|Excerpts from Ironworkings
September - November, 2001
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.
September - November, 2001
What a Weekend!
FOLPI held its Annual Revolutionary War Living History weekend on September 8-9. A large cast of re-enactors, a new location for the American camp, a scripted scenario for the battle sequence, hardworking FOLPI volunteers, and Candle Lantern Tours on Saturday night all contributed to bringing more people to this years event than ever before. Our home guard, Erskines Militia, co-sponsored the weekend with Shreves Light Horse, a mounted dragoon unit, and Pulaskis Legion, a Continental light infantry unit. Our thanks also to the vendors and craftspeople who enhanced visitors living-history experience, including DeBorah Goletz of For the Love of Mud pottery studio in West Milford; Bill Irwin, a chair-caner from Ramsey; and sutlers Sue and Ted Huesken of Rancocas Merchant, Ron Tolles and Dan Morris, and to all the volunteers who brought the Historic District to life during the Lantern tours.
Attendance topped 700
people, bringing in unprecedented donations to benefit Long Pond.
A hearty HUZZAH! to all who made this Living History weekend a
Photo by Bill Cottongim.
Special Tours Just for Members
November 4 - Mine Tour: This September we are advertising a series of special "Mine Tours" just for members of FOLPI. The tours are led by Paul Frost, who has a long-standing interest in the regions iron mines. If you missed his September and October tours, you should check out the November 4 hike to the Bradley, Greenwood and Surebridge Mines in Harriman State Park. This hike will be about six miles long over moderate terrain. Bring a flashlight, sturdy boots, water and a snack. Meets first at 9 a.m. (November 4) at the Long Pond Museum.
November 11 - Hidden Long Pond Ironworks: Patterned after our famous "Behind the Bushes" tours offered in late winter, this new tour is designed to give our members a high-quality experience exploring seldom-seen aspects of the Historic District. Tour guide Martin Deeks will lead you to parts of Long Pond youve never seen and explain some of the finer points of ironmaking, historic building construction, historic preservation and village life in old Hewitt. Martin will also discuss FOLPIs General Management Plan for the Historic District, outlining our long-term goals and vision. If youve taken a regular tour and found yourself wanting more, dont miss this one.
The first "Hidden Long Pond Ironworks" tour will be given on Sunday, November 11. Meet at the Museum at 1:00 p.m. Pack a snack and expect to be in the woods for at least three hours.
News & Notes
In September, Sue Maier led a special tour of Long Pond Ironworks for members of the Sehulster family, one of the first families to have come to northern New Jersey to work for Peter Hasenclever in the 1760s. Although many members Sehulsters still live in and around West Milford, others have spread out across the country, a living example of the historic American experience of immigration, hard work and adaptation to a new land.
If you are interested in the fascinating story of what happened to Hasenclever's Germans, Sue will be giving a presentation at the Highlands Archeological Conference on October 20, a free program sponsored by the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society and the New Jersey Archeological Society.
West Milford held its Autumn Lights Festival on October 6. Though the day dawned cold and rainy, the sky cleared at noon, and we hosted hundreds of visitors who enjoyed free horsedrawn wagon rides, listened to storytellers and played in a petting zoo complete with pony rides. Many of our visitors that day were people who might not have come to Long Pond otherwise, so it was wonderful public exposure for the site. Special thanks to Van Dyk Assisted Living Community, Goffle Brook Farms, Echo Lake Stables, Boy Scouts from Troop 289, storytellers Annie Darling and Bill Wurst, and all of our volunteers for a job very well done.
Get your Holiday history book gifts early! Samantha Vaughans history of West Milford in pictures (Arcadia Press) will soon be available at the Long Pond Ironworks Visitors Center. Other titles in stock include Minnie Mae Monkss Winbeam, Ed Leniks Indians in the Ramapos and Iron Mine Trails, and various hiking guides, prints, maps, and more.
Thanks to active recruiting during the Revolutionary War Living History weekend, FOLPI enrolled more than 40 new members in September alone! Membership Chair Julia Held has also announced a new campaign to bring in business and corporate memberships and requests help from any member interested in working on the campaign.FOLPIs operations and all of its programs are funded by donations and membership dues. And remember: The longer our membership roster, the more "political clout" and voice FOLPI has.
As we gear up for a new school year, Ringwood schools are sending their fourth grade classes to us in October, and some West Milford schools are also lining up for the fall. We hope to work with four times as many classes this year as we did last year, and with that goal in mind, FOLPI will be applying for an education-program grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission. This funding would allow further development of our outreach programs, allow us to buy hands-on material for living-history activities, and better promote our offerings. So if you know any teachersall grades are welcomesend them our way.
Eagles "Hotel Long Pond"
The Long Pond Ironworks Historic District has become the place for Boy Scout Eagle Badge projects, with many under way. They include the design and construction of a wooden bridge spanning part of the historic raceway, which will protect the stonework from the wear and tear of foot traffic; the construction of a viewing platform over the Colonial blast furnace to give visitors an overhead view and aid in interpretation; and the creation of a historic "waddle fence" to keep deer and other critters out of our garden. An upcoming project, now in development, involves creating a viewing platform in the wetlands area of the Monksville Reservoir, and still another Scout plans to extend the sites wood-chip walking path. We will report more on our Eagles in the spring, when many of these projects will have come to fruition.
Drawdown on the Monksville Reservoir
In September, the North Jersey District Water Commission will draw down Monksville Reservoir, exposing much of the area along the Historic Districts border where the dead trees still stand in the water. When the water level drops the six feet that the water commission anticipates, we will get a rare glimpse of the former "Hewitt Meadows" through which the Wanaque River once wound. Although canoers and kayakers will sorely miss the high water, many historians will appreciate the opportunity to revisit and survey the part of the Historic District that was lost when the reservoir was flooded in 1985-96. Although no historic structures were demolished in this part of the reservoir, it is a possible location of one of Long Ponds early sawmills and other structures.
The Church Roof
The slate roof on the old Hewitt Church, which dates to 1895, has begun to fail: The iron nails are breaking, and many patterned-slate shingles have slipped off. Further, a hole opened in the roof last spring, and when it rains, water is entering the buildings interior woodwork. This summer, FOLPIs board voted to use some of the organizations savings to make emergency repairs; these fund, in conjunction with the Harold Kautz Memorial Restoration Fund, will go toward fixing the church roof, roofs on other village structures, and stonework around the furnaces. Roofs are critical to the survival of historic buildings and we cannot waste time with this one.
Unfortunately, our finances are limited, and grants for bricks and mortar projects are hard to come by. But FOLPI is pursuing estimates to replace the roof using the same material and style as soon as possible. We have already had one estimate of $20,000; though it is low, it will exhaust the funds that we have allotted for the emergency repairs.
So if you can help out financially, this would be a wonderful time to step up and make a donation to the Harold Kautz Fund for Long Pond preservation.
This has been a banner year for brush clearing at Long Pond. Extensive tree and undergrowth removal has been done in the furnace complex over the past two months, exposing stonework that has been covered for decades. Now is a wonderful time to take a look at the Colonial furnace and especially at the Northern Civil War furnace, most of which has been hidden from view. Of course, exercise caution if you do: Please dont climb on or under any of our stone structures.
The Long Pond Management Plan calls for selective clearing of brush and saplings in a number of areas throughout the Historic District in order to maintain a fine balance between re-creating the village as it looked historically with a natural, forested park setting. The saplings and other wood cleared will be reused to re-create the split-rail fences that once were found throughout the old village.
Other recent work includes clearing around the intersection by the Company Store, which has dramatically changed the view of the ruin and up the hill to the Managers House. In addition, many "windows" have been repainted and other touches have been added to give the village a living look.
The Maintenance crew meets mostly on Saturdays and Monday mornings. To volunteer, leave a message at 973-657-1688 or call Martin Deeks directly at 973-962-2240.
Keep in Touch
We love to hear from our members (and interested members of the general public). If you have questions or comments, call (973) 657-1688; write: FOLPI, P.O. Box 809, Hewitt, NJ 07421; email: info@LongPondIronworks.org; or visit us online at: www.LongPondIronworks.org.
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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