July 14, 1995 |
To the kids who climbed on the ferry Rainbow yesterday morning, the trip ahead was a half-day excursion across a river, from one old fort to another. For Kathy Dobson, it was a historic crossing. The children were part of a one-week history camp Dobson holds three times every summer at Red Bank Battleground, and the trip was from Red Bank's Fort Mercer to Fort Mifflin, sister forts that have long stood sentry duty across the Delaware. For Dobson, the curator of the James and Ann Whitall House at Fort Mercer, the trip was a step she'd long awaited.
May 20, 2001 |
African American history coils through the state from the southern tip to its northernmost point in the form of the Underground Railroad, which stretches from points in Cumberland County, where escaped slaves made their way from Delaware, and zigzags its way to points in Hudson County, where some escaped slaves proceeded on to New York City. Many, however, found refuge right here in Burlington County. "I would say Burlington County has more [African American] communities and historic sites than any other in the state," said Giles R. Wright, the Afro-American History Program director for the New Jersey Historical Commission.
September 25, 1994 |
Township officials, concerned about the fate of two well-known historic sites, have acted to protect them. Despite misgivings about possibly overstepping their bounds, they have drafted - with the help of local preservation groups, including the Conservancy of Montgomery County - a historic-preservation ordinance designed to "protect valuable historic resources from insensitive alterations or outright destruction. " The sites that would be protected under the ordinance as drafted are Normandy Farms and Dawesfield Mansion.
June 27, 2000 |
They may have survived the winter of 1777, but some of the Revolutionary War-era buildings at the Valley Forge National Historical Park are now succumbing to time and the elements. Six houses once used by George Washington's Continental Army are in such disrepair that yesterday the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the entire park to its annual list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. " "We did this with the idea of bringing national awareness to the site," said Adrian Fine, a senior program associate for the Washington-based preservation group.
May 17, 1999 |
Preservationists watched in horror one year ago as Whitpain Township approved a demolition permit for the 200-year-old Washington Square Inn to make room for a new CVS pharmacy. Officials in the Montgomery County community say they were blindsided by the quick sale of the property at Route 202 and Township Line Road and had no legal power to block the building's destruction. Too late to save the inn, which came down in a cloud of dust last May, volunteers are now cataloging an estimated 80 other historic buildings in Whitpain and are proposing an ordinance to protect them.
July 20, 1996 |
In Poland, a developer proposed to build a supermarket almost within sight of the fences that enclose one of World War II's most notorious death camps. At Arlington, Va., a defense-funding bill would make it possible to enlarge the Arlington National Cemetery at the expense of a grove of trees that is part of the original setting of the Robert E. Lee mansion, the historic core of the property. Each case raises the central preservation issue: What does the present owe to the past and the future?
March 5, 1996 |
The irony of watching the State of New Jersey whittle away at the very site where New Jersey became a state is not lost on Bill Mason. But that doesn't mean he has to like it. Mason, the historic preservation specialist at the Indian King Tavern Museum in Haddonfield, learned last week that the museum and seven other state historic sites are the target of budget cuts for the next fiscal year. The proposed budget calls for a $150,000 reduction in spending, money that will come from eliminating six full-time staff positions as well as shifting workers from two other sites.
May 21, 2010 |
A national historic preservation group has singled out Pennsylvania's and New Jersey's state-owned historic sites in its annual list of endangered places, as "prime examples" of how historic properties often end up bearing the brunt of cost-cutting measures in tough economic times. The National Trust for Historic Preservation included America's state parks and state-owned historic sites on its 11 Most Endangered Places list. Last year's budget shortfall forced Pennsylvania to close or reduce hours at 13 historic sites - including four in the southeast - and concerns are mounting about what might happen in the likely event additional cuts are enacted this year.
February 11, 2005 |
It was a quirky idea hatched last summer by Ellen Weiser, director of the historic Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Germantown. Why not hold an "interactive" suffragette tea? Reenacters in costume would recreate the drama of the 1848 women's convention in Seneca Falls - amidst the mansion's Gothic tableau on West Tulpehocken Street. Alas, Weiser recalled, it was not to be. "It sounded so funky and nobody wanted to come," she said with a sigh, allowing that the ticket price was a hefty $200.
February 17, 1994 |
The Coffee Family Ranch, an hour's drive southwest of Austin in the hill country of Blanco County, Texas, is a piece of land steeped in history. And Lawrence Coffee, a 52-year-old rancher, is determined to preserve it. His family's spread is located on 1,000 acres of ground that used to be a part of a community of freed slaves known as Peyton Colony. Coffee is a descendant of one of the original settlers. The colony was named for a freedman, Peyton Roberts, who settled there in 1865.