Archive for the ‘Sussex’ Category

Traction … err…. Action park

Action park was a waterpark that operated in the northern western part of NJ from 1978-1996. It was one of the first major water parks in the country and there was no attraction like it in the tri-state area at the time. Located in vernon Valley/Great gorge, the management decided to try to find a summer use for the property since skiing was not feasible. It began slowly, but by the early 80’s was a large park with numerous rides, a wave pool and a motortrack race course.

The amusement park earned many nicknames such as Accident Park and Traction Park because it was not uncommon for as many as 10 people a day to be injured seriously enough as to have to go to the nearby hospital. When an amusement park buys an ambulance for the local hospital due to the heavy influx of patients, that’s a bad sign right there. 6 people have confirmed to have died while in the park and the park closed down in 1996. Two years later the park reopened as Mountain Creek, with a heavy emphasis on safety.

I only have a few memories of Action park. I remember when I was in my early teens (mid 80’s) going there and hating the fact that the park was built on a hillside so every ride entailed long hikes with a rubber tube up the side of a mountain. I also hated the fact that the water was ice cold. It could be 110 in the shade and that water was always bone chilling cold. I did ride the infamous looping slide and it was not a pleasureable experience. It was neither thrilling, nor exciting, unless you consider being held up at gunpoint thrilling and exciting. I suppose you actually could describe being mugged in that way, because it sure felt like I had been assaulted by the time I had gotten off the ride.

I visited Action park again around 1990 or 1991. I recall stopping in because the TMNT were going to be there (this was right after the first movie had shown in theaters) They now had a bungee jump and I tried it. Was terrified. Looking back I was a pussy because I’ve gone skydiving without so much as a single tremor of fear.

I honestly don’t personally remember much else about Action park, but I hope you do, and I hope you’ll post your experiences here. I would say more but honestly why re-invent the wheel? There’s a number of good sources of info on Action park, and if you want all the details, go there. They did the work of writing it, so I’ll let them tell you rather then just essentially rip them off.

There’s a really lengthy recap of the rides and the siteowners experiences at Action Park here. very detailed and well worth reading.

Weird NJ has a page about Action Park, with many reader comments.

Of course the Wikipedia entry about Action park is really the best place to read up about it. It is extremely detailed and appears to be very accurate, covering the rides, the injuries, the deaths, the surly/drunken/couldn’t-care-less employees and more.

1983 tv ad for Action Park

1988 tv ad for Action park

Tarzan swing at Action park

The following pictures come courtesy of Abandonedbutnotforgotten, and the rest of the pics can be found here. I don’t know when these photos were taken, but based on the opne picture showing a reference to Mountain Creek, I’d assume they were taken right before Mountain Creek opened, which means they were taken between 1996 (when Action park closed) and 1998 (when Mountain Creek opened). I imagine this is what Jungle Habitat looked like in 1978 after it closed down.

Camp Nobebosco aka Camp Crystal Lake

Camp Nobebosco is a nationally accredited boy scout camp in Blairstown which has been operating since 1927.  In 1979 the low budget horror flick Friday the 13th was filmed here. The movie spawned countless sequels, and practically invented the slasher horror film genre, inspiring Freddy Krueger (who he later fought) as well as Michael Myers. Camp Crystal lake was originally said to be in NJ (where the original was actually filmed) but subsequent movies claim the camp is located in CT (where the 2nd film was shot)

I visited the camp on Friday,, January 13th, 2006, and met with the camp troop leader. He politely told me no one allowed on the property and all requests had to go thru the are Boy Scout leadership. To his knowledge all film crews, newspaper and tv reporters have been refused access. If they catch someone trespassing the police are called in. He further says that they have many problems whenever the 13th falls on a Friday and said that if the boy scouts new then what they know now they never would’ve participated in the film project. Then again, who ever would’ve though that this low budget flick would generate over half a billion dollars worth of revenue over the next 3 decades?
Since I could not get very far,  here’s a web page which has photos of the cabins and the lake. This site does a side by side comparison of screen shots and actual locals. And here’s another website which features a similar side by side comparison..

the roads were strangely quiet and foggy on January 13th, 2006 when I visited…

old barn and stables

This massive barn and horse stable was part of a farm that went out of business about a decade ago. The farmer’s home next to the barn lies dormant and falling apart as well.

I discovered a running water hose, and based on some estimates of water pressure and time, I figure if it had been running since the farm was abandoned (10 years) and with a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute, that over 10 million gallons of water wasted. A garden hose can produces 6.5 gallons per minute though, so at full pressure (which it didn’t seem to be at) that would raise the figure to 35 million gallons of water wasted.

When I visited this place in 2003, the entire property was for sale to be turned into townhouses within a year. I doubt it’s still there now…



The back looked worse then the front and showed complete disrepair. I doubt this place could be salvaged. Interesting that this place went downhill so fast in only 8 years while other places abandoned much longer are in much better shape….












Pfaff barn

this photo came to me in an email from JH


This picture is of the Pfaff round barn it was built in 1933 by the Pfaff family…as an experiment in modern farming techniques…in townsbury nj on janes chapel road… this is the only roundbarn in new jersey…there are two other semi-circular barns in new jersey……like i said… i sent this once before…if you can use it have fun…if you only look at this picture…remember…the round barn is owned by the state of new jersey….and they have not even tried to preserve it or stabilize the structure…

The music barn

Found this barn in the Delawar Water Gap up near Walpack. It’s near an abandoned summer camp, and wqe stopped by on our way over there. We didn’t go inside, it didn’t look safe, judging by the angle of the roof in the photo to the left. More pictures here.




Wreck on the side of the road




The T-rex barn

I call this the T-rex barn because it looks like a dinosaur came and took a big bite out of it. It can be found on active farm in Sussex county.





Twin Barns

More pictures here






Silverdale Barn







the dirtiest farm ever

This farm apparently was acquired thru a green acres program because there were signs saying no hunting or fishing, and then a list of state park regulations. The reason I called this a filthy farm is there were two rooms in a barn that were covered with 20-30 different messages, all of them obscene, all of them directed at someone named Bloomberg. Is this Mike Bloomberg? Are they an angry NY’er with an odd sense of direction? (it’s located near the Delaware Water Gap) or is their anger directed at some other Bloomberg. Whoever did this strikes me as seriously disturbed. I would not want to meet them.

All the photos can be found here

slaughterhouse 011

slaughterhouse 017

slaughterhouse 042

slaughterhouse 060