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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Responses to Count Von Donop's Skull post

This e-mail just came from Lee Anderson, author and re-enactor:

"Interesting stuff JoAnn. Although I doubt it is Von Donop's skull, all they have to do is a test for DNA on it. There are Von Donop descendants, I believe that one lives in North Carolina.

Although I also believe that the only way you can get DNA from a skull is teeth and it looks like the teeth are all missing.

Also, Von Donop's dying quote, maybe he didn't, but I got it from the Diary of Job Whitall who was present at his death and a doctor from Woodbury was German and translated his words. I think that is a pretty good source. I don't doubt that the quote or some variation
of it has been uttered many times over during several wars from the 12th to the 19th century.

Thanks for the posts. They are always good reading.
Take care,
Lee Anderson"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Is this the skull of Count Carl Von Donop, Hessian Commander?

On Saturday, January 29th, five intrepid docents from the Whitall House, Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ, drove up the snowy highway to the Clarke House, on the Princeton Battlefield. We enjoyed a highly informative tour given by John Mills, a lifelong Revolutionary War historian, re-enactor, and historic site curator. He's also a black-powder expert. I saw Mills do a black-powder demo at Walnford historic site many months ago. He demonstrated both cannon and rifle firing. On this day, he gave us a fascinating description of this momentous battle of the Revolutionary War. It is generally regarded, along with the Battle of Trenton, as the turning point in the war for Independence. It is part of what is known as The Ten Crucial Days. This farm house is the site of the death of the heroic General Hugh Mercer, who was bludgeoned, bayonetted and died of his wounds in the Clarke farmhouse.

The house has both period furnished rooms and a museum that features weapons and ammo as well as many prints, and maps depicting the battle.
The grounds were breathtakingly beautiful in the fresh deep snow.

After touring the Clarke House, we headed to New Brunswicke where we examined the alleged skull of Count Carl Von Donop, the Hessian commander who died of his wounds at Red Bank Battlefield in October of 1777.

The skull was donated to the special collections department of the library but no other provenance exists to identify the donor or prove whether the skull is in fact Count Von Donop's. He was buried near the site of the battle and it has been alleged that his bones were later dug up. It is known that bones of the soldiers buried on the battlefield were washed out the banks of the Delaware after floods, and dug up by vandals and scattered.

Hessian wounded were treated in the Whitall house. Those that died on the spot were buried in unmarked graves. Others died nearby in the Woodbury Friends Meeting House and their remains were buried in The Strangers' Cemetery which was later moved to an almost forgotten site outside of town. More Hessians who died on the retreat were buried in Glendora. Survivors who were captured, were imprisoned in Philadelphia.

The monument at Red Bank Battlefield is engraved with a quote alleged to have been uttered by the dying Count Von Donop that he died "the victim of my own ambition and the avarice of my prince." Some dispute that he ever actually said this and it was attributed to a later observation by an unnamed French man.

If you are interested in learning more about this battle, I'll be listing some good books from a brochure offered at the Clarke House.

location of the Clarke House and Princeton Battlefield:
500 Mercer Road, Princeton, NJ 08540-4810, 609-921-0074

location of the library that houses the alleged skull of Count Von Donop:
Ronald L. Becker
Head, Special Collections
Rutgers University Libraries
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163
(732) 932-7006 x362 phone
(732) 932-7012 FAX
rbecker@rulmail.rutgers.edu
http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/scua.shtml

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Great Photographs! Upcoming PPA show.

This just in from Pineland Preservation Alliance:
"Join us on Sunday, February 13, from 1 - 3:00pm at PPA for the exhibit opening of The Lure of the Land: A photographic journey through the Pine Barrens, New Jersey's diverse wilderness of culture and ecology. The work of photographer Chase Schiefer can also be viewed here. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Mr. Schiefer's work will be donated to PPA.

Musical entertainment for the afternoon will be courtesy of the "old-timey" band Piney Hollow Drifters, who will also be selling copies of their latest CD."

I checked out the link they sent of the photographer's work and it is spendid. It was a wonderful way to spend a trapped-indoors day - looking at photographs of the beautiful world. It made me want to grab my camera and go out and photograph the snow! I think I will!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MysteryChurchSJ

Hello history buffs - I've been away in West Virginia for a time and just got home. In answering my e-mail, I found a message from Barry Casselli who has a great web site for people interested in the Pine Barrens. He asked for information on a mystery church he has photographed. Here is his message:
"I just realized, that with your blog, maybe a mystery can be solved.
I photographed this small frame church (see attachment) a few years ago. Unfortunately I did not note the name or location of the church. I believe I took the photo somewhere between Daretown and the Alliance cemetery. The house number on it is 213. It's possible the church is somewhere between Daretown and Rosenhayn. There was a dated stone set in the upper part of the front wall, but I forgot to try to read it.
I would like to find out where this building is, and take new photos (and mark it on my map). Could you post this text and photo on your blog? This one's a real mystery, because I have no idea where it is."
Thanks,
Barry Caselli
criterion1974@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Upcoming Event Notice

Just received this via e-mail.  If you are interested in Dr. Still, famous herbal doctor of the pines, you may wish to attend this presentation.  Call the number listed for more information.  This summer, at the History Conference in Monmouth, I saw a presentation on the architectural preservation plans for Dr. Still's home/office.  Did you know his brother was William Still, the famous Philadelphia Abolitionist and Underground Railroad Station Master?  I visited the house where he lived, in Germantown, a year ago during a Revolutionary War re-enactment event at Cliveden. 

The Black Doctor of the Pines
Dr James Still and the legacy of the Still Family

Lenape High School Auditorium
Tue Feb 1,2011 at 7pm

 RSVP by Jan 25th
609-654-5111 ext 3528
or email
ldtv@lrhsd.org

Kings Highway and Old Salem Road

Here is the excellent map you can use to track the route of Kings Highway and the Old Salem Road. Happy travels! Map provided by Jerseyman.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kings Highway and the Old Salem Road - A friend helps clear up a question.


Revised - A Letter from Jerseyman about the Old Salem Road and Kings Highway 1/18/2011

While not based in law and reality, you could say the King's Highway runs between Salem and Perth Amboy. To be factual, however, the route represents two different roads, both of which have their own distinct and fascinating histories. The road to Amboy appears on the earliest map of Burlington—drawn by Salem surveyor Richard Noble in 1677 and annotated several years later by others—and labeled “Old Indian Road.” This road provided a good route between the West New Jersey and East New Jersey seats of government, which became very important after the two groups of proprietors surrendered their provinces to Queen Anne in 1703 and the “Jerseys” became a royal colony. During her reign, residents referred to modern-day Kings Highway as “the Queen’s Highway.” This is the route that armed men escorted William Franklin, New Jersey’s last royal governor, from Burlington to Perth Amboy during 1776. There were several roads in New Jersey that became known as “the King’s Highway” during the colonial era.

Our Kings Highway, or, more correctly, the Salem Road, became officially established under a 1681 law approved by the Colonial Assembly. The roadway has undergone modifications several times as the early population nucleated at certain locations like Moorestown, Haddonfield, Gloucester, and Woodbury. As first laid out, the Salem Road left Burlington over the Yorkshire Bridge and traveled up the Perth Amboy Road as far as Cedar Lane. At that point, the Salem Road traveled down Cedar Lane to Slabtown (now Jacksonville) and then down Jacksonville Road to Mount Holly. The Salem Road then reached Pine Street/Eayrestown Road and traveled out to Eayrestown, where a ford provided a relatively painless passage over the Rancocas above the head of tide. From there, the route passed over Bella Bridge Road and across Fostertown Road, where it then traveled the route of the predecessor of Elbo Lane and today’s Pleasant Valley Drive to the west end of Moorestown. The Salem Road then turned onto its present route, more or less down to the South Branch of Pennsauken Creek, where the road crossed a bridge over the South Branch by the Matlack plantation. Passing through present-day Cherry Hill, the original Kings Highway ran west of the present one, passing through Colestown Cemetery immediately outside the door of old Saint Mary’s Church. As the road approached Haddonfield, it diverged over towards Brace Road and crossed the North Branch of Coopers River, running east of Brace Road. A section of the old roadbed is still there today in the woods just east of Brace Road near the state historical marker. The road continued running down east of Brace Road until it arrived at Ice House Lane is the modern residential development named “Uxbridge,” located off Haddonfield-Berlin Road, and forded across the South Branch of Coopers River. From there it passed through the Haddonfield Public Works property and over Gill Road to Warwick Road. The Salem Road went down Warwick Road to Laurel Road, crossing the North Branch of Timber Creek at the milldam constructed for what later became Tomlinson’s mill proximate to the old Stratford Military Academy. The road ran up Chews Landing Road to Hider Lane/Coles Road/Almonesson-Blenheim Road and then crossed the South Branch of Timber Creek at Limber Bridge, located just upstream from Cole Landing and adjacent to Cheesman’s Landing. Passing over Almonesson-Blenheim Road until it becomes Cooper Street, the Salem Road moved into Woodbury before the town every existed and then turned southwest towards Salem, running more or less down present-day Kings Highway.

Several key changes occurred in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In February 1689, the judges of the Burlington Court directed that a new route be laid out between Burlington and the original route at the west end of Moorestown. During the same court hearing, the judges licensed a ferry for the first time over the Rancocas Creek. As a result of this court order, surveyors laid out the section of Salem Road that crossed the London Bridge in Burlington and down through Willingboro, a portion of which still remains in service today, and down to Adam’s wharf or Hackney’s Dock, next to the Willingboro VFW, which burned a couple years ago. The ferry service, generally known as Hollinshead Ferry, provided a riverine link in the Salem Road, and upon reaching the old Chester Township shore, the Salem Road continued straight across the landscape to present-day Borton Landing Road and then on to Main Street, Moorestown, which the Salem Road more or less followed along the ridge of the camelback to the western end of town and connecting to the original route.

The second major change occurred in 1704, when colonial law directed a new route into and out of Haddonfield for the Salem Road. The route diverted from east of Brace Road and took today’s Munn Lane for a distance before it headed across the landscape and crossed over the Free Lodge milldam and entered Haddonfield. Going down through Haddonfield, the route went down Kings Highway or Main Street, Haddonfield, past the end of present-day Warwick Road and on down through Audubon/Haddon Heights, across Kings Run at the milldam and up into Mount Ephraim. Upon achieving Mount Ephraim, the road did not run as it currently does, but it dipped easterly to near Little Timber Creek and then in Market Street and on to a now non-existent road that ran behind Cedar Grove Cemetery that provided access to Little Bridge, the crossing over Little Timber Creek. The road then ascended the high riverbank (a swale from this road still remains in the landscape to this day!) and went through Brooklawn between 4th and 5th avenue and down to the crossing over Big Timber Creek near the bowling alley off Route 130 N. After crossing Big Timber Creek, the Salem Road went down through Buck Tavern (Westville) and on down Old Broadway to the Kings Highway at the lower end of Woodbury, rejoining the old route.

The New Jersey State Legislature did not incorporate the Gloucester and Salem Turnpike Company until March 1851, so it is a relatively recent moniker for the roadway.

Sorry if this is a long and confusing read; I tried to make it as clear as possible. You may want to have a local road atlas handy as you read this comment.

Best regards,
Jerseyman

 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taking a drive on snowy Kings Highway 1/12/11


Kings Highway, I am told, runs from Perth Amboy down to Salem.  It is one of New Jersey's earliest highways and a lot of history has traveled on it.  Yesterday, right after an overnight snowfall of about 6 inches, a friend and I drove down Kings Highway to look at the beauty of the countryside clad in white.

By the time we got started at 11:00 a.m., the morning sun had fled and the wind had blown all the snow off the trees.  Things looked more gray than glorious, but, we were moved by the spirit of adventure!

During the summer, which seems so long ago now, I had driven to Perth Amboy for a Civil War re-enactment. If I had known then that Kings Highway went there, I'd have given it a try just to see how long it would take and what I might find along the way. Actually, I didn't see much on the turnpike or of Perth Amboy as the re-enactment was in Woodbridge, right next door.  However, in the park where the encampment was being held, I discovered the Revolutionary era Parker Press, a charming and original building with the colonial press in it.  I will talk more about the Parker Press when my book on James Parker arrives from amazon.com.   I'm sure I'm one of their best customers, though they have yet to send me a note to say thank you.

Perth Amboy was the first city incorporated in New Jersey in 1718 and James Parker set up the first press in Perth Amboy in 1752, just in time for the Revolution.  

Kings Highway has had some divergences and many names and I'm afraid to even get into that since it seems to cause a storm of controversy.  For more, see Rambles Through Old Highways and Byways of West Jersey, by Charles S. Boyer, published by the Camden County Historical Society.  I'm actually not clear on how the old Kings Hwy. relates to the current one or how either relate to the Old Salem Road and the Salem Turnpike.  Maybe one of the erudite readers who help me out from time to time can clear that up for us.  I can tell you that it was laid out in the late 1680's on an ancient Native American trail.

We decided to drive to Mickleton, and stop at a few of my favorite locations on the way.  Our first stop was the James and Ann Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield.  If you are new to this blog, let me just say that in October of 1777, a fierce and fast battle took place there.  The apple orchard of this Quaker farm had been confiscated by the Continental army in order to dig a fortification as part of the Delaware River defense.  Fort Billings, Fort Mercer on the New Jersey side of the river and Fort Mifflin on the Pa. side, were keeping the British ships from coming up the river and supplying the British army which had taken Philadelphia.  When the Battle at Red Bank was over, 300 wounded Hessian mercenary soldiers fighting in the Crown's employ, were dragged into the Whitall's house for treatment.

In order to make a surprise attack and to avoid the bridges that had been destroyed by local militia, the Hessians had come from Haddonfield via Clements Bridge Road, not on Kings Highway.

It is worth noting that most colonial homes were not as grand as the Whitall House.  The Whitalls came from old, established and wealthy families.  Most farm families would have lived in two or three room wooden frame dwellings.  Ann Whitall was a descendant of the Cooper family, founders of Camden.  Both Ann and her husband James are buried on the front lawn of the Woodbury Friends Meeting which we passed on our way to Mickleton.

After a parting backward look at the cold gray Delaware River at National Park, we drove back
to Kings Highway and passed the Mount Royal Inn on the corner of the crossroads of what was once called Sandtown.  Over the years this tavern was named Heart in Hand, The Lacy House, the Sickler House and the Blue Anchor.  Taverns were the civic and business headquarters of colonial New Jersey.  Militia units me there, and sometimes after battles and skirmishes, the wounded were taken there.  Most small towns had a tavern and so did most creeks and rivers, since waterways were the highways of the colonial period.

We also passed the Death of the Fox Inn, now a private home.  It is one of my favorite buildings for its simplicity and the beauty of the stone (which was once covered in plaster).  The Death of the Fox was a recruiting headquarters during the Revolution.  The proprietor at the time was William Eldridge, many influential Philadlephia patriots including Samuel Morris and General Robert Wharton were members of the fox hunting club that met there. 

I have read that a Tory traitor was arrested, brought to the Death of the Fox for a barrel top trial and then hanged on the spot.  The commander in charge of the execution threatened that any man who cut the body down would be hanged in its place.  The proprietor's daughter, in defiance of the order, cut the body down in disgust.

Dr. Bodo Otto, Jr. met with his Gloucester County regiment at the Death of the Fox and it is where he died, much later, at the young age of 33, of pneumonia.  He is buried at the graveyard behind Trinity, Old Swedes' Church in Swedesboro. 

Colonel Bodo Otto, Sr. served with his two sons as surgeons with General Washington's forces at Valley Forge.  Dr. Otto, Sr. lived in Reading, Pa., but Dr. Otto, Jr. lived on the Kings Highway in Mickleton.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In celebration of 1/11/11 - My 11 favorite historic sites

Not in order and I couldn't tell you why, but here are ll of my all time favorite SJ historic sites:  1.  James and Ann Whitall House, Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ., 2.Ye Greate Street in Greenwich (which has at least 11 favorite places on it) way down in Salem County, NJ, 3.Pomona Hall and Camden County Historical Society Museum and Library, Camden, NJ., 4.Gloucester County Historical Society Museum and Library, Woodbury, NJ, 5. Clara Barton One-Room School House and Bordentown in general (about 11 great places to visit there too), 6.Burlington City, about 11 wonderful places here too, including James Fennimore Cooper House, and the walk by the river, 7.Ocean City History Museum and the Somers House on Somer's Point Circle, 8.Gabriel Daveis Tavern, Glendora, NJ 9.Griffith Morgan House, Pennsauken, NJ
10.Abel Nicholson House, Fort Elfsborg Rd., Elsinboro, 11.the old Quaker and Revolutionary War cemetery in Collingswood, off the railroad track, and past the Champion One-Room School, and Collings/Knights House (getting 3 for the price of 1).  What are your favorite 11 history spots as of 1/11/11?

What makes America great - and a little local history.

When I drive around South Jersey, I notice the old buildings that speak of the lives of people who, though they lived long ago, were not so different from us.  I try to imagine what it would have been like if I had lived then.  Of course, that's impossible.  However, it's what writers do.  Perhaps, if I had lived a hundred years ago, I would have done what my female ancestors did, sewing.  My great grandmother, Catherine Sandman, was a seamstress in Philadelphia, as was her daughter, my grandmother, Mabel, many years later.  That was how they supported themselves and their children after they were widowed.  My career, teaching, would not have been available to me had I lived at the time of the Little Old School Houses of South Jersey. 

One of my favorite spots to visit is the Clara Barton One-Room-School in Bordentown.  Quaint, evocative, and one of the first public school in the state, it was saved by a penny collection from school children.  I remember those little penny collections from when I was a child.  My church would send a little cardboard church shaped box and we would fill it with pennies for the missions overseas. 

In the time of Clara Barton's youth, children received their education at home, if they received any at all, or by subscription, if their parent's could afford it.  If they were lucky, there would be a charitable institution that would allow them to attend with the children of that religion, usually Quaker, correctly identified as The Society of Friends. 

Clara Barton was hired to teach in a subscription school in Bordentown.  She convinced the town to educate all the children whether their parents could pay tuition or not, and the school population swelled from a couple dozen to several hundred.  A superintendant of schools was hired over Clara Barton's head, and she left.  Most of you know where she went after that.  She took a job in Washington D.C. just in time for the Civil War.  Of course, then, she went on to found the Red Cross to help the wounded soldiers.

My favorite little school house is in Greenwich.  Next time I post, I'll round up a photo of that little stone building which was donated to the community by a local patron.  Having taken school house tours, I have been lucky enough to see inside both the Greenwich One Room School House, and the historic one in the town where I lived in my teens, Maple Shade, NJ as well as two dozen or more others. 

It is my personal opinion that one of the things that makes America great is that we educate all the people, however effectively or evenly or consistently, the point is that we make that intention and one way or another, we follow through with it.  As for why we don't 'score' with the other industrial nations, having lived abroad, I would say the main reason is that our school systems are laboring under uneven spending and a constantly fluctuating flow of migrating peoples from all over the world as well as from different regions of our own nation.  Nonetheless, we try, and when you realize how recent laws enacting universal education actually are, it's a miracle we do as well as we do. 

Can you guess with the little school house to the left of this blog entry is located?  The building still stands and is in good condition as of January 2011.  It is also used in the community for different functions. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wow! Guessed in less than 24 hours!

Well, I'm surpised and delighted that mystery house #6 has been guessed in less than 24 hours!  Here is part of the text of the guessing msg.

"While I have known the identity of every one of your mystery photos, I just can’t help but respond to your latest image. This, of course, is the Benjamin Cooper House, located at Point and Erie streets at Coopers Point, North Camden. For many years this house served as a tavern called the “Old Yellow House” and, later, the “Old Stone Jug.” The construction of the house strongly suggests that Benjamin Cooper built it with a tavern in mind for the ferry that operated nearby. The house contains fifteen rooms and once featured a wide veranda along its fa├žade, facing the Delaware River. The application for a tavern license renewal sent to the Gloucester County Court in 1739 stated:

That Benjamin Cooper of sd County Yeoman has made a wharf & Built a house on the side of the River Delaware opposite Philada and Intends to keep a ffery from sd house to Philada and the keeping of a ffery your honours very well know Renders it Necessary the sd Benjm Should keep a public house or house of Entertainment at sd house or the house he now lives in; and sd Benjm is a man of Credit & Estate.

The house served as a headquarters for British General Abercrombie during the American War for Independence as a guard outpost while General Howe’s forces occupied Philadelphia.

During the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, the old house served as an office building for a variety of shipyards that occupied the surrounding land, including the famous John H. Mathis yard.

Although Isaac Mickle states in his work, Reminiscences of Old Gloucester County that William Cooper’s original house washed into the Delaware during a high flood tide, documentary evidence and an actual physical examination of this house and its underpinnings confirm that Benjamin incorporated what remained of William Cooper’s house from the 1680s into this extant structure."

Thank you and congratulations to Jerseyman.  I'm going to have to try harder, dig deeper, go outside the box to find a historic site that will boggle you!  I may have to go for a cemetary or something.  Jerseyman, you make blogging fun! 

3 Posts - #1Mystery solved. #2PhotoDataBaseGCHS #3 Whitall descendant

Mystery Site Identified
Today, Friday, January 7, 2011, I received an e-mail from Bill Woodall who has guessed the mystery site. 

"Mystery site #5 is the Lower Alloways Creek Friends Meeting,
vintage 1756, expanded to two stories in 1784.
I am the technical advisor and cartographer for
http://www.njchurchscape.com/ - a photographic database of New
Jersey's historic churches."

Bill has asked if anyone has any information on a church posted on his site:
http://www.njchurchscape.com/assistance%20please.html
Thank you for visiting, Bill, and congratulations on guessing the mystery site!

Volunteering at Gloucester County Historical Society
Yesterday, Thursday, the 6th, was my first day volunteering at GCHS in Woodbury on 17 Hunter St.
Naturally, I've visited there on many occasions both to see new exhibits at the museum and to attend workshops or lectures at the library, which is renowned as one of the finest family history resources in South Jersey.  Needless to say, as is the case with many historic sites, a lot of work is done on, what their sign in the entrance way calls "Volunteer Time" and I am happy to give something back to the genealogical and historical societies.  At two of the places where I volunteer, I am a docent, talking and walking.  At this one, I'll be working behind the scenes, scanning photographs and doing data entry.  I believe in giving something back, and it will also give me a chance to get to know the 'holdings' better. 

The folder I worked on yesterday was the Glassboro Glass Works, in particular the Whitney buildings, a great many of the photographs donated by the Stanger family.  I can tell already I'm going to like this job - those photographs speak to me. 

In past blogs I may have mentioned that along with a passion for history and historic sites, I've become an avid genealogy seeker, which is how I got to know the folks at GCHS.  At their library, I found a great deal of useful information on my family names in New Jersey, in the Turnersville, Gloucester County area, Garwood and Cheesman.  The people at GCHS are gracious and knowledgeable and it is a pleasure to get to know them better as well. 

Before I started this blog, I had taken a trip to the State Archives with GCHS.  They say another one is planned, so when that happens, I'll be sure to blog it.  Also, if anyone out there has Italian ancestry.  I believe they have a lecture on that coming up.  Call 856-745-4771.

I've heard from a lot of interesting people, including Russ Worthington, a descendant of the Whitall family. He requests info in the form of family stories from anyone who might know.  I'll post the links above and his link today. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Library of Congress Photographs

If you like historic houses, you should visit the Library of Congress site.  Go to http://loc.gov/ and on the right hand side, choose American Memory, Go, and you'll find the Historic Archicture Building Survey photographs of historic places.  The mystery site of the week is from that collection.  It is fascinating to see the pictures taken of places during the WPA historic building survey, in the 1930's, and compare them with the pictures of the same places today.  You can also access through http://memory.loc.gov/ and search by place.  Pick N then next and go to New Jersey and find the city you'd like to explore.  You can spend hours at it!  Enjoy! 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Paulsdale, Hooten Road, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

On January 11, 1884, a woman was born in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, who would rock the world.  Her name was Alice Paul, and she not only wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, she was the most militant and dedicated of generations of women's rights activitists, who finally got the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, so American women could legally vote at last.  In college, in England, Alice Paul learned from the British activists, far more militant tactics than the American suffragists were employing. Alice Paul formed a new women's political party and then organized, marched, picketed, was arrested many times, imprisoned, and went on hunger strikes.  She organized a 5,000 woman march on the White House on the day of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration and made the battle for the vote personal by holding the administration in power responsible for denying American female citizens the right to vote.  Alice Paul had a doctorate and three law degrees in a time not many women were able to go to college.

Paulsdale is a beautiful, three story, Georgian Revival farm house built in 1800 by Benjamin Hooten.  The Paul family, Hicksite Quakers, moved into the house shortly thereafter and it remained in the Paul family until the death of Alice Paul's brother, William, in 1958.  Hicksite Quakers practiced a life of simplicity, and believed in living in harmony with nature, out of the bustle of the commercial world.  The next family, the Feyerherms, who lived in the house from 1960, agreed to sell the house to a group called the Alice Paul Cenntennial Foundation, headed by Barbara Irvine.  This band of dedicated activists, who were originally organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alice Paul's birth, held fundraisers featuring notables such as astronaut Sally Ride, and politician Shirley Chisholm, to name just a few, and mounted an effort to save the property when it was in danger of being bought by real estate developers in the 1980's.  Eventually, with the help of several banks, a loan sufficient to the task was granted. 

About two years ago, in August,the the mortgage was burned in effigy on the lawn on Women's Equality.
As a volunteer at the Paulsdale research library, on the third floor of Paulsdale, it was my great pleasure to attend the ceremony.  An event is held at Paulsdale every year on Women's Equality Day.  One of the featured speakers this past August, Mary Walton, has written an excellent new book called A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot which you can buy on the internet for as low as $12.99.  Mine was purchased at Paulsdale at the book signing and joins a growing shelf of signed first editions on New Jersey historic places.

You can call Paulsdale to arrange a tour.  This past summer, I helped my fifteen year old nephew with his sophmore year, American history, summer research paper and I can attest to the fact that one of the pieces he wrote (his paper covered a dozen local history sites) featured Paulsdale and helped earn him an A.  That day, we had also visited the grave of Peter J. Maguire, of Labor Day history, and many other fascinating local history sites, but that will be for another day! 

In the meantime, Happy Birthday Alice, and Thank You!