November 24, 2014

Driving Around Belvidere . . . and beyond

Twin Mills of Belvidere, New Jersey

Driving Around Belvidere, New Jersey


Last week I showed you the town square of Belvidere, New Jersey, including the Shoe Tree Oak.

This week I'm showing off some interesting buildings that we discovered in Belvidere as we drove around the town.

First up are The Twin Mills of Belvidere: The Major Robert Hoops and the Red Frame Mill. 

 

The Robert Hoops Mill was built in 1790 by Hoops for felt but later converted to a gristmill. 

 

The Red Frame Mill was also a gristmill, but owned by someone else.

As a Belvidere, NJ website says:

For many years in the 1900's, the mill and the adjacent Red Frame Mill were both operating simultaneously and independently of each other as feed mills. 


I love the little matching mailbox in front, to the left of the window. 

 

At least that's what I think it is. 

<
Robert Hoops Mill, Belvidere, New Jersey


Red Frame Mill, Belvidere, New Jersey


The town clock: 


Town clock of Belvidere, New Jersey


Hotel Belvidere was established in 1831: 


Hotel Belvidere


We then drove down Water Street and ended up on the Riverton-Belvidere Bridge, driving over the Delaware River. 

 

These last few photos were taken from inside the car.

Riverton-Belvidere Bridge


Riverton-Belvidere Bridge


Riverton, Pennsylvania (Lower Bethel Township)


We found ourselves in Riverton, Pennsylvania, a part of Lower Bethel Township, Pennsylvania.

 

It looked like an interesting town to explore one day, but it was getting late and we drove back to New Jersey, admiring the Delaware River as we drove over it.



The Delaware River


Also read my post on Searching For History In Belvidere.

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!



November 20, 2014

Late Night Local TV and Saturday Night Discomania | Television

 
Old tube television

 

I Miss Local Television

 

I really, really miss 1970s television. 

 

Not just the great shows that were in prime time, but late night local TV - which simply doesn't exist anymore, except for local news. 

 



If the local networks have room to fill late at night, they just fill it with infomercials. 

 

I used to love watching the stations sign off the air for the night, too. 

 

This is mostly from the 1980s, but it gives you an idea of what the sign-offs were like:

 



I love YouTube, and I’m always trying to find interesting videos of local TV from that time period. 

 

There isn’t that much out there, because very few people had anything to record them, so when I find them, it’s like a precious gift. 

 

The only recording device out there at the time was the Betamax, and very few people had those. Apparently this was recorded on a Betamax, by someone – who? 

 

I Especially Loved Late-Night Local TV


I remember longing for a Betamax although that wouldn’t have stopped my late night local TV watching! 

 

There I was safe in the den, my parents asleep, and I had no real worries. Nothing would have changed my night owl tendencies, especially during the summer with no school! 

 

Besides, late night television back then had a slightly surreal feel. It was like entering a dream world.

This was back in the day when there was actual LOCAL programming. Channel 2 (WCBS-TV New York) used to program old films (heck, all of the local channels did that). 


What’s interesting to me is that sometimes the commercials bring back a certain time period even more than the shows do. 

 

A True Time Capsule of Late 1970's New York City


The first video above is a montage of commercials and other programming from June 17, 1978. Jimmy Carter was President of the United States.  

 

Who knows, I may very well have been watching this very channel at this very moment in time.

While you check out the above video, at around the 1:00 mark (after the local CBS station, WCBS Channel 2 in New York, had finished showing The Channel 2 Showcase - apparently a rerun of an old The Name of the Game episode) they ran a hilarious and rather endearing commercial for a disco record – Saturday Night Discomania!

This delightful commercial, a true time capsule, is clearly trying to cash in on the huge success of the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, complete with John Travolta wanna–be, complete with white suit, filmed in a real disco!

The record includes a booklet to teach you all the latest disco dances!

Actually the songs included in the disc are true classics, more early 70s Philly sound than Bee Gees era disco. You can buy the vinyl record or 8-track tape! Or pay C.O.D. (cash on delivery!)

And in small print the disclaimer:

Not affiliated with Saturday Night Fever


You can see the commercial by itself right here:

 

 

Going back to the first video, right after the commercial the local announcer (Dave Campbell) actually gives us the news radio–style - The Early Morning Report! 

 

There was unrest in New York – to be truthful, while I love the 1970s, it wasn’t a great decade for New York, which nearly defaulted, among other problems.

The highlight of those years for New Yorkers (unless you were a Mets fan) was that the New York Yankees won the World Series twice.

Speaking of the Yankees, at around the 8:16 mark in the video it is announced that the Boston Red Sox now have a 13 game lead on the New York Yankees, who were in 4th place. 

 

The 1978 Yankees went on to have one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, while the Red Sox had an epic collapse, and the Yankees went on to crush the Red Sox win the World Series.
 

A Betamax Commercial!

 

There is an absolutely fabulous commercial for Betamax at around 9:11 which Dracula promoting late night television taping, following immediately by a classic Crazy Eddie commercial, although an uncharacteristically low key one, commercial

But my favorite moment as at the very end, with the classic Channel 2 intro to The Late Show! How many old movies did I discover watching that show?!

*Sigh* I miss local late nights, or even local TV in general. It just doesn’t exist anymore!

 

For more about New York local television, you may want to read:

 

WCBS-TV New York Celebrates New York and New Jersey


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

November 18, 2014

Belvidere Town Square and The Shoe Tree Oak | Belvidere, New Jersey

Cummins House, Belvidere, New Jersey


Belvidere and The Shoe Tree Oak

 

Last week, I showed you the county courthouse and war memorial in Belvidere, New Jersey. 

Belvidere considers itself “the best kept secret in New Jersey”. 

 

No more! It is a lovely town with more Victorians per square mile than any other in New Jersey. 

 

This week I will show you the town square and some interesting buildings that surround it. 

 

The photo at the top of this post is The Cummins Home, built in 1834 by John B. Maxwell, a Congressman and newspaper editor. 

 

The town square is known as Garret D. Wall Park. It is a very pretty park and is surrounded by interesting homes and churches. 


Garret D. Wall Park, Belvidere, NJ


Garret D. Wall Park, Belvidere, NJ


Garret D. Wall Park, Belvidere, NJ


House in Belvidere, New Jersey



House in Belvidere, New Jersey


House in Belvidere, New Jersey

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Belvidere, NJ


United Methodist Church, Belvidere, New Jersey


United Presbyterian Church of Belvidere, New Jersey


Located on a nearby street is the Shoe Tree Oak

 

This tree is about 350 years old and about 15 feet around. 

As the sign says: 

 

Barefoot country folk sat under this tree to put on shoes before going to worship across the village green.



The Shoe Tree Oak, Belvidere, New Jersey


The Shoe Tree Oak, Belvidere, NJ


You may also want to check out:

 

 
 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!


November 16, 2014

WindMill and Max's -- A Hot Dog Rivalry | Long Branch, New Jersey

WindMill Hot Dogs
WindMill Hot Dogs, Long Branch, New Jersey

 

Windmill Hot Dogs and Max's Hot Dogs

 

In the fierce hot dog wars of the Jersey Shore, there are two famous rivals, both of them in Long Branch.

 

WindMill Hot Dogs has been around since 1964. 

 

They are now a chain in several shore towns, but the most iconic is the first one in Long Branch. It is the only way shaped like an actual windmill. 


WindMill Hot Dogs
WindMill Hot Dogs, Long Branch, New Jersey

WindMill Hot Dogs
WindMill Hot Dogs, Long Branch, New Jersey

WindMill Hot Dogs
The back of WindMill Hot Dogs

Long Branch, New Jersey
The view from the second floor of WindMill.
 

You can climb to the second floor and look out at Ocean Avenue in Long Branch. 

 

WindMill's arch-rival is Max’s Famous Hot Dogs. They have been around since 1928. 

 
Max's Hot Dogs building
Max's Hot Dogs, WindMill's arch-rival in Long Branch

The intense rivalry has created fans on both sides. 

 

New Jersey celebrities that they are fans of one or the other includes Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Connie Francis,  Joe Pesci, John Travolta, several New Jersey governors, and the list goes on and on.


The interior is old-school:


Max Hot Dogs interior


I am not picking one over the other.

In both places the hot dogs are HUGE but delicious.

 
Max's closes during the winter, but WindMill is open year-round. 


Even so, these photos make me long for summer and lazy days at the Jersey Shore . . .

 

For more hot dogs, check out Hot Dog Johnny's | Buttzville, New Jersey. 

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

November 11, 2014

Warren County Courthouse and War Memorial | Belvidere, New Jersey

Warren County Courthouse
Warren County Courthouse, Belvidere, NJ

Warren County Courthouse

 

Belvidere, New Jersey is a pretty little town on the Delaware River.  

 

The Warren County Courthouse was built in 1826 in Belvidere.

Big murder trials and public hangings took place at this historic courthouse.



Warren County Courthouse sign
Warren County Courthouse sign


Warren County Courthouse
Side view of Warren County Courthouse


Adjacent to the courthouse is the Warren County War Memorial, dedicated in 1998. 



Warren County War Memorial
Warren County War Memorial

Warren County War Memorial
Warren County War Memorial

Warren County War Memorial
Warren County War Memorial


Check out these other posts on Belvidere, New Jersey:

 

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen 

Belvidere Town Square and The Shoe Tree Oak

Driving Around Belvidere . . . and beyond

Searching for History in Belvidere

 

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

November 09, 2014

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen
The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen


The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen

 

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen located in the  historic Hazen section of White Township, just outside of Belvidere. 

 

It is a small country church sitting on a knoll.

 

I love old churches with their old graveyards. 
 
This church has a long history in Warren County. According to their website, which was adapted from Snell’s ‘History of Sussex and Warren Counties’: 

This is one of the oldest churches in Presbytery of Newton. As early as 1739 there was occasional preaching in the bounds of the congregation. In 1744, Rev. James Campbell preached several times and baptized some children. The Rev. David Brain¬erd, Indian missionary, and Rev. Daniel Lawrence also preached sundry times till the year 1749. At that time the congregation unanimously put them¬selves under the care of the Presbytery of New Brunswick and made application for supplies, and have ever since considered themselves belonging to said Presbytery. 

 

You can read more about the history of the church here



The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen
The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen
The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen

The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen
The First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen


Please check out some old churches at Belvidere Town Square and The Shoe Tree Oak.

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

November 04, 2014

Cooper Gristmill | Chester, New Jersey

Cooper Gristmill
The back of the Cooper Gristmill

Cooper Gristmill

 

Nathan Cooper built the Cooper Gristmill in 1826 in lovely and historic Chester, New Jersey. 


Cooper Gristmill
The front of the Cooper Gristmill

Cooper Gristmill
Closeup of the Cooper Gristmill

Cooper Gristmill
The Cooper Gristmill, built in 1826

Harnessing water from the Black River that flows behind the mill, 2000 pound millstones turn grain into flour.


The Black River
Harnessing waterpower from the Black River

The Black River
The Black River supplies the power

This is the only water-powered gristmill in the state that still produces flour.

The waterwheel that provides the power weighs 6 tons.


Waterwheel
The waterwheel weighs 6 tons  
Waterwheel
Water is making the wheel turn


 You can also read about another New Jersey gristmill at Historic Red Mill Museum Village at Clinton.  

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!


 

November 02, 2014

Bendix Diner | Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey


Bendix Diner Is Legendary

 

Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights has been around for decades. 

 

Apparently it was named the Bendix after the Bendix Corporation  which had a factory nearby.

 

The diner is situated - literally - in the middle of  Route 17.


Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

You can see a little bit of this diner and other Jersey classics, some by the Jerry O'Mahoney Diner Company, in this video by Alan Wasenius, which includes the Bendix in the beginning of the video (including the interior): 



Check out his YouTube Channel.

 

Most of the diners in the video still exist.

 

Sadly, Max's in Harrison, that adorable red and white cream puff diner, is gone now, replaced by a very ugly, generic building. 

 

Also gone is The Wildwood Diner, which was also demolished.

 

UPDATE 2022:

 

In 2021, Bendix appeared in yet another video AND the Sopranos prequel.


The New Yorker wrote about their documentary The Blind Man Running His Family Diner which is about Bendix Diner.



To read more about diners, please check out:

 

Summit Diner | Summit, New Jersey

Diners Of New Jersey | Jersey Shore Edition


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!