Egbert T. Bush wrote this charming piece at the end of 1931. It seemed like a nice addition to this year’s posts. Besides his visitor, he also took note of some unseasonable weather for the end of December. His conclusion was that it was just Mother Nature’s pendulum swinging one way, then another. This was probably true back in 1874 and 1889. Not so much today. However, his final thoughts do provide some solace during these disturbing times.
Time for some reflection. Here are the ten posts from the past year that I am most pleased with, listed chronologically, because I could not possibly rank them from 1 to 10.
What is it about lists? Especially lists that get made at the end of the year? It’s that thing we like to do—look back before we look forward. So, in the spirit of the season, I am copying my son the science writer, Carl Zimmer, who has collected his favorite articles here: 2014: A Storyful Year – Phenomena: The Loom
Choosing favorites should not imply that I am not happy with all my articles. It’s just that some of them did grab me more than others. So, here’s my list, for those of you who feel like some reading during this long weekend.
Mar 1 A Scandal in Baptistown
Jun 20 The Amwell Road—1721
When I first began my blog in 2009, I thought I would use it as a way to discover more about the life of my ancestor Samuel Green. So I began hunting for traces of him in the earliest days of the Province of West New Jersey. But the history of that place became so interesting in itself, that I began to follow its development year by year, thinking that eventually I would get to 1695 when Samuel Green first shows up. (For an index of stories on West New Jersey, go to my About page.)
On June 11, 2009, I held my breath and pushed the “Publish” button for the first time; it was my first history blog. Since then, I have posted 152 articles, which seems incomprehensible to me. With the three-year anniversary approaching, I can’t help but ponder what this website has turned into, and what I want it to be in the future.1 Continue reading »
For those of you who read the Hunterdon County Democrat, you will be familiar with a long-time feature of the newspaper. Titled “Old Ink,” it gives short excerpts from stories 125, 100, 75 and 50 years ago. For a little while, they were publishing items from 175 years ago, which I much appreciated, but the editors changed their minds and went back to the old formula. Continue reading »
Much to my dismay, I have written very little on this blog during 2011. There were reasons, of course, but I very much regret losing the thread of so many interesting subjects. I hope I can pick up those threads in the next few months, and follow where they lead. Continue reading »
In my last post I wrote about the durable story that George Washington visited with John Opdycke and that, as a result, the village where Opdycke lived took on the name of Headquarters. Some people will read that sentence and conclude that it happened and is not a myth. They will ignore that phrase “durable story.” Continue reading »
After discovering the Civil War tax lists available online (more about that here), I was inspired to read the legislation (The Revenue Act of 1864) and to write about the residents of Hunterdon who were listed in the tax levy of 1865. Since this is a time of remembrance of the Civil War, it seemed appropriate. The article will appear in the spring issue of “Hunterdon Historical Newsletter” published by the Hunterdon County Historical Society. Even though the editor graciously allowed me two full pages, I found myself frustrated by how much I had to leave out. Which is why blogs are so wonderful. Continue reading »