GCBMA -Annual Meeting – Reverend James Caldwell visits Caldwell


The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association will hold its Annual Membership Meeting on November 27 at the First Presbyterian Church at 7:30. The meeting is open to all members and other members of the community interested in history.

  • The highlight of the evening will be a presentation by Reverend Richard Sommers and Ray Lipak. They will re-enact a visit from Reverend James Caldwell to the church he founded and its minister of today.
  • Dr David Cowell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees will give a brief overview of the activities of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association this past year.
  • There will be an election of the slate of board members.
    Candidates for the upcoming election of trustees at the annual meeting are as follows:



There is  one vacancy on this panel.
Nominations from the floor will be accepted.  Personal information should be available about any nominees from the floor.

  • Following the election refreshments will be served in the Education building adjacent to the church.
  • Grover’s Corner gift shop will be set up in the sanctuary before and after the meeting. Be sure to check out the wonderful items.

Labor Day

Photo Credit : National Archives and Records Administration


Submitted by Sharon Farrell

Happy Labor Day! The original Act of Congress pictured here, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, shows that Monday, September 3, 1894 would become our nation’s first federally observed Labor Day. The Act was passed by Congress seventy days earlier, on June 26th, and received President Cleveland’s signature on June 28th.

Since 2013 or so, several sources have been casting Cleveland’s signing of the bill as an attempt by him for a re-election bid, saying it was “election year politicking.”  Doubtful, since the next election year was 1896, not 1894. In addition, Cleveland was serving his second term, and had no intention of running for a third.

Some have reported that he signed it as an apology for “blood spilled” by strikers during the Pullman Strike of 1894. While it is true that blood was spilled, Cleveland would have to be psychic to know this when the bill was signed by him ten days prior to his order to send troops into Chicago.

At times too much credit has been given to Cleveland for enacting Labor Day. Prior to 2013 Labor Day had sometimes been credited as  the sole idea of Cleveland as a sort of executive order. In truth, multiple labor leaders, citizens, senators  and members of congress had  tried unsuccessfully for close to a dozen years to achieve the passage of a federal Labor Day Holiday bill.  It had been discussed, rehashed, crafted, and sponsored by numerous legislators over time. This successful 1894 version was introduced by Illinois Congressman, Lawrence McGann.

Cleveland may not have crafted the bill, but I think he heartily agreed that Americans deserved a “Labor’s Holiday” fully endorsed not just by Congress,  but by the President as well. It would be a proper tribute to the spirit of the original legislation to remember the day with thanks and best wishes to the American labor force this Labor Day.

Historic Caldwell Day

Author Louis L. Picone with his books ” Where the Presidents were born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces” and “The President is Dead”. Louis L. Picone will be speaking at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association’s annual conference on Sept. 23, 2017. Photo by: Janet Markman

Historic Caldwell Day

Saturday, September 23, 2017
9:30 – 4:00 pm

Presented by
Caldwell Merchants Association and the Historical Society of West Caldwell
in conjunction with
the Annual Conference of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association

First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell
Roseland and Westville Avenues, Caldwell 07006

9:30 Registration and Coffee time – Room 201
9:45 Welcome -Dr. David Cowell, President, Board of Trustees
10:00 Speaker: Louis L. Picone – author
“Where the Presidents Were Born”
10:45 Questions and answers
11:15 Book Signing in the Heritage Room
12:00 Lunch – Chicken Salad from Dave’s Delicious Deli
Fee for conference including Lunch : $25 per person
Check Made out to GCBMA and
sent to: Alice Gibson, 14 Kramer Avenue , West Caldwell, NJ 07006
Phone: 973-747-2794

Other activities included in Caldwell History Day
Tour: West Caldwell Historical Society’ s Crane House
Tour: Grover Cleveland Birthplace – NJ State Museum
Walking Tours: Parsonage Hill Area, Bloomfield Avenue History Tour
Old Burying Grounds, and Podcast: Museum on the Avenue
Tours of Historic Churches on Bloomfield Avenue
West Caldwell Public Library – Women of Achievement
Caldwell Public Library – Photos by William Hasler
More to be announced

Complete free programs of the day will be available at the local libraries and The First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell prior to the History Day and on the day of the events

Caldwell Night Out -Tuesday August 1, 2017

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Come join us Tuesday August 1, 2017  from 7:00PM – 9:30PM

Article Contributed by Mike Guerriero

CALDWELL, N.J. – Gelotti Ice Cream of Caldwell and The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association invite all residents and neighbors to the second annual Caldwell Night Out, honoring our police, firefighters, and First Responders.

Guests are welcome to come down and meet, talk to, and thank the men and woman who serve this community.

The birthplace will be open for candlelit tours, there will be activities and prizes for kids, emergency vehicles including an antique fire truck to check out, as well as music and performances from local groups, and more to be announced.

Police, firefighters, and first responders will receive free ice cream courtesy of Gelotti to thank them for their service and making Caldwell a safe and great place to live and work. There will be tables and chairs set up on the Birthplace lawn with the Caldwell Police crossing guests back and forth to get ice cream and use the bathroom at Gelotti Caldwell.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace – July 4th – Ginger Cookie Bake-off Winners

Our esteemed Judges hard at work judging the 2017 Ginger Cookie Bake-Off. Photo by Janet Markman

Ginger Cookie Bake-Off

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Fourth of July Ice Cream Social

2017 Winners

Best Overall: Nancy Sellen
Roseland, NJ`

Most Attractive: Benjamin Lau
West Orange, NJ
(This was also a very delicious cookie)

Jr. Baker Prize: Sonoma, Sienna, & Scarlett Brasco
West Caldwell. NJ

Best Snap Cookie David Cowell
Caldwell, NJ

Best Soft Cookie Karen Ann Kurlander
Morristown, NJ

2017 Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social

The State Shut Down is over  –  The July 4th Ice Cream Social will be at the birthplace!

2017 Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social

1-4 pm, July 4, 2017

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

207 Bloomfield Avenue

Caldwell, NJ  07006

 For a Map of  Ice Cream Social Venue – Click Here

Celebrate our Nation’s birthday at the birthplace of the only U.S. President born in New Jersey, President Grover Cleveland.

Spend the afternoon on the grounds of the birthplace where you can enjoy music, dancing, lemonade, traditional lawn games of the 1830’s, history demonstrations, tours of the Birthplace, and free ICE CREAM! Learn about the history of our 22nd and 24th President!

  Guests are invited to bring chairs and blankets. In the event of inclement weather, check our website for update and alternate location.

This event is sponsored by the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association, in cooperation with St. Aloysius Church.

Grover Cleveland: Unique and a President of “Firsts”, A Great Way to Study American History


Trustee Paul Maloney holding up a copy of “Grover Cleveland Again”, by filmmaker Ken Burns. Photograph by: Janet Markman

By the Grover Cleveland Birthplace
Memorial Association Trustees,
Compiled by Paul Maloney


As a second year “Trustee” for the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association, I asked our Board Members for anything which was a “first” or “unique” about Grover Cleveland.  It is hoped that these “Grover Tidbits” will help one make connections between Grover Cleveland and many other areas of history.


From Dr. David Cowell:

He is the only one rescued from under an apple cart (right in Caldwell, N.J.).  (We have a display about the incident in the future Visitor’s Center.)

Cleveland was the only President born in New Jersey, (in Caldwell, N.J.)

He is the only “President” who was a member of the Princeton Board of Trustees.

He was the only “President” to invite the Queen of Hawaii to visit the White House.  Our birthplace is a frequent stop for people visiting from Hawaii.

Cleveland was the second President to use federal troops against striking workers (Pullman Strike).  (Andrew Jackson was the first.)

Cleveland gave a dedication speech at the opening of the Statue of Liberty.

During Cleveland’s presidency, the first electric lights were put on a Christmas tree in the White House.

During Cleveland’s presidency, he had secret mouth cancer surgery, (held on a friend’s yacht) .

Cleveland liked snicker doodles.

He was the only sitting President not endorsed by his party convention (1896).

Known as the “Veto King”, Cleveland did not always have an easy relationship with Congress.

Cleveland went from Mayor of Buffalo to Governor of New York to President of the United States in Three Years.

Cleveland was the first Democrat elected since the Civil War.

It’s quite possible that Cleveland was the only one President born in a “Manse”.

Cleveland won three by popular votes but elected only twice.


From Alice Gibson:

The Dawes Commission, known formally as the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, was appointed by President Grover Cleveland in 1893 and headed by Henry L. Dawes to negotiate land with the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes.
Tribe members were allotted land in return for abolishing tribal governments and recognizing Federal laws. In order to receive the land, individual tribal members first had to apply and be deemed eligible by the Commission.


From Rhonda DeStefano:

Grover Cleveland was the only president to officially serve as an executioner (hangman).  As the sheriff of Erie County, New York, he performed the role twice and earned the nickname “Buffalo Hangman”.


From Connie Shick:

Cleveland was a member of the Democrat political party.  He was the only president to be married in the White House.  The wedding took place on June 2, 1886.  She was 21 years old and became the youngest first lady.  Parts of Wedding Cake and its knife still exist and are on display at the “Birthplace”.


From Dr. Beverly Crifasi:

Cleveland had a substitute during the Civil War but later on he was the Commander in Chief of the New York National Guard then governor and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Military then President.


From Bruce White:

 Cleveland was not a fan of “serious” music but he really enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan operettas attending many performances of their various plays in D.C. theatres.


In a recent book for students, “Grover Cleveland Again”, by filmmaker Ken Burns, it’s reported that Cleveland was one of the first Presidents to use the telephone in the White House.  Cleveland actually answered the telephone himself.  (Burns mentions that there are presently 14 operators answering 4,000 calls today.)


So with the help with the Board, I only scratched the surface about Cleveland’s “uniqueness”.  His “tidbits” might be a good way to study Caldwell N.J. History, Hawaiian History, Labor Unions in the United States, Christmas History, Health Status of Presidents, White House History, Native American History, the Civil War, the history of the Draft in the U.S., Immigration issues, and many more areas.  More importantly, it’s a way to study the Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, and especially the Executive Branch.  Be sure to stop by to visit our Birthplace.  It’s a great way to study American History!