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, September 1, 2015

Jim Thorpe, Pa.

I know, this is called historic places South Jersey, but, sometimes, I just have to go to Jim Thorpe, Pa.  It is one of my favorite places in the world.  Fortunately, this time, a good friend of mine, Nancy, who lives in Westampton, a half hour from me and a half hour closer to Jim Thorpe, Pa., was willing to drive us there to spend the day.

Since it was the last weekend of August and the last weekend people had kids home from school, the traffic going to Pa., was meager, everyone was going to the shore.  Since I'm on that subject, Jim Thorpe is a great alternative to the seashore.  Think outside the box, folks!

It was glorious in Jim Thorpe and to my joy, it was filled with healthy families doing athletic and healthy things together, kayaking, Tubing on the Lehigh River, biking along the canal path, or hiking up Glen Onoko Falls.  We didn't do any of those things this trip, I'm not in that physical form these days, though I have hiked the falls in the winter and the summer and biked the path all 25 miles in my time.  I never boated on the river, though.

This time, we were lucky enough to be there on a day the trains were running, so we booked our tickets for the one hour and a half ride, then went to get lunch.  We ate at a historic house turned restaurant, the Albright Mansion, built circa 1860.  Albright is interesting in aany ways.  He was the prosecuting attorney agains the Molly Maguires, nine of whom were hanged.  To me, they are Labor heroes, to thers they were anarchists and criminals.  An interesting point is that after he died, Albright's house fell into the hands of the Molly Maguires defense attorney.  I think the prison is a Labor shrine and it makes me sad whenever I see it.  I've never been there on a day when it was open for tours, and this time, I forgot to look.

We enjoyed delicious locally grown tomatoes in a grilled sandwich called The Bloody Mary, with shoestring fries and coffee.  We walked around the charming streets, stopped in a few shops then headed to our train ride.  I'm like a child all over again when I ride the train! 

A final enjoyable experience was an art show in the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, formerly a Presbyterian Church.  Never having been a big fan of Abstract Art, I enjoyed the stained glass windows more than the art.  The windows were simply breathtaking.  They were among the most beautiful I have ever seen. 

It is well worth your time to take the drive and visit Jim Thorpe and this is a great time of the year for it!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Monday, August 24, 2015

Gibbon House Museum, Greenwich & More

Today, Monday, August 24, I spent a delightful day at Pakim Pond in Brendan Byrne Forest, hiking around the pond and admiring the cabins.  However, what I wanted to write about today is my trip yesterday to the Gibbon House Museum in Greenwich.

To be honest, I never set out to go to Greenwich, in fact, I was headed to Aldine to photograph a log cabin I passed there once a long time ago.  First I stopped for Moods Blueberry Pancakes at the Blue Plate Cafe in Mullica Hill, Yummmmmm!

I was traveling with a pal, Gail K.  and I mentioned Greenwich and she had never been there so we set the gps (though I know the route by heart) and set off.  What a glorious day for a drive in the country, though it was distressing to see how dry the corn fields were.  Along with the cool mornings, the browning of the corn has been another signal that autumn, my favorite season, isn't far off.  Through the fields and past the fine old farms we drove on the peaceful and mainly untraveled route 77 to Bridgeton, ver the little bridge, past the old church and cemetery, left turn, right turn and the long road to Greenwich.

We came in the back way which gave me a chance to take yet another photo of the Hicksite Quaker Meeting House, the Stone one room school, and the building that my have been the original school for African American children near Othello.  We made an honoring nod to Ambury Hill and the Civil War veterans buried there, then on down Ye Greate Street to the Gibbon House.

Our tour guide, Andrew, a historian, member of the Cumberland County Historical Society and student at Rutger's Camden, my own 2nd alma mater, gave us a superb tour.  He had the gift for the unusual fact, the interesting tidbit and avoiding the periol of the knowledgeable which is to tell more than the visitor may wish to hear.  He had exactly the right amount of information and a warm and friendly delivery.  I would say he was an OUTSTANDING tour guide.

All the upstairs rooms were open for this tour, so we saw the room devoted to the Ware Chair manufacture, the clothes from the Fithian ancestors, the toy room, the magnificent quilt collection, the Civil War Room and many things I haven't seen since my first museum tour many years ago.  Often during the Open House tours, the upstairs is closed.

Tomorrow, I will add photos to this entry but now, I must rest as my long drive and hike have tuckered me out!  I understand the museum is open Tuesday thrugh Sunday now, so you shoul go while you can.  And ask about new findings in regard to my FAVORITE of all log cabins!
Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Friday, August 14, 2015

Two Great Days of fun Things To Do - end of summer

Yesterday, Thursday, I drove to Ocean City and was delighted to find the Ocean City Historical Society Museum, located in the Library complex at 17th and Stimpson open for a visit.  I LOVE this museum.  There are period rooms and period clothes, maps and all kinds of interesting memorabilia.  We had a warm and charming volunteer guide named Dorothy White who was perfect, in that she provided information in a very unobtrusive and delicate way so that you enjoyed her companionship.  My favorite things from the past have always been the Sindia china and the stained glass window, but there were such beautiful dresses this time that I stood mesmerized thinking of the handiwork of the long ago seamstresses who made them.


Today, Friday, August, 14, I met two friends for lunch at Curtin's Wharf, a perfect day for it because it was balmy and breezy and not a batteringly, blisteringly hot day such as we have had recently.  Today was 82 with no humidity and the outdoor ambience of the Wharf was delightful.   We drove over to Burlington City afterwards to visit the Antique Emporium  http://www.antiquesnj.com/

What I most wanted, I could not have but I SHOULD have taken a photo and I did not.
Image result for antique tin toy ferris wheelBut here is an image from the internet.  I had, since childhood thought of these tin toys as water wheels, but I realized they are ferris wheels!  I have always loved them but t the antique emporium, they were $450 and $350!  Way out of my spending bracket.  So I just look at admire!  What I did uy, however was a homemade one room school house.  It was actually part of a village and I would have loved to have provided a home for this clever and painstakingly carefully made balsa wood project, but I have no space and my cats knock over everything, so I stopped at the schoolhouse because it will be my decorating motif for September, apples and one room schoolhouses.  Also I bought two wooden apples, very handsome.  The house was only $10 and the apples were $5 each. 

Before I left Burlington, I stopped to take a photo of the James Fennimore Cooper birthplace and the Captain Lawrence of  "Don't Give Up the Ship" fame.  I checked on the internet to see if James Fennimore Cooper was related to the Cooper family founders of Camden and ancestors of Ann Whitall of Red Bank Battlefield and he is indeed a descendant of this trunk of Coopers.  I am reading a handsome hard-bound early library edition of the three novels:  The Pioneers, Deerslayer, The Prairie, from which The Last of the Mohicans was adapted.  I saw the Danield Day Lewis recent version of the movie a week or two ago and it has been on my mind ever since.
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

History on Your Hometown Corner and a movie sparks a memory: Log Houses

1.  Today, I went to my bank, Bank of America, on the corner of Monmouth and Broadway in Gloucester City, NJ.  I have gone to a bank on this corner for decades, and for a decade or two before that, on the other corner of the intersection.  The names of the banks of changed several times over the years.  I went there because I taught school in Gloucester City, and back in the old days, we had paper checks that we cashed at the bank and deposited to our accounts.  Now, don't misunderstand me, I have no regret over direct deposit.  I LOVE IT!  And I adore ATM.  I cannot tell you how many times I was somewhere away from home and out of cash after bank hours, like at the seashore.  These improvements have vastly improved my banking experience.

Anyhow, today, while I was transacting business with the accounts manager, he mentioned that there had been an old school on the corner before the bank was built.  I remembered the old neighborhood schools, the Broadway School, the Highland Park School and my personal favorite, the Brown Street School, but the Monmouth Street School burned down before I graduated from high school.  It burned in 1960.  The accounts manager was kind enough to find a photo of the old school for me.  The photos he gave me had originally been part of a "Then and Now" Series in the Courier Post.

2.  Last night I was watching an old favorite movie of mine, The Last of the Mohicans, which has made me cry for about 50 years or more.  The author of the book, James Fennimore Cooper, lived at 457 High St. in Burlington City, NJ, and I have visited his home which is a museum many times over the years.  It is also adjacent to the Capt. James Lawrence House.  To visit either of these houses or the fascinating Burlington City Historical Museum housed in the Corson Poley Library behind the houses, go to this website:

or call
All my life, possibly as a result of loving Lincoln Logs, I have had a passion for log houses and have written several blog entries
A number of films have been based on the lengthy book, making various cuts, compressions, and changes. The American adaptations include:
on that subject.  I have written about the one in Swedesboro, NJ, the one at Greenwich, NJ and I believe I wrote about Daniel Boone's homestead which had a very primitive and interesting water driven log mill.  I know I wrote about the oldest Finnish log cabin in the world which is owned by the Rank family off Swedesboro Rd, near Mickleton, NJ.  

What I may not have mentioned is that I was fortunate enough to find a fascinating study of log house in America called THE LOG CABIN IN AMERICA. from Pioneer Days to the Present by C. A. Weslager.  It almost made me miss the end of the movie because I got so caught up in reading the chapter on Southern NJ log cabins.  The Rank Log Cabin used to be called he oldest Swedish log cabin in America until it was discovered that the type of notching for the connection of the logs was a Finnish tradition, not a Swedish style.  The settlement of the Finns is a  long forgotten fact of South Jersey history.  Since Finns have a tradition of burning old cabins when they build new ones, there are few really old cabins of Finnish construction left in the world. 

For more on that topic, check out this site on the Nothnagle Log Cabin:
 Nothnagle Cabin

Today I dried my tears over the death of the two youngest characters in The Last of the Mohicans and threw off my sorrow by hiking around Pakim Pond twice, so beautiful and visiting the cabins.  I thought I might like to rent one for my birthday, but no dogs allowed, so NO.
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

ps.  Here is movie info on the Last of the Mohcans
A number of films have been based on the lengthy book, making various cuts, compressions, and changes. The American adaptations include:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

PlacesToGoThingsToDo: Pakim Pond

Today, around 11:00 a.m., I was on my way to visit a friend in Sewell, when I drover over an overpass over Rt. 42, the highway to the shore.  It was a log-jam, not moving, and cars were spilling off onto the exits all around my town which is bordered by Black Horse Pike to the North, 42 to the South, Rt. 130 to the West and 295 to the East.  I decided to call my friend and cancel and go to Pakim Pond instead.  I'm happy to report that Rt. 70 (which can also become blocked) was not crowded, and the drive to the circle where you pick up Rt. 72 which fast, sane, and peaceful.  My dog and I listened to NPR enroute.  

There was a great gardening show, "You Bet Your Garden" and they talked about a subject dear to my heart.  So many conventional thinkers are slaves to the green grass lawn, when there are many attractive and more natural and more appropriate alternatives.  A caller was trying to rid his shady, sandy, yard of wild violets.  He had poisoned everything, the dandelions, the buttercups, but he wasn't able to kill the wild violets.  The gardener subjected that since his shady, sandy yard was in no way appropriate for a green grass lawn, he should embrace what grew there and was both beautiful and edible instead!  I didn't know the wild violet was edible but I wanted some for my shady and sandy backyard which is a natural woodlands landscape style, as is my front.  I have things that survival well without human intervention in the kind of environent natural to my property, sandy, shady, and dry (I don't waste water).  I have holly shrubs, rose of sharon, day lillies, Chinese money plant, lily of the valley and  many other fragrant and beautiful plants.  Which brings me to my "places to go" segment:

On Friday, two friends and I were trying to think of a fun place to go that was not the seashore, due to traffic conditions, and we decided to go to Peddler's Village in Pa.  I had never been there before.  Now I am not a big shopper, though I do like to browse craft stores and get ideas for things to make.  After about 6 stores, I sad on benches under shady trees and enjoyed the marvelous landscaping, and I mean GORGEOUS!  The flowers were in full abundant glory, and the arrangements around special and beautiful trees were simply magnificent.  Peddler's Village itself is much like Smithville, near the seashore, but the landscaping alone is well worth a visit.  Sit in the white gazebo and let the flowers entertain you!

On the subject of beauty, the stained glass windows at the Train Depot Cafe in Woodbury have long enchanted me.  My father did stained glass work and I have always admired it though it is too hard for my hand strength or my interest and too dependent on machinery for my personal preference.  That's why I love painting - just a brush, paints and the canvas.  Anyhow, I finally asked the folks at the cafe where the stained glass came from, and it was The Iron Buttterfly, which I browsed on-line.  Simply stunning art-work in glass.

Today, my dog Trixie and I enjoyed two walks around Pakim Pond in Brendan Byrne State Forest.  It was COOL and peaceful and always utterly magical in beauty.  I met some people there who offered my dog water and me a sandwich which I didn't take because I had already eaten lunch, but their generosity and hospitality was warming and inspiring.  I praised them for their good sense in coming to the woods instead of trying to wade through the mass of cars on the way to the shore.  They told me they were from the shore and escaping the crowds!

On another subject, have you seen the tv show ALONE?  My sister called me and I binge watched all 7 episodes last night.  Ten men are stranded on the shores of a wilderness area of Alaska and challenged to remain as long as they could, till the last man, with their choice of ten items to help them survive.  They seam to have chosen, ax, saw, knife, tarp, rope, pots, fishing nets, and were also burdened with camera recording equipment.  If they remain, they win $500,000.  By the episode where I fell asleep, only two men were left.  What would be on your list of must have items to survive in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest?  I chose ax, rain suit, first aid kit, sack of oatmeal with dried berries, scout cook-kit, rope, tarp, knife, mospito net, firestarter flint, book of edible plants and mushrooms, That's eleven, I know.  I couldn't decide which one to jettison.  Anyhow, it reminded me of the first settlers and what they were up against, and an abiding interest of mine, log cabins.  One, Lucas, was in the process of building a log cabin, when he stopped and built a canoe instead.  I was so disappointed.  If I were in the North and it was late fall, I'd get a log cabin ready asap.  It reminded me of the very early Swedish  cabins, outside of Swedesboro, near Salem, and down in Greenwich.  They are short but sturdy and built to withstand snow and time.  
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann
ps.  I'll add photos tomorrow

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Batsto and Atsion, Sister villages of the Iron industry

On Saturday, July 11, 2015, Barbara Solem, author of Batsto:  Jewel of the Pines, Ghosttowns and other Quirky Places in the NJ Pinebarrens, and The Forks, gives a lecture on Atsion and its relatioship to Batsto.

Atsion Mansion was only recently opened for tours on Saturday and now on Sunday as well, thanks to the efforts of Barbara Solem in cooperation with the Batsto Citizens Committee and the State parks administrators.  Barbara has been gathering a group of loyal tour guides to help her, although in the beginning, she did it every Saturday on her own!

With the help of volunteers and photographer Albert Horner, she created a handsome brochure which describes an Atsion walking tour with three or four interesting sites, in addition to the Atsion Mansion, and the Company Store (now a park office).  Along Quaker Bridge Road which was once the Tuckerton Stage Road which ran from Cooper's Landing in Camden, to the coastal port of Tuckerton, the third largest port in New Jersey from the Atlantic to Philadelphia, you can see the church, built in 1828 and still in use as a church, the old school built in 1872 by Maurice Raleigh, and the cottage, oldest building in the village, near the ruins of the cotton mill built in 1852. 

Not far is the abandoned railroad and the site where the train depot once stood.  Ation functioned as an iron forge, and later, as a cotton mill, turning raw cotton into yarn.  The firplaces in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia were cast at Atsion. 

It is a great place to tour, hike, and if you get there early or during the week, to swim in the lake.   There are also cabins to rent for camping.  Recently Pinelands preservation acquired a canoe rental property near the lake and cabins for Pinelands Adventures, to help acquaint people with the beauty of our state heritage.  For information call 609-561-0024 or 609-268-0444

Friday, July 3, 2015

Places to Go Things To Do

Yeaars and hundreds of posts ago, I started this blog for friends who were retiring after long long career and wondered what to do with all their new free time.  There seemed to me to be an endless number of interesting places to visit and thing to do in wonderful South Jersey, that I decided to let them know about the ones I found.

I'm not driving around to far off locations as I did when I first began, but I find wonderful places and things to do close at hand too.  A place I like to eat lunch is Maritza's in Maple Shade, NJ, on Main Street.  It i a simple old fashioned and homey luncheonette.  When my family moved to New Jersey from Philadelphia when I was 12, we lived in Maple Shade.

On Thursday, a hiking buddy and I headed over to Maritza's for lunch but they were closed for a week summer vacation, so we stopped in at MAIN STREET ART.  Which is a n Art studio run by an old college buddy of mine.  She offers, not only Art Classes for all ages, but summer Art Camp for the kids and a variety of "break out and try something new" art experiences for adults including jewelry making.  My buddy Barb and I each bought unique bracelets there and I may contact her for small studio experience events for myself in the future.  I paint and have an Art degree, but sometimes it's hard to get yourself inspired and group work helps.  Also, I have a very rooted in realism style and always wanted to expand and try a looser, more impressionistic style.  Maybe she can help with that.

In any event, head on over and check it out.  She also offers hand-made soaps and many other interesting objects you might want to buy for home or for gifts.
Stop in, the Studio is at 18 Mains Street, next door to Canal's Liquor Store.  Call 856-979-5356 for information, proprietor, Ms. Diane Paul, graduate of Rutgers, the State University.  Stop in and see her beautiful paintings too!
Learn something new - expand your possibilities, enhance your brain!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Places to go, things to do

Main Street Art, 18 Main Street in Maple Shade, NJ not only offers art classes for adults or children, but Art Summer Camps as well.  You can also buy unique jewelry, hand made soaps and other art objects for your home or for gifts, or you can simply enjoy the beautiful paintings on display both by the proprietor, Ms. Paul, or by her student.  The paintings are also for sale. 

They say learning something new is good for the brain!  If you've always wanted to learn here is the chance, close and reasonable, or if you know how and just want some group support and a nudge to expand your vision, try Main Street Art!

856-979-5356 Diane Paul, Proprietor (a classmate of mine from Rutgers the State University.)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tornado Hit Mickleton June 24, 2015

On Thursday, June 25, I went to Mickleton, New Jersey, to bring my sister two coolers, two bags of ice, and my Brooklyn Lantern because they'd had a BAD storm and she had no power which meant no lights, no fridge, no freezer.  
I was shocked at the level of devastation to every town from Woodbury to Swedesboro!  I could barely get down the roads for ripped up trees and hanging power lines and downed phone poles.  I couldn't call her and she couldn't call out because the cell phone towers were all down too.  And my sister is without a car, so she was really stuck.
The first sign of something really awful and strange was the WAWA off 295 at Mickleton, which had lines out to the highway waiting for gas.  A lot of the food shelves were empty, and there were enormous lines for food.  I left without gas or food and got on my way up Harmony Road, which as luck would have it was the only road open between Clarksboro and Swedesboro.
When I got to Kings Hwy, however there was a police road block.  I explained that I was taking supplies to my sister who was only a quarter of a mile further up Kings and he let me through.  That was when I was driving under trees with soaked branches that made it like driving through the car wash.  When I got to her house, I saw the trees down, and fortunately only one hit a building.  It was on her garage.  Some of her friends had their cars all smashed.  We checked on an elderly neighbor who had just come home from the hospital after heart surgery and who had a disabled wife.  Fortunately by then, his grandson was at his home.  He had a 150 year old oak fallen on his 130 year old house, crushing the third floor.
By Friday, my brothers had come, one from West Virginia, one from Philadelphia, to help my sister cut down some branches, but after one days work, it was clear that weeks would be needed.  The maple canopy was enormous and a dozen truck loads of sawn branches barely made a dent.  By Saturday morning, my sister had power again, but my brothers had to put off branch cutting due to rain.  
Not much in the Courier Post about all this.  I would have made it a cover story.  I never saw anything like it.  I think no news vans could get through, so they put the focus on other stories, but in my opinion, this was the BIG one!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Upcoming Events AND Vegetarian Society of South Jersey Free lecture Series

Monday June 22 at 6:30 at Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, NJ 856-858-0649:  Topic Fiar Trade Food

Tabling at 32nd Annnual Whitesbog Blueberry Festival Saturday June 27, 10:00 A.m. to 4 p.m. 120 Whitesbog Rd. Browns Mills NJ 08015

Monday July 27, 6:30 Collingswood Library again, Finding Sanctuary

Get healthy, get aware!  Animal Agricultural is a leading cause of global warming and can be a major cause of your health problems in later life such as diabetes and heart disease.  Learn more!  Get involved!

Happy Trails!

Earth Fest at Smithville and Education at Cold Springs Village

Two other field trips I've enjoyed in the past week or two were a trip to Historic Smithville in Burlington County (not to be confused with Smitheville near the seashore which I also like but in a different way).  My favorite thing was the percussion grove experience for children.  Some musicians had hung a clothes line with refrigerator doors and trays and other kinds of metal lids and containers and the kids were banging them with drum sticks which made a sound like a wild and stormy wind chime.  I loved it!  But I also liked the tables on vegetarian eating, and on ecological sound practices for yards.  In this day of water shortage and dying bea colonies, it is nice to think of sharing our space in a just and thoughtful way with our animal neighbors.  I was so sad when a new neighbor cut down 7 healthy trees after moving in.  Over the years, I've watched older neighbors cut their trees down so they didn't have to deal with leaves, but then the sun beats down on their houses making them hotter and the water isn't well absorbed by tree roots when we get torrential rain which causes flooding.  My trees and shrubs have completely stopped the flooding and mud I used to have in the yard.  

Also, I have a 'natural yard' by which I mean I don't have a traidition carpet style lawn.  Grass grows and I have a wide variety of Jersey friendly shrubs such as hollies.  One area at the back of my yard I have allowed to stay natural with wild roses and honeysuckle and it provides a safe place for various small animals which I delight in watching.  When I pull into my gravel drive, I love to see my family of rabbits run across the grass to the fenceline with the border of harboring shrubs. 

I also have a birdbath which is recommended in the pamphlet I found at the Earth Fest and I fill it when I water my flowering plants.  I learned my less early on about invasive species such as English Ivy.  I spent %6000 to have it rmeoved one summer from my back yard and it is always creeping back!

At Cold Springs, I attended a meeting with Batsto Citizens Committee volunteers who are working to expand the outreach possibilities for young people, to acquaint them with our colorful history in South Jersey and to help them learn to appreciate our resources to protect them for the future.  I'm grateful to my Father for all the family trips he took us on when my brother, Joe, and I were growing up.  Every Sunday we drove somewhere, often free places, and had a family picnic - thanks Mom.  Sometimes we took longer trips to Gettysburg, Valley Forge and Niagara Falls.  It is sad waste when people substitute amusement parks for cultural treasures that could engage children in a love of history.  Another favorite trip was to Washington DC which I think is a far superior school trip for children than to amusement parks.

My point?  Visit Cold Springs - Open Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. and Sun. now, and Sat. and Sun. at the edges of the summer season.  AND visit Batsto, and historiSmithville!  And ALWAYS take the boat ride with Capt. Dave on the Maurice River in Millville!  Hope to see you there!
Happy Trails!

ps.  I put the text in larger type because I'm having eye sight difficulties and you may be also!

Third Friday Night in Millville June 2015

Last night, two friends and I drove to Millville for Third Friday.  It was so much fun.  My favorite thing ALWAYS is the free music.  Don Shaw was playing at the Clay Studio, and Bob White was next door to Bogart's Book Store,   At Bogart's was a very talented young man but I didn't get his name.  He did Bob Dylan songs with really wonderful harmonica and guitar playing.  There were half a dozen other musical groups along the main street that we stopped to hear as we browsed our favorite shops.  If the weather hadn't been somewhat threatening, we'd have made our way down to the river for the delightful river walk, but we were lucky.  We got back to the car on on the road before the sprinkles began.  

We had just been in Millville a week ago with another friend to take Captain Dave's boat ride down the Maurice River after lunch at Wildflowers.  

Sorry I didn't get this to you in advance, but it was a last minute spontaneous thing, however, this gets you ready for 3rd Friday in July!  Give it a try, and if you get there by 4:00, and reserve your place in advance, you can take Captain Dave's sunset boat ride before your stroll the boulevard.

Friday, June 5, 2015

AnotherUpcoming Event

Just received this from Genealogical Society of Salem County, of which I am a member.  They have excellent speakers at their monthly meetings on Tuesday night.  Due to vision problems, I haven't been out to night events for the past year or so.  I had previously attended with a friend but his work schedule has precluded us venturing down there but here is a day event and I LOVE lighthouses!

" On Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 1:30pm, the Salem County Historical Society quarterly meeting will be held at Friends Village in Woodstown. The speaker will be Peter Harp, speaking on New Jersey Lighthouses. Hope you all can make it!"

Here is their web site for more information:

Happy Trails!  Lately I've been more close to home than usual hence, no adventure reports.  I've been going to the gym, hiking at Timber Creek with my dog Trixie and my friends, with a couple of hikes at Atsion Lake and yesterday I made a cactus garden!
Hope you are enjoying the cool hiking weather!
Happy Trails!  Jo Ann

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Lots of good things happening down our way this upcoming week.  First of all there is the music festival in Woodstown at the Salem County Fairgrounds June 4, 5 and 6. 

Second, a friend told me there is an event at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ this Saturday.  I wasn't able ti find it listed in a cursory exploration of web sites but then most web sites seem not to be update.  I couldn't find any information on the lecture series at the Corson Poley Center in Burlington, or the Burlington County Historian's Roundtable either.  After Joe Laufer died, it seems updates stopped on the website.  But if you want to call and see what's going on, here's the contact information:  It is Sunday as I type so I can't do it.



Third, the largest World War II Re-enactment in the world takes place at Reading, Pa. and if I could go I would, but I don't like to make a drive like that by  myself these days with my eye-sight problems and my old car and none of my friends are WWII followers as I am, so I can't go this year.  I hope you can though!!  Fortunately their link is updated and you can find all you need to know if you want to go: 


Friday, May 29, 2015

My "Fan Club" took me to lunch today

How thrilling it is to have people acknowledge your efforts and proclaim their pleasure in your book!  That's what happened today when Wes and Roger took me to lunch at Connie Mac's Irish Pub to talk to me about my book Black Horse White Horse.  For those of you who don't know about it, I wrote that book in 2006.  It is a historical fiction account of two WPA workers, a writer and a photographer, traveling the back roads of South Jersey during the summer of 1937.  The places they visit are real and many of the events they witness did occur, but the characters are entirely made-up.

For a year or so after I independently published the book, I gave presentations on the Civilian Conservation Corps in South Jersey.  The last presentation I gave was a year or so ago at the Genealogical Society of Salem County monthly meeting at Friends Village in Woodstown.  They were a great audience, very interested and with their own memories of the CCC in their area.

Anyhow, Wes enjoyed my book so much he bought several copies and gave them to his friends.  I asked them today what a member of a writing club that I attend asked me yesterday.  "What did they like about it?"  

Both men said one of the things they liked so much about it was that it was a Road Trip,  And since both men are history buffs, too, they liked the hsitory of South Jersey that is contained in the book.  

What a delight it was to meet people who really enjoyed my book and wanted to talk about it.  Thank you Wes!!!  Thank you Roger.  Wes will be giving a talk on the CCC at the Batsto Speaker's Series in August, I think he said it was on the 8th.  I'll be there!.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Magic in Burlington for Memorial Day Weekend!

AS you know I'm always on the lookout for great day trips for you and for me.  Today, I visited one of my favorite spots, Burlington, and I was on the hunt for a new place to eat since the Cafe Galleria closed down.  At the Antique Center in downtown Burlington, the ladies at the counter suggested Curtins Wharf.  I'd passed it before, the marina, and seen the boats, and I thought today was a perfect day to try it out.

First, however, we decided to hunt for treasure, and visit with the past, at the Burlington Antique Center.  We like to pic our favorite objects.  Mine has always been the hand-made canoes hanging on the wall, but today it was a very large train on a shelf.  Gail's was a beautifully painted bureau and vanity set.

The best was yet to come.  At Curtin's there was enough crowd to make it festive but not so much as to make it too busy and the B E S T jazz ensemble imaginable.  It was the Bob Pollitt's Jazz Band and they were wonderful.  (check them out on YouTube - they perform in Collingswood in the Jazz series at the Community Center too)  The music, the sun, the delightful breeze blowing over the mighty but peaceful Delaware River, all blended into perfection.  There were a great number of healthful and vegetarian menu items as well.  I strongly recommend that you visit Curtin's Wharf for a delightful eating and listening experience.  I'll be a regular from now on.  It is one of my new 'favorites.'

On the way home, we drove through all the river towns and I stopped at some of my favorite spots, such as the old marina in Riverton, and Zena's (under new management and new name, but the same home-made pastry and delicious coffee).

What a picture perfect way to spend the delightful holiday Saturday with no highway jam ups or noisy crowded beaches to contend with.  So, if you haven't already made plans, go on over to Burlington and have lunch at Curtin's Wharf and visit the Antique Center and buy someone a nice present.  I'm going back for a black wrought iron plant stand I liked.

Remember someone who served to make sure we all remained free and to help keep the rest of the world free on this Memorial Day.  My father, brother, grandfather and uncles will be in my heart and on my mind and I'll be thinking of them with gratitude for their service in three wars!

Jo Ann
ps.  I almost forgot, the Antique Emporium itself is a favorite building of mine, enormous and spacious and a former automobile establishment of historic interest in and of itself.  Check out the photos to the left as you enter.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Off the Leash Dog Walking and MORE

This time of year, my most frequent hiking buddy, Barb Spector, and I are looking for places to hike that won't put us in danger of Lymes Disease, which she has had, as have so many of my woodland hiking buddies, but I have so far avoided.  Anyhow, the other consideration that I have is places I can walk m dog off the leash.  First of all, she stops a LOT to sniff, and after all, it is her walk, too, so why shouldn't se?  Secondly, when she wantes to go fast, she is too fast for m, so why should I be strangling her and she pulling on the leash, when I can find places to walk her off the leash where (1) there are few other dogs (2) there are few bikes (3) we are not likely to get into trouble with park guards.  Well, a few days ago, our destination for all these considerations was the trail beside the lake at Batsto - perfect in every regard, but not paved and tick free.
Today, we found all of the above at Milville.  There is a wonderful biking hiking trail beside the Maurice branch that flows through Millville.  It is paved, it is scenic, it is not busy and there are lots of places for a dog who likes to cool off by wading in the water to take a short dunk. 

As always when we visit Millville, we have lunch at WILDFLOWERS, which is ALWAYS delicious.  While there, I picked up some brochures and so here are some places to go and things to do in that area:

1.  GlassWeekend 2015 runs from June 12 - 14Glass Arts at Wheaton and Studio events, for more information visit glassweekend.com

2.  I have not yet been to the Levoy Theater but they have a fabulous line-up of shows including RENT, and many wonderful concerts ined up including Suzanne Vega, Leon Russell, and others.  go to www.Levoy.net for more info or call 856-327-6400

Meanwhile, on your visit to Millville be sure to visit the Art Gallery, directly across the street from Wildflowers and look at the stunning paintings of Bobbie Berg. As you know if you've been reading my blog, I am an artist, so I rarely buy other paintings as my walls are full of my onwn, but if I did, I'd buy Bobbie's paintings. 

I missed Mayfest at Smithville, 1 North Ne York Rd, Smithville, Nj today because I was hiking at Millville, but if you made it there, I hope you had a great time.

Happy Trails!  Jo Ann
ps.  Family History note:  I've been working on a variety of family history projects and tomorrow, I'll be having lunch with two cousins, one I haven't seen in over 40 years!  They are both Wright cousins.  I'm working on a family history scrapbook at present.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Shirley Baily, a hero

Yesterday, after hiking the Maruice River Bluffs blue trail and red trail, my friends and I stopped in for coffee at Bogart's Book Store.  There I found a big pile of South Jersey Magazine which never fails to inspire me with a desire to go find some hidden treasure on a Creek or Bay in South Jersey.  As I paid for the two copies I was buying to add to my collection, the counter-clerk and I both voiced our admiration for the Editor-I-Chief, Shirley Bailey, who was also the author of two books in my collection:  Yesteryear on the Cohansey River and Yesteryear on the Maurice River.

I mentioned another favorite of mine, another history hero Margaret Mintz, author of several independently published book on the people and the industry on the Maurice River, two of which are treasures in my New Jersey history book collection.  The counter-clerk, whose name I am sorry to say, I didn't write down, and I both spoke of our admiration for Shirley and she said she thought something should have been done to honor Shirely for hier remarkable career saving our history.  I agree.  If you look her up, you can find her obituary,she died February 20, 2011, age 83.  I had called her phone number, listed in the magazine in the mid 2000's hoping the magazine was still in publication and wishing to get a subscription, but it had ceased publication in the earl7 2000's so at least, I was fortunate enough to speak to Shirley Bailey before she passed away and offer my praise for her accomplishment.  If I had authored a magazine, it would have been this one.  But I could never have made the contacts and connections Shirley had from growing up in the area.  We owe an incalculable debt to Shirley and Margaret for their ceaseless efforts on behalf of saving our cultural history in South Jersey, a remarkable place.

There is a mention of the magazine on Barry's Ghosttowns site:

Richard Bailey is also deceased and he passed away in October of 2014.  Margaret Mintz passed away in 2001 at the age of 92. 

Along with these venerable historians and writers, I must mention Louisa Llewllyn of Gloucester City who wrote a book of history on that town which is out of print.  I had a copy which I had purchased twice but both times my copy was purloined from my classrooms, once from the high school where I taught and once from the middle school.  At least I was gratified to know someone was interested in the local history.  During my teaching time, I tried to put local history projects into my curriculum as often as possible.  Louisa was not only a respected and evoted historian, she was a mentor to many teachers and students during her long career and received Citizen of the Year awards from her home town.  AS is so often the case looking back, I wish I had tried harder to keep in touch with her during her retirement and especially during mine.  But I thank her and these other historians for their efforts on our behalf.

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey, age 83, of Millville, died suddenly Sunday morning, Feb. 20, 2011, at her residence after a brief illness.

Born in Absecon, she grew up in Dividing Creek, Bridgeton and was a graduate of Bridgeton High School, class of 1945.

She was the publisher the "South Jersey Magazine" as well as other books relating to Sough Jersey History. Previously she had worked for Airwork Corporation, Millville as the computer department head. She retired in 2003. She will always be known as an authority on local history. - See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/southjerseytimes/obituary.aspx?n=shirley-r-bailey-robbins&pid=148790175&#sthash.m2GPEfi4.dpuf
Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey, age 83, of Millville, died suddenly Sunday morning, Feb. 20, 2011, at her residence after a brief illness.

Born in Absecon, she grew up in Dividing Creek, Bridgeton and was a graduate of Bridgeton High School, class of 1945.

She was the publisher the "South Jersey Magazine" as well as other books relating to Sough Jersey History. Previously she had worked for Airwork Corporation, Millville as the computer department head. She retired in 2003. She will always be known as an authority on local history.
- See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/southjerseytimes/obituary.aspx?n=shirley-r-bailey-robbins&pid=148790175&#sthash.m2GPEfi4.dpuf
Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey, age 83, of Millville, died suddenly Sunday morning, Feb. 20, 2011, at her residence after a brief illness.

Born in Absecon, she grew up in Dividing Creek, Bridgeton and was a graduate of Bridgeton High School, class of 1945.

She was the publisher the "South Jersey Magazine" as well as other books relating to Sough Jersey History. Previously she had worked for Airwork Corporation, Millville as the computer department head. She retired in 2003. She will always be known as an authority on local history.
- See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/southjerseytimes/obituary.aspx?n=shirley-r-bailey-robbins&pid=148790175&#sthash.m2GPEfi4.dpuf
Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey, age 83, of Millville, died suddenly Sunday morning, Feb. 20, 2011, at her residence after a brief illness.

Born in Absecon, she grew up in Dividing Creek, Bridgeton and was a graduate of Bridgeton High School, class of 1945.

She was the publisher the "South Jersey Magazine" as well as other books relating to Sough Jersey History. Previously she had worked for Airwork Corporation, Millville as the computer department head. She retired in 2003. She will always be known as an authority on local history.
- See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/southjerseytimes/obituary.aspx?n=shirley-r-bailey-robbins&pid=148790175&#sthash.m2GPEfi4.dpuf
Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey

Shirley R. (Robbins) Bailey, age 83, of Millville, died suddenly Sunday morning, Feb. 20, 2011, at her residence after a brief illness.

Born in Absecon, she grew up in Dividing Creek, Bridgeton and was a graduate of Bridgeton High School, class of 1945.

She was the publisher the "South Jersey Magazine" as well as other books relating to Sough Jersey History. Previously she had worked for Airwork Corporation, Millville as the computer department head. She retired in 2003. She will always be known as an authority on local history.
- See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/southjerseytimes/obituary.aspx?n=shirley-r-bailey-robbins&pid=148790175&#sthash.m2GPEfi4.dpuf

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Artesian Well at Estelle

When you hike the NJ Pines, you have to think of water, both to drink and to look at.  The ponds are beautiful, the creeks are companionable and there is literally Water WAter Everywhere. 

Today, Barb Spector, Gail Kerr and I hiked 4 miles at Estelle Manor on the boardwalk trail.  It was delightful - a paradise of breezes, pine needle fragrance, and gurgling brooks running alonside you as you walked.

We stopped to admire the view over Stephens Creek and we had a drink at the Artesian Well.  We would have had lunch at Sugar Hill but it didn't serve until 3:00 pm.  It is early in the season for Sugar Hill, so we stopped at a Wawa on the Black Horse Pike before we veered off onto 559, my favorite road, and had lunch at Lake Lenape, watching the crew teams cross the lake like dragon flies. 

Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Sunday, April 12, 2015

500 Bassett Hounds in Ocean City AND Rails to TRAILS!

Yesterday, Saturday, April 11, 2015, Barb Spector and I went to Ocean City to find the Rails to Trails at Haven Avenue.  We are following the Rails to Trails book by Craig Della Penna called 24 Great Rail-Trails of New Jersey.  To our dismay, many streets were closed off to automobiles.  Barb carefully threaded her way to 6th and Asbury where we wanted to have lunch at a charming cafe called Arlene's.  It is across from where my grandmother Mabel's apartment used to be before it was torn down a year or two ago.

At Arlenes we asked why the people were all lined up for a parade and we were told it was the Doo Dah Paradw with 500 Bassett Hounds.  I had never heard of this parade and had never imagined 500 Bassett Hounds all in one place, so I was very eager to see this spectacle.

There was the requisite fire engine, followed by a marchng band, a bag pipe band, a HoBo band, a rock and roll group on a flat bed truck, and numerous small town Beauties in the "Miss Ocean City" type display, an open convertible, often a Classic Car, THEN, finally, the promised Bassett Hound Parade.

I cannot imagine a parad eof 500 any other kind of dog - just think of barking poodles or beagles trying to get away or any other kind of dog surrounded by other dogs, a fire whistle and crowds of on-lookers.  The Bassett Hounds faced it all with proud dignity and unshakeable aplomb - truly an admirable breed.

For the day, dogs were once again allowed on the Boardwalk, and the Beach and we took advantage of each with Trixie, my Lab/Weimaraner mix who could match any Bassett for good behavior.  She is a gem.

The Haven Ave. Rails to Trails in contrast was a bust.  There really is no trail, only, we think, sidewalk and street - no good for dog - walking.  We left after I took photos over the fence of the old bus/train station building - charming.

Next we headed to Linwood for what turned out to be a delightful Rails to trails many miles long with many people walking their dogs, biking, or just strolling along.  It was charming and we determined to return for mor walking on another day.  We strongly recommend the Linwood Rails to Trails.  It is off Oak Crest Avenue.  We had to ask directions of a local resident, a lady with a dog who said she walks their frequently.  Our gps got us to Oak Crest, but we were on the wrong end of the street stuck in a cul-de-sac in a housing development.  The bike trail was on the other end of Oak Crest, I think it was East.

Happy Trails - You never know what you'll find when you set off on an ad;venture - and no one EVER expects to run into 500 Bassett Hounds!
Jo Ann
pictures to follow at a later date - I'm off on an adventure to Mullica Hill and I couldn't get my picture transfer working in time.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Marvelous Millville Revisited!

Have you ever tried to figure out how to describe what happiness feels like?  It is easier to describe fear, excitement, joy, surprise, but happiness is more elusive.  On the way home from Millville, on Friday, I felt purely happy and I wanted to write about it on this blog. 

First, my usual hiking pal, Barb Spector, and I went to Wildflowers Vegan/vegetarian restaurant for lunch - never a disappointment and always a good way to stock up on energy for a hike!  My favorite is the power salad, though I used to favor the boisterous black bean burger. 

Then we headed for the Maurice River Bluffs where we hiked the blue trail, then the red, then part of the white trail.  After an hour and a half, we were sufficiently cold and tired to be ready for a nice cup of coffee at Bogart's Coffee Shop and book store. 

First, however, we dropped in at The Thrift Shop, across the street from Bogart's at 129 N. High St.  I have shopped in M A N Y thrift and vintage and 2nd hand shops, whatever you like to call them, and this was by far the most attractive and appealing.  It was evident that a tasteful and thoughtful hand was a work in laying out items to buy.  It wasn't the usual cluttered jumble of tired cast-offs, it was a charmingly arranged gathering of attractive items, 8 of which I purchased!  There were luncheon plates that matched a set of dishes I have at home, and that being the dish most often carried around, mine were long lost and broken.  Barb bought a photograph of cardinals and a frame for a gift.  We were both delighted with our finds and with the kind ladies who were running the shop.  A beautiful young woman was playing guitar and singing while we browsed which added immeasurably to the magic.  .All proceeds go to help rescued and abused animals.  You can drop off donated items there for re-sale, call856-300-5705 for more information.

Finally we went across the street to Bogart's and I had a delicious pumpkin spice latte' while Don Shaw sang songs by Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, the Bee Gees, and other gifted songwriters.  He has a wonderful voice and plays guitar beautifully.  I sank into a comfy chair with the coffee and enjoyed the free entertainment and thought to myself, "This is heaven."

Hope you find yourself there enjoying some of these pleasures in Millville one day soon!  Meanwhile, Happy Trails!

Oh yes, I almost forgot, I bought a charming rag rug at the FiberArts Cafe in the little cluster of shops that are neighbors to Wildflowers.  The prices are extraordinarily reasonable for hand-made knitted, crocheted and woven goods.  If you need a gift, what a great place to find one!

Jo Ann

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rails to Trails Pemberton and Grist Mill Antiques

The trail was clear, the sun was out and no one could have ever believed that one day later it would be snowing all day and 3 inches on the ground!  I'm glad we got our 3 miler in when we did.  The Rails to Trails at Pemberton, couldn't have been nicer.  It is a big wide, flat trail with no bushwhacking and if you are walking your dog, don't worry about glass.  When I was here some years before, there seemed to be a lot of sharp gravel and glass but it is all gone.  The ice and snow were gone too.

My hiking buddy, Barbara Spector, and I had pieroghi's at Sebastien's Schnitzelhaus in Wrightstown, and we bought things at the Grist Mill Antiques.  Barb needed a gift for a new office open house, and found a handsome antique letter opener.  I found a fine papier mache Easter Bunny and a die cut, cast paper bungalow from Germany, circa 1940.  It was a PERFECT DAY by my scale any way.

Happy Trails, and if you are driving, safe travels!
Jo Ann

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails

Monday, March 16, 2015

Scrapbooking Infor

Sorry I left this out by accident.  For a vintage photo and family history approach to scrapbooking, here is an inspiring link:

Next:  Save your A. C. Moore advertising circular from the Sunday paper for the coupons and look for sales.  Great insert pages can be found much less expensively at WalMart, as can name brand glue sticks, and other kinds of adhesives.  I made the mistake of buying my original materials at Staples - too costly. 

Browse around for ideas just by putting family history scrapbooking in google search.  What a great way to save memories and spend a gloomy day in a creative pursuit (not to mention avoiding household chores and yard work!)

Happy Scrapping!
Jo Ann

Life Story Scrapbook

I have made a scrapbook for my daughter's 30th birthday, my sister's 50th birthday and now I am going to make one for my 70th birthday which arrives next autumn.  It seems to me that I have become something of a historic topic in my own right.  I was born in 1945 - a historic year:  The end of World War II and the opening salvo of what was to become the Baby Boom thanks to returning soldiers and sailors and grateful and happy home-fires.

So, the first phase of the process is to decide what format you want to use to hang your information and images upon.  I decided on chronology.  I like simple and traditional approaches to most things including narrative and I do believe we are the products of our times.

My first page will include photos of my mother, pregnant, my father in his sailor suit, and my baby picture.  Also, I will have some picture from the internet of the 'times' an image of the headline announcing end of the war from the Philadelphia Inquirer, an album cover of the Andrews Sisters, a Bing Crosby, and more.

I am including this process here because I have always thought it would be good to have a place with ideas on what people can do with their paper memorabilia to share it with others.  So far for Christmas, I made a large photo collage of our oldest family photos, a family tree (both framed thanks to yard sales in the summer) and a book of what I have found so far of family history that I had reprinted at Belia Copy Center in Woodbury, mo "Go-To" choice for all copying for many years.  They are  expert, helpful, family owned and very reasonable in price.

So now, looking back on my childhood in South Philadelphia after the war.  I'll post periodically on this process as it goes on and maybe inspire otheres to do their life story in any form - scrapbooking, writing, blogging but save your story - it is unique and it tells the times!

Happy Trails,
Jo Ann

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hiking Trails

To paraphrase the Great Willy Nelson, "I'm on the Trail Again!  The turning planet has brought us back to sunshine, warmth, and almost completed work on thawing the ice and snow that clogged the trails and made them dangerous.  Now, my hiking buddies and I can get back into the woods.  Don't mistake me, we hiked the woods most of the winter because it is a "tick free" time, but when the snow came, then melted and turned to ice and new snow on the ice, we had to give it up.  Well, I had to give it up.  My intrepid buddies, the two Barbs, Barbara Solem, and Barbara Spector, don't let anything stop them from hiking the woods.  And with YakTrax, you are pretty safe.

Most recently Barb Spector and I hiked around Cooper River, but it was less than successful because it began to rain, and because the utility trucks doing work there, keep their engines running filling the air with noxious and poisonous carbon monoxide.  On top of that, it is NOISY!  So much traffic goes around that park that if you are used to the silence of the woods, it is irritating rather than meditative.  Still, it is a good stretch from our usual 3 mile hikes in that it is 4 miles, and I'm always grateful to the beautiful new  Marina for providing the clean restrooms at the halfway mark.

Now, I have done favorites before but I'll do it again today:
My favorite hiking trail is Pakim Pond and the Cranberry Trail at Brendan Byrne.  I think this is the prettiest pond I've ever seen and in season, the pitcher plants are along the pond trail.  The Cranberry trail can be as long as you wish to hike.  I think it is 3 or 4 miles to the ranger station.  We usualy hike by time, as in half an hour out and half an hour back or longer in good weather and well functioning legs. 
This link will give you directions and also directions to Whitesbog, another favorite hiking area of mine, especially in the late summer when the cranberries are ripening.  Use the web directions by all means, but to give you an idea, it is out route 70 then 72.

Barb Spector's favorite hiking trail is Parvin State Park
Parvin State Park is down near Pittsgrove, Elmer and Upper Pittsgrove off Almond Rd.
This is a nice 3 mile trail also boasting a public lavatory and a cheery family swimming lake in the summer.

Barb Solem's favorite hiking trail is Atsion Lake
Barb also has organized tours of Atsion Mansion in the spring and summer on Saturdays, thanks to help of a loyal band of volunteers and the cooperation of the Parks system.
A favorite fo both Barb Spector and me is the Maurice River Bluffs hike.  Definitely go to the site for directions, but it is in Millville, out Silver Run Rd.  There are several marked trails with a nicely varied terrain and gorgeous views of the Maurice River.

We like to make a day of it with lunch at Wildflowers Vegan Restaurant, and a trip to Bogart's Book Store to stock up on reading material and have a nice coffee after an afternoon on the trails.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to get there when there is music.

We hke many many other trails, Goshen, Forsythe, Cox's Creek, and dozens of others, but these are our favorites.  And when the ticks come out, Barb Spector and I like to do the Hunter's Glen bike trail, and the parks in Collingswood, Knight's Park, Newton Creek, and Audubon Lake in Haddon Heights Park.  That way we stay out of the tick territory.  Also now that the thaw has come, I'd like to try the Rails to Trails up at Wrightstown near the railroad station that used to be a charming museum. 
There is also a trail a Bordentown I'd like to hike again.

And of course if you want to drive further north, the Delaware Canal trail up at Washington State Park is nice in spring, summer and fall.

We picked Batsto for today because Barb Solem spends a lot of time in the woods and her prediciton was that the Batsto hiking trail she prefers is higher and more well drained so less likely to be full of puddles and mud.  I'll let you know after it's over.
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lines on the Pines & What's Going On in SJ

Today, Sunday, March 8, along with a couple of my friends, I attended the Lines in the Pines at Kerry Brooke Caterers in Hammonton, right in front of the Frog Rock Country Club.  As usual, it was thronged with friendly and interested people, and as usual, there were gorgeous photographs and a multitude of interesting arts and books to see and talk about.

My friends and I like to do a "Pick your Favorite thing" when there is so much to see.  It helps you narrow down and remember.  My favorite thing was the spinners.  It has always seemed like magic to me.  Once I went so far as to wash and card a barrel of sheeps wool that a friend with a farm gave me, but I never got to the spinning part of the process.  Watching the wool get turned into yarn is fascinating, mesmerizing.  You can see how fairytales were made from it as in "Spinning straw into gold."  My friend, Gale Kerr's favorite thing were the miniature terrarium gardens in jars, another friend, Janet Romano, a music teacher, liked best talking to the members of Ongs Hat music group - see
www.ongshat.com.  My other friend, Barb Solem was there to talk about her latest book BATSTO, Jewel of the Pines, and her other two books, GHosttowns ond other Quirky Places of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and the Forks.  

We met up with another couple of friends, Barb and Frank and we all went over to the MapleWood for lunch.  

Some flyers with interesting information:  Buzby's General Store Collection is in the process of being digitized and put on-line.  Among other things, the collection includes postcards, letters, photographs, and invoices.  The collection is donated to the Richard E. Bjork Library by Marilyn Schmidt, who has been the owner of Buzby's for some years now and has published numerous books on Pinelands history and recipes.  I love that store.  More information on this can be found at http://stockton.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/

Another flyer titled South Jersey Culture & History Center ann0ounced the exhibition Pine Barrens Life and Legends on display at the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton Univ. in Oceanville, NJ.  It runs through September 13, 2015 - another fun day trip.
Bud Wilson, noted archaeologist and Ted Gordon, Botanist will speak on Thursday, March 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 and Ongs Hat Band will play on Thursday, April 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
There will be storytelling and Music on Saturday May 2 at 2:00 and a spinning and felting demonstration on June 20 at 1:00.

For more info go to www.noyesmuseum.org   or blogs.stockton.edu/sjchc

I took some photos but I'm struggling getting them off the camera and it is late and I'm going to bed now.  I'll try to post a couple of the photographs another day.  I have one of the spinners.  Hope this gives you some good ideas of places to go and things to do this spring in South Jersey!
Happy Trails!  And a great big thank you to Linda Stanton the force behind Lines On the Pines!
Jo Ann

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Upcoming Events

Event #1 - Lines on the Pines ~ The ABC”s of the Pine Barrens ~”10th Anniversary Bash and Celebration”   Sunday, March 8, 2015 at Kerri Brooke Caterers...                                                                                   
 If you have never attended the Lines on the Pines, you should give it a try.  There is always music, great Pinelands Art, unique handmade objects, fascinating books and people, and a great deal to learn about the New Jersey Pinelands.  I go every year and it was a privilege to be there as an author a couple of years ago with my book White Horse Black Horse.  Hope to see you there!  Look for my another of my best friends, Barbara Solem who has written 3 books on the Pinelands:  Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, The Forks, and Batsto, Jewel of the Pines.  She will be there to talk about her books, sell them and sign them. 

Event #2
Announcing the 2015 Alice Paul Equality Awards, honoring

Lita Abele, CEO, U.S. Lumber
Phoebe Haddon, Chancellor, Rutgers University-Camden
Candida Toccia Seasock, Founder & President, CTS Associates 

To celebrate our 30th Anniversary we are proud to honor the 
Founders of the Alice Paul Institute

Elsie Behmer ~ *Chris Borget ~ Judy Buckman 
Barbara Irvine ~ Dee O’Neil ~ Patricia Owens ~ Jean Perry 
Nancy Quinn ~ Diane Quinton ~ Janet Tegley ~ Pat Williams

Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Westin Mount Laurel
Cocktail hour 6:00, Dinner & Ceremony 7:00

Tickets are on sale at www.alicepaul.org

This second event means a great deal to me because *Chris Borget and I have been friends for 55 years or more, since junior high school.  I couldn't be more proud of her and the effort she and a group of women made, thirty years ago, to save Paulsdale from developers and turn it into a legacy of which Alice Paul would be proud.  If by chance you don't know who Alice Paul was, she was the point guard, guide and primary mover behind the Right to Vote movement for women in the early part of the 20th century.  She devoted her life to the cause and she wrote the Equal Rights Amendment after we women did get the right to vote, in order to ensure equal treatment under the law for women.  She found success in gaining the right to vote for us, but we never achieved the Equal Rights Amendment.  However, a group of women piooled their talents and their financial support and saved this beautiful and historic house to remind us all of the struggle that some made to make America a better and more equal place.  You should visit Paulsdale if you've never been there!  It is located on Hooten Rd. in Mt. Laurel and you can get directions and contact information at their website.  http://www.alicepaul.org/

Friday, February 20, 2015

Elmer Times Company, Elmer, NJ

Despite the record low temperature today, two friends and I ventured down to Elmer.  We had hoped to visit two places, Talk of the Town Coffee Shop, for refreshment and Elmer Times Company to buy some SJ history books.  Unfortunately, an unexpected late start caused us to miss out on the coffee shop but we were not disappointed by the Elmer Times Company!  

I only wish I had taken some notes because one of the proprietors, who are brothers, told us how many volumes they carry, but I have forgotten.  Just last night, on the phone, making plans with one of my friends, I told her how sorry I was that I hadn't bought the book on Jewish history in South Jersey, that I had seen at the Samuel Azziz Museum in Woodbine.  Fortunately, this book was among the holdings at the Elmer Times Company, so she and I were both able to get a copy.  My hiking pal, Barb Spector has relatives connected to the Bayuk family, one of the pioneer settling families in the Alliance area.

I had met one of the Fosters before at the Genealogical Society of Salem County monthly lectures which I attend sporadically.  Most recently they had offered a lecture on the archaeology of the Wistarburgh Glass House.  I don't drive at night anymore due to a vision problem, so when a fellow volunteer from the Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield goes, I can go too as he is kind enough to pick me up and drive me there.

Among the many intriguing treasures I saw at the Elmer Times Company were a collection of gorgeous glass bottles, some of which were Clevenger Glass, and a wonderful old typewriter, one of the earliest models I have ever seen.  I have a 1919 Underwood and a 1947 German portable.  

It was a great day thanks to the warm hospitality we found at the Elmer Times Company.  Elmer is fortunate to have these men who have worked to preserve and share the history of their town.  It was through their historical society magazine that I found out about the books they have for sale.  They kindly gave me several back issues of the magazine including one on the churches and one on the old schools, that I very much enjoyed.  

Next trip, I will try to get to Elmer before 1:00 so I can enjoy a coffee at the Talk of the Town before I stop in at the Elmer Times again, to chat and look at the books.