FOLPI Logo Excerpts from Ironworkings
December, 2001 - January, 2002

Following are excepts from Ironworkings, the newsletter of the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks. Members of FOLPI receive Ironworkings as a benefit of their membership.

December - January, 2002

President's Message

Once again, I am writing to thank you for the support and inspiration you have provided to FOLPI over the past year. We continue to grow, in membership and in the quality services we provide to the community.

Once again, I am writing to ask you for your continued support. For those of you who have been with us for a while, it's time to renew your membership. Sending in your checks allows us to improve and expand our programs, our preservation efforts and also strengthens our voice. Thank you.

We are growing rapidly, but we need your help. I invite you to volunteer some time this year to FOLPI-a few hours at one of our special events or on a special project, or for a regular time period in the museum. You qualify because you care! We're a friendly bunch and family participation can be a meaningful occasion.

Volunteering is easy. Just indicate your interest on the renewal form and museum greeter sign up sheet, or by calling or e-mailing us. I will personally contact you when you let us know you're interested (or even just curious), to discuss how best you might serve our efforts. You who have volunteered before know how rewarding it is and what an inspiration it can be to others.

This year, I promise you another schedule of exciting public events and continued progress on preserving this fragile Historic District, which has made such an impression on all of us. Working together as a community who cares, and who won't stand to see the past lost, we really can help make a difference. Thank you for making it that way. We are growing because of you.
Rob Sparkes, President

Annual Members' Tour, March 10:

Long Pond's Iron Road Robert Erskine's maps from the 1770s delineate a road that connects Ringwood Manor with the Ringwood mines and the Long Pond Furnace. Long an intriguing subject to historians, this road remarkably is still in existence as a sunken woods road winding through a landscape that essentially has not changed in 240 years.

On Saturday, January 6, six FOLPI members set out to rediscover the historic road. Unlike in other parts of our world, where old roads are covered by pavement, development and other "modern" improvements, Long Pond still has much of its original historic land as parks, forests and watershed. While walking the old road, the FOLPI research team occasionally had to ask, "Where did it go?" and some concessions had to be made for marsh areas and private-property lines. But this did not happen often when compared with the entire route.

This year's special Members' Tour will retrace the old road from Ringwood to Long Pond. The hike will take about three hours and cover about 3.5 miles over what we describe as moderate terrain. Meet at the Visitors Center on Sunday, March 10, 11 a.m. Bring water and a snack-and, of course, dress for the weather.

This is just the beginning of a larger project to create a network of trails on historic roads that connect our historic iron industry sites here in the Highlands.

Membership Drive!

A hearty thanks to all of you who renewed your membership and to those who donated more as patrons, benefactor, and business members.

Membership Chair Julia Held is asking each member not only to renew his or her commitment for this year, but also to reach out into the community, among friends, family and neighbors. Tell them what you found here and why it's important. Encourage them to come out for a tour or a special event. Let's double our membership rolls in 2002.

Welcome Corporate/Business Members:
Alpine Deli and Pork Store, Ringwood, Bruce Corbett Excavating, Inc., West Milford, Columbia Savings Bank, Fair Lawn, ERA Fieldcrest Realtors, Inc., Newfoundland, Lakeland Bank, Oak Ridge, Morrissey Garage Doors, West Milford, South Shore Marina, Hewitt, Wave Distribution, an Apple Value Added Reseller, Ringwood.

Welcome new members (last quarter, 2001):
R.M. Agnello, Alan Berlinger, Duncan Berry, John Burdi, Kenneth Campen, Julius & Virginia Carpignano, Joan Carroll, Deborah Cochrane, Richard Cochrane, Bill & Sue Connolly, Nancy Cozzens, William & Grace Davis, Steven Domanski, Philip Donnelly, Jennifer Downing, Cindy Englishman, Ann & Joe Fagan, William Fern, Michael & Susan Flynn, Sndrew Gargano, Joan Gengaro, Kathtyn & Karl Helland, Roy Hoak, Adrian Holmes, Mr. & Mrs. Curt Hyers, Carol Johnson, The Kaminsky Family, Connie Kaufman, Francis Koschier, James & Mary Lou La Greca, Philip La Porta, Donald Leak, George Leiding, Eloise Marks, John Mazur, Stephen McKenzie, Richard Meany, Sr., Dennis Middleton, The Moss Family, Darrell & Peggy Murphy, Stephen O'Byrne, Richard & Dotti Oswald, Michael Pietsch, Robert Probert, John Pyne, Harold Ramsey, Thomas Reichert, Catherine River, Richard & Marion Safford, Kenneth Schopp, Gary Schuchert, Thomas Scuderi, J.A. Sparkes, Jr., Cathy Spoerl, George & Rachel Stampol, Brooks & Helen Sunday, Ida Terranova, Linda Thoden, Gerald & Virginia Tintle, Leo Turetsky, The Tynan Family, Carl Vercelli, Tom Weaver, The Wei Family, Martin Wellhoefer, Barbara Wells, The Zabransky Family, and Petra Zavattaro.

Long Pond Updates

The Hewitt Church - As the fall progressed into winter, estimates came in for replacing the slate roof on the 1895 Hewitt Church. One of our members may be able to help us get slate donated by a Welsh slate company in Vermont. This intriguing possibility, along with concerns about the structural stabilization of the church before the roof an even go on, led us to put the new roof project on hold until spring. Meanwhile, the roof was leaking and could not wait, and the State Park Service was able to step in with a strong tarp.

Our hats are off to the Ringwood Park Maintenance Staff who installed the heavy-duty roof tarp.

Utility Poles at Long Pond - A note for the historical record: After months of discussion with Orange & Rockland Electric and Verizon, an electrical transformer and wires were removed from the utility poles leading into the Long Pond Historic District.

Telegraph wires and poles were first installed in the Long Pond village in the 1860s, and actual electric service came in the 1920s. (Interestingly, the ironmaster's mansion at Ringwood was not electrified until after it had been donated to the State of New Jersey in 1938). In early December, the eight utility poles that stretched across the Long Pond Historic District were finally cut down to restore the historic view of the village landscape. Some of these poles will be used in future projects, including a Scout effort to build a walking path across the upper raceway above the waterwheels.

It is remarkable to look down the old road, across the bridge and in front of the old buildings now; You will not see any 20th century poles or wires along the road. Come see for yourself!

Spring Maintenance Days - Check our calendar page for Spring Maintenance Days. If you can, join us for a few hours or all day. Please leave a message at 973-657-1688 or call Martin Deeks at Ringwood Manor (973-962-2240, daytime). Work crews form at 9 a.m., but volunteers can arrive at any time. Bring gloves and water. Lunch will be available.

Planned activities include cleaning and sealing up historic structures, brush-cutting and clearing, dirt-road maintenance (filling and evening out old dirt roads by hand), split-rail fence and stone-wall building, some building painting and repainting "faux windows," among other projects. In addition, maintenance volunteers meet regularly on Monday mornings. Call (973) 657-1688 if you want to join in the fun.

Recruiting Talent

We are starting our talent search early this year for our living-history events, particularly the Candle Lantern Tours. These special occasions use the magic of the night, combined with our historic buildings and woods roads, to create dramatic encounters with personalities and stories from local history.

Onetime and would-be theatrical artists are invited to join us in bringing the past to life. We have ideas for "scripts" and would entertain other ideas that would teach and entertain the small groups of visitors we will bring through the old village by the light of candle lanterns on May 4 (Civil War weekend), September 14 (Revolutionary War weekend), and November 2. So if you know someone who has interest, enthusiasm and perhaps some obvious or latent talent, young or old, give us a call. Storytellers are also wanted!

The Bookshelf

Last year the Long Pond Visitors Center began carrying reprints of Minnie Mae Monks's Winbeam, a personal account of life in the Wanaque River Valley in the early 20th century, before the coming of the reservoir. The book, which has long been out of print, contains wonderful stories and pictures. We have a limited stock, so get a copy ($20) while they're hot.

Calendar of Events

Visit the Calendar page for the latest schedule of activities at Long Pond.

FOLPI Information Line (973) 657-1688 or email us.

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