Hageman House Scene Of Traditional ‘Tea And Tea Leaves Readings’

Attendees of the first Hageman House “Tea and Tea Leaves Readings” on Oct. 20.

By PJ Parker.

A backdrop of acres of clear, blue-skied farm country was the setting for the first public traditional “Tea and Tea Leaves Readings” Oct. 20 at the Meadows Foundation’s historic Hageman House and Barn on South Middlebush Road.

The event was part of the Hageman House Fireside Chat Series.

The Hageman House, a Registered Historic Place of New Jersey, was built circa 1861 by Benjamin Hageman, on the Hageman Farm, with the two-story horse-and-wagon barn built by Garretson Hageman in 1876.

The farm has only been occupied by two families since 1756. Purchased in 1978 by Franklin Township, the Hageman House and Barn is currently maintained by the non-profit Meadows Foundation, founded in 1977.

The foundation was originally formed to save and preserve the Van Wickle House, and also currently maintains the Wyckoff-Garretson House and the Van Liew-Suydam House.

In keeping with the mission of the foundation to not only preserve and restore these historic homes, but to provide public educational and cultural programs, the concept of a traditional tea became a welcome ritual, Spring and Fall.

“We thought it would add another dimension to the Tea to also have a tea leaf reader as a special touch,” said Sue Ann Derkach, the Meadows Foundation president.

Tea leaf reading is an ancient method of parlor “fortune telling,” interpreting shapes and images formed by loose, steeped tea leaves in the bottom of a tea cup.

“I had seen Dawn Sprouse at an event in Woodbridge and watched her work,” Derkach said. “She was perfect for our first Tea that is open to the public.”

One guest, Ann Mlynorski, said, “This was wonderful. The reading was phenomenal, the food was so good. Sue Ann prepared everything and made us feel at home. Recommend highly.”

Upcoming events at the Hageman House and Barn are:

  • Nov 10: “Fun Beckons the Day,” exploring recreation in Colonial Times. Children can make a toy and game to take home. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Dec. 2: “Sinter Klaas: How the Dutch Celebrate Christmas.” 1-4 p.m. Traditionally the first Sunday in December. Games, crafts, music, Dutch treats, chocolate and baked goods.

“Sinter Klaas rides into the property on horseback. It’s the same horse as last year,” Derkach said. “He’s very talkative and the children can feed him carrots.”

“The board and members of the Meadows Foundation understand the importance of preserving these historic houses,” she said. “We love when people attend our programs and we get to see the gleam in their eyes when they get to experience these sights.”

“It makes all our work worthwhile,” she said.

For more information about Meadows Foundation events, and volunteers wishing to serve the foundation, email tmf.org.1289@gmail.com, where donations may also be made.

Event proceeds benefit the Meadows Foundation for maintenance and future programs.

Here are some scenes from the event:


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