About the Organization

"A community engaged in a broader understanding of American history."

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum

was born out of decades’ worth of research conducted

by two of its advisory board members, Beverly Mills and

Elaine Buck. Both women serve on the Stoutsburg

Cemetery Association board and their research began

as a quest to establish Stoutsburg as the official burial

place for Private William Stives, a Revolutionary War

veteran and one of the first African American settlers

in the Sourland Region.  

 

Story after story came to light about the early African

American settlers of this region, some of whom were

their ancestors. Mills and Buck began to understand the

magnitude of what they had begun, and it became clear

that these stories and this powerful history needed to

be shared.

 

The two decided to co-author a book, If These Stones Could Talk.  The book aims to provide a clearer understanding of the African American experience and their accomplishments in Hopewell Valley (and surrounding area). Hopefully, it will be used as an addendum to the little known, missing black history facts left out of our family histories, our textbooks and libraries. The goal is to engage readers - and educate students - not only in New Jersey but also across America and beyond. 

 

In support of the book Mills and Buck began scheduling appearances throughout the state. They were hired to lecture in 2014 by The Sourland Conservancy as part of their Train Station Series at the historic Hopewell Borough Train Station. That lecture, entitled "A Proud Heritage", sparked a series of conversations that would lead to a partnership between the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association and the Sourland Conservancy. The product of that union was the Stoutsburg  Sourland African American Museum.

SSAAM founders Beverly Mills, Elaine Buck, & John Buck

Mission

The mission of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum is to tell the story of the unique culture, experiences, and contributions of the African American community of the Sourland Mountain Region.