Being part three in a four-part post about an article written by Egbert T. Bush titled “Sergeant’s Mills Once a Prosperous Place” and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on January 16, 1930.
E. T. Bush
Articles by Egbert T. Bush published in the Hunterdon Democrat
After this article was published, some careful readers alerted me to a few errors which merit attention.
In a recent post on the life of John P. Rittenhouse, I mentioned that his parents, Samuel & Hannah Rittenhouse, lived near the covered bridge in Delaware Township. This reminded me of the interesting article written by Egbert T. Bush about the history of the area around Sergeant’s Mill, The mill once stood just east of the bridge, on a tributary of the Wickecheoke. It was taken down in the 1930s, but before that happened, it was well-photographed, and the pictures were frequently used in postcards. Shown above is just one of the many views of the old mill.
In 1929, Egbert T. Bush wrote an article about the neighborhood of Brookville, a hamlet just south of Stockton, on the Delaware River. It seems appropriate to publish the article now because it discusses a neighborhood near the homes of John and Gershom Lambert, who’s farms were described in my previous posts (The Two Lambert Farms, Sen. Lambert’s Farm and The Gershom Lambert Farm). It also happens that Mr. Bush himself lived not far from Brookville; his farm was on Sandy Ridge Road close to Route 523, just north of Stockton.
This is an excerpt from an article by Egbert T. Bush, called “Brookville and Up the Hollow.” Most of that article focuses on the neighborhood of Brookville near Route 29. This excerpt involves an incident that took place closer to Sandy Ridge, so it seemed better to present this part on its own. The rest of the article will be published next month.
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.
While working on a history of the Sergeantsville Inn, I realized that this would be a good time to publish Egbert T. Bush’s article about the places that made Sergeantsville such an interesting little town. Mr. Bush did not have the advantage of adding photographs the way I do. These pictures come from the postcard collection of Paul Kurzenberger. (Note that Mr. Bush’s article is in italics; my comments are not.)
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.
Here are two versions of the history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren in Hunterdon County. The first was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock and published in the Democrat-Advertiser on October 17, 1901. Short and sweet. The second one, a little bit longer, was written by Egbert T. Bush and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on March 26, 1931. Mr. Bush’s ‘history’ is truncated, and as he put it— “it is not the intent to give here anything more than the merest sketch of church history, an indispensable part in any sketch of the community.” He was always more interested in the members of a community than institutional histories, and so he spends more time on those who were buried in the three cemeteries associated with the church members.