speak about the man and his character and how he treated, and how he spoke to others.

On his first birthday as president, he worked all day and the newspapers announced, “Cleveland’s Birthday: No Preparations made for its celebration.”[3] But during his busy schedule he took time to accept “Many happy returns of the day” from friends and well-wishers. He also received a bouquet of violets. It came from a young girl, to whom the newspapers claimed, the President “had been particularly kind to a few days earlier.”[4] The reporter also noted her flowers were the only gift from the public that day, but I suspect Grover Cleveland was just fine with that

Four years later, on his 52nd birthday, Grover Cleveland was again a proud citizen, having lost his re-election bid to Benjamin Harrison.  On his first birthday out of office, Cleveland began a 10-day tour with former cabinet members. That day he awoke in New York City and after breakfast with his wife, he boarded a train for Tampa, Florida, before sailing on to Cuba.[5] During a brief stop in Washington, DC to pick up friends, a reporter noted the fit Cleveland and prophetically wrote, “he is destined to become more of a political force out of office than in office.”[6] Well, the reporter was partially correct. Cleveland would remain a political force indeed, but his destiny was not to do so out of office.

Two weeks earlier, upon leaving the White House the First Lady confidently remarked to a servant, “We are coming back just four years from today.” And just as the First Lady promised, Grover Cleveland celebrated his 56th birthday in 1893 back in the White House. President again. Grover Cleveland became the only man to ever win the presidency, lose it, and then win again. And they called Bill Clinton the comeback kid!

In 1897, Grover Cleveland was again a public citizen. Fifty years earlier, Grover Cleveland left New Jersey, but now he was back as he retired to Princeton. Gone from office, but he was not forgotten. On his birthday in 1899, a group of young girls from Ellendale, South Dakota, who called themselves the Young Misses Conversation Club wrote the former President. Grover Cleveland took time to reply with words of kindness and wisdom, but not condensation. “My dear little Friend: I have received your letter, and am very much flattered to learn that . . . [you have] . . . decided to have a banquet on my birthday. It is a very good thing for children to come together to learn how to talk and think, but I would not be willing to have them do so much of that as to prevent them from enjoying of play. The times for play will soon pass away, and I think children ought to have their full share of romp and frolic and fun while it lasts. . ..  I hope your club will be useful and prosperous, and that you will all have lots of fun at your banquet, and in every day of your lives afterwards. Your friend, GROVER CLEVELAND.”[7]

On his 70th birthday in 1907, flags were unfurled in his honor in Maysville, Kentucky.[8] Closer to home, students from Princeton University paraded to his house, just like they had done every year since he had retired there. That day they gave him a gift, a silver loving cup. Cleveland thanked them and said, “I feel young at seventy, because I have here breathed the atmosphere of vigorous youth.”[9]

The following year, 1908, Grover Cleveland celebrated his 71st birthday in Lakewood, New Jersey. Two weeks earlier, Cleveland, who suffered from multiple medical ailments, checked in to the Lakewood Hotel to recuperate. That day he took a long walk and was in excellent spirits. “l have not felt so well in many a day,” he told a reporter, “I took a longer walk than I have taken in months. I feel fine. In fact, I believe I am in much better physical condition than I have been for a long, long time.”[10]

This was his last birthday. He was a kind-hearted optimist to the end. Perhaps we can best judge Grover Cleveland by what others said about him when he passed away on June 24, 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt praised, “Since his retirement from the presidency he has continued to serve his countrymen by the simplicity, dignity and uprightness of his private life.”[11] But perhaps William Howard Taft delivered the most fitting eulogy in an impromptu aside during a speech at Yale University the night Cleveland died, “He was a great man and a great president. He had the highest civic ideals, a rugged honesty, a high courage. These things will now make him happy in death. As he leaves the world he is revered, loved and respected by his countrymen.”[12]

 

 

[1] “President’s Birthday,” Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, March 18, 1896.

[2] The Graphic Story of the American Presidents by David C. Whitney (Chicago: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Company, 1973), 232-235.

[3] “Cleveland’s Birthday,” Savannah Morning News, March 18, 1885.

[4] “President Cleveland’s Birthday,” Portland Daily Press (Portland, ME), March 19, 1885.

[5] “A Cabinet for Cuba,” Pittsburg Dispatch, March 19, 1889.

[6] “The Ex-President on a Tour,” Rock Island Daily Argus, March 19, 1889.

[7] “A Letter from Cleveland,” State Democrat (Aberdeen, South Dakota), March 17, 1899.

[8] “By Order of Mayor McClellan all the National state and city flags were unfurled in honor ofGrover Cleveland’s birthday last Monday,” Daily Public Ledger (Maysville, KY), March 243, 1907.

[9] “Cleveland, Grover: From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978),” Princeton University, Accessed March 9, 2019.  http://etcweb.princeton.edu/CampusWWW/Companion/cleveland_grover.html.

[10] “His Health Improving,” Bemidji Daily Pioneer (Bemidji, MN), March 19, 1908.

[11] “Cleveland’s Funeral 5 Tomorrow Afternoon,” News-Democrat, June 25, 1908.

[12] “Tribute of Roosevelt,” Patterson Press, June 25, 1908.

Week of March 18th – Grover Cleveland Week in Caldwell NJ

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Caretaker Sharon Farrell, From the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association – Trustee Beverly Crifasi, Vice president Bunny Jenkins and President Dave Cowell accept the Proclamation proclaiming the week of March 18, 2019 as Grover Cleveland Week in the Borough of Caldwell from Mayor John Kelley (at back) and Caldwell Councilman Lace (at right). photo by Janet Markman

The Mayor and Caldwell Council proclaim the week of March 18, 2019 as Grover Cleveland Week in the Borough of Caldwell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The public is invited in New Jersey, and nationwide, to take part in GROVER CLEVELAND WEEK,  a celebration taking place during the week of March 18th, officially proclaimed by the Borough of Caldwell’s Mayor and Council to help mark the 182nd birthday of U.S. President, Stephen Grover Cleveland.
Representatives from Cleveland’s native home-town of Caldwell New Jersey, encourage gestures nationwide that reflect Cleveland’s childhood, as well as his later career. Celebrate with some of Cleveland’s favorite foods and beverages. Or, to honor his terms as President, take time to study our Nation’s founding documents and our notable doctrines.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Honor his mother, Ann Neal Cleveland, by visiting the home where he was born at 207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ. Cleveland wrote of his mother, “I have always thought her prayers had much to do with my success…” Weather permitting, on Monday, March 18th, we will be open in honor of Cleveland’s birthday from 1-4. Then at 4pm, a short memorial ceremony will take place, with a talk by Louis Picone, a presidential author and scholar and faculty member of William Paterson University. Or visit on another day, since the site is OPEN Wednesday through Sunday year round. Call ahead to confirm accessibility during winter months. 973-226-0001

2. Enjoy some apple-based treats or beverages, and recall local Caldwell hero, Phebe Crane. In 1840, at thirteen years old, she rescued Grover Cleveland from a moving vehicle on Bloomfield Avenue. An ox-drawn wagon heavily loaded with local apples (world-famous for making delicious “Newark Cyder”) nearly ended the future president’s life when he was barely more than a toddler.

3. Read the Constitution, and the Monroe Doctrine. Pocket sized copies of the Constitution will be given to visitors to the Birthplace on March 18th from 1-4 while supplies last. And on March 20th, 7pm, Councilman Jonathan Lace, contact: jlace@caldwell-nj.com , will share round-table style several of President Cleveland’s more famous writings at Rock’n Joe’s in Caldwell. Some of which refer to excerpts from the Constitution. Cleveland vetoed more measures than all the presidents before him combined, multiplied by two, and then some. These numerous vetoes often included detailed explanations of why he was rejecting the proposed legislation, repeatedly citing sections of the Constitution, or explaining that he could find nothing in the Constitution to warrant the bill. He invoked the Monroe Doctrine in foreign relations; during an intensifying border dispute between Venezuela and Great Britain, during the Cuban Insurrection against Spain, and referenced it in his message to Congress in his analysis of the U.S.’s military dealings in Hawaii.

4. Eat corned beef and cabbage! It was one of Cleveland’s favorites. He told the tale of how the scent of corned beef and cabbage from the White House servants’ dinner once caused him to trade his meal cooked by the White House’s French Chef, for a plate of theirs instead.  He declared, “And I had the best dinner I had had for months … Boeufe corne’ au cabeau!”

 5. Teach a child to help with household chores, a definite part of his and his eight siblings’ upbringing. Family stories mention such things as “Grover” doing laundry with his mother, or rocking his younger siblings to sleep. He recalled, “Often and often as a boy, I was compelled to get out of my warm bed at night to hang up a hat or other garment I had left on the floor.”

6. Drink a pint, and sing! Your local pub would substitute nicely for the German beer gardens and Irish pubs of Buffalo that could attest to the twenty-something to thirty-something future president who enjoyed both beer and singing, and frequently. Karaoke anyone?

7. Get outdoors at Essex County’s Grover Cleveland Park, or drive to a rural trail in the country, and get in nature. Cleveland loved the outdoors. Fishing, hunting, and just walking. He wrote often of how the outdoors was a great benefit to health and well-being.

8. Sing together at home. The Cleveland children sang together every night with their parents.

9. Guide, or substantially help, a family member struggling to save for college. At fifteen years old, Cleveland’s meager earnings as a clerk at a general store helped to fund the college education of his older brothers. As a young adult he supported the education of his younger sisters, and in his old age, that of his nieces. At sixteen, since Cleveland took on being provider to his widowed mother and younger siblings, he never had the time or money to attend college, but he always valued higher education. To his last days, he would speak of how he had wished he could have had the means or time. It is interesting that at about sixteen years old, Cleveland was offered a full scholarship by a neighbor, but the condition that Cleveland must use his education to become a minister, caused him to decline the generous but entangled offer. He had all intentions of becoming a lawyer.

10. Spend time reading or studying a subject you love. Cleveland enjoyed poetry, historical biography and never forgetting his religious upbringing, regularly read the Bible. Cleveland became a lawyer by “reading for the law.”  He had the gift of memorization from a very young age. A story in his law firm went that his dear friend and law partner, Oscar Folsom, relied heavily on Cleveland’s ability to recite precedents from memory. At one point, Cleveland retorted, “Go look it up, and then you’ll remember what you learn.” Folsom replied, “I want you to know, that I practice law by ear, not by note!” then turned on his heel and walked away.

11. Attend a live stage play as a family. Especially during his post-presidency years, Cleveland and his family loved the theater, attending Broadway shows regularly. Later, his youngest son would become an actor, and help co-found a summer theater in New Hampshire.

12. Have your life insurance in order as a tribute to Cleveland’s dedication to trustworthy life insurance policies. He labored long hard hours in his late years stabilizing a major company in the life insurance industry at a time when he said, “its policyholders were distressed with fear and gloomy forebodings” from which he eventually corrected the, “breach of trust….pending its reformation.”  He continued as a strong advocate of life insurance during his twilight years.

13. And last, but not least: Consider entering politics as a public service. Cleveland felt his time serving in assorted public offices was his personal sacrifice and offering to his community and his country. He encouraged others who had the energy, honesty and intelligence to do the same.

Contact us: 973-226-0001, gcmuseum@gmail.compresidentcleveland.org, https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandBirthplaceAsso

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February 18th is Presidents Day!

 
The site will be open in honor Presidents Day  from 1pm – 4pm. (weather permitting)
 
 
Grover Cleveland was a proponent of governance as defined in the U.S. Constitution, and Presidents’ Day is a perfect time to re-visit how the Constitution created the title of the U.S. President in 1787, and how it laid out the associated responsibilities of the office.
 
Complimentary copies of Article 2 in the Constitution’s original phrases, as well as their accompanying amendments, will be available for visitors to take home. Contained in Article 2 of the Constitution, visitors will learn the titles associated with the office, explore details such as a candidate’s age requirements, election by electors, reasons for removal, invested powers, as well as limitations of power, residency requirements, and more.
During the winter months, it is recommended that visitors call the site ahead of time to confirm that snow or ice hasn’t impacted our hours.
 

The Museum and Gift Shop are staffed and open Wed -Sat: 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm. Open Sundays 1pm – 4pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Parking: a ten-car lot is available on site, however, please call to confirm today’s status of parking availability, or alternatives. 973-226-0001

“Historic Site Features Holiday Open House – December 27th through January 6th”

 

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CALDWELL – The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site at 207 Bloomfield Avenue will be open for public tours during the holiday season. Hours are Wed, Th. and Fri 10-12 and 1-4.  Two special weekends will have an added hour on Saturday. During 12/29-30 and 1/5-6 Saturday’s hours will be from 10-4. Sunday’s hours are 1-4. Visitors will receive a special take-away holiday treat during both weekends while supplies last. Local residents are invited to visit solo, or bring along family and friends, to set their own pace through the museum. The self-guided tour starts with three 1830s historically themed rooms; a kitchen, rear parlor, and bedroom chock full of artifacts and the stories they tell. Then two galleries and a gift shop allow a quick glance, or a self-paced in depth look, into Cleveland’s life, private, and political. Outside on the two-acre lawn, weather permitting, visitors are encouraged to try their hand at reproduction 1830s era lawn games. Admission is free, donations gladly accepted. For more details and hours, call 973-226-0001

Presidential Inaugural Ball Features Marvelous Music and 19th Century Pageantry

David Chan Musical Director of the Montclair Orchestra

Article Submitted by Jessica Levin

The Montclair Orchestra recreates a musical experience spanning centuries .
Caldwell, NJ — The Grover Cleveland Memorial Association and The Montclair Orchestra present a once in a lifetime event, a reenactment of President Grover Cleveland’s 1893 inauguration, on November 10th at the Women’s Club of Upper Montclair.  The formal event benefiting both organizations honors the spirit of the original ball where Cleveland took office as the first and only President to serve a non-consecutive term.

Led by Music Director David Chan, The Montclair Orchestra will regale guests with a performance including selections from Mozart Symphony 29 and Grieg’s “Holberg” Suite.  Chan, the concertmaster of the renowned Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and his musicians will kick off the gala with a rendition of Hail to the Chief and other period pieces, played at the 1893 ball. Their music will also serve as the background for dancing during the night.

“Education is key to the mission of The Montclair Orchestra.  Partnering with The Grover Cleveland Memorial Association for a fundraiser that supports opportunities to learn while performing historical music is a win for us.  We appreciate the chance to be a part of this unique event,” noted Andre Weker, Executive Director of The Montclair Orchestra.

In addition to the musical component, a memorable culinary experience awaits guests. A carefully crafted menu has been designed to replicate the cuisine of the period. To top off the gastronomic gaiety, Chef and author Roland Mesnier will serve as auctioneer and keynote speaker.  Mesnier spent twenty-five years in the White House as Executive Pastry Chef, preparing French-inspired sweets for five US Presidents.  Joined on stage by John Elliott of CBS, Mesnier will delight attendees with humor and tales from the kitchen of the most famous house in the country. He has also graciously donated presidential memorabilia to fundraiser’s auction including a chef’s coat that bears the official White House seal.

Beyond the melodious performances and delicious delicacies, the event is truly about remembering history.  To tell the story properly, George Cleveland, grandson, and doppelganger of Grover assumes the role of the President. Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto will play first Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland.  Joining George will be his nephew and Grover Cleveland’s great-grandson US Ambassador Thomas Robertson IV as Vice President Adlai Stevenson. John Elliott’s wife, Mary Ellen, steps into the role of Mrs. Adlai Stevenson.

Relive the romance of the late 19th Century and support the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and The Montclair Orchestra and the education they provide. Purchase tickets for $300 per person or $500 for Patrons who receive a copy of Chef Mesnier’s book and preferred ballroom seating.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available, and all proceeds benefit the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and The Montclair Orchestra. To purchase tickets   Click Here or for more information call or contact 973-226-0001.

About the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association (GCBMA) is a conservancy and advocacy group dedicated to preserving the home and legacy of President Cleveland, the only U.S. President born in New Jersey. Through volunteer-based initiatives, our goal is to increase awareness and support of the Grover Cleveland birthplace and its heritage. The GCBMA activities include fundraising in support of educational programs and lectures, interpretation and preservation of the birthplace and its collection of historic objects, and history-themed social activities which engage the public. Working in partnership with the State of New Jersey, we look forward to implementation of our plan to build a Visitor Center on site, providing state of the art space for educational and programming activities, as well as to display historically significant artifacts and exhibitions related to Grover Cleveland and his Presidency.

 About The Montclair Orchestra

The Montclair Orchestra is a unique training orchestra that offers fellowship playing positions to students from some of the most recognizable music schools in the world, including The Juilliard School, Cali School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Mason-Gross School for the Arts. Playing alongside the student fellows are professional ‘mentors’, including some of the world’s best orchestral musicians. Players from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s, and other NYC-area orchestras play alongside the student fellows for an unforgettable experience for both musicians and audience. Leading the orchestra in its second season is Music Director David Chan, the concertmaster for the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.