Archive for the ‘Mercer’ Category

Head 2 Head on 295

If you drive on 295, as you approach exit 65B you will see a large piece of public art called Head 2 Head, created by artist John Martini. The two giant heads weigh a combined 45 tons and are part of a project by the Grounds For Sculpture, a local park featuring large works of art. The Sculpture On The Way (SOTW) program is meant to be a visual path that leads visitors to the Grounds for Sculpture. By displaying art publicly it is hoped that it was will encourage local residents and business owners to display art publicly on their own, unaffiliated with the program itself.

You can read more about the SOTW program, featuring descriptions and locations of other pieces here. You can read more about Head 2 Head here



Recent news

Bergen Record article on a study of some really really old rocks in Passaic County

AMC is bringing it’s “dine-in theaters to NJ, but they’re only coming to central jersey for now. I wanna try this even if it means going down to Bridgewater just for a movie.

A stockpile of 2600 tons of mercury has finally been relocated out of Hillsborough, NJ. Only took 50 years….

A Hunterdon man grew (then carved) a 500 lb pumpkin

Scott Willman doesn’t just take care of Mount Pleasant cemetery. He lives there. Speaking of cemeteries, A pair of retirees have been working hard to research the locations of veterans buried in forgotten cemeteries in Morris County. In another cemetery story, a slave headstone is beyond repair, but a locals are pitching in to replace it with a new one

Speaking of odd jobs, apparently people go around the state gathering acorns (fighting off squirrels) so they can plant them and keep oak trees alive.

I once was young and stupid. (note: I’m now old and stupid). I stole road signs and dropped bowling balls from great heights. But I still can’t help but be amused when idiot teens get busted for… I dunno… stealing stuff for a scavenger hunt.

Finally, the state has decided that the best way to handle the over 20,000 toxic waste sites is to farm out the cleanup to private contractors and let the DEP handle only the worst of the worst. Yeah, I can’t see anything wrong with that.

Efforts continue to save historic bridge

Local residents try to save bridge built in 1882

The creekhouse

The pictures are rather dark but as you can see they built an extension to the home over a creek. Apparently the homeowner has a whole water garden in the back and building over the creek allowed him the ability to expand and not disturb the flow of the water.
That’s all fine and good, but what happens during a flood like we got in Hurricane Floyd? The owner promised to let me visit the garden at some point and I’ll update the site with more pictures and the full story when I do it.

Is there a panther prowling around Mercer county?

somebody said panther and the cops thought they meant the black panthers… ^@!&(@#_( retards….

Residents in the rural New Jersey community of Vineland are used to seeing wild turkey, the occasional deer and once in a great while, even a bear. But reports that a black panther has been roaming the woods have some people worried. Residents over the weekend reported seeing a large black animal with a long tail walking through the fields and woods. From the look of it, they don’t think the feline is a well-fed pet, but a panther.

“I knew by the size that it was not a house cat. It wasn’t a tiny dog. It looked like some kind of wild cat,” said Zoe Paraskevas, who lives on Old Farm Drive in the Cumberland County city where the cat was spotted. She said she saw the animal in the field behind her house on Saturday and quickly snapped a picture of it. “I just got chills. I said ‘Oh, my God!’ I just couldn’t believe what I saw,” said Paraskevas, who said the animal walked through the field for about 30 seconds before she lost sight of it in the woods.

Since then, Paraskevas, who said she first saw the animal in March, said she’s seen the black furry animal a few more times as have some of her neighbors. Felicia Fiocchi said she spotted something in the field behind their house on Sunday about 1/4 mile to a 1/2 mile away. “I can’t tell you if it was a panther, but I can tell you that it wasn’t a domesticated house cat,” said Fiocchi, who lives on the street with her husband and four children. She’s worried about the possibility of a dangerous cat roaming the woods and fields where her four children sometimes play.

Authorities, however, have not spotted the mysterious visitor. A conservation officer from the Division of Fish and Wildlife visited the area three times over the weekend and found nothing to indicate a panther was in the area, said Darlene Yuhas, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. “There was absolutely no evidence to indicate that there was a panther out there,” Yuhas said. Paraskevas said she was told by the conservation officer that the ground was too dry for the animal to leave paw prints.

Lt. Steve Cleveland from the Vineland police department said the idea of a black panther in the area was so unheard of that when the department first received the report, they thought someone was talking about the Black Panther Party — a political organization. Despite that, he said the department is not taking the concerns lightly. An animal control officer has warned residents to keep a close eye on their children, and residents are advised to call authorities immediately if they see any large animal in the area.

The Futuro House of Tomorrow

Built in 1968 by architect Matti Suuronen, this concept house was designed to be used as either a vacation home or a mobile home. It is constructed of lightweight plastic so it can easily be transported. It supposedly can sleep 8, and has a kitchen and bathroom. Cooking was to be done using a portable ‘firebox’ which could go on the table, or be put away. Steel legs supported the cabin. A door dropped down, spaceship style, to let people in or out.

Built by a New Zealand company, Futuro Industries, they were built just as the oil crisis began. This raised the price of building materials and that was the end of the Futuro House. Somewhere between 20 & 60 of these concept homes were built, and most are still in existence. This one is now being used as a PAL HQ in a park in Willingboro.

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History of the Futuro House

The book is only available thru a handful of retaailers, none of them American. I got my copy thru Desura..

Twin trains






archaeological find as they dig up ground for new park

History going back nearly 300 years uncovered as they dig up the ground for a new park near the statehouse.

When archaeologist Richard Hunter looks at the big hole he and his colleagues recently dug less than a hundred yards from the Statehouse in Trenton, he sees the red, white and blue of America’s past — and the green future of a brand-new state park.

Hunter is overseeing the Petty’s Run dig, where archaeologists are uncovering layers of New Jersey history going back to the 1730s. It is the largest current archaeological dig in the state, and part of the creation of Capital State Park, a $10 million project that will surround the Statehouse on three sides.

The sloping land was an industrial site for 62 years before the Statehouse was constructed in 1792, and plants continued to make products in the shadow of the building where politicians made laws for another half century. At various times, there was a steel plating mill, a steel mill, a cotton mill and a paper mill. They were all powered by the water of Petty’s Run, which still empties into the Delaware River.

“The key point for this site — if displayed and interpreted appropriately — can be a primary focus of heritage tourism in downtown Trenton supplementing the Old Barracks, the Statehouse and the Battle (of Trenton) Monument,” Hunter said. “It can bring people into Trenton and help revive the city. This site also has national significance.”

On the site since July, the archaeologists have dug as deep as 20 feet below ground level and unearthed sections of the stone and brick foundations and walls of the plating mill, which operated from 1731 to 1790.

The mill made ax heads, shovel heads and frying pans, and steel barrels for muskets used to help gain America’s independence. A few feet away, they have uncovered the foundations and walls — even a patio and rear steps — of tenements built in the 1870s. Nearby is the foundation of a site where a small steel mill and furnace stood during the Revolutionary period. They were replaced by a cotton mill that opened in 1814, and then a paper mill that operated from 1827 to 1876..

Elsie the Cow

One of America’s first commercial spokesanimals was Elsie the cow for the Borden Milk company. At the 1939 NY State Fair, Borden needed something to draw crowds to it’s exhibit of a automated milking machine. They arranged public appearances, press dinners in NY, even got her in movies. In 1941 while en route to an appearance in NYC, the 18 wheeler she traveled in was hit from behind by another truck. She suffered spine & neck injuries and was laid to rest “somewhere behind the barn” on the Gordon Walker farm that was her home.

A headstone was placed near the entrance to the farm (not where she was actually buried) where she was proclaimed to have been “the most celebrated employee of the Gordon Walker farms.” Over the past few years the farmland has been sold off, and now has become town houses. Since no one can be sure exactly where the grave itself is, one can only assume that it’s underneath a foundation, sidewalk or road.

To visit the grave marker, go to the Gordon Walker Farms Housing Development. It’s located in Plainsboro right off Plainsboro Rd. You also can visit the Plainsboro Museum where they keep some Elsie memorabilia. It’s located at 641 Plainsboro Rd, but it’s only open on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of the month from 2-430 PM.


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Public Art in Trenton

Trenton has a lot of public art on it’s streets. The first one is 40 feet tall, the second can be found near the train station.