In the News

The Montgomery News

"School Children to Learn Local Black History"

October 12, 2021

Kevin Burkman, a Montgomey resident, delivered a poster-sized map of Black history sites in the Sourland Mountain region to Village Elementary School this week as part of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum's (SSAAM) educational outreach program.

Burkman, a board member of SSAAM, says the museum also donated maps to Princeton Day School, and public schools throughout Montgomery, Hopewell, Princeton, and Hillsborough — for classroom use.

Read more.



"Examining the History of Slavery in New Jersey"

March 10, 2021

SSAAM co-founders Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills were plagued by questions about their own African American lineage. What they found was New Jersey’s brutal legacy of slave owners and labor.


Watch this interview on NJ PBS here.

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 12.18.43

Friends of the Abraham Staats House

"Slavery at the Abraham Staats House Revolutionary War Site"

February, 2021

Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck, co-founders of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, were interviewed by Brad Fay of Stepping Stone Strategies on behalf of the Friends of the Abraham Staats House (FASH).


The video was produced to educate the public and promote interest in this historic Revolutionary War Site. Included in this video is a discussion by Beverly and Elaine about the day-to-day duties of the individuals who were enslaved in the Staats home.


Watch the YouTube video here.

Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 12.14.03


"History Detectives"

February 8, 2021

On February 8, 2021, SSAAM co-founders Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills were featured in a segment with WNBC4 NY's Pat Battle, entitled "History Detectives".


This video feature excellently describes their work in African American historical research in the Sourland region, as well as the creation of the SSAAM organization.

Smithsonian Magazine

"Meet the 'Detectives' Documenting New Jersey's Overlooked Black History"

December 23, 2020

More than a decade ago, Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck—members of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association in New Jersey’s Hopewell Valley—began exploring the overlooked African American history of their hometowns. Since then, they’ve written a book, created a series of videos and opened a museum detailing the region's past.


As Buck, 67, and Mills, 70, tell the New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler, back when they were students in the area, their schools taught them almost nothing about the history of local black communities and practice of slavery in New Jersey.


“History wasn’t interesting to me, and the reason is they left half the people out,” Buck says. “All you heard about was white people with wigs on.”

Continue reading the article here.

Screen Shot 2020-12-26 at 5.22.20 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-26 at 5.23.49 AM.png

The New York Times

"Uncovering Lost Black History, Stone by Stone"

December 22, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 6.08.02 PM.png

Stoutsburg Cemetery, tucked in a clearing about halfway up Sourland Mountain, is one of the state’s oldest African-American burial grounds.


It may also be one its best chronicled, thanks to Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, two self-described ordinary small-town, middle-aged women turned “history detectives” who have spent more than a dozen years combing through wills, property deeds, tax records and other documents to recover the area’s overlooked Black history.

To read more, click here.

Delaware River Towns

"Giving Voices to the Voiceless"

Winter 2020

Having written a book and founded a museum— and with a film in the works—Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills embrace their roles as accidental guardians of New Jersey’s Black history.

To read more, click here.


My Central Jersey

"Here's who got $10.7M in NJ historic preservation grants"

November 2, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-11-08 at 1.40.40 PM.png

Read about the recent $50,000 grant from the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund, for a site master plan of our future museum and education center, as well as a video.

To read more, click here.

The Montgomery News

"Montgomery's African American Museum Receives $5,000 COVID-19 Grant"

August 3, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-08-05 at 7.17.08 AM.png

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) is one of 82 organizations to receive a COVID-19 response grant from the NJ Council for the Humanities with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the federal CARES Act.

To read more, click here.

New Jersey Advance Media

"Mercer County Marks Black History Month With Celebration"

India Duke, February 28, 2020


Mercer County paid tribute to those with African-American roots with a Black History Month celebration.


The county clerk’s office held a ceremony featuring speakers that have dedicated time to researching and revealing true black history within county lines ... including SSAAM founders Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills.

To access the online version of this article, please click here.

New Jersey Advance Media

"This Tiny N.J. Museum Tells Black History Stories

You Haven’t Heard"

Olivia Rizzo, February 23, 2020


"In a small, unassuming white building on Hollow Road in Skillman, stands the 120-year-old one-room Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The historic house of worship, which welcomed African American parishioners from 1899 to 2005, is now a museum that tells the often-overlooked stories of the people who have lived in the Sourland Mountains for hundreds of years..."

To access the online version of this article, please click here.

Princeton Magazine

"If These Stones Could Talk"

Wendy Greenberg, February, 2020

PM_African American Museum_FEB2020.jpg

Princeton Magazine celebrates the heritage and culture of historic Princeton, NJ. Each issue of the magazine explores the region’s  history,  politics, entertainment, dining, art, design, architecture, and athletics.


The February 2020 issue featured an interview with our very own Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, in an article titled "If These Stones Could Talk", highlighting their work in African American history, founding of the SSAAM, and land preservation at the church on Hollow Road in Skillman. 

To access the online version of this article, please click here.

The Montgomery News

"African American Museum Newly Opened on Hollow Road in Skillman is among the First of Its Kind."

Barbara Preston, February, 2020


The Montgomery News services Montgomery Township (home of the SSAAM) with a monthly newspaper devoted to local news and events.


For the February, 2020 issue, Editor in Chief Barbara A. Preston wrote a wonderful article about the creation and ongoing development of the SSAAM, as well as African American history in the township. The issue also includes other interesting articles on African American history in the region.

To access these articles directly, please go to the Montgomery News website.


The D&R Greenway

"This Land for Life" Video

Fall, 2019


The D&R Greenway Land Trust worked with the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum and the Sourland Conservancy to acquire land for their new headquarters and museum.


This Land for Life Video tells how the preservation of land adjacent to a historic African American church will help tell the people and places left out of most history books. African Americans played a key role in and around the Sourland Mountains region in Central New Jersey. Meet their descendants and storytellers.

Please check out this short but amazing video, produced by the D&R Greenway Land Trust, about the land preservation projects now happening at the Mt. Zion AME  Church!