South Orange Lamplighter to Highlight Historical & Preservation Society Party Dec. 12

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From the South Orange Historical and  Preservation Society:

South Orange Village Hall. Courtesy of South Orange Historical & Preservation Society.

The South Orange Historical and Preservation Society invites YOU to be our guest at a fun and casual holiday party on December 12, 2019. Please SHARE this announcement with friends and neighbors. Good news, good neighbors, snacks, FREE admission. Members and public invited!  THURSDAY, DEC. 12 AT 7 p.m. South Orange Public Library meeting room on ground floor, rear right.


Stories, stories, stories! After three decades of maintaining and (yes) lighting the famous gas lamps of South Orange, Ray (yes, as in ray of light, his real name) Kienzle has seen it all.

Fortunately for us, he’s a great storyteller and will happily share his Tales of the Gas Lamps. The iconic fixtures have been illuminating South Orange since the Civil War — and while Ray wasn’t lighting lamps then, he knows the history.

Ray (of light) Kienzle, South Orange Lamplighter

At 6’7″, Ray is almost as tall and sturdy as our street lamps. Did PSE&G hire him to save on  ladders? What exactly does a lamplighter do in the 21st century? He’s nearing retirement; can he be replaced? What can you do when a lamp on your street goes dim or dead? What’s the story behind the three-headed lamp just right of center in the Village Hall photo above? Will the 1400+ gas lamps in the Village, the largest number of any town in the US, ever be replaced? Where do necessary parts come from? Where in South Orange is a lamp with a duck sculpture?

RAY HAS THE ANSWERS. Come hear them on the 12th. And bring your questions. Ray is game.

Complimentary admission, snacks & drinks. RSVP requested, but not necessary. Questions? Call or text Joel Levin at 973-568-6000.

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