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.
Howell’s Tavern House and Ferry House
The dotted line in this picture is a survey line, drawn by Reading Howell in 1774, and as you can see, one of the lines goes right through the middle of the house, which is labeled “Ferry House.” Strangely enough, this house has long been known as the tavern house at Howell’s Ferry (Stockton) which I wrote about in “Jacob’s Path, an 1813 Shortcut.” So why was the tavern house called the Ferry House in 1774? And why did the surveyor run a line right through the middle? Therein lies a story.
In his article, “Old Sentinel Oak Has Passed,” Egbert T. Bush wrote that the old oak, across the road from the Baptist Church in Stockton, close to where Route 523 meets Main Street, stood near a “never-failing stream.” This stream runs along Route 523 for some distance and today is a little hard to find. But it does show up on Google maps, and is a clue to two interesting road records of 1813.
Trees were a subject dear to Mr. Bush’s heart. This article is just one of many in which he waxed both poetic and nostalgic about the grand old trees of his neighborhood.
Included in this article is some early history of the area of Stockton where Route 523, Old Prallsville Road, Ferry Street and Route 29 (Risler Street) all come together. Rather than interrupt Mr. Bush with a long parentheses, I will save my comments for the end of his article.
By Marfy Goodspeed in Amwell Township, Delaware Township, Hopewell Township, Hunterdon County, Lambertville, Raritan Township, Stockton 4 Comments Tags: "The Post", 1838, early legislation, local government, politics
This year residents of Delaware Township in Hunterdon County celebrate the 175 years since the township was created. The story of how this came about is a surprising one, and a little disheartening.
Five years ago, in celebration of its 170th anniversary, I published a series of articles on the website “The Delaware Township Post.” It seems appropriate to republish those articles this year on my own website, slightly edited. Here is part one: Continue reading »
In writing about Nathaniel Saxton in my series on Raven Rock, I learned about his investments outside of that village. One of his earliest deeds involved the sale in 1807 of 47.27 acres to Ann Anderson for $422.69.1 This property in today’s Stockton village has an interesting story, one which shows how vulnerable 18th and early 19th century people were to the miserable consequences of debt. Continue reading »