Several years ago (in 2007), me and my cemetery buddies (pardon the grammar) visited the mysterious and lovely Rittenhouse Cemetery overlooking the old Prallsville quarry. I have wanted to write about this place for some time, but put it off because of concern that by making it known it would be more vulnerable to vandals. It appears that my restraint did not make much difference. Bob Leith visited recently and found one of the stones with graffiti and another one with a shotgun blast to its face. So, there is not much point in secrecy anymore. But there is another reason why I am inspired to write about the cemetery now. It has to do with the oldest stone there.
Last week I posted a continuation of Egbert T. Bush’s article “The ‘Oregon’ and Other Schools,” focusing on the neighborhood once known as Ducks’ Flat. Mr. Bush wrote about Duck’s Flat in 1930. This was two years before a surprising event took place there. Given that the participants stayed at the Stockton Inn, near where Mr. Bush lived, I can’t help but think he knew about the goings-on. But he did not write about it. It wasn’t until 1996 that another talented writer described what happened at Ducks’ Flat—an early experiment in rocket science, which took place on November 12, 1932.
The writer was Bruce Palmer, and his tale was published in the Lambertville Beacon on November 13, 1996. (Note that Mr. Palmer’s article is in italics, and my comments are not.)
Writer Has Never Found a Beech Tree That Had Been Struck
Other Facts and Queries
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, NJ
published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, December 11, 1930
This article, with which I end the year 2014, can be seen as a follow up to Bush’s article previously published here called “Gathering Nuts Was Once an Industry.” There is nothing in the way of genealogy in this article, but it is full of the usual Bush charm.
This is a continuation of the story by Egbert T. Bush of the “Biggest Log Ever Brought to Stockton,” in which he wrote about the owners of the Stockton Sawmill and the Stockton Spoke Works. These Hunterdon industrialists took risks to build their businesses, and sometimes failed badly. Here are two more examples of failure and success.