If these walls could talk: researching house histories, a talk at Durand-Hedden
Sunday, February 11, from 1pm to 4pm (talk begins at 2pm)
Maplewood and South Orange are charming older
suburbs whose houses are brimming with character, style – and history. Have you been curious
about uncovering your home’s past but didn’t know where to begin? If so, join nationally known land title expert Joe Grabas at Durand-Hedden on Sunday, February 11 at 2pm.
Grabas will share his tricks-of-the-trade for researching a building’s history, including
studying its structure and architecture, and investigating county land records (deeds and mortgages) to establish the “chain of title.” House researchers can go on to uncover the genealogy of owners, explore vintage newspapers, wills, inventories, and more – even archaeology. Bring your questions for the follow-up Q & A session. Volunteers knowledgeable in Maplewood local history will be available to help visitors search atlases and databases for traces of the origins of their homes and neighborhoods.
Grabas has spent nearly four decades researching real property records, is a Certified Title
Professional and forensic expert in matters relating to real estate, and has been authorized by the NJ
Real Estate Commission to teach continuing education to insurance producers, realtors and lawyers. He also serves on the N.J. Title Resource Council and as a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Historical Commission. His historical research focuses on Historic Land Titles, the history of the NJ Land Recording System, Free African American communities, Colonial and State Boundary
development and the Colonial and Antebellum history of New Jersey. Grabas is the award winning
author of "Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes and the Pursuit of Happiness."
Check out our Country Store’s historic-themed treasures: early American games, books, and toys;
facsimile documents; quill pens and ink; historic cookbooks; cookie molds; tin lanterns; and
reproductive decorative items and ceramics. There is local honey and the Original 1910 Chocolate
Fudge Sauce. You’ll also discover the hard-to-find original Doors of Maplewood poster, Smile: A Pictorial History of Olympic Park 1887-1965, and the new acid-free reproduction of the charming 1931 Map of Maplewood.
About Durand-Hedden House and Garden
Durand-Hedden House is dedicated to telling the history of the development of Maplewood and the
surrounding area in new and engaging ways. It is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road
in Maplewood. For more information or to arrange group tours call 973-763-7712. You can also
visit our website at durandhedden.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.