December 25, 2014

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971) | Television

Old television

The Homecoming

 

This is the TV movie that started it all. This film, based on creator Earl Hamner's real-life family, aired in 1971. 

It was such a huge success that a series was created. That series, The Waltons, was expected to be a flop but ran for nine years.



All of the child actors in this film took part in the series, but most of the adult roles were re-cast, except for Ellen Corby in the role of Grandma Walton. This became her most iconic role.

 

I loved The Waltons - it became a Thursday night tradition for me. 

 

I also really love The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.  I hope that you will, too.

 

This film is also available on DVD.

 

There is a wonderful Waltons website.

 

You may also read about another wonderful television Christmas tradition in Yule Log.

 

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December 22, 2014

Celebrating Christmas in Chester | Chester, New Jersey

Sally Lunn's Tea Room and Restaurant, Chester, NJ
Sally Lunn's Tea Room and Restaurant

The Chesters are two lovely and historic little towns

 

Yes, there are two Chesters, just as there are two Mendhams right nearby (this is typical of New Jersey). 

 

Despite some commercialization in the last few years, the Mendhams, Chesters and the whole area is delightfully rural, peaceful, and beautiful. 

 

You might remember my post a few weeks ago about the beautiful Cooper Gristmill, which resides in Chester.

 

Chester Township, with a population of about 7000, completely surrounds Chester Borough, with a population of about 1600. 

 

After awhile, you are not sure which Chester you are in, since most addresses of businesses in the towns just say Chester. 

 

However, the majority of businesses are in Chester Township.


The Chesters (especially the Township) are famous for many farms, antique shops, great shopping, and many restaurants including the famous Sally Lunn’s Tea Room & Restaurant.


Black River Candy Shoppe (now closed)
Black River Candy Shoppe (Those are the Dickens Christmas Carolers going inside)

Robin's Nest Restaurant (now closed)
The Robin's Nest Restaurant

Chester Antiques
Chester Antiques

Chester Antiques
Chester Antiques

Shop in Chester, New Jersey
38 Main Street

World of Birds
World of Birds

Sally Lunn's Tearoom and Restaurant
Sally Lunn's Tea Room and Restaurant

Sally Lunn's Tea Room and Restaurant
Sally Lunn's Tea Room and Restaurant


To read more about Chester, check out the delightful "I Love Chester" website.

 

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December 15, 2014

Northlandz, Part 2 (With Dolls!) | Flemington, New Jersey

Northlandz 2000 pipe organ
2,000 pipe organ which the Northlandz owner sometimes plays


Northlandz Dolls

 

Last week I told you about Northlandz, the model railroad located in Flemington, New Jersey

 

I showed you some trains and the spectacular scenery and settings that were created by the owner.
 

This week I will show you some other interesting parts of Northlandz.

Here is a Christmas village:


Northlandz Christmas Village
Christmas Village

The World’s Only Toothpick Farm:


Toothpick Farm
The World's Only Toothpick Farm

There is a room where there is a control panel to run the trains on schedule.


The Control Panel that runs the trains
The Control Panel

And now . . .  the DOLLS!

 

Northlandz contains a doll museum called La Peep Doll House, and very creative it is!


La Peep Doll House
La Peep Doll House

La Peep Doll House living room
La Peep Doll House Living Room

La Peep Doll House jam session
La Peep Doll House jam session

La Peep Doll House
La Peep Doll House

La Peep Doll House dance
La Peep Doll House dance

Pee Herman doll on the right
I spy Pee Wee Herman on the right

Dolls playing chamber music
Old time chamber music group


Dolls of famous people

Lucille Ball, Groucho Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Louis Armstrong

Our Gang AKA The Little Rascals
Our Gang, a.k.a. The Little Rascals

Rag dolls
Rag Dolls

Raggedy Ann
Raggedy Ann is the boss


UPDATE 2022:

 

The original creator and owner of Northlandz decided to retire several years ago.

 

Northlandz was almost torn down until a businessman came upon it, was impressed, and decided to renovate the place:

 

Businessman Needing a Warehouse Stumbles Upon World’s Largest Train Set—And Refuses to Simply Tear it Down

 

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December 08, 2014

Northlandz, Part 1 | Flemington, New Jersey

Northlandz sign

Northlandz

 

Northlandz is considered the “world’s largest model railroad” by some, although others have claimed that title for a place in Germany

 
It is certainly one of the largest in the world. Northlandz started with the owner building trains and villages for his own amusement after a hard day’s work. 

Eventually it was housed in an enormous building (16 acres!) on Route 202 in historic Flemington, New Jersey. 

 

The settings are impressive, with tiny villages and large cities, and huge mountains with long bridges. The little trains run up and down and around these structures. 

 

It’s a great place to visit for train enthusiasts, small children, and just about anyone. 

There is also the doll museum and a pipe organ (which the owner plays). 

 

It’s a little expensive to visit, but it is the creation of one man’s passion and vision, and is a special place. 

 

The owner even is in charge of the little shop on the site. He was there when we went! 

Northlandz building
Northlandz organ

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

City at the Northlandz model railroad

City scene at Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad

Northlandz model railroad



You may also visit my next post about Northlandz, which includes dolls!

 

UPDATE 2022:

 

The original creator and owner of Northlandz decided to retire several years ago.

 

Northlandz was almost torn down until a businessman came upon it, was impressed, and decided to renovate the place:

 

Businessman Needing a Warehouse Stumbles Upon World’s Largest Train Set—And Refuses to Simply Tear it Down



Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

December 01, 2014

Searching for History in Belvidere

 

Belvidere, New Jersey


Belvidere, New Jersey Has An Interesting History

 

We came back for a second visit to pretty Belvidere, New Jersey

 

We had several goals that day. 

 

One of them was to see the Robert Morris House on Greenwich Street. Robert Morris was one of the signers of The Declaration of Independence

 

I also wanted to check out the Country Gate Players Playhouse and the downtown area, filled with historic buildings. 

 

We parked in front of a nice house on Greenwich Street next to the Country Gate Players Playhouse. 

Country Gate Playhouse


We ate lunch at the Thisilldous Eatery

 

Everyone was very friendly. The sandwich was good.

 


Belvidere, New Jersey




We admired the John Nicoll House, built c. 1825. He was a clockmaker.


John Nicoll House, Belvidere, New Jersey


John Nicoll House plaque, Belvidere, New Jersey

If you are wondering why we wanted to see the PNC Bank Building, it is because it was originally the First National Bank Building. 

It is a beautiful building, especially on the inside. It was built in 1929, which isn’t old by Belvidere standards, but it is truly a classic bank building. 


They have really kept the original interior mostly intact. 

Of course I couldn’t take photos inside because it is a bank, but I will tell you that it has beautifully decorative ceilings, lovely light fixtures, huge windows, and even classic old-school teller cages! 

When the teller noticed me wandering around and gazing at everything, and asked me if I wanted help, I just told her that we just wanted to see the inside of the building, and she laughed knowingly. 

 

I told you everyone in this town is so friendly. 

PNC Bank Building, Belvidere, New Jersey


PNC Bank Building, Belvidere, New Jersey


PNC Bank Building, Belvidere, New Jersey


Warren House was built in 1828, on the former site of a log cabin. It is now a Masonic temple.


Warren House, Belvidere, New Jersey


Warren House, Belvidere, New Jersey

We walked back to Greenwich Street. I decided that we now needed to search for the Robert Morris House. 

As we walked back to our car, I realized that we had parked right in front of it!


Yes, it was right next to the Country Gate Playhouse! 

In addition to signing The Declaration of Independence, Robert Morris apparently named Belvidere, and was a financier to the American Revolution. 

 

He had this house built for his daughter and gave it to her as a gift for her wedding in 1780.

Robert Morris House, Belvidere, New Jersey


Robert Morris House plaque, Belvidere, New Jersey


Robert Morris House, Belvidere, New Jersey


Robert Morris House, Belvidere, New Jersey


Please read Belvidere Town Square and The Shoe Tree Oak.

 

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