Yearly Archives: 2012

The Garfield Rock Carvings

Located along the Passaic River, below the 140-year-old Dundee Dam in Garfield, is a sandstone boulder bears some primitive graffiti. But is the carved rock the handiwork of ancient Native Americans, or much more recent taggers? You be the judge. Continue reading

The Double Trouble Mystery Spot

There is an unusual area in Double Trouble State Park, on the border of Berkeley and Lacey Townships in Ocean County, where all of the trees had apparently been pushed down in a strange circular pattern by some unknown force. Is it the landing site of a UFO, or was it perhaps ground zero for a meteor strike or where a freak tornado touched down unobserved? Nobody seems to know for sure. Continue reading

The Device is in the Brain in Totowa

There used to be these crudely hand-lettered, poster-sized signs filling every window of this house on Union Blvd. in Totowa with inscriptions like “THE DEVICE IS IN THE BRAIN…HEAT FROM THE BODY POWERS THE DEVICE.” Continue reading

Moldenke’s Castle

It kept a solemn and stoic vigil over the Watchung Mountain range for nearly 70 years, for many of which it lay abandoned in the woods. The turreted castle contained 40 rooms. There was a huge entry hall that had two chandeliers made up of eight Civil War muskets each. Suits of armor, helmets, guns, and trophies adorned every wall. The basement housed a laboratory Moldenke used for scientific studies. There was also a mausoleum with 21 crypts, and even a huge cannon! Continue reading

Sam Patch, the “Jersey Jumper”

In 1827 Paterson mill worker named Sam Patch announced that he would jump over the Great Passaic Falls 0n the day that the new Chasm Bridge was to be erected across the span. That day a large crowd gathered to watch launched himself from the 80-foot high cliff, arms at his side, and shot down into the turbulent river like an arrow, then swam to shore unharmed. The daring feat was reported in newspapers across the country, and the legend of the “Jersey Jumper” was born. So began the spectacular, though short-lived, career of Sam Patch. Continue reading

History and Legends of the Mysterious “Jackson Whites”

Ever since the Revolutionary War there have been stories of a degenerate race of people who live an isolated existence in New Jersey’s Ramapo Mountains. This motley group of social outcasts who had taken refuge in the northeastern hills of the state and inbred to the point of mutation. The group, which has been alleged to be comprised of a mongrel hybrid of renegade Indians, escaped slaves, Hessian mercenary deserters, and West Indian prostitutes, have come to be known as the Jackson Whites. Continue reading

Henry Hudson In Atlantic Highlands

It was on this day, September 13th, in 1609 that Henry Hudson began his exploration of the river that would one day bear his name. Before he ascended the estuary though, Hudson stopped at a small freshwater spring in what is now Atlantic Highlands to collect water for his ship the Half Moon. Continue reading