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.
Given that the Stockton Inn is now for sale, and a radical proposal for development of the site has been offered by the seller, I thought it would be appropriate to publish this article by Mr. Bush about a previous “improvement” to the Borough that took place not far from the Inn.
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.