SPARTA — The Sparta Historical Society will host author, actor, director and educator Dr. Peter Lubrecht as guest speaker at the Jan. 9 meeting. He will share slides and stories of German immigrants in New Jersey over the past 300 years.
German immigrants and their descendants are integral to New Jersey’s history. When the state was young, they founded villages that are now well-established communities, such as Long Valley. Many German immigrants were lured by the freedom and opportunity in the Garden State, especially in the nineteenth century, as they escaped oppression and revolution.
German heroes have played a patriotic part in the state’s growth and include scholars, artists, war heroes and industrialists, including John Roebling, the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. Despite these contributions, life in America was not always easy; they faced discrimination, especially during the world wars. But in the postwar era, refugees and German Americans alike — through their Deutsche clubs, festivals, societies and language schools — are a huge part of New Jersey’s rich cultural tapestry.
Copies of Dr. Lubrecht’s new book “Germans in New Jersey” will be available for purchase and signing. Almost 80 percent of Modern Jerseyites can trace their roots to German origins. This presentation and book will of particular interest to those tracing their German roots.
An avid researcher with an interest in historical theater, Dr. Lubrecht has been lecturing locally on subjects including the Civil War, Shakespeare, and 19th Century American Theatre. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Theatre from New York University and is a Trustee of the Sussex County Historical Society. For more on his career and research visit www.OlPetesHistoryAlive.com.
This event is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, in the lower level of the Sparta Ambulance Building at 14 Sparta Avenue, Sparta. Admission to this program is free to all members. Guests are invited to attend for a nominal charge of $1 per student, $3 per adult. For more information, contact Program Chairman Marjorie Strohsahl at 973-729-5153.
If you are interested in learning more about the society, contact Membership Chairman Peter Trusio at 973-670-6502 or email@example.com.