Saturday, August 8, 2015

Printers' Ink 1899

Occasionally during my research I stumble across some amazing historic facts about Woodbury, New Jersey. Some of these are more profound than others but nonetheless they are all fascinating. Take for example my surprise in learning that Woodbury had the "largest and best advertised carrier-pigeon loft in the world," not exactly something that has been recorded in the annals of time but the exact sort of thing this blog loves to highlight. The following is the article in which I found this bit of info as it appeared in an April 26th, 1899 edition of the New York, N.Y. Journal for Advertisers, Printers' Ink. It is a fascinating little story about John C. Voorhees and his West Jersey Marl & Transportation Co., which produced an actual sweet-fragrant fertilizer that was an apparent hit with the local farmers. Enjoy!

VOL. XXVII.  NEW YORK, APRIL 26, 1899. No. 4.


Woodbury, N. J., and its surrounding territory is not the brand new advertising country which some people may suppose it is. This little city of 4,000 inhabitants has its stories of wealth accumulated through the judicious use of printers' ink. Colonel Green, for instance, has accumulated a fortune as a result of advertising August Flower and German Syrup. Down by the depot may be seen the imposing Blasius piano works. From the [train] car windows one can read in flaming letters: "Woodbury Kennels," "Woodbury Stud Farm and Training Stables," and signs of other concerns which are known from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf. At Woodbury is the largest and best advertised carrier-pigeon loft in the world. Fancy chickens are other products of Woodbury well advertised. It is a camping place for half a dozen proprietary medicine people who advertise in a small way, and there are abundant rumors that Facial Soap Woodbury intends locating a manufactory there.

The traveler in South Jersey will frequently pass a trainload of mail or wagons loaded with fragrant (?) fertilizers. These fertilizers are manufactured by the West Jersey Marl & Transportation Company of Woodbury. This company is, I think, the best advertised concern in this peculiar line of industry in America, and it is the advertising story of its superintendent, John C. Voorhees, which follows this roundabout introduction.

"Perhaps the most trying period in South Jersey's history was when it was found that the section was purely a trucking country *," said Mr. "Voorhees. "This meant a comparative absence of animal fertilizers. In those days commercial fertilizers were almost unknown, but with the demand came the supply and soon there were more commercial fertilizer manufacturers and agents in South Jersey than in all the rest of the Eastern States. A 'Jersey Sweet' thrown at random would hit at least one fertilizer man. 'Time' was given in all kinds of old quantities—any one could have it for the asking. A man on the verge of bankruptcy would have been satisfied with his credit. There were fertilizer men who took it as a favor to take a year's note.

"In those days, even now, in fact, fertilizer men looked with scorn on printers' ink. The nearest approach to advertising by that medium was by printed rags tacked on trees, and tin, wooden or paper signs placed on fence rails. When the West Jersey Marl & Transportation Company commenced handling commercial fertilizers the members resolved to carry on its sales campaign through newspaper mediums. Out competitors were shocked. They said that plan of procedure would result in our ruin.

"The plan of campaign which we adopted at the time we have followed very closely since. First: We manufactured fertilizers fully equal to any other grades. Second: We hired the very best salesmen to he had, Third: We adopted a plan of approaching the farmer in advance of the salesmen. In one sense the fertilizer business is purely local. For instance,. our territory covers all of South jersey, We advertise in all of the papers in that country during the season, and in some of them all of the time. The space occupied is usually five inches, single column. I write all the advertising matter. I have tried various professional adwriters, but, while their work is good, they don't seem to get in touch with our custom.

"At the opening of the season we send to every farmer in our territory a booklet which contains statements of the virtues of our fertilizers from a chemical standpoint, and the various crops on which the various grades should be used. It also contains statements of the results obtained their use. Every week during the season we send each farmer a postal card, telling him the story of our fertilizers again, but in a new form. These postal cards are followed by our salesmen, and after they have covered the field we find that we have gained great many new customers and have retained the old ones.

"Every year we send out a calendar—not one of beauty, but one suggestive of the business and as useful as one of a more artistic character. It is made in the form of our bags. "As we do not use 'slug acid' in our mixtures they smell comparatively sweet, which we find sells goods. Consequently at the country fairs we present the ladies with a miniature fertilizer bag filled with sachet powder, bearing our ad with the sentence in bold letters, 'It Even Smells Good.'

These are carefully preserved and make us friends. "Our Methods of advertising have paid us, yet we receive but few mail orders direct. The value of the advertisements lies in the increased worth of our salesmen. These men report that when they approach a farmer their work is nine-tenths done. This is gratifying, for the competition among the salesmen is simply killing. Lightning-rod agents are not in with fertilizer salesmen.

"There is one thing I wish to particularly impress upon you, and that is that our advertising takes its value from the fact that our goods are what we represent them to be, no more and no less. We have never run away with the fallacy that a farmer does not know the difference between a $40 fertilizer and one that only costs $25. We have found that the farmer is a close analyst, and that 'all fertilizers do not smell alike to him.' We have never made the mistake either, of neglecting an old customer for the sake of making a new one."

Mr. Voorhees told me his story in a modest sort of way, but his particular company is now the leader of them all. It has doubled its business annually for the past decade. Week by week the farmers watch for Johnny Voorhees' ads.


*truck farming: horticultural practice of growing one or more vegetable crops on a large scale for shipment to local or regional markets. As the use of railroads expanded and refrigerated carriers were introduced, truck farming spread.

To view the actual article and some fun Woodbury-related ads as they appeared in 1899 check out below:

Printers' Ink 1899 Woodbury NJ article

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Woodbury's Victorian Murder Mansion

The following dreadful tale is true. Upon moving to Woodbury I began hearing little snippets of stories and half-truths surrounding the shocking 1979 murder of the elderly widow Rose Twells which had occured in her stately circa 1880 colonial revival manse on a quiet historic section of Delaware Street. The case remained a mystery until recently. After so many years unsolved new information was brought to light in 2003 and again in 2008 regarding the case and 3 men were finally convicted for the heinous crime, but details regarding the original incident remained unclear in the new press that was circulating.

It wasn't until discovering Woodbury's own enigmatic Canon William V. Rauscher's book, Religion, Magic, and the Supernatural that I learned the whole story. Religion, Magic, and the Supernatural is available for check out at the Woodbury Public Library and is a fascinating read in its own right. With Canon Rauscher's kind permission the Chapter pertaining to the murder of poor Mrs. Twells is reprinted here in its entirety:

Murder in the Parish

Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

William Shakespeare
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5

The great King of Kings Hath in the tables of his law commanded that thou shalt do no murder.

William Shakespeare
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 4

The Twells family is well remembered in Christ Church for their generosity in memorial gift giving. Fittings for the Font, the Sanctuary Gates, the original Pipe Organ, the Altar, a Memorial Window, the Altar Reredos — all were gifts from this family so devoted to Christ Church.

One important member of the old Twells family was still living when I ministered as Rector of Christ Church. This was John Stokes Twells, a former mayor of Woodbury from 1935 to 1938, and a direct descendant of Delaware's Caesar Rodney, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. John and his younger wife Rose lived in a 14-room 140-year-old house on Delaware Street, just down the street on the left from Christ Church, and two doors away from the Davis Funeral Home.

Rose was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Woodbury. She was also active in the Woodbury Women's Club, and served as a volunteer for the Red Cross. For 15 years she taught in the Mantua Grove School in West Deptford, New Jersey. Her husband, John, was a member of Christ Church, and Rose saw to his spiritual needs by requesting that I bring him his Holy Communion when he became too infirm to attend church services. I went to their house regularly until his death in 1970.

The house in which John and Rose lived was a time capsule, with old furniture scattered everywhere. As you entered there was a stairwell next to a hall; John's former office was in the back of the house, and in it was his old roll-top desk.

Rose was frail, demure, independent, and always pleasant — a sweet, kind lady in the truest sense of the word. She led an orderly life, loved her garden, and took long walks. Rose cared for John in his old age as carefully as a nurse would care for a patient. By the time I knew the couple John could barely hear, and when I said the prayers I spoke loudly. Rose would always shout at the top of her lungs to announce my arrival, "JOHN, THE RECTOR IS HERE!"

After John died Rose continued to live in the old house despite concern about her living alone in such a large place. Celeste Twells Edgcumbe, John Twells' niece, and her husband Charles lived directly across the street, and often worried about her well being. They had always been very close to "Aunt Rose," and checked on her daily.

The Edgcumbe family was active in Christ Church, and Charles eventually became my Senior Warden. Celeste loved her association with the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), and when this group held scheduled meetings with speakers who presented historical topics the gatherings were held in the assembly room of Christ Church. None of us had any idea of the dramatic role Charles would play in what happened on Thursday, December 20, 1979.

At 82 years of age, Rose planned a Christmas visit to relatives who lived in Baltimore, but before she left she was to have dinner at the Edgcumbes. It was a bitterly cold day with snow on the ground. That afternoon I drove my car down Delaware Street on my way to Philadelphia, and as I passed the Twells house I thought, "That's a spooky old place for Rose to live at her age." When Rose didn't appear on time for dinner at the Edgcumbe house, and did not answer her telephone when her niece called, Charles Edgcumbe went across the street at 2 p.m. to check on her. When there was no response to his knock on the front door, he used his key to enter the house. And what he found at the foot of the stairs shocked him and stunned the entire community!

Rose Twells had been brutally murdered — Charles found this pitiful kind lady hanging by her feet from the banister at the foot of the stairwell. Her ankles were tied together with an electric lamp cord, and she had been bludgeoned to death with a three pound iron cauldron. Blood was splattered everywhere.

Gloucester County Times reporter and columnist Jim Six, who has followed the facts of the case murder. since 1979, covered the story in its entirety, and later wrote several additional follow-up articles. The city of Woodbury saw for itself the photo of the police carrying Rose's body out of the house. Her funeral on December 26, 1979 was held at the Presbyterian Church, conducted by The Reverend Richard Craven, and under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home (which was so close to the murder house). Rose was interred in the family plot with her husband John (Lot #3260) in Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro, New Jersey. A large imposing stone marks the grave and is engraved with the name "Twells."

And so Woodbury, New Jersey had a murder mystery on its hands that would continue for the next 23 years. The city reflected the words of the English dramatist John Webster when he wrote in The Duchess of Mafi, IV: 2, "Other sins only speak: murder shrieks out."

Within the parish, rumors began to circulate as to who could have committed such a horrendous crime. Rose had occasionally been helped by a few young people who ran errands for her, and it was thought it might have been one of them. It had already been decided a person who knew her had performed this foul act. The police determined there was no sign of forced entry, and found the back door unlocked, but there were no footprints or other signs since snow had fallen and covered the ground. With such slim evidence and a possible suspect, nothing was ever proven to warrant making an arrest, and the investigation of the case continued for years.

Several members of the parish had their own ideas about the perpetrator. Some of them would pull me aside and with utter conviction whisper, "It was the Mayor's son!"

At that time the Mayor of Woodbury was a man named Frederick Bayer. These people knew Rose was friendly with the Bayer family, including their son who had occasionally performed odd jobs for her. Fred Bayer himself was well liked. Years before, Fred had owned a moving company; in fact it was he who moved me from Florence, New Jersey to Woodbury. I had never met his adopted son Jeffrey, who was then 16 years old — but from information supplied by parishioners I learned he was a troubled youth and a problem to his parents. From the beginning Jeffrey was the prime suspect, but after being interviewed more than six times in ten months many questions remained, and there was no confession.

Shortly after the murder William Raynor, another parishioner, asked to see me. Raynor was now a man of means, and as a young man had acted as a chauffeur for John Twells. He was totally devastated by the murder, and determined that the person who committed this vile act would be found and prosecuted. One day he arrived at my office with $5,000 in cash —reward money given by him, with the stipulation that the donor was to remain anonymous. We deposited the money in the church accounts, and although the reward was publicized, nothing ever came of it. Many years later the money was returned to Mr. Raynor.

One night my rectory doorbell rang. There in the dim light of early evening stood a short, stout woman known in the city as Emma Burton. Emma was a fixture in the community who sold potholders. She was considered eccentric, but was thought of as a kind woman. Emma said in a stern voice, "Canon Rauscher, I am here to talk to you about the murder of Rose Twells."

She followed me into my study, and rambled on about who she thought had killed Rose. Actually she seemed sensible until she sailed into a fantasy about the same people trying to gas her in her house by putting poison in her furnace and pumping it into her hot air system. Her deluded information was of no value, but I informed the police of her visit.

Even after I retired in 1996 I could never forget Rose Twells' murder. Every time I passed the Twells house I remembered that terrible night, even though by now the house had been sold, and was presently occupied by the Harvest Realty Company.

One day while I was still rector I received a call from a person who identified himself as a member of the Realty staff. Apparently someone in his or her office knew I was interested in the paranormal and ghosts. With the sounds of giggling and laughing in the background, this individual said the house was haunted, and they wanted me to know it. In fact, they treated what had happened to Rose Twells in that house as a joke! I never responded to the call, and to this day I will have nothing to do with Harvest Realty.

Twenty-three years after the murder, and years after I had retired Jim Six called me and said: "Big news is about to break from the Prosecutor's Office." The Woodbury Police had just arrested three men for the murder of Rose Twells. Jeffrey K. Bayer, age 39, Clifford M. Jeffrey, age 41, and Mark E English, age 41 were charged with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder. Police, detectives, remaining family and many friends were relieved that after all these years there would finally be a chance for justice. The police had never given up on the case, but it took an informant who was associated with the perpetrators to unleash the secrets leading to their arrests. This informant was LouAnn Vennell-Waller, who was 17 years old at the time the murder took place, and who had an intimate relationship with Bayer. Waller admitted she had acted as a lookout while the trio went into the house to get money for drugs. She named Jeffrey Bayer, her once boyfriend, as the person who grabbed Rose after she fell on the stairs. When Rose recognized Bayer and threatened to call his father, Bayer hit her in the head with the iron cauldron. Waller came forth because she could no longer live with the memory of the crime, and for her cooperation she received immunity from the prosecutors. When the arrests were announced one woman in my former parish said, "See, I told you it was Bayer! We all knew it from the beginning!" The words of the poet John Dryden seemed appropriate to me at the time of the arrest when he once wrote, "Murder may pass unpunished for a time, But tardy justice will o'ertake the crime."

Bayer was charged as a juvenile, but then the legal debate began to rage as to whether he or the others should be tried as juveniles or adults. Finally it was determined they would be tried as adults.

On Tuesday, May 17, 2005 the trial began, and as it progressed Jeffrey Bayer, a man with 17 prior convictions, admitted his many crimes as a youth including stealing from his own parents, but he denied knowing Rose Twells or ever committing the murder for which he was accused. The testimony accumulated against him was overwhelming to the 12 jurors who deliberated for three hours on Friday, May 27, until finally coming to a decision. The Forewoman read the verdict — GUILTY of a felony murder. The jury determined Bayer was a "party to a murder during the commission of another crime." This is different from saying Bayer committed the murder with his own hands. This decision is the result of legal problems when there is no DNA, and only the testimony of witnesses is available. But nevertheless all testimony for the prosecution led to his guilt, and Bayer, now 41 years old dressed in a suit and tie, showed no emotion. On Friday, July 15, 2005 he was sentenced by Superior Court Judge John Tomasello to thirty years in prison. The jury deliberated for less than nine hours. He was spared the death penalty because the court had to operate under the 1979 rules at the time the murder was committed, but his 17 prior convictions influenced his sentence. Bayer's accomplices, English and Jeffrey, would be tried separately. Court TV filmed the entire trial considering the drama and intrigue of this case.

Suppose the case had never been solved? Suppose no one ever came forward? Would justice ever triumph? I believe so, as I do in all murder cases — but perhaps not on earth. The biblical truth is that we pay for such beastly sins. If an earthly judge does not render a sentence, then we must face our fate with a judgment upon our earthly life in another realm. Some might argue this is not enough. Personally I think it is more than sufficient, because this final judgment will take place in addition to any earthly judgment. The suffering of consciousness after death is a prime factor in divine justice — and we will be judged, make no mistake about it, with a punishment far worse than any jail sentence or death sentence handed out on earth.

As for Rose Twells, she is now cared for by a loving God who received her into the arms of His mercy, and into Paradise. - William V. Rauscher


Monday, October 20, 2014

Truly, the Town's Hall

Ask folks what they feel is lacking in many American "communities" these days and the answer may well be that the very concept of "community" itself is missing. Community can be defined as, "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." From the birth of our nation up until around the time of World War II, America was rich with community groups and the "third places" in which they could easily meet. "Third places" being defined as "the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace," and included at that time: taverns, inns, public squares, village greens, lodges, meetinghouses, coffee shops, etc. Even during times of civil unrest and troubled economic periods, America never turned its back on community engagement and the idea that the public realm symbolized the common good.

Woodbury's Town Hall in its final day. It was torn down for a gas station.
image: Gloucester County Historical Society
However, early 20th century America saw a gradual shift from the importance it placed on communal, civic engagement (a "we're all in this together" mentality), to an increased interest in isolation and escapism largely brought on by the rise of suburban development and the increasing presence of the automobile. Simply, it became easier to distance oneself from problems than to address them in a civic forum. For example, where in pre-turn of the century America most adults participated in public societies (through the involvement in various lodge groups), and therefore actively engaged in direct civic contributions, by today's comparison there is very little involvement. The belief that it is always someone else's job to fix, is commonly expressed nowadays.

Take the morphing idea of the Town Hall (aka City Hall) as example. The original concept of the American Town Hall is nearly a foreign one by today's standards. Historically the Town Hall was truly an open-access hall or meeting space for the community and usually filled with art, performances, plays, educational lectures, and entertainment. Most towns and cities still retain a Town Hall, but this is in name only. Look inside today's Town Halls and we may find one or two meeting rooms that may or may not be used for community groups, but will predominantly consist of offices for the various bureaucratic functions of a municipality. It is the place you go to pay your tax bill or inquire about a zoning variance or have an ordinance passed. It is certainly not the place you would go to a Halloween ball and dance to a full orchestra band, or enjoy a family evening of roller skating (all things that regularly occurred in Woodbury's former Town Hall).

Research shows that Woodbury's original Town Hall sat on the SE corner of German (now Barber) and Broad Sts and was completed in 1875. It was cherished by the community. The Woodbury Constitution reported the opening as, "The reproach which we, as a community, so long endured, the mortification to which our citizens were for so many years subjected, is now happily a thing of the past. To-day we have an evidence of our city's growth and improvement, and addition to the long list of advantages which our City enjoys, a creditable and satisfactory answer to the imputations that we are standing still. The opening of the City Hall on Thursday evening last was an event which reflected no little  honor on the people of Woodbury, - it is marked a new and better era which is dawning, or has opened, upon this lovely habitation."

Woodbury's Town Hall consisted of a large hall on the second floor affording a comfortable seating capacity of 500, a gallery, and dressing/preparation rooms. It was lit by 37 lamps, heated with two large portable heaters, adorned with cypress and walnut trim, and boasted a 22 foot ornamental ceiling. A dumb-waiter provided convenient access from the basement kitchen. Various local commercial enterprises including a dry goods merchant, restaurant, shoe cobbler, grocery, oyster saloon, J. Elmer Jackson's patent medicine enterprise, barbershop and more thrived on the street level, truly making the building a mixed-use community center. It was also the location of the community library and reading-room, headquarters for the German Singing Society, Salvation Army Headquarters, and housed the town's first gymnasium hosting the Woodbury basketball team's home games. It was also transformed weekly as a skating rink and the town's first (silent) moving picture house in 1907 which featured a live female soloist to sing the illustrated parts. The hall throughout the years hosted many civic lectures and nights of entertainment and amusement for the community. It was the perfect culmination of American ingenuity and expression through culture.

This was Woodbury's Golden Age and with the above in consideration it becomes clear that the more value a community places in the recognition and engagement in Arts and Culture, the greater the health of that community. But as the years progressed and American communities slowly drifted apart to live quite literally among greener pastures, the very concept of community played a decreasing role in American civic life. Woodbury's Town Hall was torn down in 1936 for a gas station, which no doubt paradoxically provided the fuel for many one-time residents to leave Woodbury for good. Nothing replaced the Town Hall as the "civic, social, and athletic" center of Woodbury, and city leaders increasingly focused their energy on converting a residential-based city of proud locals to a drive-through business district and in doing so, forgot about Woodbury's remaining residents and their quality of life. A side effect of this quest to maximize short-term profit is that city leaders essentially forewent the trouble to worry about the town's aesthetic appeal. The story is no different across the nation during this time, when a quick transformation occurred and America's cities and towns went from proud human habitats, to current-day dilapidated, plastic strip malls clusters where consumers go in one end and out the other.

Despite America's decline in participation in civil activities over the past decade, the concept of Creative Placemaking through the arts is gaining steadfastly. Creative Placemaking "is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community's interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place." Traditional towns seemingly left for dead have been revitalized through Arts and Culture and have simultaneously increased an awareness of their own local History and importance. Quite simply, the arts stimulate local economies. The NJ Arts Council reports that, state arts funding employs an estimated 17,000 workers, supports 37,000 cultural events, and attracts 5 million visitors who spend $125 million. Perhaps more importantly however, is that the arts have been shown time and again to have the power to bridge divides and bring a renewed sense of pride to residents.

APA's latest national poll surveyed Millennials and Baby Boomers on community preferences and dispels popular assumptions on how to improve local economies and attract new residents. The wide-ranging national survey finds that Millennials and Baby Boomers want cities to focus less on recruiting new companies and more on investing in new transportation options, walkable communities, and making the area as attractive as possible. With the apparently failing model of 'business recruiting as economic development,' city leaders will be forced to look at alternatives. Creative Placemaking organizations such as the recently established FAF Coalition may hold the secret to the future success of the City of Woodbury.

Today the former site of Woodbury's Town Hall sits as an empty corner pocket-park along Broad Street in the heart of our once-bustling downtown. Not the best location for such a space and what some in the urban planning field might refer to as a "nature band-aid," but an open, green space nonetheless. With such a space there at least exists the potential for something to flourish. Perhaps "community" through Arts and Culture will once again sprout in the heart of our classic American downtown, and perhaps in towns across the entire nation, as a result of effective Creative Placemaking. Only then will we have the chance to come together, connect, and grow as a community. This is the formula for real progress, not only in 1875, but for today as well.

From the 1877 G.G. Green Daily Advertiser

Citations to follow...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Deptford Institute Free Library

"Deptford Institute Free Library is the outgrowth of a Friends' school. Before the Revolutionary war, a number of Friends of Deptford township, realizing the importance of education and the poor opportunities then existing for obtaining it, formed the Deptford Free School Society to carry out their plans for the establishment of a school. In 1773 one- fourth of an acre of land was bought, on which the present building, known as the Deptford Institute, now stands. In time more land was added and the property was held in trust for the maintenance of the school. Although the trustees were to be Friends, the pupils were not limited to any religious sect.

This institution was kept up until a satisfactory school of the kind originally intended was no longer possible, owing to the excellent public schools which had been opened. Feeling that the property should still be used for educational purposes, the Society decided upon a free library and reading-room. In 1892 the city of Woodbury was made trustee of the building and $5,000 realized from the sale of the land which was to be invested for the use of the library. The articles' of trust provided that a free library, reading-room and museum be opened on the first floor of the building. A course of free lectures were also to be given each year. The city was to provide a librarian and keep the building comfortable and in repair.

In November, 1894, the library was opened, a large proportion of the books having been given by the Woodbury Library Company. Since that time the library has been steadily growing, and a new reading and reference-room has been opened. An effort is being made to serve the interests of the people by placing before them the best literature and leading the children to an appreciation of the standard writers." 
(Public Library Commission of New Jersey)

The Institute's first Librarian was Mary L. Whitall (of Revolutionary family fame). She served as librarian from 1894 to 1897. She left to become Cataloguer for the Free Library of Philadelphia.

To read more about the building's original purpose, the Friends' Schoolhouse, its first headmaster/teacher, and his prominent Colonial-era artist son visit:


Public Library Commission of New Jersey, Hand-book of the Public Library Commission of New Jersey: Libraries and Library Laws of the State (p. 90). (1901). Trenton: MacCrellish & Quigley.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Classic Kunstler

"In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Green Hotel STILL Threatened!


Holy Angels Parish overseen by the Diocese of Camden will yet again attempt to apply for demolition for the historic Green Castle Hotel located at 85 Cooper Street in Woodbury, NJ. Your help is needed! The last thing Woodbury needs is more surface parking!

You will have an opportunity to speak out against this intended action in person at the following times:

Holy Angels Parish will appear before the City of Woodbury's Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) on 8/13/2014 at 7pm.

HPC's decision is then turned over to the joint Planning/Zoning Board which will meet on: 8/20/2014 at 7pm.

Please also consider sending polite but firm emails to the City of Woodbury Mayor and Council stating that you are against demolition:

Mayor: Bill Volk
(856) 845-1300 ext. 137

In addition please contact the Parish and Diocese and tell them you are against demolition:

Holy Angels Parish
64 Cooper Street
Woodbury, NJ
Phone: 856-845-0123 
Fax: 856-845-7409



Diocese of Camden 
631 Market Street
Camden, NJ 
Phone: 856-756-7900 
Fax: 856-963-2655

and of course

Bishop Dennis Sullivan
510 Cooper Street
Woodbury, NJ

Tell the Catholic church that they should be more concerned with building communities and not in tearing them down! "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." - Proverbs 22:28

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy 216th Anniversary, Woodbury Methodism!

Ok, so 216 isn't a typical anniversary year you normally celebrate but we just had to share the following Woodbury Daily Times two-page spread from 1922 regarding everyone's favorite downtown, Hazlehurst and Huckel-designed, gargoyle-adorned church. Way back in May, 1922 the Kemble Methodist Episcopal church celebrated 125 years of Methodism in Woodbury. That would make this May in 2014, Methodism's 216th year in Woodbury... if we did our math right! Enjoy the embedded articles below which feature some excellent images (newspaper quality at least) complete with plentiful historical information. Feel free to download or utilize the full-screen option with the toolbar below each article for optimal viewing.

The article unfortunately does not mention the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church which had its beginnings in Woodbury in 1817. It would be remiss not to mention the contributions to Woodbury's religious scene by the Reverends Richard Allen and W.P. Quinn. Richard Allen founded the first A.M.E. in Philadelphia back in 1794! William Dickerson, a prominent Woodbury citizen, became the church's 13th Bishop. Henry Dickerson, William's father, owned a large farm along Broad bounded by Carpenter which stretched back to the railroad. In 1862, he leased some of the land to the Union Army for Camp Stockton, a Civil War training camp for the 12 Regiment NJ Infantry Volunteers.