Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey

A discussion of historic sites, and events, with the purpose of sharing, encouraging participation, and networking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mastodon Molars and More

Today, Tuesday, December 16, 2014, I dropped by the blog to post the photo of the mastodon teeth that we were lucky enough to view, fresh out of the water at the Prehistory Museum in Greenwich, NJ, and I saw the photograph of my old cat, Seamus, on the afghan that I bought at the Fiber Arts Cafe in Millville.  It made me think of two things:

1.  Barbara Solem will be holding a book signing of her new book BATSTO:  Jewel of the Pines at Bogart's Book Store in Millville, at noon, this Satuday, December 20.  I'll be there and I hope you will too.

2.  I didn't mention because it bore no relation to historic places but I feel compelled to honor the passing of my old Cat Seamus pictured on the afghan.  He was my friend and companion for seventeen years.  Every night as I sat and read or watched a tv show, Seamus sat on my lap, softly purring and simply being with me.  He was a kind and compassionate cat who was forbearing with the young annoying kittens that I rescued, and  with the dog.  He was a composed and meditative cat and everyone loved him.  He was uncomplaining in the pains of old age.  He is buried in my yard with a small Celtic cross over his grave.  He came to live with me in June when a boy, a student at the school where I taught, brought a box with two kittens to school to give away.  The kids were all manhandling the kittens as you might expect, and as I was on yard duty, I stepped in and said, "I'll give them a home."  It was a gift to me for which I was grateful for many years.  I loved watching them play and grow and enjoyed their warmth and companionship.  They are both gone now, one, Padraic, to a sadly early death from a disease he picked up from an outdoor cat, and this winter, his twin, Seamus, to old age.

My life has been blessed over the years with many kinds of friends, some human friends I've known since junior high school, some friends from each of the places where I've worked, and of course, my friends who are also relatives  and whom I have known my whole life, but not least of all these friends have been my animal companions who consoled me in childhood sorrows, and made me laugh when I was anxious or worried as an adult, who sat with me year in and year out in sickness and in health.  They asked so little and gave so much, they will all live forever in my heart. 

On every holiday and on the birthdays of my parents, who also loved animals and always had dog and cat companions, I donate to various animal charities and shelters.  When I was  a teacher, I ran several kinds of charitable giving programs for animal shelters, too.  Aside from providing a home to the occasional animal who comes into my life, giving to the animal rescue and charity groups is my way of saying thank you to all the animals who have warmed my life and support to the humans who are trying to help them.  Finally, two of my friends are staunch and generous volunteers in animal shelters and in spay neuter clinics and animal protection programs, chief among them is Barbara Spector who deserves an award for all she does for love of our animal neighbors on the planet. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Merry Christmas to and God Bless the Volunteers!

On Wednesday, aughor Barbara Solem, and our best pal, Barb Spector visited the Prehistory Museum in Greenwich, NJ.  (located at 46 Bridgeton Rd., Greenwich, NJ 08323 - 856-455-8141)

I had called ahead to be sure someone was there but after meeting these gentlemen, I can tell you that if they say they are open and the museum is manned, you can count on it.  They were so warm and welcoming and knowledgeable and made me think on how much volunteers give to our community. 

WHAT A LUCKY DAY!!!  When we got to the museum, a local oyster dredger out of Bivalve (Port Norris) was there with several jaw parts of a Wooly Mammoth he had dredged up while dredging for clams.  These enormous black fossil teeth were in human hands after thousands of years buried in the silt of the Maurice River.  He planned to sell them to a museum or on ebay.  Not for the first time, I was wishing I had the money to buy them, but I don't and they belong where many people can admire them, anyhow. 
What a treat to be there at just that opportune time.

Barbara Solem is doing research on her next book on the rivers of the NJ Pinebarrens, from the ancient history of the watersheds to the preent.

Other places you can visit at Greenwish are:
Gibbon HOuse, (1730) 960 Ye Great Street

John DuBois Maritime Museum 979 Ye Great St.

Warren Lummis Genealogy and Historical Library 981 Ye Great St.

Potters Tavern Museum W. Broad St.

There is a litle luncheonette but get there early, they close early.

It is a wonderful hike down Ye Greate Street to the Cohansey River and the sad and melancholy ghost of the Shepherd Manor House.  If you go the other way, and walk far enough you will come to the Stone School House, and the 2nd Society of Friends (Quaker) Meeting House.

Merry Christmas to All!ps.  This year a friend bought us tickets to the Hddonfield House Tour - my favorite part of it was the church with a collection of creches and cookies and punch refreshments!  And he company of my friend.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving at the Telford Inn, Mantua

For two years, a friend and I have had what I like to call Thanksgiving at the historic Inns of SJ.  Our families were traveling or otherwise engaged so we picked historic Inns, made reservations and had a delightful holiday last year and this year.  Last year, we picked the Centerton Inn for a fixed price Thanksgiving Feast.  This year we picked the Telford which offered a la carte, so I could choose the sides and avoid the turkey since I am a vegetarian.  Last year I took the turkey home to my dog.  This year, I had broccoli au gratin, acorn squash soup, salad and creamed spinach with a slice of apple custard walnut pie for desert.  My friend Gail had the Thanksgiving dinner which was the usual, turkey, sweet potato, corn and some other things.  We were both very pleased with our meal and the cheery, warm, family atmosphere of the Telford Inn.

The Telford Inn has been an Inn since the late 1700's when the Carpenter family ran it.  In 1809 it was bought by John and William Tonkin and it may have been a stagecoach stop.  It also functioned as a post office, which makes sense since the stage coach delivered the mail to the post offices too.  In the 1980's the Cook family purchased and renovated the Inn and have run it with devotion to history ever since.  Some tiles and the original roof beam can been seen.

It was a lovely drive, too and since we were early, we drove through Mullica Hill before we returned to Mantua. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Delightful Birthday in Mount Holly

November 13 was my birthday.  My daughter came down by train from New York to spend the day with me and we  decided to have lunch at the Robin's Nest in Mount Holly and walk around the village at Smithville Manor.  It was a beautiful brisk autumn day and the Robin's Nest was not disappointing.  I had sweet potato soup and my favorite dish of theirs, spinach quiche with a salad.  My daughter had the quiche too.

The shops were all closed that day, a Thursday, except for the Christmas Shop where I found the perfect gift for my daughter's upcoming birthday.  It was a matchbox music box with a little train going around a track inside the drawer.  I admit I didn't buy it at the moment because I thought it might be less expensive to buy it by amazon.com an have it shipped by them to my daughter's address, however, I couldn't find just the right one on amazon.com and the price was much higher and so was the shipping, so I will be heading back to the shop tomorrow when they are open again to buy it in person.
So here are some Holiday Events:
First,  at Mill Race Village:
Dec. 13th 11 a.m. - Rancocas Valley Chamber Choir
December 13 - Battle of Iron Works Hill- Mt. Holly
Second, at Historic Smithville Park, 803 Smithville Rd., Eastampton, Nj 08060
Dec. 7  12 to 6 p.m. - Victorian Holiday Celebration (this includes St. Nicholas arriving by horse and carriage, entertainment, shopping, mansion tours and refreshments for sale)
If you are looking for ways to get in the holiday spirit, here's your chance, and if you are looking for that something special for a Christmas gift, try the Spirit of Christmas Shop in the Mill Race shops, but be sure to ccall first at 609-518-1700 to make sure they are open.  They are closed on Mondays as I found out this week.