Discover what Flemington was like during the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial with historian and East Amwell Historical Society President Jim Davidson at the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m.
Bruno Hauptmann was extradited from New York to stand trial for the murder and kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, arriving in Flemington on Oct. 19, 1934. During the five months he was here, the town became the epicenter of the world.
“More than 50,000 people came into town the first weekend alone,” Davidson said. “When the courthouse was open to sightseers, people stole the American flag, carved initials on Judge (Thomas W.) Trenchard’s bench and tried to steal the witness chair.”
Davidson’s talk, When the Circus Came to Town: Flemington During the Lindbergh Trial, will include many rarely seen photographs that aim to convey the craziness that occurred in the town and courtroom. “People were standing in line in subzero temperatures at 2 a.m. to get tickets to the trial; prostitutes roamed the Union Hotel, mediums tried to get into Bruno Hauptman’s cell to do a reading,” Davidson said.
Davidson has been fascinated with the Lindbergh trial his entire life. Growing up in Flemington, Davidson met many of the figures associated with the kidnapping and trial including William Allen, who found the Lindbergh baby; Hauptmann’s attorney, Lloyd Fisher; several jurors and other people associated with the trial. Early on he began collecting Lindbergh memorabilia and now has one of the largest national collections.
Davidson studied history at Muhlenberg College and later Lehigh University for graduate work, and taught for several years at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. He has co-authored Lindbergh Kidnapping and Trial, the first-ever pictorial history of the crime with Mark Falzini, archivist of the New Jersey State Police Museum.
Cost is $10 with proceeds benefiting Hunterdon Land Trust and the East Amwell Historical Society. The talk will be held in the Dvoor Farm’s wagon house. Reservations are encouraged by calling 908-237-4582 or emailing [email protected]
The Land Trust’s Farmers’ Market is open at the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine St. in Raritan Township from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features more than 20 local farmers and vendors offering produce, meat, cheese, bread, honey, coffee, food trucks offering flatbread pizzas and crepes using farm-fresh ingredients and more.