March 31, 2015

Port Murray Post Office and Abandoned Train Station

Port Murray train station

Port Murray has a post office that is . . . a trailer. 

What is more interesting is what is behind the post office/trailer - an old caboose and abandoned train station. 

March 26, 2015

You Deserve A Break Today!

old television

McDonald’s is struggling nowadays in the market. Perhaps they should drop that idiotic campaign and extremely stale “I’m lovin’ it” and go back to this classic from the 1970s, with a new cast, of course.


Oh, right they can’t, because for some stupid reason they lost the rights to the song.

Anyway, in this advertisement filled with very talented performers, I spy John Amos (appearing at the time in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and future father in Good Times), Anson Williams (future Potsie in Happy Days), John Wheeler (the manager with the operatic voice, I remember him singing operatically as part of Felix's opera club in The Odd Couple), Johnny Haymer, future actor in M*A*S*H ("Put a shine on the floor!”) and the wonderful character actor Robert Ridgely (with the clean burger machine!) 

I’m trying to figure out the others, especially the actor who opens the commercial. He looks familiar. 

This commercial was immensely successful and influential, and the best campaign McDonald’s ever had.

March 23, 2015

Wolves in New Jersey! The Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia


The Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, New Jersey is a special place. 


Wolves that were born in captivity are able to live out their lives in the beautiful outdoors. 

There are also bobcats and foxes at Lakota. Wolves, and bobcats, and foxes, oh my! 

The couple who run Lakota are dedicated to their animals and have run the preserve for over 15 years. They take wonderful care of their animals and truly love them. They have been committed to educating the public about wolves. 

I’ve been there, and I can see how much they love their animals! 

The public can take wolf-watching tours – don’t worry, the wolves are behind fences. They will also howl on cue! 


The surroundings are beautiful. 


Columbia is actually part of Knowlton Township, in the Kittatinny Valley

I took these photos last October. Sadly, this winter has been a struggle for the preserve because of the terrible weather and other unexpected issues. Sometimes the preserve has been closed for weeks.

If you'd like to help, you can sponsor a wolf


There are other ways to help out, too


Check out their website and Facebook page, too, for some gorgeous photographs and more information! 

There is a wonderfully detailed description of how the wolf preserve got started here, and links to websites containing professional photos of the wolves! 

Lakota Wolf Preserve
Camp Taylor Campground


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories! 

March 16, 2015

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
The Kirkbride Building, Greystone Park (March 2015)

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital was originally built in 1876 as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morristown. Obviously there was no “political correctness” at the time. 

State Insane Asylum, Morris Plains, NJ (Public domain photo from Wikipedia)
State Insane Asylum, Morris Plains, NJ (Public domain photo from Wikipedia)

If you grew up in Morris County, the original Greystone Park was legendary. It was so big looming up at the end of Central Avenue.

It was actually the building with the largest footprint in America until The Pentagon was opened in 1943. There were also rumors about horrible events that actually went on in the building. It was also incredibly overcrowded.

Probably the most famous resident was the great singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. He spent 5 years at Greystone Park.

Woody was suffering from Huntington's Disease, and little was understood about the illness. Sadly, he was sent to live in psychiatric hospitals for most of the last years of his life.

Here he is singing probably his most famous song, the beautiful "This Land Is Your Land."

The young Bob Dylan idolized Guthrie and visited him at Greystone! He sang his song "Song to Woody" for him when he visited. 

So touching, and how courageous of Bob to visit him there.

The original building at Greystone is still located in Morris Plains/Parsippany, New Jersey (GPS and other places give either of the towns). 
A new hospital was built several years ago, and the patients transferred to the new facility.

Greystone Park
The new Greystone Park Hospital sign (March 2015)
Greystone Park
The new Greystone Park Hospital building (March 2015)
Some of the old structures have been torn down, but the original main building – the Kirkbride Building -- is still standing.There is now fencing around the building to get it ready for demolition (and probably to discourage intruders from breaking into the building).

The building was supposed to be demolished last year, but a group called Preserve Greystone is fighting to save the building. The building is architecturally significant. It was built in the Second Empire Victorian style. 

Now I can understand why the state wants to tear down the building. It was used for rather sad reasons. I also understand that you can't save every historic building.

You can read the Final Feasibility Assessment report here

However, I do believe that we don't save nearly enough architecturally significant buildings, in New Jersey or the entire USA. The building was quite beautiful inside, and has not deteriorated so badly that it can't be restored. They certainly don't make hospitals this beautiful anymore!

Apparently, Woody Guthrie's daughter wants to save the building.

Preserve Greystone makes some very good points about the historic value of the building. Some of those reasons are truly haunting. In this magnificent video, there are some stunning aerial shots of the hospital, including some by a drone!

Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

There are some truly haunting photos of the inside of the building here and here.

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

March 14, 2015

March 2015 Updates on Previous Posts

I have been spending some time going through my blog archives. When I started this blog in 2009, I more or less intended just to mention certain interesting New Jersey stories I read about either online or elsewhere.