In a previous article, I told the story of Martin Kaffitz and his wife Hattie W. Fritts. Kaffitz was employed for many years by William Crater who ran the blacksmith shop in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County. I learned about the life of Martin Kaffitz from the many entries about him in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper. That paper was equally informative about William Crater, although Crater led a very different sort of life.
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.
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.
Clinton Began As a Speculative Venture
The history of the town of Clinton is a fascinating one. The borough has so much character and charm, but it had a rocky start.
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.)
Henry H. Fisher, Esq.
Part one of this story was published last year in March 2015 (The Sergeantsville Inn). It was written too quickly, and now has been revised. In its original form, the article covered the time period from the original proprietary deed to the end of the 19th century. I’ve revised that first article with more information about the last of the Thatcher family to own the property, bringing us up to 1830.
The original version of this post, published on March 14, 2015, has been significantly revised because of new information I have received. Most of these revisions concern Jonas Thatcher, Jr. Consider this Chapter One of the History of the Sergeantsville Inn.
Little Known of Mill That Existed Prior to John Prall’s
When the Canal Was Dug
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon County Democrat, February 13, 1930
The paintings shown in this article were made in the mid 19th century
for John Parker Prall. The artist was Thomas Whitley, and the originals
can be found in the John Prall, Jr. house in Prallsville.
It is common to speak of John Prall Jr. as the builder of the first mill in this hamlet. But his titles date back to early 1792; and to some of us it seemed strange that a site so attractive with the Wickecheoke Creek rushing into the Delaware, with an established ferry close at hand, and with a solid community back of it should have been so long without a mill. While investigation has so far failed to reveal all that was hoped for, it has demonstrated that Prall was far from being first to carry on milling business here.
A Chestnut That Acted As Host to a Younger Tree
– Biggest Oak of Them All
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon County Democrat, January 1, 1931
This month is a big allergy month for me, so I looked up what Mr. Bush had to say about trees. Turns out—quite a lot. Bush had a great affection for the grand old trees that had survived the previous century, and frequently mentioned them in his articles. Now that our trees are leafing out, it seems appropriate to publish this essay. The willow described here once stood in front of Roger Byrom’s house in Headquarters.