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Archive for new jersey

A Place for Notables in Trenton

By Linda Tancs

Trenton’s Riverview Cemetery is on a bluff overlooking the Delaware River. Founded in 1858, it’s filled with several prominent New Jerseyans of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including governors, senators and Civil War veterans. Famous families are also represented, like the Roebling clan. John Roebling designed New York’s Brooklyn Bridge; his nephew Washington went down with the Titanic in 1912. The cemetery is listed on both the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places.

The Palace of Depression

By Linda Tancs

As far as quirky tourist attractions go, the Palace of Depression in Vineland, New Jersey, fills the bill. As its name suggests, the structure was completed following the Great Depression triggered by the stock market crash of 1929. As the story goes, a grifter built a palatial residence out of mud, concrete and junkyard debris. After he landed in jail, the property eventually fell into disrepair and was razed by the city. Years later a group of locals decided to rebuild it consistent with old photos, using recycled materials and relying on public donations. Today’s version is a museum offering tours.

Surf’s Up in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Home to the New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Surf Museum is also one of the largest museums on the East Coast dedicated to surfing. Over 50 surfboards are on display, along with clothing, memorabilia and other information on surf culture. The venue is located at Tuckerton Seaport.

The Battle of Red Bank

By Linda Tancs

The Battle of Red Bank was a key conflict in the Revolutionary War, marking a victory for the Continental Army in their effort to prevent British and Hessian soldiers from capturing Fort Mercer. The site, Red Bank Battlefield, is a historic park located in National Park, New Jersey, along the waterfront of the Delaware River. An archaeological dig last year revealed the remains of Hessian soldiers as well as artifacts including a King George III gold guinea, which represented a soldier’s monthly payment. The park is also home to the James and Ann Whitall house. Built in 1748, the bustling plantation also served as a field hospital.

Wolf Watching in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Just minutes from the Delaware Water Gap, Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, New Jersey, is the only place of its kind in the state. Featuring educational tours and photography sessions, their guided excursions enable you to experience packs of British Columbian, Timber and Arctic wolves in natural surroundings. Bobcat, lynx and foxes also reside at the preserve. Online reservations are required.

A Legend in Princeton

By Linda Tancs

The boyhood home of Renaissance man Paul Robeson takes pride of place on Witherspoon Street in Princeton, New Jersey. Known appropriately enough as The Paul Robeson House of Princeton, the three-story, wood frame house is the place where the legendary actor, singer, activist, scholar, writer, law school graduate and athlete was born. The son of a former slave-turned-preacher, he remained in the home while his father served as pastor of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. The home’s executive board provides programs for individuals and organizations sharing Robeson’s commitment to advocacy and human rights.

The History of Rutherfurd Hall

By Linda Tancs

The design and occupancy of New Jersey’s Rutherfurd Hall is quite the pedigreed affair. One of the last extant country estates in the state, it was designed between 1903 and 1905 by famed New York architect Whitney Warren, whose firm won the contract to design New York City’s Grand Central Station. The original landscape design was created by the Olmsted brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York City’s Central Park. The property takes its name from the Rutherfurd family, who owned large tracts of land in New York and New Jersey, beginning with Walter Rutherfurd in the 18th century. He married the wealthy sister of Lord Stirling, a Scottish-American major general during the American Revolutionary War. The New Jersey property was ultimately built for descendant Winthrop Rutherfurd. Registered on both the national and state registers of historic places, the Tudor-style mansion in Allamuchy is open to tours by appointment only.

The King of Drakesville

By Linda Tancs

In what would become Drakesville, New Jersey (present-day Ledgewood), European settlers pioneered Morris County’s iron industry in the 1700s. The area was originally named for Abraham Drake, who owned a mill and a tavern. One of his grandsons, Jacob, later achieved prominence as a colonel of the western battalion of the Morris County militia during the Revolutionary War and as a member of the first New Jersey Legislature. Despite the Drakes’ fame, the local economy really prospered under the helm of Theodore King, who invested in mining, real estate and hotels and founded a steamboat company as Lake Hopatcong began to court tourists. The pioneering spirit of these early settlers is commemorated through rehabilitated buildings located at Drakesville Historic Park in the Ledgewood historic district of Roxbury Township. You’ll find the King Store there, flanked by the King Homestead as well as the Silas Riggs House, a so-called saltbox house because of its extended, rear sloping roofline reminiscent of the design of salt containers of colonial times.

Hoboken’s Chairman

By Linda Tancs

Frank Sinatra spent his formative years in Hoboken, New Jersey. The city’s most famous son, he was known by many nicknames, among them Old Blue Eyes, The Voice and Chairman of the Board. The chairman reference is arguably the most popular and stuck with him for life, a moniker that arose from his founding of Reprise Records in 1960. His legacy is celebrated at the Hoboken Historical Museum, which offers a Sinatra Walking Tour map. In addition to a plaque commemorating the former site of his childhood home (destroyed by fire), a tranquil walk awaits you along the waterfront at Sinatra Park. Start your tour at the museum at 1301 Hudson Street.

Art in Brick City

By Linda Tancs

Brick City is a nickname for Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, so-named reputedly for the tall, brick buildings that arose decades ago as affordable housing for the growing populace. Brick City Stories is a virtual place created by The Newark Museum of Art (the state’s largest museum) to connect with the local arts community. It’s one of many features offered by the museum, which houses a formidable collection of American art, decorative arts, contemporary art and arts of Asia, Africa, the Americas and the ancient world. Located on Washington Street, you’ll find ample programming for adults, educators, youth and families.

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