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, March 29, 2013


I'm sorry to my readers.  I have great new photos but the new design of the blogspot has me baffled.  I can't seem to find a way to add the pictures anymore.  I've been struggling with it for a couple of weeks, but haven't resolved the problem yet.  I have photos of Duffy's and Timber Creek.

My next post will be on honey!  Meanwhile I will continue to try to figure out how to put in a picture with the new format of blogspot - the host. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FamilyHistory on the curb & SLims

I've been asking around about Slim's Ranch without too much success lately.  I did meet a fellow dog walker who said the original ranch was up on the 1/2 mile jogging track and that there was nothing left but an access road and some telephone poles.  I wonder who Slim was and how long they operated that Ranch before it became Timber Creek Park?  I'll keep asking around.

A few days ago, as my sister was driving home from work, she saw a couple of women taking furnishings from a house and putting them on the curb.  She stopped and asked if they minded if she took some things, which they did not as it was all put out for the trash.  She found a treasure trove of family photos and documents which she brought to their attention, but ehey said they didn't want them.  It was their grandmother's stuff and they were clearing out her house.

Those photos and documents told such an interesting story about Italian immigration in the early 20th century.  There was the family in the old homestead in Italy, the passport of the patriarch, Domenico Cutrufollo, 1917, and World War II papers and letters for Joseph and Vera, the photos showed the family in their tenement garden in the Bronx, from which they finally moved to NJ.  There were the grandmothers, the aunts and uncles and a young beautiful pair of sisters, one of whom must have become a ballroom dancer because there was a photo of her in a ball gown and long sleeved gloves, and a box from Bonwits with those very same gloves loving preserved in tissue.  Maybe she is the one who became the grandmother.

I'm going to try to find a home for these items.  First I'll try through my volunteer work at Glo. Co. Hist. Soc. Library, they may know of a place with a focus on early Italian immigration to NJ, then I'll try a little museum I just read about in the Courier that has opened in Glassboro. 

Any ideas?  contact me at jwright45@yahoo.com

The grandmother held on to these treasures for a hundred years or more.  I hope I can find a safe home for them.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mullica Hill, Dufffy's Chocolates & More - Easter

Easter is just around the corner and yesterday I found out my daughter is coming home to visit.  She is 29 and a vegan, so I was perplexed about what to put in her Easter Basket.  I know she likes vintage and antique things so I went to Mullica Hill to solve my dilemma of what to put in an Easter basket when you can't use chocolate or dairy.  The first shop I stopped in had the perfect solution, lovely, shaped, perfumcd soaps, one of which was a large molded white cat "The Sophisticat" which takes the place of the white chocolate bunny of my daughter's childhood.  Next, I crossed the street to the Red Mill Antiques and right inside the door I found a charming basket with a large cranberry colored sash on the wooden lid!  Next I found an adorable old tin with rabbits on it and some tiny china rabbits to put in it with Easter grass and I was all set.

Mulica Hill will host an Antique Street Fair from 10 - 5 on April 27th with the 28th as a rain date.  www.mullicahill.com and 856-881-6800 for questions or to reserve a table.

Still, I have other relatives who do eat chocolate, in particular a nephew, so on the day of the big snow, Monday 3/24/13, I took advantage of the bad weather to go to Duffy's Chocolates in Gloucester City, on Broadway.  Generally at Easter there will be a line stretching to the door, but since the weather was so forbidding, I was only the second customer in line.  Duffy's has been in business most of the 20th century and now the 21st.  It is a tradition for many who live within the area to buy great chocolate there as well as Irish potatoes.  It is a family owned business and the chocolates are handmade.  It isn't too late - if you need something special for a hostess gift or to put in that Easter basket, head over to Duffy's and enjoy the fragrance as you walk in the door! 

A tv note:  It is nice when what you read and what you watch on tv get in sync with the holidays.  I've enjoyed The Bible on History Channel ( a little hokey but perfect to get in the mind set of the season) and The Vikings, too.  Also, there was an excellent documentary on Jamestown which teams up nicely with a wonderful book I'm reading by Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years, which deals with that same period in Colonial American History 1600-1675.  I plan to get one or two of his other books and will do a book review column as soon as I finish this one. 

Happy Easter and Happy Spring (if it ever arrives). 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cowboy New Jersey, Slim's Ranch Mystery

Well, I thought I had seen the last snow of this winter at Goshen Pond a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday, walking at the Timber Creek Dog Park, the snow fell again, however it only lasted in the air and never covered the ground.  So far, I have been unable to find any history on Slim's Ranch, which is what stood on this property before it became Timber Creek Park, though I found a web site with lovely photographs of Timber Creek Park and an interesting detail in regard to the name "Slim" which, according to the web site, the link for which I will add at the end of this paragraph, is the title for a livestock worker on a farm.  https://yummygal.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/timber-creek-park/

If, like me, you were a child, a girl child in particular, of the 1950's, you probably remember Sally Star.  She passed away in January and her funeral arrangements were held in Berlin, NJ.  Sally Starr had been inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame.  I saw Sally Star speak at a Paulsdale event a couple of years ago and I can attest that she was still sharp witted and beautiful in her late eighty's, though she seemed tired and she was forced to use a wheelchair to get around.  When I was growing up, you didn't see many women in the popular entertainment of the day, plenty of cowboys, but few cowgirls, you'd have thought taming the Wild West was an all male event.  There was, of course, Dale Evans, and these feisty women were an inspiration for me as a little girl. 

It seems as though New Jersey has a little bit of everything, but the cowboy history is an interesting mystery.  I'm afraid I haven't been to Cowtown yet, so I can't speak on that, but I know there were many horse farms and riding was a great recreation through the 1960's, according to my friends, many of whom remember learning how to ride horseback in their teens in that time.    I was unable to find any history on Slim's Ranch and if anyone out there knows anything, I'd be interested to hear about it.  wrightj45@yahoo.com.  Meanwhile, I'll contact some friends and see if I can find out more.  See you on the trails!  Jo Ann

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Favorite Woods and Trails

By the way, the tally for the favorite woods and trails so far puts Parvin State Park in the lead with Atsion second and my persoal favorite, Pakin Pond, in third with reminders that Whitesbog is a great hiking spot and Batsto.  If you wish to add others e-mail me at wrightj45@yahoo.com

The Last Snow of the Year 2013

I hope my historic place readers will forgive me that I've been more in the woods lately than in historic houses, but when you get down to it, there is no more historic site than the forest! 

Yesterday, two friends and I celebrated a birthday with two hikes in the woods.  First we hiked at Goshen Pond and I took many pictures; unfortunately my digital camera broke last week and I had to use a one-time-use recycleable camera.  Yes, they do still exist. 

The woods were indescribably beautiful because it was a wet snow and it clung to everything turning nets of briars into lace and outlining every black tree trunk and limb in white.  All the paths were snow covered though the roads were a nasty ochre brown mud that splashed up behind your shoes onto your pants' bottoms.  Nonetheless, regular woods hikers come prepared:  We wear outer pants (in my case and one other friend's - ski pants!) and we bring extra socks and shoes to change into.  After an hour in the snowy wonderland, we headed to La Campagnola Restaurant for the birthday lunch, Barbara Solem's birthday.

La Campangola Restaurant & Bar
439 Oakshade Road, Shamong, NJ, 08088
+1 609 268 0600Reservations:
+1 609 268 0600 Telephone:
+1 609 654 4260Catering:

We had a delicious stick-to-your ribs- lunch of pasta and tomato sauce , then, rested and refreshed, we headed back out to hike the orange trail.  On the way home, at the end of the day, the rain had already erased the snow from the fields and rooftops.   So I am especially happy that I was outside and enjoyed the last snow while it was hear and before it was defeated by the Lamb of Spring.  Now, this morning, Saturday, March  9, it feels like spring has arrived, with a bright and powerful sun shining and rising temperatures.

Tomorrow is Lines on the Pines at Frog Rock Country Club.  This year, I won't be presenting, I'll just be visiting.  Here is a link if you think you might like to drop in and see paintings, beautiful pinelands crafts, hear music, or talk to authors who have written books about the Pines or who maintain internet web sites such as the "ghosttowns" site and PineyPower. 

AS for why I won't be presenting this year - I'm focussing more on hiking and my new vegan diet and taking time off from my formerly very busy schedule.  It is a more meditative time for me and less active (well more walking less talking).  Hope to see you at Lines On the Pines!  And if not there, perhaps we'll cross paths on one of the woodland trails.  Best part of hiking in winter, aside from the beauty is that there are no ticks or chiggers.  Soon, I'll have to buy Frontline for my new dog Trixie and Off for myself.  Trixie, by the way, has that magical dog ability to find a trail even in the snow.  She was ahead of us the whole way, both going in and coming out and she never missed the turns at forks or intersecting trails.  She is a great hiking buddy.