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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Don't Miss It! Upcoming Events.......

I have been waiting for years for this lecture "Quaker History in New Jersey" including Gloucester, Burlington & Salem Counties will be presented at the Gloucester County Historical Society Library on 17 Hunter Street in Woodbury on September 22, Saturday, at 9:00 a.m.  You must call to reserve a spot as space is limited - 856-845-4771.
I have already reserved my spot and paid my $10 member fee to attend.  As a docent at the Whitall House and a devoted seeker after South Jersey History, this is a wonderful opportunity because as we all know, from Fenwick to Whitall and Wharton and many influential families in between, the Quakers were an early and powerful force in New Jersey history.  Many of you have probably read Jerseyman's blog on the Quaker Meeting Houses that grace the main streets of so many of our historic towns from Burlington to Greenwich.  Find out more about these founding settlers.  Christopher Densmore, curator of the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore, Pa. will give the talk.

If you missed Part 1 of the Quilt show at the Jesssup-Lawrence House in Woodbury, there is still time to take it in before Part 2 begins in late September.  The show was marvelous, filled with local color and history.  To add to your knowledge and enjoyment there will be a talk "Run Faredy Run" Quilt Squares with a story at the Gloucester County Historical Society Library at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  Kathleen Lindsey, Historian and Author, will give the talk which will include a tour of the Museum Quilt Exhibit following the presentation.  You can be sure I'll be there!  Hope you will too!

In my next blog, I will pose a mystery "What is this object?"  Today was a day of many discoveries and soon, I will add some interesting photographs from this marvelous day in South Jersey.  I was grateful and delighted to meet a kind man at Shellpile who opened the door to the South Port Norris One- Room School in Shellpile.  I have visited this building and taken many photos but never got lucky enough to be invited inside before.  Folks down there on the bayside are very friendly and generous with their time.  Coming soon - mystery object Shellpile one-room school and a photo of a "Dame" School, one of the two one-room schools I visited today!  Tune in again in a couple of days.  Also, I'll add info on a Swedish Settlers Homestead I found today too!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SAVED-Murphy's Book Loft in Mullica Hill

One of my best finds at Murphy's Book Loft , in Mullica Hill, NJ, was an original copy of Bert Nixdorf's book on bicycle trails in NJ.  At the time, I was very interested in the history of the Outdoor Club of South Jersey and Bert Nixdorf was a founder of that group which has made it possible for many thousands to enjoy the New Jersey pinelands over the years.  Bert has passed away in the last year or so.  There was a memorial on the Outdoor Club's home-page.
As my interests evolved, I was able to purchase excellent books on the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and one of my all-time  favorite magazines, South Jersey Magazine, which stopped being printed in the early 1980's.  Anyone interested in South Jersey history would find back copies of that magazine an invaluable resource.  Also, I've taken many friends there to buy novels and other kinds of books, prints, old copies of magazines (such as the month of a birthday) and sheet music - they have EVERYTHING!
So it was with a heavy heart that I heard, some months back, that the owner was closing down and retiring to West Virginia, .  She said they would be gone by June.  In early June, I stopped by twice, once with a brother looking for novels and again with another friend and we found out that a miracle had ocurred and the owner's grandson was going to take over and update the business.
In the South Jersey section of the Inquirer, Tues. Aug. 2, there is an article about the changes that will take place at Murphy's Book Loft.  It will also house antique shops.  The article mentioned "streetscape improvements"  in Mullica Hill and how the by-pass has fixed some traffic problems in the town. 
I love that main street, especially around the holidays.  It is a Christmas treat  that boosts your holiday spirit, and I've found many inexpensive, charming, and unique gifts there over the years.
I hope to see you there having lunch or tea or shopping for books or antiques one day - Fall is especially charming in Mullica Hill.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Compton House, Mauricetown Historical Society

August 6, 2012 Monday
Yesterday, Sunday the 5th, Barb Solem (docent at Atsion and author of Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the NJ Pinebarrens) and I visited Mauricetown to take a tour of one of the lovely Victorian houses there.  As I understand it, the businessmen in the oyster industry lived in Port Norris, the ship captains lived in Mauricetown, and the builders lived in Dividing Creek, Leesburg and other towns on the Maurice River.
I have been to Mauricetown to look around before.  There is a very nice little park on the river with a historic marker and picnic tables if you want to stop at the WAWA  (on New Stage Road just after 55 turns into 347 and before you drive over the Mauricetown bypass), you can buy sandwiches and have a nice picnic.  Then you can walk around the 6 or 8 small streets lined with venerable old trees and simply beautiful Victorian homes, many of which have historic  markers giving the names of the captains who lived in them and the dates.  The Compton House is the home of the Mauricetown Hsitorical Society, a warm and welcoming group of people who gave us a fascinating tour of their house and the stack house out back as well. 
The Compton House is open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.  I especially enjoyed the marine paintings and wish to take up making paintings of ships myself some time soon.  The furnishings are lovely and you get a  real feel for the house as it must have been.  Many rooms have interesting displays featuring photos of residents such as in the school room. 
As we left, we were warmly encouraged to "Come back and see us again."  And I assured the volunteer docents that I would most certainly be doing that.
History people, in my experience, are generous, knowledgeable, hospitable and kind.