We are getting some warmer days this weekend, and they are welcome after the very cold weather we’ve had lately. But cold as it was, it was nothing compared to the Blizzard of 1888, apparently the most intense weather ever experienced in Hunterdon County history. There are many stories and photographs depicting it, including this letter by Egbert T. Bush describing how he tried to defy it.
Except for articles relating to early West New Jersey, nearly all my posts concern the people who lived in Hunterdon County, which was created in March 1714.
For anyone traveling north on Route 579 from the village of Ringoes in East Amwell, Hunterdon County, there is a landmark that will surely catch your eye, standing opposite the old Bel-Del railroad station. It is a three-story house that was once a showplace but has been deteriorating for at least 25 years. People like me who have been watching it all this time marvel that it is still standing.
Sometimes in my researches on Hunterdon people of the past, odd things turn up. Something very odd turned up when I came across Cornelius H. Barber, who lived from 1804 to 1884. I had been asked about the Prall tanyard, which was located a short distance south of Sergeantsville in the early 1800s, and discovered that Barber had briefly been an owner.
So let me tell you a little about Cornelius Hoppock Barber before describing the odd thing I found.
My previous article discussed the Bearder family and the home of Andrew Bearder, Sr. on the Locktown Flemington Road. Just east of this farm was another tract that Bearder shared with his son Jacob, but whose ownership goes back much further.
Andrew Bearder, Sr.’s homestead farm was part of Jacob Snyder’s plantation. But the farm next to it on the east was part of the 700 acres first sold by the Haddons to Daniel Robins. (For background on the Haddons, see The Haddon Tract, part one.)
This is part two of a series on some of the properties created in the Haddon Tract of Amwell Township, Hunterdon County.
Jacob Peter Sniter and Nicholas Sayn jointly purchased 1300 acres in Amwell Township from Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh in 1748. The two men sold off several lots and then divided the land remaining between them. Part One dealt with Nicholas Sayn/Sine, who acquired the southern half. This article deals with Jacob Peter Sniter who got the northern half.
I have recently finished reading a book titled Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, 1680-1762, Building the Quaker Community of Haddonfield, New Jersey, 1701-1762, by Jeffery M. Dorwart and Elizabeth A. Lyons.
It is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the life of one of West New Jersey’s early settlers—a young woman who came to the Province on her own in 1701.
This article is a continuation of the article by Egbert T. Bush titled “When Stockton Was Not So Dry.” (Part One and Part Two.) Today I will enlarge on Mr. Bush’s short history of the Stockton Inn, which is now for sale. It is my hope that by fleshing out this history, a purchaser might be found who will value it as well as the lovely architecture of the place.
This part of Mr. Bush’s article deals primarily with the history of the tavern in Stockton, which began its life across the road from the Sharp-Lambert store (part one), but ended it as the Stockton Inn, at Bridge and Main Streets. (As usual, Mr. Bush’s article is in italics and my comments are not.)
Egbert T. Bush was very fond of grand old trees, and when they had to come down, he lamented the loss in his articles, including one that I published awhile ago, titled “Old Sentinel Oak Has Passed.” That huge tree, or as Bush would call it, a “Monarch,” once stood along Route 523 as you enter Stockton. Today’s article should have preceded “Old Sentinel Oak,” as it concerns the neighborhood of that great tree before it was taken down.
In recognition of Labor Day this weekend I thought it would be interesting to see what labor was like when Egbert T. Bush was young. He would have been fifteen years old in 1863, during the Civil War. Since he was too young to be drafted, he was available to the neighborhood farmers who were short-handed, thanks to the war. His employer in those days left a big impression on the young man.