Monday, June 18, 2018

Discovering History at Smithville Park in New Jersey

The Smithville Mansion, above, 
was built in 1840 in the Greek revival style. 

The mansion was surrounded by a successful calico printing factory 
and associated village founded by the Schreve family. 

But then the government lifted tariffs on imported textiles 
and unfortunately the company went bankrupt 
and jobs were lost. 

But the village found life again when purchased by Hezekiah and Agnes Smith 
who opened a woodworking machine company in 1865.

In 1974 Burlington County purchased this historic property 
and today the property hosts tours, teas and fairs and trails. 

Smithville Mansion
803 Smithville Rd, Eastampton Township, NJ 08060 

There are more images of Smithville Park here. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Welcome to Prison

A little gem in New Jersey...
the Burlington County Historic Prison Museum. 

For 150 years this prison served with the goal of rehabilitation. 
Today, it is an oasis of history. 

Prison cell walls have drawings and calendars by inmates 
counting the days to freedom. 

The old doors and peeling paint give it an abandoned feel, 
much like the bigger Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. 

And if you are into the paranormal. 
there is supposed to be a lot of activity here. 
I didn't sense anything, 
but I am not into that either. 

It really is amazing to see what people might have done to end up spending time here. 

If your child was incorrigible, 
they could end up with 7 days! 
Imagine that today. 

My gallery of photos from this set is here

128 High St, Mt Holly, NJ 08060

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pave Paradise

...and put up a parking lot. 

For John and Chara Haas, 
Stoneleigh was their paradise of 80 years. 

After their deaths, Stoneleigh, their 42 acre estate, 
was donated to Natural Lands 
in order that it be protected forever

"The donation had a singular purpose: 
to open Stoneleigh up to the general public, 
so that everyone could enjoy this natural treasure free of charge."

Stoneleigh opened as a public garden in May 2018.  

But if the local school district has their way, 
some or all of the property will be condemned 
and acquired by eminent domain 
in order to build a new school and ball fields. 

Lower Merion officials have failed to plan properly 
for the growth of their community 
and now want to cover their collective butts 
with this possible acquisition. 

Why is this important to you? 
Because if it happens in Lower Merion 
it can happen anywhere. 
There is no precedent of a public garden 
being acquired by eminent domain.  

Help by signing the petition to save Stoneleigh here

You can learn more about Stoneleigh here

I am definitely not as active blogging as I used to be,
but I am still posting photos on Instagram