Monday, November 20, 2017

Henry Hudson Springs

Posted by Stu On March - 21 - 2011

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Remember that long list of explorers you had to learn in school and likely forgot all of now, besides Christopher Columbus (which is tragic honestly, since not only did he not really do much of anything, he tortured, enslaved, and murdered the local people)?  Remember da Gama?  Vespucci?  Cabot?  You know, a bunch of European guys sailing around for various countries?  Well, hopefully you remember Henry Hudson from that list.  From his namesake we get, among other things, Hudson County, the Hudson River, and Hudson Bay.

Historians know Henry Hudson stopped and got water from these springs during his 1609 voyage.  You might be asking, so what?  Well, I dunno really.  If you’re a history geek, this is simply a little known historical site of very, very minute significance.  I bet your text books never mentioned he stopped off in the Highlands of NJ, though.

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The spring is also somewhat difficult to find; I have driven by it multiple times on the way to Hartshorne Woods without realizing it.  The roads in the area wind and curve all over the place.  There is virtually no parking when you get near the spring, and any that is close by is all private.  It was a real pain getting to this site.

Again, just an interesting historical tidbit.  If you’re into history, go check it out.  If you’re not all that into history… why are you on this site?

Part of the Henry Hudson Trail runs behind the spring site.

Can you drink water from it?  The town says no, but other people say otherwise…

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Popularity: 28% [?]

Batteries Lewis & 219

Posted by Stu On May - 26 - 2007

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Harsthorne Woods County Park is just a few miles south of Sandy Hook and also has a few bunkers from the same era as those found there. They were built during World War II to protect New York Harbor. The only shots ever fired were for practice. Battery Lewis is much larger than 219 and was the first one we came across:


An extra 1-Up always comes in handy when exploring. Thanks to whoever left it.

Battery 219 was nearby. We found it by accident.

There is supposed to be an abandoned military building somewhere in the park, but we weren’t sure of where it was.

Popularity: 21% [?]

Norwood – The Kislak Mansion

Posted by Stu On July - 21 - 2006

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I’ve received several emails about this house over the past few years.  I’ve been forgetting for quite a while to make note of this here, but it was completely demolished a few years back.

All gone.  No more.  Please stop asking for directions.

Lots of pictures to load; go walk your dog.

A friend has known about this place for years, and she was nice enough to take me to see it. Not only is the house huge (with 4 floors including the basement), but there are 2 houses: the mansion itself and a carriage house.

Information about the house, along with a gallery of Liz’s photos, will be added at a later date. Liz is quite the historian on this place.

We first checked out the carriage house and the small shed not far from it. The ground floor wasn’t overly impressive. Someone has written silly things on the walls – your generic “Save me”, “Help me” drivel. Surprisingly there was no Satanic crap; I would find that in the main house.

The floor at the base of the stairs wasn’t very safe; half of it was rotted away, and the rest can’t hold any weight.
Good thing I’m nimble.


I was amazed at the size of the main house. I was told beforehand the house had a servant’s side. That would become evident once we entered. One half of the place was very spacious and extravagant – large rooms, fancy curved doorways, very nice main room, an elevator, etc. You wouldn’t believe how many drawers and closets there are….or the amount of bathrooms. I was wondering if the place was a bed & breakfast.
The other side of the house was quite plain – regular ol’ doorways, regular staircase, smaller rooms….

We poked around the first floor a bit, then headed down to the basement. After that we headed to the second floor and finally the attic.

There are rumors of a second basement. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but there is a section of the basement floor filled in with dirt, which no doubt started that story.
…oh, and there were mushrooms growing out of the floor and walls down there too.

After the basement romp, it was time to head up to the top 2 levels. We noticed ketchup on the railing of the grand staircase; someone had spread it there and on random spots of the floor throughout the house. Guess they were trying to make it look like blood. I will admit it looked good on the stairs.

The house has its own elevator. The elevator door has been taken off and is now propped up across from the grand staircase, as seen below.


Rounded doors & doorways.


Some rooms were nearly intact…


…and some weren’t.


…honestly, what good did this closet do?

The attic was the end of our expedition. At one point, birds were living in it. We found a large nest and lots of crap. Liz said there used to be a very large unhatched egg. We found it smashed.


A couple more outside pics and we were off.

Popularity: 18% [?]

“Treasure Island” – Nienstedt Island

Posted by Stu On June - 21 - 2006

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Another place found due to geocaching. I’d been wanting to go to this island for over 2 years but never had the time or anyone willing to cross the Manasquan River with me in my crappy inflatable raft.

It was really cool exploring what appeared to be a seldom visited island. The island did have some party remnants on it, but nowhere as much as I was expecting. I’m including it on the site because of some of the things I found on it – the remains of docks and what appears to be a wall running down one side of the island.
…oh, and the guy who wrote Treasure Island actually visited this place and gave it its unofficial name.


Approaching the island.


The raft of doom lands.

Sadly, the interior of the island had nothing of interest. There were a few overgrown trails and a lot of birds. That’s about it.
We found a sign dedicating the island to its namesakes, the Nienstedts.

Fair warning – much of the island is covered with poison ivy.

Popularity: 18% [?]

Sandy Hook 2006

Posted by Stu On February - 6 - 2006

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2002 Trip / 2004 Trip

Friendly reminder – decent amount of pictures. For you folks with dialup… get broadband already. Seriously. It’s 2006, man.

This trip easily destroyed the 2 previous trips I took to Sandy Hook. This time around we met up with a few forum members, along with some of the fine folks from What’s in the Forest.
We first explored Batteries Mills and Kingman. We then checked out the Nike missile base, followed by a mortar battery.


Batteries Mills and Kingman

Semi-disclaimer – Neither of these are very safe. The floors have several holes, and some of the stuff on the ceiling is barely attached anymore and could come crashing down at any time.

These 2 batteries were almost exactly alike, so I just grouped their photos together.


Can’t get out this way…


One of the many holes. Some are quite deep.


Wasn’t kidding about stuff coming down from the ceiling.


Skeletons of 2……somethings.


Nike Missile Base

One building had a grim surprise for us…..2 dead raccoons that apparently got stuck.


Mortar Battery

Another semi-disclaimer – Lots of asbestos.


Fun with asbestos!

Popularity: 29% [?]

Jimmy Byrnes Sea Girt Inn Ruins

Posted by Stu On December - 21 - 2005

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I had read about remnants of a hotel on the side of Rt. 71 in Sea Girt, next to Wreck Pond. I was geocaching in the area and decided to stray from my itinerary a bit and see if I could find them. Luckily, they were right next to where I was supposed to be. I was upset to see there was nothing of the actual building left; there was a large ditch instead. We did find the driveway, lamp posts, steps, and walkway though, all in pretty good shape. Behind the ditch we found some pipes coming out of the ground.

Another geocacher (thanks Fishingdude) told us the place was called the Jimmy Byrne’s Sea Girt Inn and was also a bar. The place was sold and demolished somewhere around ’96 or ’97 because it was a fire hazard. Neither he or I could dig up any more information. I’m curious to see what the place used to look like.

Overall there wasn’t that much to see, but it was an easy find and still worth checking out.

Popularity: 22% [?]

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