Remember the way things used to look? Teenage hangouts? Buildings once here but now gone, but not forgotten? Take a trip down the memory lane. There are lots of pictures of places and people you’ll know or maybe you’re new in town and will meet them for the first time. Can you identify the kids on the cover? Find someone you know.
Category Archives: American History
A little more about Bordentown (NJ) books. Major Fraser is a story about the history this house on Prince St. saw. The largest part is about Major Fraser who may be the Fraser Gabaldon used for Jamie Fraser in the Outlander series. They seem to run alongside each other for a while and of course, without the time travel thing. Hers is fiction, Major Fraser is fact. The family is at no loss for adventure, real life adventure. The kids in particular. One becomes a real life princess.
Major Fraser’s on Prince Street has lots of stories and history of Bordentown without the pictures, all text. Good stuff. Love the people who have lived and made Bordentown what it is today. A wonderful place to live!
the Hamilton B & N and Amazon on-line carries the Arcadia Series of Bordentown books (with pictures) (3) it helps to identify the buildings in town and homes of important and famous residents of the past. Photos of Hoagland’s Tavern burning are in these books. Enjoy!
The ghosts that I have come across are not the rotted out bodies dripping with blood rising from a grave in a mysterious, forgotten cemetery. They are more like people who loved their home so much that they couldn’t bear to leave it, people who didn’t realize they were dead, and sometimes people just saying good-bye to loved ones before heading toward the light. It can be a very comforting experience if you are open-minded without horror stories lurking in the back of your mind.
One house noted in Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond has many ghosts and spirits living there and also some just passing through. A while after our interview an invitation came for me to attend a tea party with the ghost children who lived there. It was an unusual experience but not as unusual as the request that came later for them to come visit me in my home! I thought about that a bit before agreeing. After all, they were gracious enough to invite me. They came, giggling and smiling, happy little kids, giving me their names this time. It helped me to look at death very differently.
The passion of history often has a lot to do with a person’s spirit being held to the earth plane, especially on a battlefield where so many died at such young ages.. I went to Gettysburg once, rising early in the morning, before sunrise during the off-tourist season. I sat in Little Round Top and felt the enormous sadness wash over me. I didn’t see any of the ghosts that many have seen. I thought of the cries of those shot down so senselessly. Many of those fallen had no true idea of what it was all about. Why they felt they had to march off to war because some politicians were afraid they would be losing money with the new laws. War is always about the money hiding behind ideals spoken aloud.
I rather bumped into writing about the true experiences people have with ghosts many years ago. It began when word got out that I had witnessed a happening with a little girl ghost. Others, curious, wanting to talk about their own experiences but afraid they would be laughed at, came into my bookshop and quietly began to reveal their stories to me.
This led to my conducting a Ghost Walk as a fund raiser for my business group in Bordentown, New Jersey. When I moved to North Carolina in 2005, I was telling Don Arnold at Oakley Hall Antiques about my ghost. He said, “You need to be writing about Warren County’s ghosts. We have lots of them!” With that said he invited me to his and Ernie Fleming’s home at Oakley Hall (former plantation) in Ridgeway.
This opened the door to forming a great friendship between us. It also began my collecting stories about local hauntings that are as varied as there are people. It seemed that wherever I went, still as a newcomer at the time, someone had a story for me or a name of someone I needed to speak with. A lady sat next to me at a Christmas party. I knew no one other than the hosts. The conversation came around to ghosts. She just happened to have a story.
A woman called to me while I was sitting on a picnic table on the Lake Gaston Estates beach. It was 8 a.m. on a weekday morning. Her dog was lost and she was hoping I had seen it. I hadn’t, but an hour or two later, I had a phone call telling me where the dog was. It wasn’t long before I learned that she had an experience to relate to me. We also shared some of our life stories and became friends.
I served on jury duty in Warrenton. When the jury was sent to the little room while the attorneys discussed a point in the case, a juror asked if I really wrote ghost stories as it had been revealed during the jury selection. “Yes” I replied. Three people there had stories to tell me. Two of them are in the Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond book. Who would think I’d meet someone with a haunting sequestered in a jury room? Ya gotta luv it!
Now I’m collecting stories for my second NC/VA book. If you have one or happen to know someone . . . .please send a message to me.
A beautiful card came recently with pictures in it from my friends, professional photographer (ret), Bryan Griggsby and his wife Susan Von Dongen. Susan is also a writer and published author. Some years ago on a clear, cold, snowy afternoon, Bryan and I walked through Bordentown, (NJ) he took pictures as I was pointing out historical spots.
He took a photo of the former home of Robert Schuyler Van Rensselaer who came to town in 1845 as superintendent of the Camden & Amboy Railroad and lived in this mansion. Bryan caught the photo in the book with the mansion, even then in snow, in the background. The book is Images of America, Bordentown, published by Arcadia Publishing.
Arcadia Publishing has also published my Bordentown Revisited, Bordentown Postcards (the late Patti De Santis came in with me on that one) and New Egypt & Plumsted Township, located in New Jersey, too. The books can be found at Barnes & Noble in Hamilton, New Jersey and on Amazon.com and other bookstores.