Archive for the ‘Roadside’ Category

The amazing House of Route 9

I really can’t think of anything to say about this house. It’s all in the pictures. This very large house on a very large property sits on Route 9 in Egg Harbor Twp. I counted no less than four dragons, a half dozen elephants, a clown, two Jesuses flanked by two Marys and two Gundams. At least I think they’re Gundams….. They may be Mazainga according to a friend of mine.

The story behind it (which can be found here) is as fascinating as the property itself. Somewhere on the property is a replica of a 75 foot Korean military vessel that fought the Japanese in the war with Korea in 1592. I am going to try to arrange a visit.

Advertisements

Abandoned in the middle of Route 46

For a decade I’ve driven past this abandoned house that sits in the middle between the east and west bound sides of Route 46 in Warren County. I have always wondering who would build a home in the median between the sides of a busy highway. I don’t know how long it has been abandoned, I noticed it around 2001 on a trip to the Delaware Water Gap. Every time I would drive out that way I would either forget or it would be too late in the day and too dark or there would be police there. it seems the local PD likes to hang out there in the grass and either do speed traps or just chit chat with each other. it turns out there is nothing special about it. just another abandoned structure, ignored every day by thousands of drivers who probably never give it a second thought.

Now there’s something you don’t see every day

Now there's something you don't see every day

Ran across this beefed up Subaru near a cemetery I was investigating.

The Dinosaurs of Alpha

The G J Oliver Company was founded in 1960, and manufactures and designs lube oil systems, as well as fabricates steel for industrial use. The large metal dinosaurs on their back lawn and in front of the offices are the creation of Woody Hauser, one of the company employees. They were created at the request of the owner, whose grandkids love dinosaurs.

During slow periods at work, Hauser would design and fabricate these steel beasts, working from rubber toy dinosaurs given to him by Mr Oliver. Hauser estimates each dinosaur took roughly 6-9 months to design, build and erect. When he is done building one, he begins work on another, but only during slow periods at work. How many will he end up building? Hauser couldn’t say.

You can see the dinosaurs easily from the road outside the facility. Just find Industrial Drive in Alpha and head towards the end. They are on company property and are visible from the road.

Sierra Exif JPEG

EPSON DSC picture

Sierra Exif JPEG

EPSON DSC picture

Sierra Exif JPEG

EPSON DSC picture

Another circle bites the dust in NJ

NJ’s circles being phased out, which is a shame cause the traffic circle originated in NJ. And I know some folks loathe them, but when done properly they are more efficient then a traffic light. Generally the bigger they are, the more effective they are allowing for a smooth flow of traffic. This of course takes up a larger amount of real estate, but it’s long sweeping ramps on the entrances and exits to the NJ Turnpike that helped make it the envy of toll road designers worldwide because it made for greater safety. Yeah, yeah, imagine that, something done in Jersey that folks thought was good!

The only problem is knowing whether the people in the circle have the right of way or the people coming into the circle have the right of way. Generally speaking, in north jersey it’s people in the circle, and in south jersey it’s the other way around. And I don’t think either way is necesarily right, I think it depends on the road configuration.

Old ESSO station in WV

IMG_2988

IMG_3004

 

Located in kingwood, WV is an old ESSO gas station where old gas station memorabilia is displayed out in the open. Apparently the owner is a collector of gas station artifacts, judging by a sign in the window seeking such items. The Esso brand is the international brand name for ExxonMobil and originated when it was known as the Standard OIl company (Esso is the phonetic of their initials, S O). In 1972 the ESSO brand was largely converted to the ExxonMobile name, but in the rest of the world it remains the brand name for ExxonMobile.

The 1925 Rockport train crash

20 yards from a non-descript railroad crossing in Rockport, NJ is a memorial to one of the worst train crashes in NJ history. On the evening of June 15 and thoughout the next morning, the Hackettstown area was hit by a ferocious thunderstorm. At approximately 10 p.m., lightning struck a lumber yard in Hackettstown. The ensuing fire consumed the entire lumber yard. Shortly after midnight, heavy rain sent debris down a steep hill where the rock dirt and tree branches accumulated in the Rockport Crossing, where the road crossed the Lackawanna’s Phillipsburg Branch.

At 2:24 AM a train full of German passengers traveling from Chicago, Illinois to Hoboken, New Jersey came down the rail line. This was an annual trip organized for German Americans, who would travel to Hoboken and board a steamship for Europe. The train stopped at Niagara Falls, then Binghamton, NY and Scranton, PA before heading thru the Poconos, crossing the Delaware headed for Hoboken. The engine hit the clogged flangeways at the crossing and derailed the trucks to the right. The engine continued down the track for 198 feet before it derailed entirely. the cars behind it detatched from each other and the passenger car came to rest on top of the boiler. The steam fittings ripped open and superheated steam sprayed into the windows of the passenger cars above and beside. Many passengers were burned to death by the steam.

Despite the fire that was raging across town, emergency personnel soon arrived on the horrible scene. Many of those who had survived the wreck either died from the fire and steam or died soon afterwards. The injured were taken via rescue trains to hospitals Easton, Pennsylvania; Phillipsburg, New Jersey; Dover, New Jersey; and Morristown, New Jersey, as Hackettstown did not as yet have a hospital. Many passengers en route to the hospital or in the days afterwards. A more horrific accident was prevented when watchman a watchman in hackettstown heard the whistle blow at the Hazen road crossing (where the accident happened) but did not hear a whistle at what would have been the next crossing. Fearing the worst he held up a westbound freight train that was about to pass thru the area.

A joint investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utility Commissioners found that there was no blame to be apportioned and that the accident had been caused by an Act of God. It is unclear exactly how many passengers died in the accident. It is estimated that between 47-50 people died as a result of the accident. 100 survivors boarded the steamship for Germany the following morning.

A small garden and a brass plaque, laid on the 70th anniversary of the wreck, commemorates the crash site.

IMG_9743

IMG_9744