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Archive for new jersey

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.

An Upgrade for the Pine Barrens

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s Pine Barrens is an expanse of coastal plain in the southern part of the state. It’s long been recognized as a state scenic byway and now has been federally designated a national scenic byway. The 130-mile route contains multiple wildlife refuges, reserves, forests, parks, rivers and streams as well as historic villages. It extends from Batsto and Tuckerton in the north to Dennisville and Port Elizabeth in the south. Just under an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, the byway features some of the most extensive, unbroken forests remaining in the northeastern United States. Motorists, cyclists and walkers will benefit from an interactive map developed by the Pinelands Commission.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Dismal Swamp

By Linda Tancs

Legend has it that New Jersey’s Dismal Swamp got its name from nearby Dismal Brook. That may be true, but don’t let the dreary name deceive you. It’s actually a wildlife preserve spanning parts of suburban Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield, one of the last remaining wetlands in a highly urbanized environment. Designated a “priority wetland” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it also features upland deciduous forests with mature trees and more than 165 bird species like green herons, yellow-billed cuckoos, eastern phoebes and songbirds. That’s far from dismal, which is why the name of the preserve was recently changed to the Peter J. Barnes III Wildlife Preserve. It’s been renamed to honor an elected official who helped form the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission to save the wetlands.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Zoo Down the Jersey Shore

By Linda Tancs

Visitors to Cape May County, New Jersey, flock to its famous shores. But there’s a different sort of flock worth seeing, like bison and bongo, oryx and ibis. These are just a few of the animals at Cape May County Park & Zoo at Cape May Court House, New Jersey. The grounds boast 85 acres hosting about 550 animals representing more than 250 species. Open year round except Christmas Day, entry is free. For some special, behind-the-scenes access, you can opt to pay for a camel, giraffe or reptile encounter or a private, guided tour of the facility.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Tallest Waterfall

By Linda Tancs

It might not be the best known, but New Jersey’s Buttermilk Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state at around 90 feet. Located in Walpack Township, it benefits from being close to a viewpoint parking lot, so you needn’t even leave your car to get a good view. Part of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, it includes the the Buttermilk Falls Trail, which begins with a climb to the top of the falls and an eventual connection to the Appalachian Trail.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage

By Linda Tancs

A key attraction along New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage Trail, Cape May Point State Park is a respite from the bustling beach scene in Cape May. Home to Cape May Lighthouse, it’s also a well-known birding destination, especially in the fall during the premier hawk migration season.  Several blazed trails lead visitors to various pond, coastal dune, marsh and forest habitats of the park where wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms. If you’re able, climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the scenic Cape May peninsula. The park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Church of the Presidents

By Linda Tancs

Once a summer retreat for the nation’s elite, Long Branch, New Jersey, also boasts a chapel visited by no less than seven U.S. presidents. Known as the Church of the Presidents, the 1879 structure marries Greek revival and Gothic architecture. Now a deconsecrated house of worship, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and located a block from the beach.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s High Point

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s highest point is 1,803 feet above sea level. You can capture the panoramic view from that vantage point at High Point Monument in High Point State Park. What awaits you at the tower are farmland and forest, soft hills and lush valleys in three states, punctuated by the Delaware River. The park is no less spectacular. After all, the landscaping was conceived by the sons of Frederick Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park. The park is located 7 miles north of the town of Sussex.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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