Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, encouraging participation, and networking.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

History on Your Hometown Corner and a movie sparks a memory: Log Houses

1.  Today, I went to my bank, Bank of America, on the corner of Monmouth and Broadway in Gloucester City, NJ.  I have gone to a bank on this corner for decades, and for a decade or two before that, on the other corner of the intersection.  The names of the banks of changed several times over the years.  I went there because I taught school in Gloucester City, and back in the old days, we had paper checks that we cashed at the bank and deposited to our accounts.  Now, don't misunderstand me, I have no regret over direct deposit.  I LOVE IT!  And I adore ATM.  I cannot tell you how many times I was somewhere away from home and out of cash after bank hours, like at the seashore.  These improvements have vastly improved my banking experience.

Anyhow, today, while I was transacting business with the accounts manager, he mentioned that there had been an old school on the corner before the bank was built.  I remembered the old neighborhood schools, the Broadway School, the Highland Park School and my personal favorite, the Brown Street School, but the Monmouth Street School burned down before I graduated from high school.  It burned in 1960.  The accounts manager was kind enough to find a photo of the old school for me.  The photos he gave me had originally been part of a "Then and Now" Series in the Courier Post.

2.  Last night I was watching an old favorite movie of mine, The Last of the Mohicans, which has made me cry for about 50 years or more.  The author of the book, James Fennimore Cooper, lived at 457 High St. in Burlington City, NJ, and I have visited his home which is a museum many times over the years.  It is also adjacent to the Capt. James Lawrence House.  To visit either of these houses or the fascinating Burlington City Historical Museum housed in the Corson Poley Library behind the houses, go to this website:
http://www.burlingtoncountyhistoricalsociety.org/index.php/plan-your-visit/

or call
All my life, possibly as a result of loving Lincoln Logs, I have had a passion for log houses and have written several blog entries
A number of films have been based on the lengthy book, making various cuts, compressions, and changes. The American adaptations include:
on that subject.  I have written about the one in Swedesboro, NJ, the one at Greenwich, NJ and I believe I wrote about Daniel Boone's homestead which had a very primitive and interesting water driven log mill.  I know I wrote about the oldest Finnish log cabin in the world which is owned by the Rank family off Swedesboro Rd, near Mickleton, NJ.  

What I may not have mentioned is that I was fortunate enough to find a fascinating study of log house in America called THE LOG CABIN IN AMERICA. from Pioneer Days to the Present by C. A. Weslager.  It almost made me miss the end of the movie because I got so caught up in reading the chapter on Southern NJ log cabins.  The Rank Log Cabin used to be called he oldest Swedish log cabin in America until it was discovered that the type of notching for the connection of the logs was a Finnish tradition, not a Swedish style.  The settlement of the Finns is a  long forgotten fact of South Jersey history.  Since Finns have a tradition of burning old cabins when they build new ones, there are few really old cabins of Finnish construction left in the world. 

For more on that topic, check out this site on the Nothnagle Log Cabin:
http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2014/10/six_things_you_might_not_know_about_the_oldest_log_cabin_in_the_united_states_new_jerseys_nothnagle.html
 Nothnagle Cabin

Today I dried my tears over the death of the two youngest characters in The Last of the Mohicans and threw off my sorrow by hiking around Pakim Pond twice, so beautiful and visiting the cabins.  I thought I might like to rent one for my birthday, but no dogs allowed, so NO.
Happy Trails!
Jo Ann

ps.  Here is movie info on the Last of the Mohcans
A number of films have been based on the lengthy book, making various cuts, compressions, and changes. The American adaptations include:


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