Historic Places in South Jersey

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

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fort Mott and the Russians?

Two fellow 55 State Parks hikers and I, along with Blizzard the intrepid hiking Lab from West Virginia, visited Fort Mott, Finn's Point and Hancock House this week. We visited all three on Thursday, then re-visited Fort Mott and Finn's Point Cemetery with another ADventure Passport pal on Friday.
In conversation with several people in between times, I was asked by a couple of people if it was true that there were Russians buried at Finn's Point.
I said, of course, that I wasn't abolutely certain, but I thought not. My research had shown a couple of thousand Confederate soldiers who died at Fort Delaware and a couple of hundred Union soldiers, also serving at the Fort Delaware prison camp.
After pondering the question, I checked on the internet again to see if I had missed something and did find out that WWII German POW's were buried there. While disussing this mystery with my sister, she solved the puzzle by telling me that sometimes people get Hessians and Russions mixed up. Maybe when they heard about Germans, they thought of Hessians and thus the confusion.
My sister and I are very interested in Hessians as we have ancestors who came here (later than the Revolution) from Hessa Kassel, Germany.
I'm sure she's right and the similar sounds and the double ss's must have confused people.
What beautiful days to visit this historic sites.
And on Saturday, we capped it off with a hike around Red Bank Battlefield to watch the sun go down over the vast and gorgeous Delaware River.
Happy Trails! Jo Ann

Saturday, March 24, 2012


So far, we have vistited and gotten stamps for: 1.Allaire State Park, 2.Washington Crossing, 3.Barnegat Lighthouse, 4.Bass River, 5.Belleplaine, 6.Brendan Byrne, 7.Indian King Tavern, 8.Island Beach State Park, 9.Parvin, and 10.Wharton. Of course, I have visited many many other state parks, but these are the ones we officially visited and got posted in our Passport to Adventure booklets, which makes it all even more fun.
Barnegat was delightful. It was a cool, misty, magical day there. We hiked the nature trail and the concrete walkway on the shoreline. There were many stone circles set up along the beach, I believe, to celebrate the First Day of Spring, March 20th, the day before our visit. I went with my most regular State Park hiking companion, Barb Spector. We have both also joined up as volunteers at the Bayshore Discovery Project - she on the ship the A. J. Meerwald, and me in the Museum. Barb is also a tried and true volunteer for many animal rescue groups including Trap Neuter Release with Pet Savers.
We had a great time hiking in the misty foggy seashore. Off season is a wonderful time to visit the seashore.
The week before, I had the plesure to visit again, the USS New Jersey Battleship in Camden. A group of James and Ann Whitall House volunteers were escorted on a tour of the ship by a fellow volunteer docent who works at both historic sites, Bill Jubb. It is quite a work out going up and down the many levels on those narrow stairs but well worth it to re-visit that momentous period in American history.
This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending another in the Burlington County Historical Society Sunday Lecture Series. This one was on a genealogical mystery. The lecturer tied in her document search with details about the life of an ancestor who was a Civil War veteran of 3 battles, then a deserter sentenced to death, who was later released after efforts by his family and community members to contact President Lincoln on his behalf.
Putting the papers to the person and into the context of such a gripping tale made the family history journey come alive. I'm very much looking forward to the next lecture in April, on Civil War Women.
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More things to do and places to go in SJ History World!

Salem County Historical Society is hosting some interesting events:
Sunday March 11, 1:30 South Jersey & the Civil War - Myth and Reality, Friends Village, Woodstown
Thursday March 22, Best Practices Workshop, NJ State Museum, Regional Collections
May 5 - Annual Historic House Tour - Fenwick's Colony 10:00 a.m. tickets required (can be purchased on site or in advance) check out the website for more info and to corroborate!
Don't Forget Lines On the Pines on the 11th at the Frog Rock Golf and Country Club - I'll be at an author's table, stop by and say hi!
On Saturday, I'll be visiting the USS New Jersey, for the third time, but I understand the exhbits are new and each time you visit anything and have a different tour guide, you learn something new. Our tour guide is a docent at the Whitall House as well. I'm looking forwad to it.
Last weekend, I took the Bayshore Discovery Program volunteer training which was enlightening. We were served both breakfst and lunch and toured the A. J. Meerwald. Mainly, however, it was great to have an overview of all that is being done at this fascinating historic site. I'll be working at the museum, I hope, when I finish my training. This Friday is their 2nd Friday event which is TERRIFIC, so if you are free, go and you will have a fun time. There will be Irish music, and potato leek soup at the Clam Bar Cafe!
Maybe i'll see you there.