FOLPI Logo Excerpts from Ironworkings
April, 2003

This is the online version of the April, 2003, edition of Ironworkings, the newsletter of the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks. Ironworkings is mailed to members of the FOLPI as a benefit of their membership.

In Memoriam: Martin G. Deeks

If you’ve taken tours, attended events, or simply walked around the Long Pond Ironworks Historic District, chances are that somewhere on the site you ran into Martin Deeks. When Martin passed away in February at age 51 after a brief struggle with cancer, FOLPI lost a passionate advocate for local history and one of our guiding lights. Martin Deeks

On Saturday, May 24, FOLPI will hold a memorial for Martin at Long Pond Ironworks. All FOLPI members are invited to attend. Just bring your favorite memories and a dish for the potluck lunch table. Also, donations to FOLPI in Martin’s memory will go toward building sustained educational programs at the Historic District.

When Martin joined FOLPI in 1988, he brought not only his enthusiasm but also his training as a museum professional to the young organization. His contributions are countless. He helped to institute the regular tour schedule; revamped FOLPI’s publications and newsletters, which he often wrote; created our living-history weekends, Candle Lantern tours, and many other events; guided our public relations and outreach; conceived and ran school programs; and guided the development of our museum. Most of all, Martin shared his vision for the site and the tools of his trade, bringing professional standards and techniques to all we undertake.

Martin's passion for history had little to do with dates and dry facts. He loved to touch the past — to hike the old roads and hold the ancient papers in his hand. One of his extraordinary gifts was the ability to open that world to others. For Martin, history was a living thing found in preservation, communication, education, and engagement.

It is our job to carry on the work at Long Pond Ironworks—to make history come alive for those who visit Long Pond and to preserve the remains of the ironworks for future generations to learn from and enjoy. Martin was always the first to say that no one can do this alone. It takes the entire group. —Susan Deeks

Quilt Raffle

Are you a quilt fan? Just want to own a beautiful, handcrafted quilt of historic design? This is your chance. The West Milford Heritage Quilters, creators of the township’s Heritage Quilt, have generously volunteered to create and donate a queen-size quilt to be raffled to raise money for the Historic District. The “Basket of Scraps” pattern is an authentic Civil War-era design, and the quilters are using reproduction 1860s fabrics and hand-quilting techniques to create this heirloom-quality piece.

Included with each mailed newsletter is a raffle booklet. We hope that all FOLPI members will help out by selling (and buying) tickets. On May 3-4, the Heritage Quilters will be at the LPI Visitors Center working on the quilt. The final drawing will be held on Sunday, September 14, at 3 p.m. during our annual Revolutionary War Weekend.

Church Roof Approved

Good news! We have received the go-ahead from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office to replace the 100-year-old slate roof on the historic Hewitt Methodist Church. Thanks to the excellently produced plans drawn by FOLPI members Carla Cielo and Tom Hitchins, and to an unexpected and very generous donation of $10,000 from lifelong West Milford residents and FOLPI members (who prefer to remain anonymous), final negotiations are under way with Michael Forman of Eden Restorations, LLC.

The remainer of the funding appropriately will be drawn from the Harold Kautz Memorial Restoration Fund. Work is scheduled to begin in June, so look for our restoration efforts to move forward this summer, and stay tuned for more to come.

Annual Civil War Living History Weekend, May 3-4

On Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4, the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks will host its annual Civil War Living History Weekend featuring the 6th New Hampshire Volunteers. The event will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and FOLPI guides will be available all day to take visitors on guided tours of the Historic District. The reenactors will demonstrate military drills, impressions of camp life, and the common soldier’s experiences during the Civil War. A battle scenario will also be reenacted each day.

Join us on the first weekend in May. Volunteers are needed, too. Tell your friends, neighbors, and teachers and help make the Civil War Living History Weekend an important community experience. As an educational facility, the Long Pond Ironworks has a wonderful future, and that future is in our hands.

Candle Lantern Tours, May 3

On the Saturday evening of the Civil War Living History Weekend, FOLPI will be offering its special brand of encounter with history. By the light of candle lanterns, visitors will meet people from the past, witness dramatic scenarios, and be captivated by period entertainment around a nighttime bonfire. Two Candle Lantern tours will be held during the evening, at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Because these tours sell out quickly, advance reservations are required. Tickets are $10 each. (No children under 12, please!) Call 973-657-1688 to reserve your place on one of these exciting tours.

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

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

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