The Historical Society of Moorestown is proud to present “Moorestown During the First World War,” our new exhibit scheduled to open on Sunday, April 15, 2018. On opening day, from 1 through 4 p.m., visitors will be invited to tour the exhibit, which has been months in the making and assembled with a painstaking attention to detail. It will occupy all three large, downstairs rooms of the Smith-Cadbury Mansion at 12 High Street in Moorestown. While the war itself lasted from 1914 through most of 1918, America’s direct involvement occurred from 1917-1918.
On display in “Moorestown During the First World War” will be a rich and varied collection of artifacts, including military uniforms (shirts, jackets, trousers, and leggings), helmets, weapons, tools, medals, photos, books, letters, artwork, news clippings, and 78 r.p.m. recordings of the day’s popular music, which collectively will tell individual stories of the people of Moorestown in what many once called the “war to end all wars.”
Visitors will get an intimate look at the personal tribulations of Moorestown’s young men, many just graduated from high school, in the heat of battle and as prisoners of war, and the everyday things that worried them and their families back home. Those Moorestown soldiers who gave their lives will be remembered. Also for viewing will be photos, documents, books, and reminiscences covering dissenters – that is, the conscientious objectors among Moorestown’s Quaker youth and the measures taken by the local Quaker community to support them, raise awareness of their plight, and look for other ways these youth could serve their country without engaging in military service.
The special challenges of women and African-Americans, at home and abroad, and the impact of the worldwide flu epidemic in 1918-1919 on Moorestown’s soldiers, will be examined. The achievements of a number of Moorestown women serving oversees in the Red Cross or the just-founded American Friends Service Committee will be saluted, and a women’s Red Cross uniform of the time prominently presented. In a kind of scavenger hunt, current Moorestown High School students will find important information about World War One that they will be able to use in their work assignments.
While many artifacts that visitors will see were already part of the Historical Society’s permanent collection, we have received generous, new donations in time for this show, as well as other, loaned items.
Historical Society trustees will be available on opening day to answer any questions visitors may have as they walk through the exhibit. And, to top it all off, everyone will be treated to refreshments!
We anticipate that this exhibit will be up for the foreseeable future. Admission is free.