Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Upcoming Events of Pennsauken Historical Soc. & Griffith Morgan Comm. Fall 2017

Upcoming Events of
Pennsauken Historical Soc. & Griffith Morgan Comm. Fall 2017 ===========================
First Sundays Open Houses at Burrough-Dover House and Griffith Morgan House Sundays, September 3, October 1, November 7
1pm—4pm—Free Admission and Tours
- -----------
Annual Meeting and Special Presentation Thursday, September 21, 7pm
Pennsauken Free Public Library
Mary Groce tells the story of her uncle
» Emory Conrad Malick «
African American Pioneer Aviator -------------

Fall Festival at Burrough-Dover House Saturday, September 23, 12pm—4pm
Living History Demonstrations, Free Tours, Kids’ Activities ------------

Halloween for the Kids at Griffith Morgan House Saturday, October 21, 11am—3pm _______________________________

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Upcoming Events Camden County and Burlington County

Burlington County - Tour events same day, this Saturday, one is the Inskeep Farm House tour in the morning, then in the afternoon - Discover the Lower Village at Smithville Village" is a 1-mile hike starting at 1 p.m. with a Smithville historian. 

Discover a part of Smithville Village that has been a hidden secret to most people. Tours begin at the Smithville Park Visitor Center. For more information, call 609-265-5828.  (I will be on this one with Barb Solem)
Info on google, try historic tours of Burlington County

Camden County Fair Sept. 23 and 24, County Fairgrounds, 508 Lakeland Rd., Blackwood, NJ.  Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 5.
Music and dance, hay rides, beer and wine garden, food trucks, rides and games, 4-H youth products, free parking and admission

The South Jersey Museum of American History has relocated to 138 Andalora Way in Deptford and is now open to the public.  Exhibits include Pre-Columbian pottery, unique tools and farm equipment, glass and ceramics, fossils.  Hours Thurs. Fri., Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Gloucester City Library has two free passes to offer.

Brooklawn Fall Festival Oct. 21 noon to dusk
Brooklawn Waterfront at Timber Blvd.  (rain date Oct 22)
music all day, food trucks, Vallari Vineyards, Eight and Sand Beer Co., and arts and crafts vendor village, kids' zone.
Info on Borough's Facebook page

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Charlie Brown's in Woodbury

I hate salad bars, but I have to say the salad bar at Charlie Browns in Woodbury is wonderful, crisp, clean, about 20 choices and all of them delicious.  I have been there three times recently with two different friends and we were all delighted including the friend who is a vegan.  
By the way, the building is over 300 years old!  It was a stage coach stop, Wilkin's Inn, a hotel, and it has been Brown's for 40 years.  You can visit the Gloucester Historical Society Library and Museum, if they are open, and if not, take yourself down to Red Bank Battlefield and enjoy a walk along the Delaware River.

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Picturing Camden Exhibition at Stedman Gallery

What a fabulous art exhibit!  It was exciting and inspiring.  There were marvelous representational paintings, very modern indsstrial views that were also splendid, and many gorgeous and evocative photographs.  The video was astonishing.  We were wondering how they managed to make that rolling over the rooftops and back to the ground effect.
I felt the exhibit really captured the soul of the City.
It also felt so strange to me to be back after all these years - about 25.  I graduated from Rutgers in 1981 and have only visited once or twice since then.  This time, I drove, with my companion another alum of Rutgers Fine Arts, down Broadway all the way to Gloucester City.  We were amazed at the changes all along Broadway, all the new buildings.  But still saddened by the decay and the losses such as the gorgeous old library on Broadway that I knew when it was in prime condition.  The carcass is across from Sacred Heart, still a beautiful cathedral.
You really should try to get to see this exhibit if you can, and if you care at all about Camden, past, present or future.
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Art about Camden at the Stedman Gallery and MORE

Picturing Camden is an Art Exhibition being held at the Stedman Gallery from Sept 11 through Dec. 8 Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Opening Reception will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 2 to 5.
I am going there today with an old college pal who was in the Art Program at Rutgers with me back in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
Another interesting event in conjunction with this is the SKETCH/PHOTO WALKING Tour of Historic Cooper Street Sunday, Oct. 1 from 9:45 to noon, beginning at the Stedman Gallery and Rain date Sunday, Oct.8.  You need to reserve your spot by calling Miranda Powell at 856-225-6202.

Another event of interest to me as a postcard collector and artist is the PostSecret lecture with Frank Warren, Wednesday, Oct 4 at 7 p.m. at the Walter K. Gordon Theater on the Rutger's Campus.

The Stedman Gallery is also on the Rutger's Campus and for your gps, I will post this blog and go to google then return and add it!

Happy Trails
Jo Ann

Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts
Stedman Gallery
314 Linden Street
Camden, NJ 08102

Sunday, September 10, 2017

From the Sunday Courier - Theater events, art, and more......

If you don't get the Sunday Courier, you may have missed this:  10 Fall South Jersey Arts Events 

1.Broadway Theater Pitman, 43 S. Broadway, Pitman "Return of the Phantom" just in time for Halloween $28 - Oct .27 856-384-8381or www.broadwaytheater.org

2.Eagle Theater, 208 Vine St, Hammonton, "The Fantastics" Nov.10-Dec.10 609-704-5012 www.eagletheater.org

3.Haddonfield Plays and Players, 957 E.Atlantic Ave. "Kiss me Kate" 856-429-8139 www.haddonfieldplayers.com

4.Ritz Theater, "Pippin" 915 White Horse Pke, Oaklyn www.ritztheaterco.org

5.South Camden Theater Co. "Ripcord" $20 www.southcamdentheater.org 400 Jasper St., Camden

6.Mainstage Center for the Arts, 27 S. Blackhorse Pike, Blackwood 856-93602467 www.mainsage.org Pumpkin Festival 17 S. Blackhorse Pike, Blackwood

7.Symphony in C musicians will perform at Macy's in PHila. 856-240-1403 www.symphonyinc.org

8.Perkins Centr for the Arts, DeCafe concert series 395 Kings Hwy., Moorestown 

9. Stedman Gallery, Rutgers Univ. "Picturing Camden" Sept 11-Dec.8, Third and Pearl Sts., Camden, 856-225-6306

10.Center for Arts in Southern New Jersey, Abstract Art Sept. 4-25 123 Elmwood Rd, Marlton wwwcfsasnj.com 856-985-1009

ARCHITECTURE;  Lighthouses - East Point Lighthouse has been restored.  The ribbon cutting was today (sadly we missed this) but you can call to find out how to visit or to volunteer 856-785-0349
originally the Maurice River Lighthouse was lit in 1859 and is maintained by the Maurice River Twp. Historical Society open 1-4 on first and third weekends of the month. www.eastpointlight.com

Saturday, September 9, 2017

It's the season of festivals - Here are three Today, Sept. 9th!

Maple Shade hosts a Main Street festival today, which I will be attending.  I think it is a store-sidewalk sale.

All my info today is word of mouth and I have no details - sorry - just letting you know what people told me they were attending

Millville - VegStock - A vegan and vegetarian festival three of my friends are attending.  Two are tabling for the Vegetarian Society and one is keeping them company.  They are having lunch at Wildflowers in the Glastown Arts section.

Medford is hosting an Arab Culture Festival.  I don't know anything about it other than a friend of mine is going. So if it is of interest to you maybe you can find more information on it by looking online.

At the end of this month Greenwich hosts a Harvest Fest with Arts and Crafts that I have attended any times.  There is music and food and it is a really wonderful day!  I think it happens around the 25th.

Happy Trails!
JO Ann

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ArtJourling Part Two

Today, I visited our local Thrift Store - HOPE Thrift, which is in the Brooklawn Shopping Cener where Kmart used to be (around the corner).  

As I mentioned previously, I like make my own small Art Journals, about the size of a hard-back book but not the thickness of one.  I cover cardboard with decorative paper (usually scrapbook page paper) and accordion fold the paper for inside (usually sketch pad paper - very large, cut down to the right height).  

BOX OF BOOKS I also think it is fun to keep the books in an unusual container.  My favorites have been cigar boxes, but today I found a nice old Oreo Cookie tin for 50 cents, and a small picnic basket for a dollar.  My most recent fun idea for a box for Art Journals was a lunch box.  I had a great old DALE EVANS box that I bought from e-bay for about $5.00 a few years back and I thought I would check out HOPE Thrift to see if they had any but they didn't.  I'll bet various antique stores would though, like the Red Mill in Mullica Hill, or Antique Emporium in Burlington, my next stops on the hunt!

An Art Journal I finished this summer was a memoir and a goodbye book to commemorate the closing of my old school, Mary Ethel Costello School in Gloucester City.  The two I am working on now are FIVE GRATITUDES, and Autumn Walking Journal.  Upcoming ideas - old theaters, and I would like to do one for Pakim Pond and one for Knight's Park.  Also, I have been collecting and storing in a folder, old photos of my daughter and myself and would like to do one on that subject.  Also, I started a very nice one on my house.

Happy Trails whether outdoors or in your mind!
Jo Ann
ps.  Forgot to mention, the cigar box was $2.00 from a tobacco store in a small strip mall across the street from McDonald's in Mount Ephraim on the Black Horse Pike.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

rt Journaling

One of my favorite hobbies is Art Journaling.  I have been keeping journals for 50 years and have over a hundred of them.  Some of them are store bought books, some are home-made  Most recently, I have been making small ArtJournals that combine scrapbooking and diary keeping.  It occurred to me this morning it might be helpful to post tips and strategies for that practice here on my blog.

At the end of this month, I will be teaching Art Journaling at Main Street Art in Maple Shade, but you can do it on your own.  Sometimes easy things are difficult if you have never done them but if you want to give it a try, it might be easier to buy your first journal.  I like spiral bound art sketch books which I buy at A.C.Moore in Deptford, usually for $5 each on sale.  The Sunday Courier Post as coupons for A. C. Moore.

Themes:  There are as many themes as there are people, but to start, if you like a prompt, I would go with Five Gratitudes.  Recently I watched a documentary on amazon prime tv about happiness.  For the past few years, psychologists and brain researchers have been studying healthy minds, not only unstable ones.  Two things you can do to actually improve the health of your brain (scientifically proven via scanning)  are to get exercise and practice meditating on the five things you have to be grateful for.  Needless to say, meditation itself is healthful for your brain, too. 
Other themes can be a memory, holidays, family, travels, events (for example, I did a page in one of mine on the solar eclipse!) and even an autobiography.  Family history is a good one.

Resources:  One of my most frequently used resources is photographs.  I have dozens of albums of photographs and have been taking pictures since I was a twelve year old and got my first box brownie.  I take pictures of EVERYTHING!  A favorite subject is the park where I walk every day and that would be an excellent theme for an Art Journal - observations on what you see when you walk, the changing seasons, and photos of beautiful trees, scenes.
I print out my photos on my home printer, or I take photos to a copy center and get them color printed.  I recently did some at Staples and if you did it yourself (very easy) it was 49 cents a page.  Usually I go to Belia Copy Center in Woodbury, but they were closed the day I went.
You can also use maps, brochures, images from newspapers, magazines, catalogues and postcards.  For example, if you did an Artist's Journal on your hobby of gardening, you might want to use seed packets, catalogue pictures, and prints of your photos.  Also, I save ribbon, string, labels, and I buy stickers, stamps and ink.
For holidays, greeting cards are also useful.

I buy glue sticks at the dollar store, and I often use colored markers, colored pencils, and scrapbooking materials such as sheets of attractive page paper.  Walmart often has good buys on stickers - sometimes $1 a page.  You can buy attractive stick on trims too.

Four years ago, I took up scrapbooking to make a 30th birthday scrapbook for my daughter, and a 50th birthday scrapbook for my sister.  Then I made a 70th birthday scrapbook for myself.  It was fun and I have so many supplies left over that I use them in Art Journaling, which is definitely a cross over skill and practice.

Just now, I am working on a couple of Art Journals, one for Halloween.  My daughter loved Halloween so much when she was little.  And she had a wide context for her costumes, for example, she loved Jurassic Park so much, that I bought her a Velociraptor costume one year.  A page will feature the graphics from the movie, printed on my color printer off the internet, and photos of her in her Velociraptor costume.  Also, I have several items for Start Wars, which she loved, and went one year as Princess Leia.  I have a column cut from a magazine about the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, the movie, this year, 2017.  I think you get the idea.

The other Art Journal I am working on is Five Gratitudes, and a page on gratitude for my little bungalow home prompted me to do a book on the history of my time in this house.  I took pictures of the house from the first day I saw it for sale, and I have photos from all the seasons, and the holidays here.  The book I made has a simple house shape.

That reminds me of another theme - you could do one on foods your family favors, recipe's from your mother or father, and special holiday foods and the memories they bring back.  

I hope this gets you started and here is my e-mail if you want to contact me about this or keep in touch about your progress:
Also, how could I forget - if you are a history buff, and if you are a volunteer at a historic site, what a great subject for your ArtJournal!
Happy Trails
Jo Ann

Monday, September 4, 2017

Two favorite Labor Day Songs

#1 -Brother Can you Spare a Dime, Yip Harburg

They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there right on the job
They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

#2 -Deportee
Woody Guthrie

The crops are all in
And the peaches are rotting
The oranges piled up
In their creosote dumps
You're flying 'em back
To the Mexican border
To spend all their money
To wade back again
Good bye to my Juan
Goodbye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos Jesus why Maria
You won't have a name
When you ride the big airplane
All they will call you
Will be "deportees"

Some of us are illegal
And others not wanted
Our work contract's up
And we have to move on
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border
They chase us like outlaws
Like rustlers, like thieves
Good bye to my Juan
Goodbye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos Jesus why Maria
You won't have a name
When you ride the big airplane
All they will call you
Will be "deportees"

Great Labor Day driving to Greenwich

For some reason today, Labor Day, 2017, I had a craving to see farms and crops.  I drove over to Blackwood to pick up a friend, and we headed down past Almonesson Lake,  south on 55, then down into Bridgeton, then down to Greenwich.  We were not disappointed.  The corn is so green and vibrant for this time of year, and all the other crops are as green as if they grew in Ireland.  

The sky was a radiant, well washed blue, and the creeks and ponds were all refreshed by the generous rain we have enjoyed.  

We stopped by some of my favorite buildings:  the one room stone school-house, the Friends Meeting House, and many of the beautiful historic houses along Ye Greate Street.

We drove to Hancock Harbor hoping that by some chance the  Cafe' there might be open, but it wasn't, so we looked at the boats, drove to the Greenwich boat-yard, then headed home again.  On the way we passed Lake Garrison where a number of people were having a happy and colorful picnic.  We also passed Wood's Farm where many people were picking apples.

We stopped at Charlie Brown's in Woodbury for their popular salad bar - DELICIOUS!  

With the windows down and the smell of new mown grass and fertile New Jersey blowing in the window, we returned home again, with nary a speck of traffic the whole way!  

Hope your Labor Day was happy and safe and that at least once you gave a thought to Peter J. Maguire, buried in Pennsauken, and the father of Labor Day and the 40 hour work week!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pinelands Folk Music and Basketry Center, Mount Holly

Pinelands Folk Music and Basketry Center in Mount Holly.  
31 White Street, Mill Race Village of Shops Mount Holly

Six Baskets in Six Weeks:  Bread Basket, Melon Basket, Homestead Veg Basket, $75, additional cost for supplies

One time Basket Party, bring your own food $35 two hour class
minimum 3 and maximum 10

Also Basket of the Month call for more information or details!

What To Do and how to find an interest!

When I began this blog back in 2006 or so, I was motivated by a comment I heard from a great many other retiring teachers.  People were saying, amongst their closest friends, in confidence, that they didn't know what they were going to do with themselves without work to go to and with their own kids all grown up and gone.

Among my flaws were a few sterling gifts,  not the least of which is a natural bend towards being 'interested' in things in general.  It has not been uncommon to hear my friends exclaim both in warmth and in irritation: "You're interested in everything!"  Although it isn't true, and there are many things in which I have NO interest, such as business, sports, automobiles (except classic cars) to name just a few, I do get interested in many things and could roll off a list of a dozen with no trouble.

Most of my friends, now entering their 10th year of retirement, have found interests.  Some volunteer at historic sites, such as for example, Barb Solem, who has also written three books about historic sites and is the main force behind the opening for tours of Atsion Mansion.  Some volunteer for animal shelters such as Barb Spector who works for spay/neuter clinics, and two shelters, one for domestic animals and one for wild animals.  Both Barbaras volunteer for information dissemination for the Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society.  Barb Solem is also in the process of organizing a film festival on Climate Change and animal agriculture in a joint venture between Pinelands Preservation Alliance (another place she volunteers) and the Medford Friends Meeting.  Both Barbaras are also enthusiastic outdoor activity participants.  They hike regularly and kayak.

Another friend, Nancy, is very active in church activities:  Christmas Craft Bazaar, Summer Strawberry Festival, and she, along with a few others, is also active in helping her family.  Some of my friends have grand children and spend time with them.

But that still leaves a few with nothing to do.  Actually only two or three of my friends feel that they have nothing to do.  The rest have settled in to some pattern of interests and activities, or work in areas that give them some pleasure.  One, Dorothy Stanaitis is a tour guide in Olde City Philadelphia (APT) and also is a 'Storyteller' for adults as well as children's programs.  

Lately I have felt a desire to get back to an old old interest of mine, ART.  From the time I was a child, I wanted to draw and paint and it is the major of my second college degree.  But I have spent more time writing than painting since I retired.  So, I did a book course in creativity, specifically in finding and dismantling the blocks against your creative energy, and it worked!  The book was The Artists' Way by Julia Cameron.  Since I did the course through the book (another friend actually attended a 12 week in-person course) I have made 22 paintings, and gotten back in touch with three local art friends from my college days.  One, I meet every 2 weeks for outdoor painting, another I have agreed to volunteer for each Saturday for the next few months to teach Art Journaling.

As part of the chapter exercises in the book, I answered the question, "Is there anything you always wanted to do and have not yet done?"  My answer was MUSIC.  I always wanted to learn to play an instrument.  For Mother's Day, my daughter bought me a ukulele and I have been taking lessons at Collingswood Music with my wonderful teacher Scott, who has taken all the terror out of learning something new.  

This past Saturday, a friend and I went to The Robin's Nest in Mount Holly for lunch then visited Pinelands Folk Music and Basketry Center 31 White Street (just off the mill race) and the fabric workshop Woolbearers, 90 High Street.

Pinelands Folk Center has basketry workshops and music lessons

Wool bearers in Mount Holly, has everything in fibers - knitting crocheting spinning, weaving and it is a fascinating place to visit.  When we were there on Saturday, a man and a woman were knitting together.  I couldn't tell if one was a student and one was a teacher, but the serenity that comes with knitting was permeating the atmosphere.  

And then there are book clubs!  Two of my friends belong to writing groups and three belong to  book clubs.  

So there you have it - looking for a new interest?  
try music - Collingswood Music Shop, one door off Haddon Ave, on the corner next to Bertoli's bakery in Collingswood.
Knitting, Crocheting, weaving - Woolbearers, 90 High Street, 
Mount Holly.
Outdoor Activities:  The Outdoor Club of South Jersey, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Bishop Farmstead (look them up online)
Volunteer to help the animals, contact Barb Spector
Historic Site Docents - always needed at every site, try Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, or contact Barb Solem if you are closer to the pine barrens.  Both Barbaras can be found on Facebook
Art, Main Street Art, Mape Shade, NJ, Diane Paul proprietor
or if you are closer to Collingswood, Perkins Art Center (also located in Mooresown.)
Can't help you with book clubs but you could try your local library.
I might also add, walking in the lovely local parks is great, as is going to the gym - Planet Fitness has a very good deal $10 a month!  And they have a 30 minute full workout room.
Book Clubs
Model Railroading - There is a club that meets in Haddon Heights, I believe there may be sign on the door at the train station there that gives their meeting place and times (may be the Delaware and Schuykill Model Railroad Club?)
Oh yes, another friend, Kathy Maugeri is a master gardener ( can't help you with that as I don't garden, but you can probably find information on-line.) What else?  If you are looking for something to do, adopt a pet - especially a dog - you will take the dog for walks and make new friends in the parks, especially Timber Creek Dog Park a very active dog park.
Did I miss anything?  Let me know wrigjtj45@yahoo.com

And answer this question:  Is there anything you always wanted to do and haven't done yet?  What are you waiting for?
Happy Trails,
Jo Ann
ps.  Stop in at Collingswood Community Center for tips and their local newspaper "What's On"

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Workshops on Art Journaling at Main Street Art

I will be teaching workshops on Art Journaling from Sept. 3 to Oct 21, Oct 28-Nov 18, Dec.2 - Dec.23 at Main Street Art in Maple Shade.  Each workshop is 4 weeks long and small group for adults and teens.

There will be a Sidewalk Sale Day on Main Street in Maple Shade on September 9, and you can drop by Main Street Art for a flyer on all the other wonderful workshops that will be offered as well.

More information on this will be available.  You can call 856-9795356 for more information.  Dian Paul is head of the Art Studio/Gallery and Workshop.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Old Stone House Event, Washington Twp.

Harvest Festival at the Old Stone House in Washington Township on September 23 beginning at 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be fun for the whole family including hay rides and other activities.

What interests me the most is that there will be demonstrations of old trades.

Old Stone House Village is 08 Egg Harbor Rd., Sewell, NJ.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Quick Note: Music Event

8/17 - 8/20
The 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival with
GRAHAM NASH, TAJ MO, and many more!
Old Pool Farm, Upper Salford Township PA

I have such happy memories of attending the Philadelphia Folk Festival for about 25 years in a row when I was much much younger, more flexible, and smoked pot!  A few summers back, I went again with my daughter and her friends, but I have moved on emotionally and physically and it isn't a good fit for me any more.  Too much sun, can't sit on the ground, don't feel like hauling around chairs and food anymore.  But the music is always phenomenal, so if you have good knees and don't mind the sun - go for it!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Book Review: New Jersey - Folk Revival Music (History and Tradition) Michael C. Gbriele

I have to admit that as I have grown older, the wave of enthusiasm that I enjoy has become more rare.  This wave is the force that carries me through paintings, or to write a book, or a poem, a short story, or sparks an adventure of research.

In the past, a visit to a place happened upon while randomly driving the back roads, has inspired me to a few years of volunteer work, as in Bayshore Discovery Project on the Maurice River in Port Norris, Nj. 

A visit to a re-enactment battle event has also inspired several years of volunteer work at Red Bank Battlefield (now sadly I am retired from all volunteer work due to back and knee issues).

One of the best sparks to light the fire of adventure, however has always been books.  The wonderful books published at the Camden County Historical Society have taken me on countless journeys of exploration as has their web site.  In particular, the series including Old Mills and Old Taverns, have taken me many places, and the wonderful piece on old cemeteries published many years back took me all over the place.

All that is to say that the book NEW JERSEY FOLK REVIVAL MUSIC, History and Tradition, by Michael Gabriele has been that kind of book.  I felt the excitement in the first chapters as he talked about places I have worked and researched but brought information I had never before run across.  

Admittedly, this is my "Year of Music" as I am taking ukulele lessons at Collingswood Music with teacher, Scott Churchman, and have done a series of paintings inspired by documentaries or songs such as a portrait from the late years of Jerry Garcia, and a portrait from a photo I have loved of Billy Holiday to go with a book I just finished reading about her.

Two of the items in Gabriele's book that were surprising to me were 1.  the existence of Jenny Devlin, folk song master, who lived in Gloucester City and who was recorded by Alan Lomax in 1938 during his folk music collecting period for the Library of Congress.    He recorded 38 songs and poems by Ms. Devlin.  I had worked in Gloucester City for over 35 years and had studied the colorful and rich history of this riverfront City for years, but I had never heard of Jenny Devlin before.

2.  His chapters on the Martin guitar and the Victor Talking Machine and RCA in Camden were also of great interest to me.  I bought my first guitar at a family instrument making shop in the early 1960's in Philadelphia.  It was too difficult for me to play with the steel strings which hurt my fingers.  
For several years during the decade after my retirement when I worked as a volunteer and as a school visiting history presenter, I worked  for Camden Camden County Historical Society and enjoyed their museum countless times. The information on the development and growth of  RCA enhanced the superficial grasp I had gained over the years by visiting the museum.  

This book is utterly fascinating and fortunately, unlike many works of history, lively and entertaining.  I applaud Mr. Gabriele on a book that is not only immensely interesting, but useful as a resource, and has the magical quality of being inspiring!  I am all ready to hop in the car and track down Jenny Devlin's homes in Gloucester and to schedule in another visit to the CCHS Museum!

You can get this book from amazon.com, although I bought it at PPA at the Bishop Farmstead on my recent visit there for the Dulcimer concert and books signing.

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rutgers The State Univ. Event

Are you a Rutgers grad?  I graduated from what was then Glamssboro State College first, then took another degree at Rutgers in Camden, and finished it off with a Masters at Univ. of the Arts in Pa.

The Rutgers Alumni Organization is hosting a movie night in September featuring Hidden Figures.  If you haven't already seen this movie, it is Fantastic!!!  I did see it so I won't be attending the outdoor movie in the quad but I may go to the book talk event, see below:
Lecture by Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly
Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m.
Walter K. Gordon Theater, Rutgers–Camden

Don't miss this event! Margot Shetterly, author of the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, will give a public lecture at the Gordon Theater. Online registration coming soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Crossroads of the Revolution Events in Augusst

AS I have mentioned before, I may be on an e-mail list that you aren't, so when I get a listing of events, I share them via this blog.  This list is from Crossroads of the Revolution - a very worthwhile list to be on!

August 18
Dyeing to Color their World at Morristown NHP in Morristown.  Visit the Wick House at Jockey Hollow to discover how Colonial Americans used plants to make natural dyes for clothing. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. More information.

August 19
Guided Tours at Shippen Manor in Oxford. Explore life during the Revolutionary War-era in the little iron-making village of Oxford furnace. Learn about the true story of an industrious local family whose lives were drawn into the conflict. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information. 

Commemoration of the Battle of Paulus Hook in Jersey City. Meet fife and drum at the corner of Grand and Washington and march to the site of the old Revolutionary War fort to hear the story of the 1779 battle that took place in this now-bustling urban neighborhood. 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. More information.

Remembering the Past at Washington's Headquarters Museum in Morristown. Museums use trophies, photographs and other heirlooms to help us recall our nation's history. Learn how a painting, a bust, a sword and a cannon help us learn more about George Washington. 1:30 p.m. More information. 

August 20
Writing with the Whitalls at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park. What can we learn about everyday life in early America from Ann Whitall's and Job Whitall's diaries? Join us for a tour that will highlight their accounts of going to church, gathering hay and living with the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. More information. 

Open House at the Van Allen House in Oakland. Visit the Dutch stone house where Washington and his troops stopped on their way to West Point in 1777. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

1761 Brearley House tours in Lawrenceville. Step back into a simpler time at this Colonial home surrounded by 40 acres of parkland. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information. 

Tour the 1760 Joseph Turner House in Hampton. Find out the role the nearby Union Forge played in keeping the Continental Army well supplied. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information. 

Ten Crucial Days Tour at Princeton Battlefield State Park in Princeton. Find out how Washington and his outnumbered troops battled better-trained British forces -- on the very grounds where the conflict took place! 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reservations and more information.

August 25
Clothing an Army at the Wick House in Morristown NHP in Morristown. Come to Jockey Hollow to learn why the colonies needed France to contribute to the Continental Army's uniform needs. Then try your hand at some weaving! 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. More information. 

August 26
The Many Faces of George Washington at Washington's Headquarters Museum in Morristown. He was the poster boy of the late 18th century! A gallery tour of paintings and busts of Washington will introduce you to the reasons Washington's image became an icon. 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. More information.

August 27
DAR Van Bunschooten Museum Tour in Wantage. The Daughters of the American Revolution share the stories of an early Sussex County family and their home. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Open House at the Garretson Forge and Farm in Fair Lawn. Visit a classic 1719 homestead offering a rare surviving example of the simple farming life of the 1700s. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information. 

General Colfax's Life During the War: Lecture at the Dey Mansion in Wayne. Hear about the Continental Army officer's experiences in Washington's Life Guard and his relationship and marriage to Pompton resident Hester Schuyler, then tour the mansion. 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. More information. 

Feeding an Army at Jockey Hollow Visitor Center in Morristown. What were rations like for the soldiers of the American Revolution, and how do they compare to rations for soldiers today? A park ranger shares the differences. 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. More information. 

August 31
William Livingston Day at Liberty Hall in Union. Celebrate the 240th anniversary of New Jersey's first elected governor, 18th century style! Dancing, crafts, refreshments and more on the beautiful grounds. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What's Happening in the Pines

Just came home from a delightful day at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance (located at the Bishop Farmstead - but you can look them up on the web under PPA) Dulcimer Concert and book signing.  The book being featured was NEW JERSEY FOLK REVIVAL MUSIC HISTORY AND TRADITION, Michael Gabriele.  He offered many interesting details about the history of folk music in NJ including the stay of Woody Guthrie in East Orange, NJ and visits there by many influential folk music figures who came to visit Guthrie!

The Dulcimer concert, in the breezy shade of a gorgeous Sycamore tree, was lovely!  Refreshments were served and we were able to  purchase books by the author including his previous book on New Jersey Diners!

While having lunch at the Red Lion Diner, I picked up a copy of the Pines Barrens Tribune Aug 12-18 edition.  Page 11 featured a dozen events, but I chose two to mention here because they were of interest to me:

1.  Albert Horner is a brilliant photography artist.  I have seen his work before and own a book and cd featuring his beautiful photographs of the pinelands.  So many of his photos manage to capture the elusive magic and mystical spirit of the woods.  Riverfront Renaissance Center will showcase "Pinelands Mystery and Magic" 27 luminous landscapes by Albert Horner, from August 18 (opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m.)  to Sept. 10.  Riverside Renaissance Center is located at 22 N. High Street, Millville, and is open 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  Call 856- 327-4500 for more information. Visit www.rrcards.com.

The Amish Market of the Columbus Flea Market has opened a new venue at 2611 Route 206, Eastampton Twp. which is 3 miles down the road from the Columbus Market.  There will be a Grand Opening and Harvest Festival on Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be food, crafts and live demonstrations.  For more information if you need any,  call 609-265-0298.  Or pick up a copy of the Tribune at a local shop!

Also, you can buy a copy of New Jersey Folk Revival Musci History and Tradition by Michael Gabriele (who works as a jouralst as well as an author) from amazon.com.

Happy Trails neighbors!
Jo Ann

Book Signing and Dulcimer Concert at Pinelands Preservation Alliance TODAY

Today, Sunday August 13, at (I think) 1:00

Book signing at the Bishop Farmstead, home of the Pineland's Preservation Alliance, and Dulcimer Concert.  If I am not mistaken, the book is about music in the Pines. 

As I have written before, I am taking ukulele lessons at Collingswood Music and I am very much interested in music this year, so I am looking forward to this event.  I haven't been to a PPA event in some time.

I will be going with Barbara Solem, author of The Forks, Btsto, and Ghosttowns in the Pines.  She is a member of PPA and does tours for them as well as other volunteer activities  

You will have to look up the Pinelands Preservation Alliance website for further information.  I don't remember it offhand.

Hope to see you there!
Jo Ann

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Music Chat

On the classical and jazz radio station WRTI, I heard an ad for the Newport Jazz Fest that gave this piece of information:  (I am paraphrasing)
In 1956, Duke Ellington's band was on the wane.  He had been a giant favorite from 1923 till th e1950's.  But he lost popularity to Rock and Roll, BeBop and Jazz.  Even his record company dropped him.  Then he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival, opener and closer.  At the end, they decided to let go and just let 'er rip.  The sax player played 6 solo choruses!  The crowd went wild!  They danced as though they were all one organism.  That recording of the Jazz Fest performance became the Dukes biggest selling album of all time.

It struck a chord with what I saw on the documentary I watched on amazon prime about The Grateful Dead "What a Long Strange Trip."  Jerry Garcia tried to play everything new and different each time, never the same.  H wanted everything to be free and in the moment.  The documentary was fascinating and very well done though undeniably a sad ending.  I was never a Dead Head, myself, though I liked their music well enough.  But I loved this story about them and plan to listen to them more now that I have seen it.

Reminders of all the great places to hear music around here!
1.  Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood:  Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes are Oct. 21
2.  Haddon Heights Dell - the sunset series has one more performance on August 16th at 7:30:  Phoebe Hunt, fiddler, singer songwriter and The Gatherers!  Also at the Dell on Aug.22, great hits from musicals at 7 p.m.
3. Albert Hall in Waretown is always a treat!  I haven't gone in some time because of my driving in the dark vision difficulties - I miss it!
4.  Collingswood Music Store  has small venue concerts, get on their mailing list for information, also it is never too late to learn an instrument.  I am taking ukulele lessons there!
5.  Lots of music at all the local farmer's markets and Second Saturday, August 12 features free music and sidewalk sales along Haddon Avenue in Collingswood
6.  Mummers on Powell Lane from 7 to 8:30 pm. Aug. 23rd, Sept. 27th South Philadelphia String Band performs, bring your chairs
(more info - www.collingswood.com)

TRAIN BUFFS:  The National Railway Historical Society meets at the Haddon Heights Municipal Building, 625 Station Avenue, September 25, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017



AUGUST NEWSLETTER news and announcements from Pitman Gallery and Art Center! Each month - information about our upcoming exhibiting artists, classes, and more.

UPCOMING EXHIBITION: Experiential: Color & Composition

Join us Friday, August 4th from 7-10pm for the Opening Reception of Experiential: Color & Composition featuring the works of Susan Blaker, Jim Ferrell, Jeanne Jablonski, and Dino Sistilli. This event is free and open to the publicF

The e-mail newsletter also listed a children's course, but as this blog is oriented towards adults, if you want kids news, you can go to their web site.

Also:  the latest edition of Sojourn 2017 is off the presses and available through amazon.  It has a wonderful essay about Marilyn Schmidt and Buzby's General Store.  The cover depicts the many old mills in the area.  I love old mills, so I found it very attractive.  If you love the pines, you'll love Sojourn!

Mushrooms, butterlies and bees are plentiful right now!  Saw some in the park today that were as big as luncheon plates!  I love mushrooms!

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Saturday, July 29, 2017

13 Ways to Create a Humane Backyard

Do you know what 'Permaculture' is?  I am not a gardener but even to my remote reaches some gardening news occasionally arrives.  A year or two ago, I heard a program on NPR (national public radio) about permaculture, which is gardening with nature rather than against it.  Mostly what they discussed were things we already know such as that it isn't good to poison your yard with herbicides. It destroys the natural ecology of the soil and pesticides and weed killers damage important cycles in our own world, such as the weakening of the bee colonies (which we need for agriculture) and the killing of birds (who eat insects.)  One thing I didn't know however was that this new fad for black licorice mulch is also damaging to our yards and our water supply.  It is dyed black, for one thing, and the dye washes out into the soil and the drainage systems.

However, that wasn't my main topic for today.  I received a small chart from a charity that I send small donations a couple of times a year with 13 good tips to create a homage backyard.  I don't know about you but I LOVE having butterflies visit, and I enjoy watching my rabbit family, my birds, especially the cardinal family that frequents the yard, and I get a kick out of the ants of the squirrels.  Also I adore the shade from my 18 old trees.  

The tips:
1.  Provide water - a birdbath or small pond (and enjoy the action!)
2.Offer natural food sources, native plants to be specific (and in winter perhaps bird feeders)
3.Avoid lawn chemicsls: fertilizers, pestiides, herbicides (harmful to animals, pets, children, and our water supply)
4.Make large windows bird safe with stick-ons
5.Think outside the 'lawn box' Lots of gardeners are opting for wildflower meadows instead of the boring golf lawns of the past
6.Create a wild area or a brush pile for shelter
7.Plant for bees (do not fear them, leave them alone and they will leave you alone!)
8. Put up a bat house (For a couple of decades when our family got together in West Virginia, my parents' mountain retirement home, we would gather on the veranda at night to watch the bats swoop around the yard lamp.  Their aerial stunts were astonishing.
9.If you have a backyard pool, secure it for the sake of children and animals.
10.  SLOW DOWN - good advice for life in general but especially good for animals.  If you are driving the residential speed limit of 25, you have time to brake for animals.
11.  Create a safe outdoor space for your cats.  I have  a 'Catio" it is a 6 feet high chain link enclosure with chicken wire on top.  There is a cat door in a window of my den, so the cats can go in and out at will.  I have a few benches in the Catio and they go out to enjoy sunrise, sunny, and even to sit in the gentle rains.  That way no birds have to die but the cats can enjoy some outdoor time.  The Internet is full of attractive 'Catio' ideas.  Check it out.
12. and 13. need further research at humane society.org  - they include seasonal yard clean-up tips, and protecting your house from unwanted guests in a humane way (such as squirrels in the attic).

Needless to say a final tip was to please not litter.  It is shocking to me to see how many water bottles, soda and beer cans litter the woods, and even the parks.  If I were a coach, I would have my team 'police' the area after a practice and pick up their trash.  Also I have noticed that fishermen seem especially prone to leaving their garbage in the form of bait containers and lunch bags and cans where they fish in the local parks.  Teach your children to carry back what they carry out!

I am always pleased and proud to see how generally clean the parks are where I walk with my dog.  Of course, we always scoop, it is fast and easy.  I have doggy bag dispenser that clips on to my dog leash, so I always have bags on hand and as many people as I meet dog walking in our favorite park, I rarely see dog excrement left in the park.  Most people are considerate of others.

Treat the world as if it were your home!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Friday, July 28, 2017

New Jersey Pinelands Event for August 2017

Just in case you aren not on their e-mail list, this is just in from the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.  I have attended man of their events and a visit to the Bishop Farmstead, their book store, and auditorium is always delightful.  I plan to attend this one and hope you do too!

PPA is excited to host an afternoon of music by the Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society and a book signing by Michael Gabriele, author of New Jersey Folk Revival Music History & Tradition.  PPA's visitor center will be open and light refreshments will be available.  This event is free to the public and is family friendly.

Sunday, August 13, 2017
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
PPA, 17 Pemberton Rd. (CR 616), Southampton NJ 08088

Members of the Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society desire to preserve folk instruments, among which the Appalachian Mountain and hammered dulcimers stand out. The extended dulcimer family also includes other well-known instruments, like autoharp, banjo, bozouki, bass fiddle, folk harp, mandolin and penny whistle.  You will hear a variety of playing styles, from old-time mountain music to Irish jigs and airs.

Schedule of Events:
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Book Signing
1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Mountain Dulcimer Performance
2:00 p.m. - 2 :30 p.m. - Michael Gabriele - Talk and Q & A
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society Jam

More information about the author and this amazing book:

"New Jersey Folk Revival Music - History and Tradition" is a new book written by New Jersey author and historian Michael Gabriele and published by Arcadia Publishing/The History Press. The book-190 pages with over 80 photos-provides a narrative on the evolution, traditions and history of folk revival music in New Jersey.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Marvelous Day of ART in Pitman!!

Today, Saturday, Saturday July 22, I spent the day in Pitman was a couple of friends.  I had a mission - to see the work of a former student of mine from when I taught at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia

Brigitte O-Dowd was not only my student in the graduate education program, she was also my student teacher at M. E. Costello School, her senior year AND she was brilliant at both!  She was always a wonderful artist with a unique vision and great technical mastery.  Along with that, she was also a warm and engaging teacher.  The students adored her!

We got connected again via Facebook and I was pleased to see she had work on view at The Studio 120 North, on Broadway in Pitman.  

First. we had lunch at a corner pizzaria which was delicious, then we went to the wrong gallery - the Pitman Art Center, but though it was not the gallery where my friend's paintings were on view, it was a wonderful gallery and we all enjoyed the gorgeous wood carvings  of Wolfgang Finger.  These were of special interest to us because one friend, Barb Spector, is a bird-watcher, and many of Wolfgang Finger's pieces were of birds, in particular a monumental owl carving, and my personal favorite, a red-tailed hawk.  Also, at one time, I had taken up wood carving, but soon had to let it go as I had arthritis in my fingers from years of teaching and typing, and joint problems with my right wrist, same causes.

Finally we found The Studio 120 North, and I was thrilled to see Brigitte O'Dowd's figure paintings and to find that she will offer a course on the figure in early autumn.  More on that when the time comes near.  Also I will let you know what other courses and works on display at The Studio 120 North.  Art is such a great way for towns to adapt to their new world and save themselves.

By the way, you can rent space at the Pitman Gallery and Art Center for your event:  (856)553-7757 and PitmanArtCenter.org

Two other events coming to that area are The Pitman Craft Show on September 16th and the Gloucester County Fair July 27 through 30.  Events of interest to me at the Fair - Recycled Garden Art Contest and Flower and Vegetable Show, plus Clay Pot Decorating Contest!

Pitman has really experienced a renaissance.  I remember the run-down Pitman Theater in the old days, (20 or 30 years ago) and it is wonderful and flourishing now - SAVED!!!!  And Broadway is chock full of interesting vintage stores, places to eat, and galleries of various kinds.  

Along with all that culture, a must see is the Pitman Grove for fans of domestic architecture.  I almost bought a house there once myself, it was love at first sight, but reconsideration when my father took a look:  "No insulation, ancient wiring - you don't have the skills or the money to renovate this place"  The rest is history.  I found my beloved bungalow right after that and have been blissful here ever since, but I still love the Grove!  Go there and take a walk, but find a cooler day than we had.  It was a sweltering 95, so we couldn't walk around as much as we wanted but we plan to return for that Arts and Crafts Fair in September when all the world is at its best (to those like me who love the fall).

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Music on the Waterfront! XPN Festival 2017

I am letting you know about this although I won't be going this year.  Sadly, it is too hot and too hard to sit outside for me these days and I can't take the sun either BUT that said, if you love live music, you will enjoy the WXPN Music Festival I am sure.

And I am always glad when good things happen in Camden.  I went to college for my second BA at Rutgers and gained a fondness for Camden and Camden History that I have kept over the years.  I often visit (as you know if you've visited my blog before) the Camden County Historical Society on Euclid Blvd, behind Lady of Lourdes Hospital to keep up with new shows on Camden History and to visit with Bonny Beth Elwell, the Library Historian there.

So here is the information

    July 20, 2017
Single Day Passes Available 

NEW for 2017!  1-Day Go-Everywhere Passes for the XPoNential Music Festival (Jul 28-30) with lawn access to the BB&T Pavilion are available for the first time (Friday and Saturday only). 

Single day passes for Wiggins Park-only performances and 3-Day Go-Everywhere Passes are still available.

Wilco, Spoon, Amos Lee, Drive-By Truckers, Angel Olsen, Strand Of Oaks, Foxygen, Joseph, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and more will soon take the stage at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru! Check out the complete line-up here! 

As a member, pick up your XPoNential Music Festival 3-day or single day passes at half price by using the offer code IHEARTXPN. 

PS. Already a member of XPN at the $25/month level (and above) and have not heard anything about your complimentary passes? Give membership a call at 1-800-565-9976.
Free At Noon 

Friday, July 21
WXPN Free At Noon with Ride 
World Cafe Live, Philadelphia

Ride's new album,  Weather Diaries, is out now. Ride will also be performing at the TLA on July 22. 

Next Week - Friday, July 28

No Free At Noon - See you at the XPoNential Music Festival! 

Many thanks to Comcast and Rafferty Subaru for supporting the Free At Noon Concert Series.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Crossroads of the Revolution Events

As you may know, when i retired, I volunteered at various historic sites, two of which were connected with the American Revolution - Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield, and Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park  Though retired for some time now, I am still on a couple mailing lists including Crossroads of the Revollution and as you may not be on their mailing list, I am posting their list of upcoming events:  

July 21
Art in Food and Food in Art lecture at the Bouman-Stickney Farmstead Barn in Stanton. Author and food historian Peter Rose shares the ways that 17th century Dutch art gives glimpses into the Colonial diet. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. More information.

July 22
Research Your Home's History at the Montclair History Center in Montclair. Discover the resources available to research your Montclair home. 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Required registration and more information.

Log House City at Jockey Hollow Visitor Center in Morristown. Find out more about the hundreds of cabins built by Continental soldiers to survive the harsh winter of 1779-80. 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. More information.

Songs and Stories of the American Revolution at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville. Musician Matthew Dodd performs rousing 18th century songs and tales at the Visitor Center Museum. 2:00 p.m. More information.

July 23
Washington's Encampment at the Dey Mansion in Wayne. Reenactors share what daily life was like for the soldiers who were with Washington during his July 1780 stay at this stately mansion. 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Open House at the Garretson Forge and Farm in Fair Lawn. Visit a classic 1719 homestead offering a rare surviving example of the simple farming life of the 1700s. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

DAR Van Bunschooten Museum Tour in Wantage. The Daughters of the American Revolution share the stories of an early Sussex County family. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Tour Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge. Visit a Revolutionary War battle site and authentic sandstone buildings telling the story of early Bergen County. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

July 26
Uncork History: Decorative Arts Tour of Liberty Hall in Union. Enjoy a summer evening with a VIP walking tour revealing a unique 240 year decorative arts history. Then relax in the garden over wine with friends. 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. More information and reservations by July 19.

Museum of the American Revolution Bus Trip, departing from Union. Visit Philadelphia's newest museum, plus the National Constitution Center and lunch at the City Tavern with fellow history lovers from the Union Township Historical Society. 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. More information and reservations.

July 29
Musket Firing Demonstrations at Washington Crossing State Park Visitor Center in Titusville. Join a park historian for an interpretive talk about some of the weapons used during the American Revolution and their use during the Battle of Trenton. 2:00 p.m. More information.

Behind the Scenes Museum Tour at Washington's Headquarters Museum in Morristown. See rarely-exhibited items from the museum's extensive collection, including some related to Alexander Hamilton and World War I. 10:30 a.m. Reservations and more information.

Ringwood Manor Cemetery Tour in Ringwood. Take an outdoor walking tour to learn the stories of those buried in the manor's historic graveyard. 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Required registration and more information.

July 30
Open House at the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy. Discover the diverse 250 year history of the nation's last remaining original Royal Governor's mansion. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Recurring events and site tours*

A Child's View of History at Liberty Hall Museum in Union. Kids can learn 240 years of history through the eyes of the mansion's young residents, and enjoy hands-on artifacts! 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Required reservations and more information.

Tea and Tour at Historic Morven in Princeton. Enjoy a cultured afternoon at the home of Declaration of Independence signer Richard Stockton and his wife, poet Annis Boudinot Stockton. 1:00 pm. More information.

Tea at the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy. Following teas and homemade desserts, discover the only Royal Governor's house still standing in the United States. 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. More information.

Thursdays through Sundays
Whitall House tours at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park. Learn the story of the October 1777 battle and the Quaker family who faced the Revolution literally at their front door. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Wortendyke Barn Open House in Park Ridge. Visit an authentic New World Dutch Barn representing family farming from the region's first European settlement through the 20th century. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. More information.

*Please contact site to confirm dates and times before visiting.

Discover Revolutionary New Jersey all spring and summer long. Watch your inbox for our eNewsletter for August events.

Crossroads Heritage Partners are eligible to list events on our website. Contact Kate Brindle by email or at 609-341-3246 for details.

Crossroads launches search for Executive Director
Do you have a passion for history and a background in non-profit fundraising and management? Qualified candidates are invited to submit applications for the executive director position at Crossroads of the American Revolution Association. For more information, visit the Crossroads website.

Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ 08608
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Monday, July 3, 2017

Grandpop Wright's Deck Chair

One other item I forgot to write about in my previous post was my Grandfather Clyde Franklin Wright's Deck Chair.  He was a Merchant Seaman, as was my Mother's Grandfather William C. Garwood.  Clyde Franklin Wright traveled all over the world and brought home items from his man visits to foreign lands.  All that remains of his many souvenirs (they were cleared out of the house and disposed of when my Grandmother Mabel, his wife, was forced to go to Ocean City to care for her mother, Catherine Sandman Young, who had suffered a stroke) was his mahogany deck chair.

This chair almost perished too, when my parents retired and moved to West Virginia, but, with the help of a friend who worked at a local hardware store in Collingswood, I rescued the chair, all disassembled in the garage attic of my parents' home, and put the pieces together and  have the chair in my den.  It has to be disassembled to be moved through doorways as the writing desk arms are very wide, but I love it and I think of Clyde Franklin Wright's many years as a sea going sailor when I look at it.  I never met that ancestor as he was killed by a hit-and-run driver when my father was a child.

Family Heirloom Project

Like many older people, I have acquired a number of family heirlooms.  None of them have any financial value to recommend them but they have connections to family members I knew when I was growing up, and to stories about family history.

My grandmother Mabel, my father's mother, was a notable seamstress.  In her youth, she and her mother, Catherine Sandman Young, had both supported themselves and their families when they were widowed, by sewing.  At one point, they made uniforms for the military through the Schuylkill Arsenal.  At that time, they lived in Philadelphia.  Catherine Sandman Young's family had come from Germany and a Philadelphia Census from the 1800's lists her profession at age 16 as "seamstress/dressmaker" so her sewing machine, a wooden covered cabinet portable that fit into a treadle table is of special importance.  Both Catherine and her daughter, Mabel, were also prolific quilters and I have two quilts made by Mabel, and a couple of her afghans (or lap robes).  One of the saddest little items is Mabel's diary from the summer when her twin sister who suffered demential from a head injury sustained during an purse snatching assault, committed suicide in their home.

From the other side of the family, I have chocolate pot made in occupied Japan, that sat in my Grandmother Lavinia Lyons' china cabinet and which I had always admired from childhood.  She said when I had a house of my own, I could have it for a house warming gift.  Good to her word, when I bought my house, she gave me the chocolate pot.  It isn't all that old or of any financial value but it was hers and it is beautiful.  My mother also had a fondness for pretty china and I have a Staffordshire bowl that she kept for many years and a delightful little-house cookie jar.  When I was  very small child, and home sick, my mother let me play with the little house cookie jar.  It has pride of place in m own china cabinet.  I also have my own mother's sewing machine which I have always used and still do.

I have a lot of personal mementos as well, a charm bracelet begun in the 1950's and finished in the 1970's, a sweater from Mexico from 1964, and a number of very old and beautiful postcards which I have collected all my life.  My daughter, too, has many mementoes of her childhood.

Then there are the family photographs.  The oldest ones I have date from 1884, of Catherine Sandman and her new young husband William Adam Young.

Like many people my age, I worry about what will become of these family heirlooms when I am gone.  They passed on to me because the grandmothers who gave them to me knew i would value them and care for them.  Who will care for them after I die?

Often, sadly, I see little stage sets of chairs, furniture, baskets of wool and knitting needles, forlorn tableaux of someone who has died and their relatives have put their possessions on the curb for scavengers and the trash collectors.  It is heartbreaking.

Once my sister saw a bag of family items on the curb near her home and falling out were old family photos.  She stopped and the two relatives were clearing out their mother's house and said they didn't want any of that old stuff.  My sister took some of it, a box of opera gloves with a working woman's employee card - she was a ballroom dancer for a big hotel in New York.  Their family passports from Italy were there and a lot of  photos of New York tenement backyard gardens as well as relatives back in Sicily, and postcards and letters from the 'old country.'  How could they put those irreplaceable family history items in the trash?  I can't understand it, and it worried me.  I took some of the items and put them in the Gloucester County Historical Society Library in their genealogy collection.

No one wants this stuff and the historical societies are overflowing, so if family doesn't want it, it is doomed.  Therefore, I made a looseleaf binder with a page for each photo of the object I wanted saved and the family member it belonged to and a  little family history.  I thought I would have it color/copied at Belia Copy Center and make a booklet for each of my four siblings, but the main binder for my daughter so when I am gone, these things may be saved somehow.  It is all I can do.

PREDICITON;  The day will come, maybe in 30 years, when such family items and family history will be of great value because we live in an age where nothing is saved and so the things will be increasingly rare and sought after.

Two 4th of July Parades 2017

Tonight, Monday, Jul 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Gloucester City, New Jersey will have the local town 4th of July Parade down Broadway, the main street, from the Southern border, around Jersey Avenue northward to near the bridge approach, the northern border.

I will probably attend that parade because one of my oldest friends, since the 1970's, will be Grand Marshall.  Dorothy Stanaitis loves parades and had been in many including Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Parade, the Columbus Parade, and others.  Dorothy has been an exemplary citizen of Gloucester City.  She was Library Children's Program Director for many years, and held the children's story hour.  She was and IS a brilliant storyteller.  She creates an entire program around a story often including clever small give-aways and food items.  She also served on the Citizens' Conflict Resolution committee (by another name I don't recall anymore) for many years, and has participated in the beautiful baby context and Camden County Arts Festival, as a judge.

We know each other because she hired me for a federally funded Outreach Program to bring library services to children in Gloucester City.  I worked in that program for about 8 years until I became a full time teacher, also in Gloucester City.  So that will be a fun parade.

Tomorrow, my own home town for the past 30 odd years, Mount Ephraim will hold its parade, and I will pop over to have a look for a time, then return home to comfort my noise traumatized pets.  I will probably meet up with Dorothy at Roosevelt Avenue.  I usually watch from the corner of my own street, Green Ave. at the 7-11 Convenience store, but this year I may venture a few blocks south and sit with my friend and her family.

Happy 4th of July everyone!
Jo Ann

Friday, June 30, 2017

Walks With My Dog - Acorn TV

Fr my 4th of July personal intimate festival, I watched Walks With My Dog, an Acron tv production in which British actors walk in their home counties with their dogs.  A lovely woman walked with her Cavapoo in Kent, a recognizable (to me anyhow as I watch a LOT of British tv) actor walked with his two Labs in Cornall and visited an obscure site that I was proud and thrilled to name - the little building from which Britain laid cable to all corners of the empire.  It is no longer of much use as we use fiber optic cable, but nonetheless, it is the ground zero of our connected world.  I knew about it from a very old issue of Wired Magazine, probably back to the 90's.

Second to the tv show, naturally, I walked my dog, Trixie, as I do every single day all year long.  Currently we walk in Knight's Park around 8:00 a.m. to catch the cooler temps as Trixie has dark brown fur and can't take the heat.  In cooler seasons, when there are no ticks or chiggers, we frequent Pakim Pond, and many other hiking trails such as the Maurice River Bluffs, but from March through September, these days, we stay out of the woods and away from Lyme disease bearing ticks.

My other 4th of July treats are a vegetarian feast of red skin potato salad from ShopRite (surprisingly delicious = even to a potato salad snob like myself) cole slaw and Jersey corn (microwaved in its own leafy wrapper).  

If you watch Netflix, catch What the Health, a good show about food and our health.  You may prefer to forego that hot dog or burger, and opt for a veggie burger or the aforementioned salad, corn and cole slaw options.

Happy 4th of July, whatever you do and wherever you go!  We will also enjoy our little local parade down Kings Hwy.,  and there are man locations where we can see the fireworks from home.

Happy Trails and remember - a dog can die in a few minute left in a hot car so take your dog home before you go to the store!  Then you can continue to enjoy many years of happy walks together.  
Jo Ann (and Trixie)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia

IF you have never visited Eastern State Penetentiary in Philadelphia, there are several times in the year when special events are taking place.  I visited a year ago with some friends on an ordinary day (I think the blog about it is archived).  It is fascinating.
You might think it is all sad and tragic, but history gives you a long perspective which helps keep the sadness at bay.

One of the special event days is coming up and although I won't be there, it sounded pretty cool to me.  The Storming of the Bastille, a signal spark in the French Revolution, is celebrated at Eastern State on July 15.  In France, this special holiday is celebrated on the 14th of July although the actual storming of the Great French Prison and armaments fortress took place on June 24th.  

For mor info on the Eastern State Pen event go to their web site
www.easternstate.org or just google Bastille Day at Eastern State Pen.

The Bastille was also a prison where political prisoners were held, and enemies of the crown who could be imprisoned without appeal and for undisclosed amounts of time.  

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Solar Eclipse August

In case you missed it, the note of a solar eclipse has been written up in several science magazines and this Sunday in the Courier Post.  Since I had posted on several star gazing events coming up, I thought I would add a note about the eclipse as well.  I can't really go to these anymore as I can't drive at night - vision problems, but you can!

This is the first coast to coast solar eclipse in the US in 99 years!  Although total solar eclipses happen about every two years or so, usually they occur in the middle of the Pacific or some other place where we can't see them.  But this one cuts diagonally across the US.  This one takes place on August 21 and cuts from Oregon to South Carolina.  Day will briefly become night.

Along this path, the eclipse will be total.  In other places it will be partial.  As all article recommend, wear protective eye covering.  The eclipse will last about 2 minutes.

I am sure as the time gets closer we will get a more accurate estimate of the time when we can view this.  Nothing I read so far was able to give a time to start looking.  I guess when we see the shadow of the moon and it begins to get dark, we will know!

"When the moon hits your eye and it darkens the sky, that's an eclipse" Sing it to the tune of the old song about the pizza pie!

Happy Trails, in the woods, in the park, or in the sky -
Jo Ann

Friday, June 23, 2017

What to do Where to Go Batsto Reminder

Saturday une 24, Astronomy Presentation and Star Watch
Conducted by the Willingboro Astronomical Society
7:00 - 10:00 FREE  at Batsto Village 609-567-4559
( Held again at Saturday July 29)

Saturday July 8    89th Annual Capt. Emilio Carranza Memorial Service begins at 1:00 at the Carranza Memorial Call Atsion Camp Store 609-268-4444

Saturday July 15 The Carpenter Frog Pinelands  Guided Hike, Bring water and lunch Begins at 10:30, 3 to 4 miles FREE, Meet at Atsion Camp Store 744 Route 206 Call 609-268-0444

The Following all at Historic Batsto Village:
August 18, 12th NJVI Civil War Encampment
Sept 24 Fall Antiqu Glass & Bottle Show
October 15 Country Living Fair
Look for info at www.batstovillage.org and Facebook page Batsto Citizens Committee/Historic Batsto Village or call 609-561-0024

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Free Music in Gloucester City this Summer

Hosted by Michael Tearson ( renowned counter-culture dj as famous as a rock star in his WMMR days!) Time 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Place: Proprietor's Park, on the Delaware River on King Street at Powell.  

June 27 - Kenn Kweder with Skip Denenberg (Songwriter)
A Tribute to Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash
Opening Act:  Lost Art

July 11
Swinging Cool Cat
Rock & Roll, Jump, Blues, Jazz and Swing
Opening Act:  Drew Harris from Naked Sun

July 25
Dave Kelly with Bryan Schnell from Tulsa Oklahoma
A Tribute to the sounds of American Southern Rock
Opening Act:  Dave Bakey from Celtic Thunder

August 8
Jon Toulon with Mike Brenner
A Tribute to the Grateful Dead
Opening Act:  Michael Tearson
Broedast Pioneers Hall of Fame with Bill Ferguson

August 22
the Swingz featuring Fan Smith, Jr., Steve Butler, Eric Smith
Opening Act: Sage Lobiano