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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roebling&Ann'sDiaryOctober2011

I should be blogging once a week because that's how frequently I've been enjoying historic expeditions but because I've been so busy, my forays into the past have been falling further and further into the past.
Two good ones in the last two weeks were the Burlington County Historians' Roundtable at Roebling. I went with Loretta Kelly, the chief preservationist at White Hill in Fieldsboro and met up with Barb Solem, author of Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the NJ Pines and her friend Janet Jackson Gould. Ther were too many interesting notes from the meeting to list here, so I'll just cut to one I found very interesting, the Witmer Stone weekend at Camp Dark Waters
link for a good news report of the event -
http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_town/medford/celebration-honors-naturalist-and-his-year-old-work/article_9ff1e367-15b2-5cec-85db-21c0b092c861.html

I truly enjoyed the 15 minute film about the history of the Roebling Plant and the founder as well as the industrial utopian village he created.
It reminded me of my own father and the generation that found a lifetime of security with one company, a rare experience in today's economy.

Yesterday I went to Haverford College to the Special Collections and saw the original Ann Whitall Diary. Way back in the blogs, I think I mentioned that I've been transcribing from a typed copy onto the computer with the hope that at some time in the future Ann's diary will be published. The Director of the Special Collections, John Anderies and his colleagues prepared a banquet of documents for Ann fans, her marriage certificate from the Friends' Meeting, a log with her birth noted in it, as well as her diary and several other documents of interest. Also, I saw that back in the bicentennial year, another 'history detective' had transcribed her diary from the handwriting, beautiful and neat but small and very hard to read, into a typed form. We have a typed version at Gloucester County Historical Society Library as well as a phtocopied and bound version.
I feel as though I've gotten to know Ann a little better. I'll write more on her later as I have an idea to explore which is the transition of the members of the Society of Friends from its original revelatory spiritual base in England to the more business and success oriented model in the new world.
Today, I'm off to my 4th State Park expedition with friend Barb Spector. We are going to hike Bass River State Park with my dog Blizzard (dogs are allowed to hike but not to camp overnight).
I'll report back on that later. This park has special significance to me becaue of me interet in the CCC. More on that in the next edition.
Hope you are all out exploring this this best of all kinds of weather.