Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hopewell Furnace

Posted by Stu On April - 27 - 2011

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Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site consists of a restored town from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as ruins of a blast furnace.  Iron was produced here from 1771 until 1883.  The work was somewhat dangerous, but the workers generally made decent money and lived good lives.  This, unfortunately, was not the trend with other mining and furnace sites, where workers often worked in poor conditions with very little pay.

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The history of Hopewell Furnace is rather tame.  A park worker told us nothing significant happened here that anyone knows of, nor did anyone famous ever set foot here.  It’s not all that different from other restored towns I’ve been to; it reminded me quite a bit of Allaire and Batsto.  So why make it a national historic site?  The guide said it’s more of a tribute to the common working man of the time.  A place doesn’t need a celebrity or some big historical event to have significance.

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Several of the buildings are still standing and are in very good shape, and most are filled with relics or replicas from the time.  The water wheel still turns.  Some farm animals roam the grounds.  During our visit, a reenactment of using the furnace was taking place.

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Popularity: 12% [?]

Eckley Miners’ Village

Posted by Stu On May - 27 - 2008

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Much like Walpack or Whitesbog, Eckley Miners’ Village is a restored and lived-in historic village. Eckley began in 1854 and at its peak had a population exceeding one thousand. The movie The Molly Maguires was filmed here, and some of the buildings are just leftover props and weren’t part of the original town.
We visited in the off season (sometime in April or May), so none of the buildings were accessible. Many were still in the process of restoration. It was odd seeing people living in some of the houses; I wonder what it’s like having strangers paying admission to walk by your house daily.

Many of the buildings are painted this hideous red color. It was a frequently used color in the mining days because it was inexpensive.


This breaker is one of the movie props. Actual breakers were roughly 3 times the size.


Company store. Another movie prop.

The village’s official website – www.eckleyminers.org

Popularity: 13% [?]

Shelburne Museum

Posted by Stu On November - 27 - 2007

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Lots of pics. Go get some nachos.

When one hears the word “museum” they tend to think of large, ugly buildings full of ugly, boring stuff. Fortunately, the Shelburne Museum is not your ordinary museum. Not in the slightest. While there is some art on display, there is much, much more to see. Many of the collections are just bizarre, ranging from automatons to horse-drawn carriages. And this is not just one museum; it’s several. How’s that? Technically the museum is outside, and several of the buildings house different collections. The buildings themselves can be considered a museum as well; where else can you find a jail, lighthouse, covered bridge, and even a steamship that were bought and moved to one site?

The entrance to the museum is a large round barn. Inside is the ticket booth and some art exhibits, one being various chandeliers. My favorite was the one made of plastic kitchenware.

Next thing we saw was an old creaky carousel. It still works and you can ride it.

What’s this? Oh, a train station.

How about that…a passenger car.

Huh? You can go inside?

Well, that was interesting. What’s up the trail from the train station?
A steamship.

But can you go inside?
Absolutely.

A view from the deck of the ship. It looks like a town, but all but the church way in the back are part of the museum.

Hey, what’s that across from the steamship?

A lighthouse, complete with rocks.


“Turtle Boy”

The covered bridge used to be the entrance to the museum.

This was a very, very tiny jail:


Inside the one-room schoolhouse.


Inside the 50’s house.

Popularity: 16% [?]

Olde Stone House Village

Posted by Stu On July - 21 - 2005

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This small park is in Sewell in Gloucester County, pretty close to the Pebble Palace.
What a brilliant idea. People are always sad to see an old important building in their town taken down for something stupid like a pizza joint. So what did these folks do? Why, move the buildings, of course! Olde Stone House Village is a Frankenstein of a village; it’s been put together with random old buildings from surrounding towns. As you can see from the bottom photo, it’s pretty well spread out, and a semi-circle stone walkway connects all the places. Some of the buildings had signs in front of them indicating their age, what they were, and where they came from.

The Stone House itself is set apart from the rest of the village and is about 300 years old. It is the only building which originally stood here; the others were brought here in 1986. The 4 buildings added include: Blackwood’s original train station (1891); the original Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church (1860’s I believe); Turnersville’s original post office (1864); and an old farmhouse. Don’t know very much about the farmhouse, though. It’s in the worst shape of the 5 buildings here.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Waterloo Village

Posted by Stu On September - 20 - 2004

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History buffs will love this place. Waterloo was a canal town in its heyday. Most of the buildings have been restored, and like many of the other towns in state parks, people reenact the crafts & dress of the time period. The buildings are from the 1700’s & 1800’s; many you can go inside. There’s a blacksmith, sawmill, gristmill, tavern, etc…

Also in the village is a reconstructed Lenape village, which has a tour about every hour. The guides and tour are very informative. I was amazed how many people in my group didn’t know a single thing about the Lenape.

Some Lenape Village pics:

All in all, Waterloo’s a great place to just walk around and relax. It’s very spread out and tranquil.

There’s an admission fee which varies depending on the time of year and any events taking place there.

For more info, go to Waterloo’s site.

Popularity: 17% [?]

Double Trouble

Posted by Stu On February - 20 - 2004

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Not much to say about this one. I came here originally to get some better pics of the Crabbe Cemetery, but I figured since Allaire, Batsto, and Whitesbog are on the site, I might as well include another restored ghost town.

Not much to say about this one; Double Trouble was a company town in the late 1800’s that farmed & packed cranberries. Of all the restored ghost towns I’ve been to so far, this one has the fewest buildings. It makes up for this by having many scenic trails though. This one’s more for hiking and nature watching.

Popularity: 10% [?]

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