Historic Places in South Jersey

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

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

Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday Shopping

Not finished your holiday shopping yet?  Looking for that special something - a little different, unique for that special friend?  Well, Rancocas Woods is having the holiday market on Saturday, December 8th from 10 to 5 AND Eiland Arts is having a special 8th year Holiday Market at The Station - the train station on Centre and Railroad in Merchantville, NJ tonight, Friday from 6 to 9 (I think) and tomorrow with a special Hot Chocolate Bar!  So, have fun and finish your shopping.

I won't be able to join you for either of these because I will be touring historic homes in Greenwich with a couple of friends tomorrow and I am so looking forward to it because I love Greenwich (this is the one - pronounced Green witch! -  at the very bottom of New Jersey on the Cohansey River and  near the Maurice River, not to be confused with Greenwich township - pronounced Grinch).  Greenwich on the Cohansey was the site of a tea burning curing the Revolutionary War and also hosts a wonderful fall festival with crafts and music and a parade which I very much enjoyed visiting in past years when my car was in better shape.  Until I get a new car, sometime next year, I have to stay closer to home.  Greenwich on the Cohansey is a good hours drive from where I live, but you pass through lovely farmland and some very interesting Southern New Jersey towns.

Hope your weekend is delightful and that these tips give you some good ideas of fun places to go for the holiday spirit!

Happy Holidays!
Jo Ann

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Model train time again - December 2018

1. Holiday Train Show
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through January 6 | 4 PM – 8 PM
Old City Hall, Downtown Bordentown
The Old City Hall Restoration Committee presents the Holiday Train Display! Visit every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December 2018 and on January 4th, 5th, and 6th to see this exciting show! Admission is free.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Collingswood day fun

On Monday, December 3rd, after I wished my daughter a Happy Birthday, walked the dog and did my minimal workout at Planet Fitness, I met an old friend for lunch in Collingswood.  She is a vegan and we like SaladWorks which can provide for ALL eating preferences excluding the hamburger crowd.  They do have sandwiches, panini's, and my favorite lunch choice is the 'pick two' which this time included Butternut squash soup (delicious beyond all other soups and places that make soup) and a small side salad of baby spinach, cranberries, feta cheese, black olives, sunflower seeds, and grated carrot.  

After lunch we strolled the Haddon Avenue shops, all decorated most beautifully and festively.  A few blocks down the avenue, we dropped in at the Collingswood Library to browse the dollar book corner.  I bought 4 books:  1.  A Rita Mae Brown, Sneaky Pie mystery - Santa Clawed  2. A John Grisham - The missing Christmas  3.  A Martha Stewart - Handmade Christmas  4. A vintage (circa 1989) Martha Stewart Christmas.  The #4 Martha Stewart I bought for a friend.  She loves Martha and I thought it would be fun to put in her mailbox for a cold wintry morning page turner with a cup of coffee.  If I had a bigger house, I would put out a Christmas book display each year, but sadly my bungalow is tiny and all surfaces are already claimed.

Our lunch over and our shopping done, we headed home.  I had to walk my dog for her 2nd walk of the day.  My dog and I have come to an agreement.  She won't beg and bark and harass me for a walk if i keep to our minimum of two walks a day, one mile each.  It is a fair deal and it is good for me anyhow.

Today, our walks were in, first, a light dusting snow shower, and then, in a flurry with about an inch on the ground and my new snow boots which gave me a blister on the inside ankle.  You just never know with snow boots.  They can look so innocent and comfortable but give them a mile walk try-out and you find all their hidden flaws.  

Now I am having my afternoon cuppa with some Walker's shortbread cookies and the NYT Book Review.

I have decided to put the questions to you that the NYT BKRev. includes in every issue in an interview with a celebrity:

1.  What books are on your nightstand?
(On mine are "Old in Art School" and a biography of Emily Dickinson
2.  What's the last GREAT book you read?  
(I would have to wonder what they mean by 'great' but if they mean literary, then I guess the last novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, which I didn't realize would have so profound an influence on me later as time went by - too much to explain here)
3.What's the last book that made you laugh?
(Cathy Pelletier's "Winter.....?"  I forget the whole title.  I bought her book in a dollar sale and it was so good I bought more!)
4.  The last book that made you cry?
(At some point every book makes me cry)
5.  What moves you most when you read?
(evocation of place really engages me)
6.  What character from literature would you most like to play?
(One of the "Outdoor Girls on a Hike."
7.  What kind of stories are you drawn to?  Steer clear of?
(I am drawn to character driven novels with great evocation of location.  I HATE horror stories and never read them.)
8.  Disappointing, Overrated, Just Not Good, What books did you think you were supposed to like and didn't?
(Bel Canto)
9.  Do you Remember the Last Book you put down without finishing?
(Yes, "Old in Art School"  I liked it but wasn't compelled and other books elbowed in.  I will pick it up again and finish it - it is on my nightstand)
10  You are organizing a literary dinner party which three authors would you invite?
(Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan - their works changed my life and they are all living and we would have no end of conversation.)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Christmas as we knew it.

I was born in 1945, the year the second World War ended.  My parents and their generation were ebullient with the joy of having survived this catastrophe, and all the prosperity offered by the post war period.  They were full of energy and hope and optimism after  a depression, a World War, and the personal tragedies of their own lives.  My mother had lost her parents and my father's father had died leaving his mother with three boys to raise and her own mother in a coma after a stroke. 

They married, I was born, my brother was born and the Christmas extravaganza was born!  My father, being in construction, built a sturdy platform that filled the living room.  Furniture was moved out to make way for the double set of tracks, the tunnels, the bridges, terminals, railway depot and the big trains of the heyday of Lionel.  I can almost smell the motor oil and had the whistle.  

The platform was curtained by brick printed paper, and clothed in sparkling snow paper.  There were villages of sparkling "Occupied Japan" made cardboard bungalows with cellophane windows, a mirror lake with skating lead figures, hills with lead sleds and lead people in brightly colored clothes sitting on benches at the train station and in the park.  There were 'to scale' platform trees, fences, animals, and actually lighting street lights.  In the back corner of the platform stood the live tree purchased from "Down The Neck" which was the historic place where once reclaimed land held farms that now is the Philadelphia airport and shipyard.  

The tree was festooned with many colored large bulb lights, glass Christmas balls, and aluminum tinsel.  Much later many people went for spun glass 'angel hair' but we never did.   

The whole thing was a grand spectacle, all the wires and controls hidden under the platform which stood about a foot and a half high.

Sometimes my father let me drive the trains, quite an honor.  You had to be careful to keep up with the track switching so you didn't make a collision.  

That magical and Herculean effort of a platform is the thing I remember best and the thing that no one does anymore.  Even the  model train store that was on the Black Horse Pike until a couple of years ago is now gone.  The proprietor, "Mac" may have passed on.    

My grandmother Lyons, we all lived within a block or two of each other in South Philadelphia, always made a big steaming cauldron of sauerkraut and pork, with hot dogs in it, and a heap of rolls and a pt of mashed potatoes - a warming meal for the cold cold winter.  

Few people bother with live trees, almost no one puts up a platform, and I think after my generation, all that will be a memory.  The other thing that I think will die with my generation, and for most of the people I know, has already stopped, is the tradition of Christmas greeting cards.  I still write out about 50 but I only have one or two friends, older than I am, who still do that.  

People make new traditions, I suppose, I don't know many young families, so I don't know what they do beyond the heaps of gifts which seem to have taken the place of the shared display of the platform.  

Well whatever people do, getting together, and bringing light and celebration to the dark days of winter will probably always be with and so, I hope, will the grace of generosity.  The gift giving isn't about 'commercialization' an excuse some people use for not bothering, it is about giving and sharing in the bounty that we are so fortunate to enjoy - AND - it is about GRATITUDE!

Merry Christmas!
Jo Ann

ps.  Yesterday I enjoyed the most wonderful party that a couple I know give every year where we eat drink and read A Child's Christmas in Wales around the fireplace.  
Today, a friend from college has a photograph show opening at Rutgers in Camden in the Student Center - Sharon Harris' 'pin-hole camera' photographs!
Next Sunday, Dec. 9,  I am off to Greenwich for the Historic House tour and Saint Lucia festival.  I hope you have wonderful plans for the upcoming holiday weeks too!
Also, I hope you, like me, have your lights up, your tree up and all your work done so you can enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Camden County History Alliance Events for December 2018

Welcome to the December 2018
Camden County History Alliance E-Newsletter

The Camden County History Alliance wishes all our friends a happy holiday season! Many of our historic sites are festively decorated this month, with holiday house tours and open houses. Find out below about some of the historical programs and tours available at sites all around Camden County during the month of December!

Camden County Heritage Magazine Fall 2018

The Fall 2018 edition of the Camden County Heritage magazine has been distributed throughout the county, with the theme of Industry & Commerce in Camden County! This is the fifth edition of the History Alliance’s biannual publication, filled with articles and historic photos of Camden County’s past. For more information or to receive past editions of the magazine, please call 856-964-3333, email admin@cchsnj.org, or contact your local Camden County History Alliance Partner Organization.
Click each link below to open the event flyers, or scroll down to view all events.
November 30-December 2: Holiday House at the Barclay Farmstead
December 2: House Tours at Gabreil Daveis Tavern
December 7: Rich Carty on the Hammered Dulcimer at the Indian King Tavern Museum
December 8: Breakfast with Santa on the Battleship New Jersey
December 9: House Tours at Gabreil Daveis Tavern
December 11: "Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution" at the American Revolution Round Table of South Jersey
December 13: "Hinsonville’s Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, Pennsylvania" at the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table
December 14: Ebenezer's Elizir Musical Group at the Indian King Tavern Museum
December 15: Gingerbread Decorating & Storytime at the Indian King Tavern Museum
December 21: Guitarist Nat Wiseley & Friends at the Indian King Tavern Museum
December 31: New Years Eve on the Battleship New Jersey

Monday, November 26, 2018

Windows/Store Window Displays

Macy's in New York, originated the Holiday Window Display in 1874.  I just read this in the Sunday New York Times Styles section under the caption "Holiday Store Window Displays Still Matter."

As I have mentioned often, I grew up in Philadelphia an one of the great holiday joys for me was to visit Market Street in the greatest days of the holiday displays, the 1950's.  Actually, an aunt of mine was married to a window 'dresser' and when I worked at the Gloucester City Library and at Mary Ethel Costello School, I took great creative joy in decorating the entry-way windows for the seasons, holidays, or special events.  

All decorating is a creative act, and a generous act as it costs a great deal in time, effort, and often in money, an it is done for the pleasure of strangers, passers-by.  Except of course store displays which are done to delight and attract customers.  

Do you remember the scene in A Christmas Story, when Ralph first lays eyes on the Red Ryder Beebee Gun in the store window?  My favorite was always the holiday train display.  I love trains large and small, and I am especially entranced by village and city train lay-outs.  This stems from the platform my ironworker father put up every year at Christmas with a very impressive system of tunnels, track changes, and elevated tracks.  We had the "made in occupied Japan" post World War II cardboard houses with cellophane windows and glittery snow, and the lead figures skating on a mirror pond.  The magic will be in me for life.

The store windows in the city at Christmas in the old days, up until the 1970's were a child's wonderland of toys, Charles Dicken's Christmas Village, animatronic Santa Claus and Elves in North Pole sets, and glittering arrays of colorful items in glorious gift wrap.  

When I again lived in the city in the 1980s the magic was GONE in a big way.  I even cut up my Gimbals charge card and sent it to them with a complaint letter because the window where I stood to catch the bus was festooned with black leather bikini clad mannequins in deep sea masks which generated leers and rude comments from passers-by on the street.  What kind of display was that for Christmas?  That window dresser must have been deranged.

Well, I don't live in the city anymore and I don't go to Philadelphia or New York, they are too busy and too crowded and hectic for my autumnal years.  Instead I enjoy the window decorations in nearby small towns which are often charming and bring that long ago delight back to me.  Collingswood is a good example.  So is Pitman.  Soon the small towns will all be lit up, sporting their parades and Main Street decorations and the windows will be dressed for company.  

Let me know your favorites!  wrightj45@yahoo.com

I have two wonderful Christmas events coming up in the first part of December and I will let you know what I hear about as December draws closer.  One event is the annual "Child's Christmas in Wales" party given by a friend with whom I taught before we retired, and her husband.  We enjoy delicious food and drink, and gather around the fireplace to read the wonderful children's story aloud.  The week after, on December 9th, a friend will drive two other friends, plus me, to Greenwich for the historic house holiday tour and the Lucia Fest at the local church.  We have gone many times and love it more each year.  I like to go to all the Main Street events that I can make over the holidays, and share in the cheer that brightens the dark time of the year!

Happy Holidays and always - Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

Monday, November 19, 2018

Rancocas Woods

I can't think of a more jolly, festive, or holiday spirited place to be than Rancocas Woods, Creek Road shops, this time of year, so for my birthday my daughter drove me there and we shopped.

Fortunately, I had sole four paintings so we had a little shopping money.  I bought a primitive carved small reindeer, a lap desk and I bought my daughter three small RED bottle brush Christmas trees.
My favorite things were a battered white trunk, and a chair with a set woven of old leather belts.  My daughter's favorite things were a turquoise footstool with fancy feet and the RED bottle brush trees that I bought her  

We had so much fun.

There are two events still coming up if you are doing Christmas shopping for yourself, your house, or for gifts:

MADE & FOUND Outdoor Antiques Market
November 24th and December 8th from 10 am to 4 pm
118 Creek Rd., Mt. Laurel

And if you are an artist or crafter and would like to sell your work
Contact Michael madeandfoundmkt@gmail.com (for vending opportunities)

There is a delightful coffee shop and also a good place to eat lunch although we went to my perennial favorite Maritsa's for lunch yesterday when we shopped at Rancocas!
Happy Hunting!
Jo Ann

Friday, November 9, 2018

Holiday Gathering - Pomona Hall

A Flyer from Camden County Historical Society came with the latest issue of their historical Camden periodical.
"Enjoy old time music and refreshments in decorated Historic Pomona Hall and a living history presentation of Lucretia Mott, Women's Rights Activist, Abolitionist and Social Reformer performed by Kim Hanley of American Historical Theater - 
Thursday November 29th, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be served.
RSVP by November 28th please - 856-964-3333 or admin@cchsnj.org
Historic Pomona Hall is adjacent to and connected to Camden County Historical Society 1900 Park Boulevard, Camden, NJ (right behind Lady of Lourdes Hospital and next door to Haleigh Cemetery)


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Textile Art and Historical Connection: SHEEP TO SHAWL

at the Burlington County Historical Society
November 11 at 2:00 p.m.
454 Lawrence Street, Burlington City, NJ

Throughout my several years of experience with historical programs as a volunteer, docent, and tour guide, I have been fascinated with the place of fabric in Colonial lives and indeed, in modern lives as well.

I have actually tried several kinds of fiber arts, I have knitted, and woven, and at one point in my life, I made all my own clothes, and all my daughter's clothes.  Learning how to sew in high school was a great benefit to my future.

My grandmother was a quilter which added to my interest.  When you think of flax farming, harvest, preparing the plant to remove the fiber, spinning the flax into yarn and weaving it into linen, you see the arduous process it took to make the most stable fiber product of the 1700's.  Right next to it of course was wool production, especially for winter use, in blankets, cloaks, shawls, mittens heavy stockings and other essentials.

I hope I can get to this event and I hope you can too!

Happy Trails,

Jo Ann

Monday, October 29, 2018

Talking about Art!

An acquaintance of mine, Al Horner is a brilliant Pinelands photographer and through his book and cd, he has opened my eyes to beauty I had never seen in the Pinebarrens despite my lifelong love affair with hiking in the woods.  
You may think you know something, but art can show it to you in a new way.  If you love the Pinebarrens and you enjoy photography, you may want to attend:
 Please join us for the opening of a stunning photography exhibit celebrating the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve that is on display in the renovated historic barn at our offices.
Browse the new exhibit, enjoy wine, beer, light appetizers and acoustic music by The Pitch Pines. Awards for the winning photographs in each category will be presented during the reception.
Free, no RSVP required.  We are located at 17 Pemberton Rd. (CR 616) in Southampton, NJ.  Directions to our offices.
Also if you are an artist and wish to join in with the sharing of art, you may wish to participate in the ALEXANDRIA QUARTERLY UPCOMING CONTEST:  (I plant to!)  you confined the Alexandria Quarterly on the internet at www.alexandriaquarterly.com


AQP is working on a collection of artworks inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson. We are looking for art in all mediums except video. Please send up to five high resolution (300 dpi or higher) images and identify the poem/line(s) the piece is drawn from in your cover letter.
Any form/style is welcome.
Submissions close December 1, 2018. Submit here.
All artist who submit will receive a complimentary copy of the book. Artists selected to contribute will receive 3 copies of the book and discounts on aditional copies.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Developing an idea

Often people I have known since we all retired have said to me that they have no interests, no hobbies, no inspiration and they don't know how to get any.

"Interest" like "Willpower" or "Changing a Mind" are the great unsolved mysteries of our social world.  Where is the generator that allows someone to become interested and even passionate about doing something, or that allows someone to make a decision to change as in for example, to stop smoking, or take up exercise or meditation; where does willpower come from?

I have read a  lot of books on it but I can only speak from own experience which is that some things that captured my interest when I was a child, I nurtured throughout my life, and they blossomed like the branches of a tree into lifelong passions:  Reading, Art.  My mother sowed the seeds with books she got at the supermarket with green stamps and by reading to me at night and at other times.  My grandmother nurtured the garden indirectly by giving me access to the book in her basement, her old family books, European classics, and girls books like Outdoor Girls On A Hike from the 1920's.  It must be admitted that I was the kind of a child to venture to the basement and FIND those books and ask, so perhaps some of it is inborn.

My mother also subscribed to many magazine in my childhood, Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic and my father was a reader.  The Saturday Evening Post was my introduction to Art, an art style that I still practice, representative genre painting, which means pictures from real life, in a realistic style.  However whereas Norman Rockwell, my great childhood inspiration, may have practiced a very effective and beautiful Narrative art, pictures that told a story, mine tend to be more poetic, as in they are created from a feeling that something I saw inspired in me, and I try to recapture that feeling in the painting and hopefully the viewer will feel it too.  

Just at this moment the amazon delivery man rang the bell and handed me two packages, new books.  I read every day for many hours, magazines and books and the books inspire new interests and expand one that have already existed.

An interest that I developed from my father is for trains and train stations.  He built a platform every Christmas with an elaborate train set-up - the real deal - Lionel trains with smoke and the smell of motor oil, track transfers, tunnels, and glorious snow covered villages of small European style bungalows with cellophane windows "Made in Japan."  And many family vacations took in old time steam trains that would chug us up a mountain or through fields of corn like the Strasbourg train, the Jim Thorpe train, or the ones in West Virginia.

In fact, one of my father's great job accomplishments for Hake Rigging company was to move a train into the Smithsonian, which we went to see on family trips.

So, one summer when I was driving along the railroad that runs through a old hometown of mine, Maple Shade, and the town where I went to high school, Merchantville, taking photographs of the train stations, I noticed that the one in Merchantville was also a coffee shop to I stopped in.  It turns out it was also an Art Gallery and Literary Center - Eiland Arts Center!  I took an advertising postcard and blogged about it, then found out two of my old friends from my Art School days showed their work there.  I went to an opening, and I decided to show my work there as well.

This Saturday, the 20th of Oct. I dropped off 3 paintings for the Winter Group Show running through November!    I hope you will visit The Station and see the work, in the upstairs gallery, and perhaps buy a cup of coffee and a pastry and sit down and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.  Who doesn't love a coffee house?

Eiland Arts also has a literary component called AlexandriaQuarterly, which you can find online  And there, I saw a posting for an upcoming art project where you could submit 5 works of art based on 5 poems by Emily Dickinson.  Since I believe, (along with many Dickinson scholars) that she was a groundbreaking poetry genius, I was excited by the idea. I found some documentaries on amazon (one was deadly dull because the actors adopted a stilted speech pattern I have heard in other period documentaries that I sincerely doubt people used in ordinary life in the past) and one that was exciting and enriching, which included observations by Dickinson scholars about her life and work.  I heard recitations of at least 5 poems that I loved and found my inspiration to do 5 works based on them.

I have finished one already "Look back on time with kindly eyes - he doubtless did his best...." and a photo a friend gave me recently from our college days provided the image to go with the poem.

So that's how it happens, from the past to the present, from experience to endeavor, idea to inspiration.  I stopped in Merchantville Library and found a collection of Dickinson's poems and plan to read 20 a day.  I will let you know how it goes!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Halloween and More

Hello!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays though, to be honest, I love ALL the holidays!  I love to decorate and see decorated houses.  And most of all, I celebrate the seasons since I am lucky enough to have been born and raised in a state that HAS seasons.  

The trees are finally beginning to turn this third week of October.  Took long enough!  

The things I like about Halloween are that it is a celebration of the space between the living and the dead, the old year of abundance in summer and fall harvest, and the coming months of what appears to be death but is actually only a long winter's rest - the dark and bare trees, the frosted yards, the barren bushes and shrubs (except of course for New Jersey's famous thriving holly - green all year and ripe with red berries in the winter!)

Another thing I like is the harkening back to the old European Pagan traditions.  And the opportunity to wear a costume!  And the chance to re-visit the old movies of my childhood like Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, and Arsenic and Old Lace.  
I adore the pumpkins and black cats, the ghosts and witches  hats, and the brief chance to encounter and enjoy magic and mystery.  I DO NOT enjoy horror movies of the modern bloody variety or extreme scary stuff.  

Anyhow I discovered that when I copied and posted 'visit New Jersey' emails, the html erased my older posts, so I am trying to just pick a few here and there that I like and not post the whole shebang.  My posts are apparently archived, so they weren't lost, just not appearing on my blog.

Here is one from visit New Jersey - I really think Woodstown is a charming small New Jersey historic town:

Woodstown Fourth Friday
Friday, October 26 | 5 PM - 9 PM
Historic Downtown Woodstown
Join Historic Woodstown for Fourth Friday along Main Street sponsored by the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Business Association. Every fourth Friday of the month, guests can enjoy extended store hours, food trucks, and live music! There are plenty of children's activities including face painting, balloon animals, and so much more! Make sure you come dressed up in your best Halloween attire to be entered into the costume contest! This is the last Fourth Friday of the season. 

Ghost Tours
Friday, October 26 | 6 PM - 7:30 PM
Downtown Woodbury
Take a walking tour of Woodbury's historic buildings and encounter the ghosts that haunt them! Make sure you bring a flashlight because you never know what might pop out! Guided tours last about one hour and will begin at 6 PM and the last one will start at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Participating eateries will give you 10% off dinner when you present your ticket. 

I have fun trick or treats all ready for my excited and adorable neighborhood kids - I am giving out parachute men, rubber snakes and assorted toys for Oriental Trading Company!

Happy Halloween!
Jo Ann

Friday, October 19, 2018

From the Crossroads of the Revolution e-mail - October Halloween Events

"Halloween chills and thrills combine with Revolutionary fun this October in the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area! Many of our Heritage Partners are hosting ghost walks, haunted hayrides and other eerie events for the adventurous. There's plenty of fun for those looking for a non-spooky experience, too."
Below are some of the many events scheduled for the second half of the month. Consult our online calendar and Facebook page to explore the rest, and plan your visit to Revolutionary New Jersey!

Some events may require reservations - please contact the event site as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

Multiple dates
Downtown Bordentown Association Haunted History Tour. City Ghost Walk Tours. Take a guided stroll to explore the mysteries of this historic community. Multiple evening times. More information and tickets

October 18, 19, 20, 21
Haunted Seaport in Tuckerton. Take a fright-tastic adventure at Tuckerton Seaport with pirates and sea captains of the past, meet the Jersey Devil, plus (non-scary) kid-friendly activities for the little ones. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. More information

October 19
Punch and Pie at Mrs. Kearney's Tavern in Closter. Enjoy refreshments, entertainment and tall tales at this centuries-old, riverside historic site. 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. More information

Oct 19 and 20
Ghostly Gatherings at the Hancock House in Hancock's Bridge. Take a candlelight tour of the site of the 1778 Hancock's Bridge massacre. Tours at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. More information and reservations

Oct 19, 20 and 26
Halloween Ghost Walking Tour in Greenwich. Join the Cumberland County Historical Society on a spooky stroll through a historic 18th century community. More information and reservations

October 19, 20, 26 and 27
Ghost Tours in Moorestown. Experience Moorestown's haunted history, starting at the Smith-Cadbury Mansion. Visit two graveyards and the old town jail on this spooky walking tour. 7:30 p.m. More information.

October 19 and 26
Candlelight Ghost Tours at Liberty Hall Museum in Union. Hear about spooky encounters as you tour the home of New Jersey's first elected governor. Tours at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. More information and reservations

Oct 19, 20, 26 and 27
Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Village at Historic Allaire in Farmingdale. This historic community takes on a spooky air as twilight turns to night! 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. More information and reservations

October 20
Harvest Homecoming Festival at the Frazee House in Scotch Plains. Enjoy a farm-to-table demonstration, kids' crafts, live music and more at this historic homestead and former farm. 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m. More information

Hearth and Home at the Union Forge Heritage Museum in Hampton. Colonial cooking demonstrations are part of the fun at this 1760 home. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. More information

Paranormal Evenings at the Kingsland Manor in Nutley. Meet up with fellow ghost hunters to discover whether spirits inhabit this 18th century dwelling. More information

Fireside Chat: Tea Leaf Reading and Afternoon Tea at the Hageman House in Somerset. Enjoy a traditional tea, then have the tea leaves read by psychic Dawn Strouse. 2:00 p.m. More information and reservations.  

October 20 and 21
Four Centuries in a Weekend in Union County. More than 20 Revolutionary-era sites are included in this two-day open-house of historic places, offering Crossroads stamps to holders of the Passport to Your National Parks. 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. More information.
Lighthouse Challenge - statewide. The 1764 Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Tuckerton Seaport are among more than a dozen stops on this road rally of New Jersey's nautical heritage. 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. More information.   

October 21
The Annual Country Living Fair at Batsto Village in Hammonton. Soak in the beauty of the Pinelands at this annual celebration of country life. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information
Revolutionary War Day at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville. Meet General Washington, watch troops prepare for the march to Trenton, learn about Colonial ferries, find out about the Ten Crucial Days, and more! 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More information.

Lambertville Autumn House Tour in Lambertville. Take a self-guided tour of this historic Delaware River community. 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More information
Jonas Cattell Run and 18th Century Field Day at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park. Mark the anniversary of the Battle of Red Bank with reenactments, colonial demonstrations, food and fun! 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information

Presidential Pets at the Van Horne House in Bridgewater. Kids of all ages will discover the fun and unusual animals who've lived with our Commanders in Chief. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.
October 22
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, in Woodbridge. Alisa Dupuy dramatizes this classic Halloween tale at a meeting of the Historical Association of Woodbridge Township. 7:00 p.m. More information

October 25
Adult Pumpkin Carving Party at Liberty Hall Museum in Union. It's a Halloween happy hour for grownups, complete with pumpkins to decorate, plus wine, beer and snacks. 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. More information and reservations 
October 26 and 27
Haunted Lantern Walk at the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy. Spooky stories and history mix on this walk from the former Royal Governor's home to St. Peter's graveyard. 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Reservations and more information.
October 26, 27, 29 and 30
Ghost Tours at The Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus. Psychic medium Craig McManus shares his perspectives on ghost hunting through the home of Revolutionary Neighbor Theodosia Prevost. 7:00 p.m. More information and reservations 
October 27
Halloween on the Hill at the Cornelius Low Mansion in Piscataway. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, magic lanterns, kids' crafts and more await in this family-friendly evening event. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. More information.   

Discover the Ford Mansion's Ghosts in Morristown. Investigator Gordon Thomas Ward shares spooky evidence from paranormal data collected at Washington's Morristown headquarters. 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. More information and reservations
Pumpkin Patch Day at Liberty Hall in Union. Family fun includes pumpkin picking and carving, hayrides, crafts and more. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More information and reservations
Halloween Walking Tour of Lambertville. What goes bump in the night in this scenic Delaware River town? Find out during this daytime tour! 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. More information
Ringwood Manor Cemetery Tour in Ringwood. Visit graves of notables including Washington's mapmaker, Robert Erskine, and learn about gravestone symbolism on this walking tour. 1:30 p.m. Registration and more information.
NJ Paranormal at the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook. What have ghost hunters found at this Patriot home? Find out, then seek out spirits yourself! 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Registration and more information.
October 27 and 28
Revolution along the Raritan Encampment at East Jersey Old Town Village in Piscataway. Continental and Crown Forces take over with camp life, crafts, demonstrations and a fashion show. Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. , Sun. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information

October 28
Halloween at Batsto: Haunting the Pines in Hammonton. Kids ages 12 and younger can enjoy trick-or-treating in a non-scary Halloween environment. 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. More information
Legends of Sleepy Hollow at the Drake House Museum in Plainfield. Storyteller and reenactor Alisa Dupuy relates the classic Halloween season tale. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.
Halloween Hocus Pocus at the Miller Cory House Museum in Westfield
Kids from age 3 through elementary school are invited to wear their costumes to this afternoon of crafts, storytelling, facepainting, snacks and more. 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.

Mount Holly History, Pumpkins, and More bus trip from Hunterdon County Arboretum. Visit sites including the state's oldest school house and the Burlington County Prison Museum (which may be haunted!). 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. More information.

The Real Music of Alexander Hamilton at Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge. Anne and Ridley Enslow tell the story of Hamilton's life, along with period music relevant to his experiences. 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets and more information.  
Recurring events and site tours*
Tours of the Smith Cadbury House Museum in Moorestown. Built in the mid-18th century, this home is said to have hosted both Hessians and allies of the Patriots. 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 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 p.m. More information.

Tours and 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. to 4:00 p.m.  More information.

Saturday and Sunday
Tours of the John Abbott II House in Hamilton. Find out how the Abbott family hid valuables and public funds from ransacking British soldiers enroute to Trenton in late 1776. 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. More information.

Historic Somers Mansion Open House in Somers Point. Visit the oldest house in Atlantic County and the home of Patriot Colonel Richard Somers. 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. More information.

Corn into Cornmeal at Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold. Watch as an authentic gristmill crushes dried corn into cornmeal! 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information.  

Tour 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

Step back in time at the Hamilton-Van Wagoner Museum in Clifton. Tour this 18th century Dutch homestead and hear stories of a once-rural community that's existed since 1679. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information

Open House at the Wortendyke Barn Museum in Park Ridge. A 1760 New World Dutch barn reveals Bergen County's agricultural past. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. More information.  

Historic Princeton Walking Tour from Bainbridge House in Princeton. The American Revolution made an indelible mark on this college town. Find out how in this two-mile walking tour of downtown and the campus. 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information

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

Discover Revolutionary New Jersey all year long. Watch your inbox for our eNewsletter for November events.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

More Eiland Arts Events - Pop-up Dinners!


We are excited to announce the first date of our pop up dinner series featuring gourmet chef, Justin Lingl!
Join us for this vegetarian three course adventure for your tastebuds. This month we will celebrate the Fall and all of the tasty delicacies the season brings. Check out the menu below:

First Course:
Chestnut Soup- roasted chestnuts, cream, chestnut pesto, roasted mushrooms

Second Course:
Fall Panzanella- delicara squash, house sourdough, radicchio, pumpkin seeds, maple vinaigrette

Third Course:
Beet Cavatelli- braised cabbage, ricotta salata, brown butter

Espresso Pot de CrΓ©me- whipped cream, petite biscotti *served with complimentary brewed coffee or tea.

$55 per guest (includes gratuity). *Additional beverages available for purchase. 

This will be a limited, farm house style table setting, so book your reservations now and save the date. BYOB. 

For reservations, email Nicole at ni@eilandarts.com

(we will send you an invoice)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Eiland Arts Center, Merchantville, NJ

As you know if you have read my blog, I am a big fan of railroad stations.  They speak to me of romance, mystery, adventure, the lonely cry of the locomotive in the night!  And I am overjoyed when a train station is saved and put to a purpose for the community as is the case with Eiland Arts Center, located in the train station at Merchantville, just off Center Street.  

At an given time you can find at Eiland Arts Center:  music and art classes, concerts, workshops, parties, and art shows among other things.  Recently a writing component has been added to their wide programming, The Alexandria Quarterly, with a just published chap book  called What the Piper Promised, by Katherine Hawd Machon.

I dropped by yesterday, Friday, October 12th, to leave some photos of my painting in hopes of being chosen for an upcoming group how around the theme 'Illumination.'  While there I picked up a bunch of postcards advertising local events to share with you:

1.  Play With This, Toys and Collectibles, 19 West Park Ave.
pwttoys@gmail.com, 856-320-6163
2.  Spirit of Place:  a fifty year retrospective exhibition, Eyes Gallery, 402 South St., Phila., Pa. www.eyesgallery.com
3. at Eiland Arts now - Moments and Movement, artists-Liz Assolina, Diane Paul, Geoff Chalky, up till Oct. 31st
4.  Market off Centre, Locally grown and locally crafted goods
N. Centr St. & Chestnut Ave. 
5.D&V Organics members pick up a share of what we grow each week www.dandvorganics.com  Community Supported Agriculture runs Oct. 31st through Dec. 21st - 9 week of farm fresh vegetables.

Stop in at Eiland Arts for more information on this or the many other things you can learn there, and stay for a cup of coffee and enjoy the artwork!  open Mon - Sat 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.Call 856-488-0973 for info.

Happy Trails!
ps.  Wish me luck on getting in the show! And if I do I hope to see you at the opening reception on November 2nd from 7 to 9 pm.
Jo Ann

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What a dog can teach you if you listen.

I wrote a few blogs about adopting my dog, Uma.  I wrote bout the Camden Co. Shelter, about the Dog House Groomers in Audubon, and about Janice Barlow, and then Steve Spence, trainers extraordinary!

Our twice a day walks, Uma's and mine, is an opportunity to meditate, to watch the seasons, to meet neighbors I haven't spoken to in decades, and to see the close-up world in a new way.  Today, it was about what she has taught me about relationships.

When I adopted Uma in June, I was in terrible emotional pain over the stroke and subsequent death of my angel of a dog, Trixie.  Tribe was a Weimaraner and Labrador mix, and she was an older dog, already trained, very quiet, and calm, and easy going.  Every day, Trixie and I would walk at Knight's Park in Collingswood which was a delight of my day.  She walked perfectly on the leash, except for her many stop and smell breaks which sometimes made me impatient, but I always told myself the park was her library, "Let her browse!"  And I felt sorry for the dogs running around next to men on bikes, or joggers, because they missed that element of their walk.  It was all exercise and no sniffing.

So, when I adopted Uma, I wanted to take her to Knight's Park, but she is a Husky Lab mix and I didn't know anything about Huskies at the time.  This dog had a different background.  She had been exploited as a breeding dog, and then abandoned.  No one adopted her because, presumably, they could see how exciteable she was, what people would call a "Handful."  And she was.  I couldn't take her to any park because she immediately became overwhelmed by the stimuli and literally drag me from spot to spot.  She had a trick she used  to break leashes and control.  She reared up on her hind legs and made a powerful dive which increased her muscle power.  She could break free and go after other dogs, or anything that caught her frantic fancy.  That was when I called in the Dog Trainers.

First Janice Barlow came on board and helped with a lot of things including 'jumping,' simple basic commands like 'leave it.' and a few other things including walking.  But, though she stopped Uma from beating me up every day, it wasn't enough after a month or so I called my vet in despair and his office recommended Steve Spence, Zen Animal Training.  Since I practice meditation, the name seemed to bode well, and two months later we are well on the way to 'good dog land."  Steve took us to the park, taught me how to put on Uma's collar without getting battered, how to get her to 'place' and walk 'loose leash.'

In the meantime, what Uma taught me was to walk in my own neighborhood.  Right from the start, she did best with a solid routine walk from our porch around a mile, down to Northmont, over to the Railroad, and back.  It is her patrol.  And so I have watched the little local gardens in full summer bloom, and the emergence of the lawn and tree fungi!  I have talked to the man who made a model windmill for his yard, the lady with the backyard chickens, the people waiting all summer for their porch to be finished, and many other neighbors.  Also, I have learned to not make Uma live Trixie's life or walk in Trixie's park, but to find her own place and to teach me what is interesting in my own backyard.

Also, Uma has taught me to sit on my own porch, which I never did  although it is a pretty little porch enclosed in shade trees and holly.  

If you open your mind and let go of some of your controls and expectations, you can be led to wonderful truths by the most unexpected guides.  

Happy Trails, Happy Tails, Happy Tales!
Jo Ann