What wonderful weather for hiking! However, I must say it is time to SPRAY!
Yesterday, a friend, Barbara Spector and I and, of course, Trixie, hiked at Estell Manor in Atlantic County. We stopped at Wawa for lunch supplies for a picnic at Lake Lenape near Mays Landing. I would love to know more about the abandoned mill there, and even more, to explore it!
Estell Manor was wonderful. We stopped to look at Stephen's Creek from the boardwalk trail which was heavily damaged in the super storm and is in the process of being repaired.
We were very happy to see a big Birthday Party in the large group area in the parking section of the entrance. What a great way for a big family to have a party and a reunion at the same time. The kids were delirious with joy and the parents were grilling and chilling and it made us happy to see them.
Lots of people were on the trails that day, bicycling and hiking. That's always gratifying.
For info on camping at Lake Lenape call 609-625-8219. For general Atlantic County Parks info go to www.aclink.org/PARKS
Today, I'm off to the Trenton State Archives, with Barbara Solem, my other hiking buddy, to do some research on my family history. On my mother's side, there is a long trail back to New Jersey from Philadelphia, where I was born. The names associated with my mother's ancestry are Cheesman, Garwood, and Jaggard - all very interesting and prominent families in the Blackwood, Turnersville, Timber Creek area.
My search started at the Gloucester County Historical Society Library. Of course, it started years ago with my grandmothers, but then I was helped on immeasureably by ancestry.com, and a distant cousin on the Jaggard side who had done a lot of work already, and, next, hands on searches at Camden County Historical Society in Camden and GCHSL. I have graphed out two interesting trees and found lots of information, but I've been stalled for a couple of years at 'lost links' spots on both sides - William C. Garwood on my mother's side. He married Rachel Ann Cheesman and made the Cheesman Garwood link, and the Wrights of Indiana on my father's side. But like the tides, the interest comes and goes. William C. Garwood (the eldest of two of the same name, grandfather and grandson) was a schoolteacher at Turnersville, and a postmaster at Blackwood.
Meanwhile, I hike and the woods restore my spirit! Spots I love at Estell are the Smith/Ireland cemetery (with brand new imposing wrought iron fencing) and the ruins of the Belcoville plant of 1917, and always, the glimmer of Stephen's Creek wherever I see it along the trail.
Happy Trails! Jo Ann