Raritan Township was in the news not long ago for its effort to acquire and preserve a 48-acre farm to the west of Flemington. It is located near an area that has long been known as “Hardscrabble.”
This is the story of an unusual school in the 1830s run by an eccentric visionary, who sadly failed to make a success of it.
Ducks, A Vanished School, and The Dawn of the Space Age
“The ‘Oregon’ and Other Schools,” continued
With a name like Ducks’ Flat, you just know there must be a story there. But first, is it Duck’s Flat or Ducks’ Flat? I pitch for Ducks’, since it must have been a place where migrating ducks would gather. That’s the way Egbert T. Bush saw it. In his article “The ‘Oregon’ and Other Schools,” which I recently published in its entirety.1
After this article was published, some careful readers alerted me to a few errors which merit attention.
The following is one in a series of articles that Mr. Bush wrote in which grand old trees were the primary theme. Those magnificent trees are no longer around to inspire us the way they did Mr. Bush. Seeing the world through his eyes reminds us of what has been lost.
Of all the one-room schools in Delaware Township, none seems to have inspired more devoted attachment than the Van Dolah School. The number of graduates was large, and many of them were highly accomplished in later life. It was probably one of the best photographed schools in the county. I have included many of them here.
Back in February, I published an article on the cemetery connected with the Locktown Baptist church. Previously I have written about the Baptist congregation here as well as the Locktown Christian Church and its Cemetery. It seems appropriate now to include Mr. Bush’s own history of this neighborhood, which was published in the Hunterdon Democrat, on May 22, 1930. Along with the churches, Mr. Bush discusses the school house, the distillery and the Locktown Hotel, which began its life as a humble tavern, and also some of the old families, like the Chamberlins, Heaths, Lairs, Rittenhouses, Smiths and Suttons. Photographs in this article were provided by Paul Kurzenberger.
Having published Mr. Bush’s article, “The ‘Oregon’ and Other Schools,” and then a follow-up on Duck’s Flat, I thought I was done with this neighborhood for now. But I recently found another article by Mr. Bush continuing the story of Ducks’ Flat school. This article has allowed me to identify the mystery school I referred to previously, located down the road from the Ducks’ Flat school that Mr. Bush was familiar with. But I’ll wait until Mr. Bush has concluded before explaining.
Ducks’ Flat School, Crossroads School and Their Teachers
Testing a Greeny’s Nerve
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton. N. J.
published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, December 18, 1930
This article by Mr. Bush is a perfect complement to a recent blog post, “Amos Romine’s Beloved Farm.” It is one of my favorite Bush articles. Because there is so much to say about the people he mentions, I will refrain from interrupting him and leave my comments for the end.