Like some adventure?

So do I! From discovering strange antiques to visiting historic sites - I love it all!

Where to?

Somerset County, Morris County... even Cape May County!

No Place is too Small...

What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!

Redcoats!

Not only do I like to write about history - I love covering events too!

This Place Matters

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

From historic figures to historic places...

I want to teach America just how significant New Jersey is!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 4/19/14 - 4/20/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
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Saturday, April 19 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Allaire Village's Easter Egg Hunt with 10,000 Eggs!
Children Friendly

Celebrate Easter at Allaire Village! On Saturday, from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, join us for an Allaire Village Easter Egg Hunt with 10,000 Eggs! Eggs will be hidden all over the village; the hunt begins after registration/check-in. Eggs are first-come, first serve. Activities will include the Grand Easter Egg Hunt, visits from the Easter Bunny, games, crafts, and more! Visitors are welcome to bring a homemade bonnet or make one at Allaire and participate in an Easter Bonnet contest! The Bonnet Parade will begin at 2:00 pm at the side of the General Store. Join us in this fun event for the entire family!

The Easter Egg Hunt is $5 per person, children under age 3 admitted free! Check-in begins at 11:30 am. Hunt begins at 12:00 noon! Pre-registration is recommended - to register call 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

The Historic Village at Allaire is located at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

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Saturday, April 19 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Henhouse Visits
Children Friendly

On Sunday, Howell Living History Farm will open its henhouse to children and other visitors who want to meet newly hatched chicks, collect eggs from nest boxes and learn how to candle and grade eggs from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

There is no charge to participate, but collectors will have the option of "paying" for their eggs by helping farmers grind feed.

Howell Living Farm represents typical farm life between 1890 and 1910. The farm is operated by the Mercer County Parks Commission. It is located at 70 Wooden's Lane, Lambertville, NJ. For more information. call 609-737-3299 or visit www.howellfarm.org.

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Saturday April 19 - Whippany, Morris County
Easter Bunny Express
Children Friendly

New Jersey's Original Easter Bunny Express celebrates its 22nd continuous year of operation in 2014. Celebrate the return of spring and the Easter holidays with a ride on the Whippany Railway Museum's Easter Bunny Express. Our Special Easter Train Ride ensures a fun outing for the kids...and the entire family.

During each excursion, the Easter Bunny makes his way through the train and visits with the children onboard. The  Bunny's helpers follow along, giving the kids a special Easter gift. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with the Easter Bunny, so they can always remember their day onboard the train! Our kid-friendly hobos and clowns will also be on each train to entertain the children with tricks and jokes.

The 10-mile, 45-minute round trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland and return is a thrill for the children as they enjoy what for many will be their very first train ride...and they can also learn about and experience the history of New Jersey's rich railroad and transportation heritage. Riders will have time onboard the train to enjoy the spring weather and the excitement during the ride.

The Whippany Railway Museum's Easter train is the original excursion of its type in the North Jersey area - since 1992 our Easter Trains have been complete sell-outs, and seeing the excited faces of the children as they climb aboard the train ensures an afternoon of family fun. Passengers can combine the thrill of riding our Springtime Streamliner along with touring the museum site, with its outstanding collection of historic railroad locomotives, rolling stock, operating model train layouts, and vintage farm tractors.

In addition to the regular coaches that make up the train, make your day Extra Special by purchasing limited tickets for a nostalgic Easter ride aboard the museum's elegant 1927-era Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) 'Club Car' Jersey Coast. The car has the look and feel of a private club with individual leather chairs, mahogany interior accented with stained glass, built-in tables and period ceiling fans. The Jersey Coast, recalls the 1930s when the CNJ operated its deluxe coach train, The Blue Comet, between Jersey City and Atlantic City, NJ. The striking, authentic exterior paint scheme of cream and blue reminds one of a comet streaking through space. It is the only car of its type operating in New Jersey.

So round up your family and friends and climb aboard for some great Easter fun and laughter! Ordering tickets is fast and easy! Trains depart at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm, rain, snow, or shine. The Whippany Railroad is located at 1 Railroad Plaza, at the Intersection of Route 10 West & Whippany Road in Whippany, NJ. Train fare: Adults: $14.00, Children (under 12): $9.00, Infants (1 year and under): Free.

To order tickets and for more information, visit www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net or call 973-887-8177. The Whippany Railway Museum, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Operating Heritage Railroad that is staffed by volunteers. Donations from the public help to keep the museum operational, but funds are still required to support this unique New Jersey treasure. Proceeds from the train rides further enhance the Museum's mission and its historic preservation efforts.

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Saturday - Sunday, April 19 - 20 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Walnford in Bloom
Children Friendly

The majestic redbud tree, rows of daffodils, and a variety of wildflowers offer a burst of color. Weather permitting, admire nature’s fresh attire this weekend while you picnic or fish by the creek, explore the historic buildings, and watch the mill in operation; Walnford offers something to delight all ages.   

While there, visit the large, elegant Walnford home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, 08501. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Saturday - Sunday, April 19 - 20 - Camden, Camden County
Battleship New Jersey
Children Friendly

Tour the Battleship! Open every day, including Easter Sunday, from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm. Climb inside the legendary 16-inch gun turret, check out the bridge, experience a simulated tomahawk missile launch in the Combat Engagement Center and learn how the crew lived aboard this floating city! Battleship New Jersey is located at 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ. For more information, call 856-966-1652 or visit www.battleshipnewjersey.org.

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Sunday, April 20 - Morristown, Morris County
Impact of War
Children Friendly

The American Revolution impacted the lives of both soldiers and civilians. Learn how the war impacted the lives of the various people staying in the Ford Mansion during the winter of 1779 - 1780 on a guided tour of the house. Program at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm at the Ford Mansion, within Morristown National Historical Park. Cost: $4 per adult. For more information, call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 or visit www.nps.gov/morr.

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Other sites open Easter Weekend:

*The New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium will be open on Saturday ONLY from 9:00 am - 4:45 pm. The museum is located at 205 State Street, Trenton, NJ. Suggested donation $5. For more information, call 609-292-6300 or visit www.state.nj.us/state/museum.

*Ringwood Manor in Ringwood State Park is open for public tours on Saturday and Sunday, starting every hour from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, with the exception of the 12:00 noon hour. Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ. For more information, call 973-962-7031 ext. 0 or visit www.ringwoodmanor.org.

*The Cape May Lighthouse will be open Saturday and Sunday. 215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May, NJ. Open 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Admission: $8 for adults; $3 for children (ages 3-12). For more information, visit www.capemaymac.org.

*The World War II Lookout Tower in Cape May will be open on Saturday and Sunday. 756 Sunset Blvd, Cape May, NJ. Open 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Admission: $6 for adults; one child (ages 3-12) FREE with paying adult; $3 each additional child; $2 for active and retired military (with valid ID). For more information, visit www.capemaymac.org.

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Sunday, April 20 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Easter Sunrise Service at Allaire

On Sunday at 6:00 am, Allaire Village, Inc. will be co-sponsoring an Easter Sunrise Service at the Allaire Chapel. The service will be held in the Historic Village Chapel. Admission is free (donations gladly accepted). The service will be co-sponsored by Rev. Steven Kengeter of the Pierce Memorial Presbyterian Church. This service is presented free of charge by Allaire Village Incorporated and the Churches of the Farmingdale-Howell Council of Churches. All are welcome to attend the service.

The Historic Village at Allaire is located at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

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Saturdays and Sundays through May 18 - Harrison Township, Gloucester County
Originals: 50 Years of Artistic Expressions

Creativity is the theme of the Harrison Township Historical Society’s newest exhibition at the Old Town Hall Museum entitled "Originals: 150 Years of Artistic Expression." The first floor gallery is filled with paintings, drawings, and folk art from the 19th and 20th centuries, all drawn from the Society’s rich holdings. The exhibition celebrates New Jersey’s 350th anniversary by focusing on the theme of innovation. Many of these works will be on view for the first time.

Folk art dominates the work from the 19th century. An album quilt from Richwood and a remarkable portfolio of sketches by Josiah B. Chester of Ewan, on exhibit for the first time, are highlights.

Twentieth century work includes paintings by Mullica Hill’s Paul Avis Colson, including a tri-partite screen that was recently restored and on exhibit for the first time. Also premiering is a landscape painted by Otto Rick, a German prisoner of war who worked on a farm in Richwood during World War II.

The exhibition is open Saturdays and Sundays, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, March 8 - May 18, 2014 (closed Easter Sunday and Mother's Day). Admission is free. Old Town Hall is located at the intersection of South Main Street and Woodstown Road in the heart of Mullica Hill’s Historic District. For more information, call 856-478-4949; or visit www.harrisonhistorical.com.

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Through June 30, 2014 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Got Work? Exhibit

View the exhibit "Got Work? New Deal/WPA in New Jersey" at the 1741 Cornelius Low House Museum in Piscataway. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday, 8:30 - 4:00 pm and Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The exhibit will run through June 30, 2014.

The Cornelius Low House, built in 1741, was the home to its namesake and is only one of two remaining buildings from historic Raritan Landing. This high-style Georgian mansion is listed on the National Register and operated by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Admission to the museum is FREE. The museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information, call 732-745-4177 or visit http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/culturalheritage.

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Through June 2014 - Morristown, Morris County
"Controversies: The More Things Change..." Exhibit


Currently on display at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is an exhibition about topics that helped shape our world. "Controversies: The More Things Change..." opens new territory for the Museum, presenting challenging subject matter that may not be suitable for casual dinner conversation. This new exhibit explores topics that helped shape our world through local history events which had national significance: medical experimentation, immigration, and the right to die.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." inspires people to consider, even reconsider, the ways in which they think about these important, frequently debated issues. The exhibit explores local history events which had national significance: the 1833 Antoine LeBlanc murder trial and public execution; the immigration issues of the late nineteenth century as depicted by political cartoonist Thomas Nast, a Morristown resident, and the 1976 Karen Ann Quinlan "right to die" case.

The museum is making a major departure in exhibit presentations with "Controversies."  Where most exhibits typically provide detailed information about the objects on view, "Controversies" offers limited information about the objects, essentially forcing personal thought, and inspiring discussion, about the areas represented.  Each object and concept in the exhibit represents a part of New Jersey's history - specifically Morris County's history. The ideas expressed through the historical objects in the exhibit, however, are not confined to New Jersey boundaries- the significant concerns raised by the important and controversial issues showcased in this exhibit continue to be debated throughout the United States and the world.

"We wanted to give our visitors a chance to participate in an exhibit in a new way - to have a reaction without being guided by the institution's interpretation of what the objects represent, which labels typically provide," said Executive Director Carrie Fellows. Instead, curator's books of supplementary information will be available within the exhibit, should the visitor want to learn more, drawn from primary sources like news articles, contemporary commentary, and images. Visitors are encouraged to leave comments about the themes presented.

The exhibition was inspired when Fellows and Ryan C. Hyman, the Museum's curator, heard Burt Logan, Executive Director of the Ohio Historical Society speak at a conference about the organization's groundbreaking "Controversy: Pieces You Don't Normally See" exhibit, and its sequel, "Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Normally Talk About". During his talk, Mr. Logan strongly encouraged other museums to adapt the concept and develop similar exhibits. Inspired by the presentation, Hyman and Fellows began discussing how they might create an exhibit using themes from the Morris area's rich history.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." will be on view during Museum touring hours through June 2014. Please note the subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. Visitor discretion advised. Recommended for visitors 12 years of age and older.

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. The Museum is open for house and exhibit tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The last tour leaves at 3:00 pm. Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free.  For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit www.maccullochhall.org. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ.

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Saturdays and Sundays through July 27, 2014 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
A Community's Journey: Our Place in New Jersey History

The Schoolhouse Museum's new exhibit, on display now through July 27, 2014 celebrates New Jersey's 350th anniversary. "A Community's Journey: Our Place in New Jersey's History" showcases the area's evolution over the last three centuries using the themes of liberty, innovation, and diversity.

The Liberty collection highlights uniforms and other war-time memorabilia while the Innovation collection chronicles the history of performing arts in the village including items from the Ridgewood Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, such as a silk wedding kimono worn by Yum Yum in the "Mikado." Also on display are items owned by Ridgewood magician Harry Rouclere. Especially noteworthy is the Diversity collection which tells the story of the African American, Jewish, Irish, and  Korean communities through personal artifacts.

The museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 1:00 - 3:00 and Sundays 2:00 - 4:00. The Schoolhouse Museum is located at 650 East Glen  Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ. For more information, call  201-447-3242  or visit www.ridgewoodhistoricalsociety.org.

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Through August, 2014 - Lyndhurst, Bergen County
Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys
Children Friendly

From a china-head doll to a Lionel train, several toys are on display at the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum as the Lyndhurst Historical Society recalls fun times with favorite toys. The new exhibit, "Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys," is open now through August 2014.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, though a small donation to the Society would be appreciated. The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum is open on the second and fourth Sundays of  every month from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. The Lyndhurst Historical Society was established in 1984 in an effort to preserve the 1893 schoolhouse, located at 400 Riverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ. For more information, call 201-804-2513 (leave a message) or visit www.lyndhursthistoricalsociety.org.

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Through Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Princeton, Mercer County
Micah Williams: Portrait Artist Exhibition

Traveling portrait artist and New Jersey resident Micah Williams (1782 - 1837) was a prolific artist who has 272 known existing works. His works are represented in many major museums and are highly sought after by folk art collectors. Yet, there has never been an exhibition dedicated solely to the work of Micah Williams. "Micah Williams: Portrait Artist," on loan to Morven from the Monmouth County Historical Association, tells a story about the new America of the 19th century. With over 40 portraits on view, visitors can come face-to-face with the state's nineteenth century farmers, orchard growers, militia officers, politicians, silversmiths, potters, carpenters, and their families.

The exhibition will also debut Morven's newest acquisition: a pastel portrait of Commodore Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866) completed by Micah Williams around 1821. Stockton was a third-generation resident of Morven, head the Pacific Fleet and a U.S. Senator. With this exhibition, the portrait makes its return to the walls at Morven. "Micah Williams: Portrait Artist" exhibition will be on display at Morven through September 14, 2014.

Morven Museum & Garden is a museum and public garden located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. A National Historic Landmark, Morven was the home to Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the former Governor's mansion of New Jersey. Public Hours: Wednesday - Friday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit www.morven.org.

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March 30, 2014 through October 26, 2014 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Be Prepared:  Scouts of Yesteryear
Children Friendly

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been a tradition in America for over a century. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is presenting a remarkable exhibit with scouting artifacts from over the decades. Numerous uniforms, merit badges, equipment, manuals, and accessories from the 1930’s on are on display.  

The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 North Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit www.rootsweb.com/~njgchs.

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Through February 13, 2015 - Madison, Morris County
The American Revolution in New Jersey
Children Friendly

New Jersey spent much of the American Revolution as a theater of war. A new exhibit at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, "The American Revolution in New Jersey: Where the Battlefront Meets the Homefront," explores the rarely told story of New Jersey's farmers, women, and tradesmen and their actions during the war. Topics discussed include the local civil wars that erupted between revolutionaries and loyalists, the multiple roles that women took on as their men went off to war, and how civilian life was affected by the regular presence of troops. The exhibit will be open until February 13, 2015. 

Regular Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children (ages 6 and older), and free for members and children under 6. Family maximum admission $13.00. The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in Madison, NJ just two blocks from the Madison train station. For more information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.


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Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 4/18/14 - 4/20/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
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Antique Furniture
89 Stevens Avenue 
Little Falls, NJ 07424
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday

Trunks & Other Collectibles
124 Garner Avenue
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Vintage Tools & More
178 Coppermine Road
Princeton Township, NJ 08540
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Looking for estate sales in your neighborhood? Visit www.estatesales.org
Proud sponsor of the Weekend Estate Sale listings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bog Iron in the Company Town of Allaire

Bog Iron in the Company Town of Allaire
Written by NJ Historian

Once a prosperous and important hub of industry, Allaire Village in Farmingdale, New Jersey was an early company town. Since the late-1950s, it has transformed into a well-known historical site, enthralling visitors from throughout the state and country and giving them the opportunity to experience this restored community first-hand by interacting with costumed interpreters representing townspeople performing daily chores and crafts or visiting with tradesmen such as blacksmiths and bakers.

The remains of the blast furnace at Allaire Village.
The area around Allaire Village included a sawmill and small iron forge in the eighteenth century. In 1813, the Monmouth Furnace was built, which would supply bog iron to many different industries in the young United States of America. Between 1813 and 1821, the title to Monmouth Furnace was transferred several times until it became the property of William Newbold. At that time, the property consisted of a dwelling house, fourteen or fifteen other houses, a furnace, saw mill, outhouses, and other outbuildings in addition to ore beds and water privileges. The property was rented to Benjamin B. Howell of Philadelphia. Mr. Howell garnered the interest of James Peter Allaire, a trained brass founder, in the property. In correspondence with Allaire, Howell indicated that there were four kinds of ore to be found on the property; stone, seed or shot, shell, and loom ore.

After inspection of the property, Allaire purchased the 5,000 acre tract in Monmouth County, which included the Monmouth Furnace, in 1822. Allaire, born July 12, 1785 in New Rochelle, New York, had found much success early in life. He was one of the leading steam engine manufacturers of his time. Between 1804 and 1806, he cast the brass air chamber for Robert Fulton's "Clermont" and in 1819 cast the cylinder for the "Savannah," the first American steamboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. By 1820, Allaire was producing over fifty percent of all marine engines manufactured in America. His need for raw materials, particularly iron, was increasing. The best quality pig iron was imported from Britain, but high tariffs made it impractical to use. Purchasing the Howell Furnace site was a logical choice, as it would produce pig iron (raw blocks or blocks of iron) and cast iron needed to meet demand.

James P. Allaire (1785 - 1858)
Between 1827 and 1830, between sixty and seventy brick buildings were built at Allaire, including a furnace. In just a few short years, Allaire transformed the Howell Works into an almost self-sufficient community, with its own housing and food supply for the workforce, a post office, school, and company store. At its height, over 400 were employed at the Howell Works - with duties ranging from skilled workers such as colliers, ore raisers, carpenters, fillers, furnace foreman, chief surveyor, master mason, and blacksmiths to unskilled laborers such as woodchoppers, firemen, charcoal carters, ware dressers, finishers, teamsters, stage drivers, brickmakers, store clerks, and gardeners. Many employees were housed in four sets of row homes built near the church and in an unmarried men's dormitory next to the mansion. A large number of workers were immigrants of western European descent. A canal approximately three miles long, was built to increase water power to the mills in the village by diverting water from nearby streams. It also functioned as a transportation route for ore in barges brought to the furnace from the fields of Farmingdale.

Interestingly, bog ore is a renewable resource when mined properly. Bog ore is produced when rain water leaches out humic and tannic acids and carbon dioxide, which is produced as a part of the natural life-cycle of microorganisms in the soil. After a period of twenty-five to thirty years, the chemical changes of the soil complete and the surface soil hardens into a sold mass. If the ore bed is left undeveloped and unpolluted, the beds can be mined indefinitely.

An early view of Howell Works, circa 1850s.
Allaire constructed many impressive buildings. In 1836, the ironworks consisted of a casting shed, bridge house, blast furnace, and wheelhouse (for machinery). The pig iron produced at Howell Works would be transported by wagons, carriages and carts to the steamship docks in Red Bank, New Jersey where it then made its way to the Allaire Works in New York City. There it would be remelted and used to make parts for steamships. However, not all iron left the premises. Most of the buildings at Howell Works had iron sills and lintels which were made on the premises.

In 1836, Allaire's wife, Frances Duncan, died at the age of thirty-two. Allaire remarried in 1846 and upon his death in 1858, left the majority of his estate to his second wife, Calicia Allaire Tompkins. After her death, the estate transferred to their only son, Hal. Hal Allaire left the property largely unchanged and lacked the funds to fully maintain it. As the abandoned buildings gradually fell into disrepair, the site became known locally as "Deserted Village."

The remains of the row houses, now part of the Visitor Center and Museum, July 12, 1936.
The property remained in the Allaire family until 1901. It was purchased by W. J. Harrison who sold it in 1907 to Arthur Brisbane, a Hearst newspaper editor and America's first syndicated newspaperman. Brisbane leased the Deserted Village to the Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts for twenty years. The Boy Scouts restored the General Store and the two remaining row houses, preventing further damage and decay. Brisbane sought to preserve the natural and cultural beauty of the site and after his death in 1936, his wife, Phoebe, donated the property totalling 1,200 acres, to the State of New Jersey to be used as a park in 1941 in his memory. From 1941 to 1957, most of the buildings sat unused and abandoned. In 1957, a group of local residents established an organization for the restoration and maintenance of the old Howell Works Company site, which they renamed Allaire Village. Since then, Allaire Village, Inc. has worked in conjunction with the State of New Jersey to operate, restore, and interpret the site to the 1830s period.


Here is a small sampling of some of the many buildings found at Allaire Village:

The Church
The southern half of the church building at Allaire was built in 1832 as a school and expanded in 1836 to become an Episcopal Church. Like most church structures, it also functioned as a community hall and school when services were not taking place. All of the children living at Howell Works were required to attend school up until the age of twelve, as per James P. Allaire. He was a strong believer in education and financed the cost of operating it. Many visitors wonder why the bell tower is located at the rear of the building rather than the front. Simply, it was built that way in 1836 because the original 1832 section could not support the weight of it. Rather than reframe the building, it was placed unconventionally at the rear. The building was restored in the 1930s by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

The Church at Allaire Village.
The General Store
The General Store is the tallest remaining structure at Allaire (it was once the third-largest during the site's heyday). This four-story building functioned as a retail and wholesale store, the largest in New Jersey, when it was built in 1835 at a cost of $7,000. A freight elevator was installed in the building. The store stocked local goods from the community but also brought in goods from New York City. The store's goods included meat, fish, and dairy products stored in the basement; hardware, flour, coffee, wine, liquor, groceries, ironware, and other goods on the ground floor; and a wide range of furniture on the second floor. The top floor held bulk items and was also used a storage area. The Store also contained the Howell Works Post Office and an apothecary. It has been recorded that customers came from up to forty miles away to purchase goods at the store.


Blacksmith Shop
Built in 1836, this large brick shed-like structure contained four forges. The on-site blacksmiths were responsible for shoeing the horses, repairing and making parts for wagons, carts, and other tools. By 1900, only three walls remained. The roof had collapsed and was replaced by a new frame during Brisbane's ownership. During restoration, all the walls were repaired and a new period roof was installed.

Mansion and Dormitory Ruins
The framed eastern end of the mansion was built before the Monmouth Furnace, circa 1790. It was expanded by James P. Allaire for his family. In 1833, a three-story brick dormitory was added for unmarried male workers. There is evidence that suggests the home may have been occupied by the manager of Howell Works for a short time. In 1962, the dormitory side of the structure was heavily damaged during a hurricane and never rebuilt. The foundation and lower portion of the walls remain in an effort to show visitors what existed. The rest of the mansion was restored and opened to the public in 1997.


Additional photos of my trip to Allaire Village on Pinterest

For More Information

Monday, April 14, 2014

Organization of the Week: Allaire Village, Inc.

Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey.

This week, I am featuring Allaire Village, Inc. Allaire Village, Inc. is a non-profit educational and historic preservation organization working in a unique partnership with the State of New Jersey. It is the goal of Allaire Village, Inc. to promote historic preservation while educating the general public on life at the Howell Works Company, an early 19th Century iron producing community, and on the life of James Peter Allaire, a prominent 19th Century marine engine manufacturer. This group is responsible for the daily operation of the Village buildings, exhibits, and programming to engage visitors, while at the same time is involved in phases of the development, restoration, preservation, interpretation of the Historic Howell Works within Allaire State Park.

Allaire Village, Inc. relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, special events, and exhibits hosted by Allaire Village, Inc. or to become a member or volunteer, please call 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Antique Items of the Week: 4/13/14 - 4/20/14

Antique Items of the Week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
Stay updated about new items on Facebook.

Direct Sale Items
If you have any questions, need additional photos, or are interested in any of the items below, please send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com. Payment via PayPal and all items will be shipped via regular U.S. mail.



MD Potatoes

Book Sale:
His Sombre Rivals - 1883 with beautiful signature within dated '98 - $3
The Confessions of an English Opium Eater - 1913 - $3
The Pilgrims Progress - Probably early 1900s - $3
Musings on the Way - 1900 - $3
That Lass O'Lowries - 1914 - $3
Geography Primer - Printed 1906 - $8
Life and Works of Washington Irving - Late 1880s $20
Wee Winkles & Wideawake - Published 1905 - $5

Railroad Memorabilia Sale


Erie Railroad Time Table
August 17, 1947
$10.00
Shipping: $1.25


June 24, 1944


The Standard Railroad of the South
January 1922
There is a tear in the one page (see third photo).
Pages are not stapled but show no evidence of a staple ever existing.

Lot of Ten Railroad Train Tickets
Two tickets from Sunday, Jan. 3 / One from Friday, Jul. 26 (no year) - Philadelphia Transit Co.
Three from Cumberland Division (all January, no year) - Philadelphia Transit Co.
One from NY State Railways, dated August 25, 1934
One from Erie Railroad Co., NY to Port Jervis, November 27, 1938
One from Erie Railroad Co., NY to Port Jervis, November 25, 1952
One from Erie Railroad Co., NY to Port Jervis, January 15, 1953
 $25.00
Shipping: $1.00


 Erie Railroad Company
6 unused "Telegraph Report of Automatic Block Signals"
 $10.00
Shipping: $2.75


25 Vintage Model Railroader & Model Railroad Craftsman Magazines
1963 & 1964
Pick-up only!
$20.00



If you are interested in any of these items, please e-mail kelly@thehistorygirl.com