Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on large gatherings to stop the spread of the virus, the annual Shippen Manor Lawn Concerts Series could not be held in 2020. However, the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Division of the Department of Land Preservation, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, invites you to enjoy online concerts by the bands that were scheduled to perform. Next on stage is The Lost Rambers!
The Lost Ramblers are a string band who specialize in bluegrass, old time music and much more. They can be found playing at nearly every kind of event as a 3, 4 or 5 piece band. Book the band for your next event to have a one of a kind live performance.
This week is Thanksgiving and we wanted to give you a little bit different history about the holiday. This year, it’s about presidential pardons.
FREE THE TURKEY!
The first president to free a turkey after it was sent to the White House was Pres. Lincoln in 1863. This was because Lincoln’s young son Tad named the turkey “Jack” and adopted it as a pet. He begged his father to not let the bird be killed. (By the way, Jack was supposed to be the Christmas turkey.)
A poultry farmer from Rhode Island, Horace Vose, began the tradition of giving presidents Thanksgiving turkeys in 1873 when he sent President Ulysses S. Grant a 38-pound turkey. Vose (the “Turkey King”) continued to send prize Thanksgiving turkeys to presidents through Woodrow Wilson in 1913. After Vose’s death in 1913, other farmers tried to replace him—Morris & Co., a Chicago meat-packing company send a dressed turkey named “Supreme III” to Pres. Warren G. Harding in 1922. A General Motors truck set the record for truck travel—by going nonstop to the White House from Chicago (37 hours and 34 minutes).
After Hardin’s death in Aug 1923, Pres. Calvin Coolidge tried to discontinue the turkey tradition saying that he would buy his own bird. Years later, Coolidge gave in after the White House was flooded with Thanksgiving offers from turkeys to ducks, deer and even a live raccoon. Coolidge opted to eat the turkey and keep the raccoon as a pet that they named Rebecca. (See picture)
President Harry S. Truman was the first to receive a live turkey from the National Turkey Federation (and is often wrongly credited with being the first president to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey in 1947). The NTF was an industrial group that presented a bird to the presidents ever since. Although Truman ate the turkey and did not pardon it, he was not the only one. American Presidents through Lyndon B. Johnson (except for John Kennedy) did the same thing. On 19 Nov 1963, at a White House Rose Garden ceremony, Pres. Kennedy received a 55-pound live turkey that wore a sign around its next that read, “Good Eating, Mr. President.” In response, Kennedy said, “We’ll just let this one grow.” He never officially pardoned the bird, though some newspapers said he did. Three days later, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.
The practice of freeing the presidential turkey and sending it to a petting farm began with Richard M. Nixon. He also never mentioned the word “pardon”. The word was used by his predecessor, President Gerald R. Ford after he pardoned Nixon following the “Watergate Scandal” in which Nixon resigned in 1974.
The first president to use the word “pardon” was Pres. Ronald Reagan. He was actually joking after reporters asked whether he planned to pardon aides Oliver North and Robert Poindexter who were involved in the Iran-contra scandal. Reagan pointed at Charlie the Turkey and said, “Maybe I’ll pardon him.”
In 1989, Pres. George H.W. Bush officially started pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey. He declared, “Let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table, not this guy—he’s granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”
Since then, the pardoning of turkeys has been an annual photo op for presidents and the turkey industry. Presidents generally pardon two turkeys. This is because a runner-up is picked in case the winner cannot perform its duties (somewhat like a beauty pageant).
WHERE DO THEY GO?
After a turkey is pardoned by the president, they are sent to live out their days in obscurity. In 1987, Charlie the turkey was sent to a petting zoo. In 2005, Marshmallow and his backup, Yam, were sent to live in Disneyland. In 2009, Courage and Carolina were sent to live on a farm in North Carolina. In 2015, Abe and Honest were sent to live at Morven Park, the Westmoreland Davis estate in Leesburg, VA.
This year’s turkeys are named “Corn” and “Cob”. Corn was hatched on 2 July 2020 and is 32” tall and weighs 42 pounds. His favorite snack is sweet corn and loves to watch college football. Cob was hatched the same day and is 31” tall and weighs 41 pounds. His favorite snacks are soybeans and he loves puzzles and visiting the D.C. monuments. (Learn more about this year’s turkeys, see: www.whitehouse.gov/gobble/).
Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you nothing but health and happiness.
The small village of Imlaydale, located in the southern end of Washington Township (as well as part in Lebanon Twp. and Hampton Borough in Hunterdon County), is located along the banks of the Musconetcong River. John Bowlby (c. 1700-1782) first settled Imlaydale and the community grew up around the gristmill (c. 1792) by Samuel Bowlby and Henry Dusenberry. Before 1834, the village contained a mill, store and three residences. A second structure replaced the mill in 1857 and operated into the 1950s. Today, it is a private residence.
Before Route 31 came into existence, the old “Clinton/Washington Road” was one in a series of connected dirt roads that ran north south from small community to small community. The path predates several small towns along the route, including Clinton and Washington. When it was built, the Imlaydale Bridge was an extension of Main Street in Hampton. Prior to the concrete bridge (which can be seen from Route 31), there was a wood plank bridge that crossed the Musconetcong behind the mill. At some point, the planks were replaced with two short Warren trust pony bridges (one a single span and the other a two-span). The Pony Pratt Truss Bridge, made from prefabricated cast-iron. Built in 1868 by William Cowin of Lambertville the bridge crossed the Musconetcong River. The structures in Imlaydale are dated to c. 1830 to 1880 and have distinct historical character.
The historic district’s buildings are mostly residential structures with outbuildings.
• The Stewart-Cramer House (c. 1832) is a coursed rubble-stone dwelling with single-pile center-hall plan and Federal style detailing.
• The Peter Cramer House (c. 1857-60) is a blocky structure with a low-pitched roof and wide bracketed eaves that resemble Italianate cubical villas.
• The Valley Church Parsonage (c. 1860-65) (on the west side of Route 31 on Bryans Road) exhibits Gothic Revival influences in its central front gable and scalloped barge boards.
• The Imlaydale Mill (second structure, c. 1857) is located on the site of the original mill. It has seen some minor alterations in its design and is a good example of 19th c. mill buildings in the area. It retains some of its mill works and hydrosystem.
• The district’s abandoned bridge (1913) carried the realigned Clinton-Washington Road over the Musconetcong River. It is an early example of the use of reinforced concrete for bridge construction.
Imlaydale’s pioneer farmers were mostly of British, Dutch and German descent. The earliest pioneer settler at Imlaydale was John Bowlby, who was born in England, inherited proprietary right to acquire title to several thousand acres in the Musconetcong Valley in the 1730s.
According to family genealogists, John Bowlby came to America in 1726-27 with his father, Thomas (1655-1731), who was a saddler in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, England. He married Martha Barker Bowlby (c. 1671 to [date of burial] 19 Feb 1761) on 9 April 1693 in England. She was the daughter of Samuel Barker (c. 1630-1725), who was from nearby Barlborough (in the parish of Derbyshire) whose landed interests included 4/5ths of a West Jersey proprietary (which means he was very wealthy and acquired a lot of land). The Bowlbys settled in Burlington Co., NJ where Thomas died in 1731. In his will, he distributed a substantial amount of land in West Jersey to his children.
The Bowlby homestead at Imlaydale was located near the Peter Cramer house. The hewn-log, 1-1/2 story dwelling was once considered the grandest house in the settlement with two large rooms below stairs (where other houses only had one). It was the first house built in the hamlet. (It no longer standing.)
The Musconetcong Valley Presbyterian Church (located on Valley Road, Hampton, Hunterdon County) formed around 1740. The original log meetinghouse was built on Bowlby land. John and his wife Mary gifted the church lot and graveyard to the congregation in 1765.
#HistoricImlaydale #WashingtonTwp #WarrenCoNJ #HunterdonCo #NewHampton #MuscontecongValleyPresbyterianChurchCem #ShippenManor... See MoreSee Less
#WARRENCOUNTYHISTORY Happy (belated) Birthday to Warren County, NJ!
This past Friday (11/24/2020) was the anniversary of Warren County separating from Sussex to become an independent county.
According to the Warren County website, it came into existence in 1825 when an act of the NJ Legislature, passed on Nov. 20, 1824, took effect and separated the area from Sussex County.
The County was named in honor of Gen. Dr. Joseph Warren who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolution. In addition, “a large majority of the 13,000 colonists living in Sussex (and what is now Warren) supported the patriotic cause. Sussex was among three New Jersey counties commended by the Provincial Congress in 1775 for ‘spirited exertions’ in raising minutemen for the fight for independence.”
Originally, the county had seven townships (Greenwich, Hardwick, Independence, Knowlton, Mansfield, Oxford and Pahaquarry) and from that, twenty-two municipalities were created. The choice of Belvidere as the county seat was due in part to the influence of Gen. Garret D. Wall, who donated the land for the county courthouse, the public square (“Garret D. Wall Park”) and even some of the churches around the square (see our “#OLDWCCHURCHES 19th and early 20th c. Churches of Belvidere” on Fri., 11/20/2020). Did you know that Oxford was in contention for the county seat?
The construction of the brick courthouse, which is still used by the County today, included a jail and offices for the clerk and surrogate on the first floor and the courtroom (which is still used today) on the second floor. The total cost of the construction was $9,942.24.