Posted September 20, 2020 at 06:10pm by bill
Today I decided to drive through my favorite places in Sussex.I started by driving through Sussex Boro
for lunch(pizza).After I ate it I drove all the way out to Frankford driving towards Newton.The point of this was to stop at the Winding Brook Farm(what 's left of it). The Winding Brook Farm has been standing in Sussex County for 120 years. I can't really remember the last time it was functioning though.As early as last year there were livestock still there.However a calf 's death was investigated by the state. Back to the story. Winding Brook Farm is beautiful. I assume no one on this site knows about it. (Google it). One of the barns, however, has been leaning towards the road. Since early this year I always drove around it for fear it would fall on my vehicle. Early this week that barn was torn down. I was so sad to see it gone. Parts of it still remain though and one of the beams were brought to Ideal Farms (up the road) to hold up one of their barns. Across the road from the farm is a beautiful house (probably as old as the barn) it is an awful state. It is such a shame too I fear that some development company will buy it and build ugly McMansions (great just what we need more property taxes). However, for now (what's left) still stands.
After the depressing trip to Winding Brook I turned around to drive to Walpack.For those who don't know the story please Google the tocks island dam project. Walpack has an estimated 8 residents. My tally is at around 19. The drive there through Hainesville is beautiful. Google maps really doesn't do it justice.I made sure I rolled down all my windows as I drove through Layton.I was saddened to hear nothing.I heard no cars, no people.It was a cool Sunday afternoon in September, but no one was out.This has to be because of COVID and the fact no one wants to eat outside in 55 degree weather.I then drove through Bevans(the quiet there is normal only one person remains in Bevans).I stopped at the Bevans Cemetery.The Church that is located at the cemetery is under renovation so when I got back home I donated money.I looked at all the grave stones and remarked to myself how little people buried there died since 2013 - ish.It shows how this slice of Sussex County is dying and soon will be abandoned with few visitors from time to time.I pulled out and took the drive up Walpack Road to Walpack Center.It was virtually silent.I peered inside the post office and saw an eary "wanted by the FBI" poster from around 1988(I couldn't tell). I walked up the street to the old school house and fire dept. The school house is now the Municipal Building with a folding table and 3 metal chairs for the Committee People which was pretty amusing. I got back in may car and drove further down the road to the Walpack Cemetery. I saw three recently dug graves (they didn't even have a headstone).I visited the graves of local notaries.After that I drove past the Walpack Inn and the Bear Creek Campground(the only two remaining business).I drove to the house of Red Fuller who served as Walpack Mayor from 1956 to 2011. Fuller deserves his own blog post.His house still had everything where it was likely left after his wife died in 2017. Landline still plugged, tv still in the same place, even his truck was parked in the driveway (in clear disrepair though).I turned back the way I came towards Bevans and drove onto Old Mine Road.Old Mine road is perhaps the oldest road in America.I drove past one house(likely the home of Committeewoman Jane Wycalek).At the end of what I was allowed to drive on I ended up at the Van Campen Inn.The Van Campen Inn was home to a member of the Continental Congress named Isaac Van Campen.Another landmark that deserves its own blog post, the Inn was frequented by John Adams on his way to Philadelphia during the revolution.I couldn't help but imagine a man such as Adams walking the same old steps I was walking on. I once went on a tour to Mt. Vernon in 2019 and I felt humbled being in the home of George Washington. But it felt different here. This is probably because it is in my own backyard and maybe because I'm fascinated more by Adams than I ' am Washington. I started to drive back home but I stopped along the road to remark at the mighty Delaware River that was mere feet from me. Less than a mile up I stopped at t historical marker honoring John Rosenkrans I walked into the woods and found a graveyard likely for slaves. I felt the same thing again even when I was at Mt. Vernon I knew I was on a former slave plantation, but it felt different here, likely because I was a mere half hour from my home. I did find something remarkable though. A headstone to John Symmes. I knew he was a Sussex County Freeholder, Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court and , one of the early settlers of Ohio, and most notably the father in-law of President William Henry Harrison. But I didn'
t think he was buried in Sussex County along the Delaware.Upon further research(Wikipedia lol) I found he was buried in Ohio.I still find it strange that there is a headstone in a secluded cemetery that isn 't new.
Finally I just want to know people 's thoughts on Walpack and the tocks island dam project. I know it isn't an intellectually stimulating response.I just felt like sharing my love for Sussex County, which should not be part of Jersey btw.