Museum workers at the Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union, NJ made an amazing discovery this past week. They broke through a Prohibition-era wall and found a hidden locked wooden cage containing over 50 bottles and 42 demijohns of extremely rare Madeira wine, some dating back as early as 1769. This discovery is the oldest known collection of Madeira in the United States.
Historians and museum workers had been renovating Liberty Hall Museum, which when first built was the home of New Jersey’s first elected governor and one of the signers of the constitution, William Livingston. The house was built in 1772 and completed just prior to the American Revolution. It changed owners in 1811 and has been slowly expanded over the centuries from its original 14 rooms to the 50 room mansion that stands today. Historians expected to find some trace of wines considering that they assumed the area was home to the original wine cellar in the estate. However, they had no idea that it would contain the vast collection that it did, or be such a rare collection of wine dating back to our countries founding days. The wine may be worth up to $20,000 per bottle due to its historical value.
Source: Fox 8, July 2017