Archive for the ‘Warren’ Category

Abandoned farm in Phillipsburg

An explorer friend of mine messages me and says “Hey I found this great big farm! I didn’t have time to check it out because it was almost dark. Wanna go with me?” How could I resist? So I met up with him Friday and checked it out. It appears to have been abandoned for maybe 8-10 years or so. The place was pretty well cleaned out. We didn’t find the usual leavings, like mail and garbage and clothing. We found a few toys here and there, a little bit of junk amongst the weeds and bushes but very little else. There was no evidence of kids or squatters either. No beer cans, bottles or drug use. No graffiti. I like to find stuff left behind, sometimes you can learn a bit about the people or the place. Not here, but it was nice to not see a place ruined by vandals either.

It looked like your typical farm. there definitely were animals raised here, and there was a fairly large corn field that was fallow. Interestingly the corn was still growing in neat rows. Apparently the birds eats the corn cobs as they fall but enough kernels remain to seed new plants. The buildings are in rough shape but nothing that couldn’t be salvaged. The buildings were probably built in the 50’s. There was a garage/shed type building, one large main barn with some smaller wings built off to the side, as well as the two actual houses. The houses had a very weird layout, I suspect it was expanded at some point. Its the only way to explain the layout.

I’m surprised it is still here and that its pretty untouched. Its in what I would say a prime retail location and is easily visible from the road…..

All the photos are here or go to the Facebook group

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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.

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.

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EPSON DSC picture

Sierra Exif JPEG

EPSON DSC picture

Sierra Exif JPEG

EPSON DSC picture

Locals try to preserve 200 year old cemetery

The Hope cemetery has some graves that go back as far as the American Revolution. It is believed that if not for the efforts of locals to preserve it, it will succomb to the grass and dirt and weather and be lost forever.

Edison’s Concrete Road



In the late 1800’s the best highways and roads were in Europe. The US State Depts 600 page report confirmed this and determined it was because of government action in European countries that made them of higher quality. In all Europe the best roads were in France, thanks to the planning of Napoleon. Quality roads, they said, helped make their economy strong. “All roads in France receive perpetual attention. Roads in America receive perpetual inattention” it said. Congress, however, disputed the study however, and little was done to implement a federal government role in road construction and maitenance for the next 20 years.  In 1908, France held the first international Road Congress, where methods of road construction and maitenance were  discussed. In 1913 a report was again commisioned and it stated that “the resultant organization would assume very large proportions.” In 1915 the committee recommended a federal aid program, but warned against concentration of control in Washington as well as concerns about pork barrel projects.

When Americans soldiers traveled French roads in WWI they experienced French roads first hand and were envious. Modern society was grappling with the issue of cars using roads designed for horse & carriages. Thomas Edison was a friend of Henry Ford & Harvey Firestone and noted that “I have have traveled over 4,000 miles of French roads built by the central government, and kept in perfect repair. I note with pain and humiliation the horrible mess made by us in our road building, arising from dense ignorance.”

Concrete and asphalt would become the future of the modern road. Concrete is created by combining sand or crushed stone with a binding agent.  There are various types of cement, and one of the earliest was Portland cement. Edison became infatuated with concrete and began exploring it’s uses for homebuilding, as furniture, and for roads.  Not much is known about Edison’s attempts at using concrete. He was responsible for the building of the first concrete road in the US. Located in Franklin Twp, NJ it was built in 1912 happen for another 30 years…

The Germans made great progress in roadbuilding, and after WWII Dwight Eisenhower was inspired to built a large national intrastate highway system which gave us such highways as route 80 and route 95.

Oxford Furnace

The Oxford Furnace was built in 1741 and was the third such furnace built in NJ, and the first where iron ore was actually mined. It was also the first “hot blast” furnace of its kind. Before that, unheated air was pumped by bellows into the furnace. This furnace used preheated air which was then sent to the furnace and this raised the temperatures even hotter. The air was blown in thru the 3 openings in the sides of the furnace, and molten iron came out thru a 4th hole. The furnace produced railroad car wheels, nails and many other objects, though there’s no evidence it produces cannonballs.

Originally 31 feet high, fill has been placed around the base, making it only 22 ft tall. The furnace was converted to use coal as their fuel in the 1800’s & this ensured it’s continued functionality. In 1935 it was donated to the state by it’s owners, the Warren Foundry & pipe Co, and in 1984 it was turned over to Warren County. With a grant of 315,000, the furnace began undergoing restorations in 2001. They are due for completion in spring 2006.

giant toothbrush