Bill Hartman was one of those people whose loss is deeply felt by anyone who knew him, including me. I have not yet seen an obituary for him in the Hunterdon County Democrat, which seems odd considering how important he was to so many of us.
April Fool’s Day is a custom with a long history. Which makes it a dangerous day to move to a new home. And yet, that was the practice in Hunterdon County in the 19th century. Well, not always on that particular day, but close to it, as Egbert T. Bush attests. It seems that by winter’s end, everyone got restless and packed up their belongings to try living in another place.
I recently came across a very moving obituary for Egbert T. Bush, written by Frank Burd, probably sometime in the 1970s. Burd had known Mr. Bush since his youth and was a relative of his. He informs us that Mr. Bush had always had an interest in fruit culture, especially fruit trees, which he pursued more deliberately once he acquired his farm in Sandy Ridge, which he bought from Wesley Rockafellow in 1892.
There is a small church in Delaware Township with a very long history. It is known as the Amwell Church of the Brethren, sometimes called the Dunkard Church for its practice of adult baptism. It seems to be a sort of outlier, quite different from the major religious groups who first appeared in Hunterdon County. Those were Quaker, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican (Episcopalian), Lutheran, Methodist, German Calvinist, and Dutch Reformed. They all had congregations throughout the county and hundreds of worshippers. But the Brethren church didn’t even have a church building until 1811, and never grew to any great size, despite two spin-off churches. And yet, it has endured for 283 years. Although that is a long time, there are eight church in Hunterdon County that were founded before 1733. They are:
Camp Ground of the Glorious Old Continental Army in 1777
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
originally published in the Democrat-Advertiser, Oct. 10, 1901
From the photograph and from Hoppock’s description, it appears that this “campground” was located along Route 523 near Sand Brook.