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United States/Covers & Postmarks : The New Jersey Project 2017

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
08 Jan 2017
01:03:58pm

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We're back! Happy New Year! Here's the new thread as promised since the last one was pretty heavy.

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First up for 2017 is Brick Church. I was very pleased to obtain this cover since this office was only around from 1882-1887. As I was populating my spread sheet with DPOs, I was getting worried with the short term post offices and wondering if I'd ever find covers. This one eased my concerns a bit!

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Here is the famous Brick Church around 1890, the area looking as it did when our cover was mailed here. The church still stands, having gone through many congregations and religions over the years, but nothing else on this postcard survives. It's more of a city today. This area is part of East Orange, NJ today. There was an East Orange branch office of Brick Church established in 1925 and it still existed in the 1977 New Jersey Postal HIstory book. It's not listed on the USPS site, so I'm assuming it was closed.

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Rio Grande is in Cape May County near Cape May and the Wildwoods. Unlike the other communities, it has no shoreline, being landlocked. The Cadillac Local Post was owned by Glen Dye of Wildwood, NJ. It was so named because he transported the mail in a 1952 Cadillac. There is a long line of these philatelic covers from the surrounding towns. I thought I'd want to include at least one in this NJ collection.

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This Pompton Lakes cover came to me via one of my usual dealers. I was pleased to get it since it's true commercial usage, and I'm hoping to find more of this type than the collector generated covers. Pompton Lakes is in Passaic County in North Jersey. Three rivers, the Ramapo, Pequannock and Wanaque, run through the borough. This post office was established in 1891 and has been continuously in service.

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A nice 1905 card with one of my favorite Ben Franklin stamps! This is a DPO with the post office having served from 1895 to 1931. It's now part of Cliffside Park. This is the area of the Palisades Cliffs facing the Hudson River so there are a lot of local references to cliffs! Most of the towns in this area have a great view of New York City across the river. Ironically, Cliffside Park has no frontage, being landlocked behind Edgewater, New Jersey who has the waterfront.

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Raritan is a small town of 6900 or so souls in Somerset County. The post office was established in 1852 and is in business today.

The most historic event in this town was that The Knox–Porter Resolution ending United States involvement in World War I was signed by President Harding at the estate of New Jersey Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr. on July 2, 1921.

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The Frelinghuysen estate no longer exists, only two original fence columns and a memorial plaque of the historic event. As progress kills all history, the grand house was demolished in the 1950s in favor of the Somerville traffic circle to handle the ever increasing traffic in the area. If you've been stuck in traffic on Route 202 you've probably been to Raritan. The property today holds a PC Richards electronics store and a Burger King.

One historic New Jersey footnote is that there were several Raritan Townships in the state. This one held the rights to the post office name, but Hazlet Township where I lived for many years was originally one of the Raritan Townships until it was renamed Hazlet Township in 1967 to have a clearer identity. The town had the Hazlet post office since 1876 so it was easy. There are still signs of Raritan in Hazlet with Raritan High School never changing it's name.

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Three Bridges was named for the three bridges that crossed the Raritan River in this area of Hunterdon County. The post office was opened in 1866 and is still in use. This is a collector created cover. Old George could've done a better job with stamp placement, but oh well it's a nice hand cancel.

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Here's a very nice hand cancelled card from Port Republic. It's in Atlantic County abbuting Atlantic City, and has had a post office since 1842. The area was settled in the late 1600s and played a part in the Revolutionary War. The town was originally known as Wrangleborough.

In 1842, Samuel Van Sant petitioned the townspeople to change the name from Wrangleborough to Unionville, with a post office to be established under that name. As another Unionville existed in the state (Glouchester County), the name "Port Republic" was chosen. Cool history!

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The Baltusrol post office had two reigns, from 1893 to 1897 and was reopened from 1907 to 1943. Our commercially used cover was from the final era. It's within Springfield Township in Union County and was the scene of the "Battle of Springfield" on June 23, 1780 resulting in a colonial victory over British troops.

The Baltusrol Golf Club, which was the host to the 2016 PGA Championship. It has also hosted other golf major championships, including the U.S. Open, held on seven occasions at Baltusrol, most recently in 1993. Golfweek magazine ranked Baltusrol as the 36th best in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Classic Courses" in the country.

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I'd been hoping for a cover from Clementon and finally found one. This is a collector inspired cover with the postmaster's autograph. It would have been useless to use airmail from Clementon to Trenton since it's a short drive.

Clementon is in Camden County and was the home to the Clementon Lake Amusement Park. The post office is current, being established in 1886. The amusement park was home to the Jack Rabbit, a wooden roller coaster constructed in 1919 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It was one of the oldest remaining coasters in the country when it was taken out of service in 2002 and ultimately demolished in 2007.

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A personal footnote is that a buddy-0-mine's wife's family owned the amusement park. This is her grandfather driving the train full of screaming kids. They still live in the historic family home today.

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The Wilburtha post office only existed from 1883 to 1919 in Mercer County. One of those places that don't exist anymore, the former location is Wilburtha Road crosses the Delaware and Raritan Canal near Route 29 in Ewing Township.

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Here's the spot today courtesy of Google Street View, one of my favorite tools. The canal is the railing right behind the white pickup truck. Perhaps the post office was in the abandoned building on the right. This isn't far from where I work and may be worth a wander.

And that brings us to a close for this week. I've been getting positive feedback on this series, so I'll keep on going. We have many new images stacked up right now and more covers on the way. This is really snowballing.. and a big announcement soon!Big Grin






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vinman
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08 Jan 2017
04:06:50pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Nice covers Tom,
I spent many days at Clementon Lake Amusement Park. My dad would take me and my sister there in the evening sometimes. I remember a lot of the rides and the penny ardade.
Lake Worth was near by and my family would spend the day at the lake and head to the amusement park at night. Lots of great memories. Thanks for posting.
Vince

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pedroguy
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08 Jan 2017
04:35:04pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Thanks for another trip around New Jersey your posts are GREATThumbs Up

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ikeyPikey
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08 Jan 2017
11:55:40pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Inspiring, lad!

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ernieinjax
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09 Jan 2017
12:20:22am
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Youre going to know as much about the Garden State as anybody before it's all over. Good stuff!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
18 Jan 2017
09:00:39pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Oh God! Not him again! Big Grin Yes, we are back with exciting covers and random thoughts about New Jersey.

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First up is East Orange. These are not new covers to me, but there's a story. Remember Brick Church from our last installment? In the research of this cover, I found a webpage of history about East Orange, New Jersey, the town that absorbed Brick Church. I emailed the author and offered up a scan of the Brick Church cover for his page. We had a nice conversation and he told me where the post office probably was, in an area where several square blocks adjacent to the rail station were mowed down decades ago to create the urban blight of a shopping center! He was happy to get the cover scan and decided to add a section about East Orange post offices to his website. That led me to send him scans of these two covers. Yea, I'm having fun.

The top cover is a nice flag cancel on a clean cover. The significance of this one is that it was mailed on my birthday, but 41 years before I appeared. The cover right below this, is one of my ODDITY Cachets that I produced back in the seventh decade of the last century. There was some question back then as to why the Clara Maass stamp wasn't being issued on her birthday and from her hometown. I can say that it was issued from Bloomfield, because that is the location of a hospital named after her. So I thought I'd do this special dual cancel cover. Sharp folks may have noticed that I sold this cover on the Stamporama auction this week, but no worries, I have plenty of them and one is in my New Jersey collection.

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Midvale is a DPO in Warren County. It's a good strike that's not obscured by the postcard verbiage that screws up a lot of postmarks. This post office existed from 1878 to 1930. Midvale is now part of Wanaque which has a population just shy of 12,000 people. The borough's name Wanaque (original pronunciation 'Wa Na Kee') is thought to have been derived from a Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of sassafras". But most important "Wanaque" has a Scrabble value of 14 points, mainly because it has both a W and a Q in it. Now you can impress your friends on game night! And what would this discussion be without...

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Of course we have a Wanaque cover! Like the bonus East Orange covers, I've had this one a long time. It's interesting because it has a dateless town cancel, but can be dated by the 1953 Christmas seal. The cover was never sealed, and was sent at the 1 1/2 cent rate for unsealed circular rate, which was extended to holiday cards. This is an oversize card envelope, which no worries, my two pocket album pages accommodate it just fine. I'll also mention that this town is also home to the Wanaque Reservoir. The post office was established in 1893 and is in operation today.

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And a bonus for our loyal readers! There was a Wanaque and Newark Highway Post Office. I don't know how long this ran, but obviously ended in 1955. I have both trips in the collection, but since they look exactly the same, I'll only use one here.

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We acquired this Ledgewood card cheaply so we grabbed it even though it suffers a typical postcard issue of the postmark being obscured by the printing. This card also acquired a Dover postmark on it's way to Jersey City. Dover is only 14 miles from Ledgewood. The Ledgewood post office has been in service since 1891. There's not much to Ledgewood other than the Ledgewood Mall, which is a Jersey thing.

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Iona was in Gloucester County and was in service from 1883 to 1966. The area is in Franklin Township.

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There is a Lake Iona and here's the Lake House, which is a restaurant today. And when the post office went out of service back in 1966 the mail went through...

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Franklinville! Which is also in Franklin Township. Doncha love this stuff?!

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This card from Watsessing was a great find because this office was in business for less than 7 years, from 1880 to 1887. The post office was again reopened in 1945 as a branch office within Bloomfield and was discontinued sometime after 1981. The cancel on this card is yearless, but fortunately the writer dated the card as 1885 on the reverse. What is interesting is that Bloomfield is city streets today and this card was sent to a wholesale farm plant company inquiring about pricing per 1,000 plants. So there were farms there in the day!

Sharp eyes will notice this and the Iona card are addressed to the same party. These old boys have been together 132 years so I'm pleased to keep them that way. Watsessing was in Essex County in North Jersey.

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And one more cover addressed to Mr Moon, the plant wholesaler. This one was sent from Convent Station which is in Morris Township in Morris County (go figger that one!)... it get's better! Morris Township is a "donut town", completely surrounded by Morristown! And the next town over is Morris Plains! Whole lotta Morris going on here! There is no Morris Township post office, it's served by Convent Station, which was established way back in 1878 and still is in service today. Convent Station got it's name because the College of St Elizabeth, where I gather there are nuns, has a train station named so on it's grounds.

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And another bonus cover! Convent Station from 1961. My Aunt Joan went to the college and here's a letter she mailed home to my grandmother. My grandmother made notes on it, and her usual short hand (can anyone read that?). Neither my grandmother or aunt are alive today. So this torn and battered cover is family history and will always remain in the collection.

And that's this week's covers! I still have a bunch of new ones we haven't shared yet, they're coming in faster than I can type! Hope everyone is enjoying this series, until next time!

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BermudaSailor
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19 Jan 2017
02:34:37pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

At the Collector’s Club last night we had the good fortune to hear a talk on the New Jersey stampless cover era, from Bob Rose. A video of the talk should be available on the Club’s website http://www.collectorsclub.org/ within a week or so, for those of you who might be interested.

David

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
20 Jan 2017
11:07:51pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Love looking for postmark of towns in your posts that I am familiar with. I joined the Navy at the recruiting station in Pompton Lakes. I currently live about 2 blocks from Watsessing Park. I have been to Clara Maas hospital. I drive through Springfield every day on my way to work. Looking forward to seeing more.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
22 Jan 2017
06:56:35pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

It's a quiet afternoon here in PA. It's damp and dreary out, the perfect time to type another installment in our series. First, thank you to this board and the nice comments, especially to Bob and Dave for commenting below. Bob said,

Quote:

" I currently live about 2 blocks from Watsessing Park."



And that's one of the cool things about this project, discovering the very familiar names and seeing that there was once a post office there.

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This and the next few covers came from a fellow Stamporama member, Art who sent them for inclusion in this collection. Many thanks to Art! Happy

Ocean City is in Cape May County and is on a barrier island. The post office has been in business since 1881. As you can imagine, it is beachfront, and the postmark is fairly common on postcards, and not as common on regular mail. This 1891 cover is personal mail, and the size of the envelope may say greeting card to us today, but those weren't around just yet in 1891. Envelopes hadn't gotten standardized, so this could have been a letter. As you can see they were pretty darn serious about protecting postal revenue with a big black blot on the stamp.

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The Ocean City Music Pier that opened in 1929. The original boardwalk was built in 1880, but was devastated in a 1927 fire. Known as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City has prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since its founding in 1879, offering miles of guarded beaches, a boardwalk that stretches for 2.5 miles, and a downtown shopping and dining district. What I noticed on the approach to Ocean City was right outside it's border was a huge liquor and beer store! So if you are vacationing in Ocean City it's a BYOB town!

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There are cities in New Jersey that are large and the postmarks are pretty common. Places like Trenton, the state capital, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and Camden. I actually had set my eBay search to exclude these until I realized that each city contained several to many postal branches, with special postmarks.

When Art said he had a Trenton postmark, it became interesting once he mentioned "Station A". That's a branch I didn't have. "Station A" required no imagination as there were at least ten post offices with this name around the state. Second popular was, you guessed it, "Station B" with six. Highest it went? There was a Station N in Essex County.

Anyway, Station A was the name of the postal station near the State Hospital from 1911 to 1962. Someone got imaginative and renamed this station "State Hospital" for 1963 and it was still around when my 1981 guidebook was published but seems to have gone away since.

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Art also sent me a Haddonfield, NJ cover with a Barr-Fyke machine cancel. These machines were distributed approximately 1897 - 1905, and as shown on our cover, remained in use for many years. The Haddonfield post office was established in South Jersey, in Camden County in 1844 and is still in use today.

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Not too long ago we had Cliffside and mentioned that it wasn't really cliffside, but was behind Cliffside Park. So here's that adjacent town. As mentioned there are many areas with Palisade or cliff mention in their names in this area of Bergen County, high upon the Palisade Cliffs of the Hudson River. This office actually represents a name change because the Cliffside post office (1895-1931) was superseded with this one that has been in continuous service since 1931.

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Lake Como is another one of those familiar places that doesn't have a post office today. This is in Monmouth County in Central NJ and had a post office from 1887-1956. It is actually a borough, with a population of 1,800 people. It's considered a shore town with no actual beach front, but frontage on Lake Como. It is completely surrounded by Belmar.

This is a collector created cover, and I recently acquired several different NJ towns from this same source, and here they are...

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The Jersey Homestead Rural Station, was a branch of the Hightstown post office. It existed in two forms, each for about 5 years. From 1936 to 1940 as the "Rural Station" and 1940 to 1946 as a "Branch". This apparently is a last day cover for the Rural Station. This is in Monmouth County.

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Could this guy's handwriting get any worse? I'm amazed he got mail! Elberon is an unincorporated area in Long Branch, a shore area town with many high end summer homes of the rich and famous.

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Now are those summer homes or what!? If I had summer home I'd want one of these! Most of them still exist today, and as the only road became the main road, this is State Highway 36 today, still only a single lane each way.

President Garfield had a home here, and died after gunshot wounds in this residence. There was a post office here from 1881-1919 and it was re-established in 1929 and continues to this day.

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Collecting New Jersey covers can include a lot of different types of covers and stamps. Here we have use of two different charity seals on a Blackwood, NJ cover. Polio was still a concern in 1953 although we managed to overcome this awful disease. The back of the cover has an Elks seal. I cringe at "Crippled Children" since this is politically incorrect to say today. Blackwood is in Camden County and was originally called Blackwoodtown and a post office as such was established in 1845. The town name was changed to Blackwood and that post office has been around since 1881. So if you find a "Blackwoodtown" postmark from the 1860s, I need that one!

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This neat card has two NJ cancels. It was mailed in Millville but we are focusing on the Port Elizabeth receiving cancel. This town has existed with a post office since 1802 in Cumberland County, in Southern Jersey. It's one of 11 NJ towns called "Port" something, and don't forget Elizabeth Port up in Union County. Back in 1778 a dam was built to create farmland and the area was named Port Elizabeth after Elizabeth Clark Bodly, a Quaker landowner on which Port Elizabeth lays. This is one historic area. Port Elizabeth is an area within Maurice River Township and holds the post office for the township. Last census only 455 people lived there.

And that ends this session of New Jersey history! Not because I lost interest but because I have to go cook pork chops. Have a good week everyone!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
05 Feb 2017
08:33:47pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

I cannot believe that two weeks have gone by! I've been receiving covers and have some interesting ones to report...

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Here's our first cover from Flemington. I already had a cover from this town but when I saw this little cover from 1867 for a few dollars I had to have it! It's a small historic town in Hunterdon County and there has been a post office there since 1795.

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The downtown area retains many of the historic buildings, including the Union Hotel which is seen here in better days. It was originally the stage coach stop and inn, constructed in 1814 and the current facade dates back to 1878. The last operator closed the doors to the historic hotel and restaurant in 2008 and threatened to tear it down. Today it sits empty and was last offered for sale for $1,500,000. I hope someone recognizes this ancient structure and restores it back to it's glory.

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I did not have a cover from Bedminster, a post office established in 1876 and still in place today. Located in Central NJ in Somerset County, Bedminster was headquarters for AT&T prior to the various corporate changes. It's also home to the Trump National Golf Course. It was a hotbed of activity back in the Revolutionary War, Pluckemin Continental Artillery Cantonment Site, also known as the Continental Artillery Military Cantonment Historic Site or Pluckemin Artillery Park - where General Henry Knox created America's first artillery training academy during the winter of 1778-1779, known as the "precursor to the United States Military Academy" at West Point.

Per this cover Bedminster hosted the 1960 Watchung Area Council Jubilee Jamboree on July 22-23. I had originally passed this cover by because I thought it just had a second cancel to make up for a sloppy first one. Then I realized it had a cancel for each day of the event. Cool!

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Blue Anchor is an unincorporated community located within Winslow Township, in Camden County. A Blue Anchor post office existed in 1808 and again in 1815 to 1816. They tried one more time and opened a post office in 1891, which closed in 1921. We were fortunate to find a cover with such a nice cancel for a few dollars.

Wikipedia only had a few lines about Blue Anchor, and I'll admit I'd never heard of it before. With a seemingly nautical name, I assumed I'd find it along the shore line, but it is land locked. Google Maps put me on Waterford-Blue Anchor Road in Hammondville. It was a rural road with some houses and farm fields. Kellogg's Cereal has a facility in Blue Anchor, surrounded by farm fields.

I could find no history of the town that existed in 1808, why they called it Blue Anchor or any other facts. I feel a road trip coming on!

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Bound Brook is a borough in Somerset County,located along the Raritan River. The town was named after the Bound Brook Stream that flowed towards the river.

A wooden bridge over the Raritan River was erected as early as 1761 and named Queen's Bridge in 1767. Later, it became a covered bridge. During the American Revolutionary War, the bridge was used repeatedly by both sides including during the Battle of Bound Brook in 1777. In 1875, the wooden bridge was replaced by a steel pipe truss bridge. More than 100 years later, that bridge was itself replaced by a steel girder bridge in 1984, still using the old pillars.

The Battle of Bound Brook, one of the battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign during the American Revolutionary War, occurred on April 13, 1777, and resulted in a defeat for the Continental Army, who were routed by about 4,000 troops under British command.

Our cover was a cachet for the Federated Stamp Clubs of NJ CENJEX show in 1949, but was used for regular mail in 1952. I was involved with CENJEX back in the 1970s.

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I used to drive past Cranford on the Garden State Parkway on my way to work everyday. It's in Union County and has a post office that was established in 1868, with the township incorporating in 1871. The township's name is said to derive from the Crane family, including John Crane, who built a mill in 1720 along the Rahway River.

Cranford cancels are fairly common since there were stamp shows there over the years. I was attracted to this cover because of the neat NRA cancel even though I had other Cranford covers in the collection.

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I found a lot on eBay of a dozen NJ covers for $5 plus $3 postage. There were a few interesting covers in the lot, so I hit that Buy It Now button. The dealer threw in a few more covers so I wound up with a total of 18 pieces. Not bad considering that the average cover is costing me $2-3.

Heading down the coast to South Jersey, Bayville is in Ocean County and is an unincorporated community located within Berkeley Township, which is the subject of this nice slogan cancel. Bayville is the home of Double Trouble State Park and an Ocean Spray Cranberry bog. It's said to be haunted by the Jersey Devil, a mythical character of legend. The post office was established back in 1870 and continues to this day.

So that's today's post!

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
05 Feb 2017
09:16:55pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Thank you for this thread, it has been a trip down memory lane for me. Central Jersey was my back yard as I grew up and spent my youth in Basking Ridge, near Liberty Corner.
Don

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
11 Feb 2017
10:44:52pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Thank you Don! As long as I know people are reading, I'll keep on doing it! And it's that time again...

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Here's the newest cover in the collection. Sharp eyes will notice that it's dated yesterday, and is missing a year! I keep an envelope of stamped covers in the glove box of each of my cars. That allows me to stop and grab a postmark if I see a post office I don't have in the collection. The envelope also includes a printed version the USPS regulation regarding philatelic cancels, since I have received a lot of confusion by postal clerks.

So yesterday I left work early and Milltown is an adjacent town, in Middlesex County. It's one of those that I can't believe I don't have since I used to drive through the town daily... kinda like when I realized I didn't have a cancel from a town in which I own a house!

I find the post office.. actually Suri did, and I made my way to the door with my cover and the sheet of regulation. I was armed for bear. I held the door open for a lady struggling with packages... note I was there first and held the door for her... and she walked up to the counter ahead of me and dropped 5 big packages onto the counter. One clerk on duty, so I stood back for a long wait, lady oblivious that I had one envelope in my hand.

The clerk went through the entire routine.. hazardous materials? Live animals? Liquid? Batteries? for each friggin package. He got through two packages at snail speed and I was looking around for a chair... then out of nowhere another clerk was breezing by and spied me. "Can I help you?" So I approached his station and held out my cover. "Yes, could I please have a postmark for my collection?" Womp! He hits it with the hand cancel. "There, is that good for you?" He asked. I was startled. I stammered, "Yes, thank you." and left. It was too easy. I was ready for a fight. I wanted to say, "Hey! Don't you want to argue a bit so I can show you my regulations before you are resigned to give me my way?" I felt cheated. Some days are just like that!

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Anyway Milltown was exactly as advertised, an old town with a Mill. It also had a few old brick factories, and as I passed one I saw it was now condos. The rest of the town looked the same, two crossing main streets with old town store fronts and old colonial style homes. The post office was one of those 1950s light brick atrocities, and the countertops looked original, God awful dark wood grainFormica on the tops and fronts. It must've been good quality since it all looked to be in perfect condition, just outdated as much as the rest of the building. Milltown has had a post office since 1870, so this obviously isn't the original location. And it's still in business today, or at least it was on Friday.. trust me on that!

Across from the post office on the corner of American Legion Way was a war memorial and a surplus US Army helicopter mounted on a pedestal, obviously going nowhere soon. I'd like to have one like that but I'm sure my HOA would freak!

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We've already covered East Orange, but I had to share this cover. The fun part of this collection is that in finding my towns, in all eras, I can add cool stuff like this patriotic cover from World War II. It stands out since it's rather somber in theme. And the good part is that I found it in that 12 cover lot. I would have paid a few dollars for this one, but life treats you well occasionally.

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Here's two nice covers from Lakehurst, a town that doesn't need an introduction. This was the base for Zeppelins and the site of the infamous Hindenburg disaster. My grandfather was on vacation at a relative's home in nearby Lakewood but didn't witness the event. He said that afterwards they went to see the remainder of the Hindenburg and showed me a little shard of metal that he took as a souvenir. I have that shard today.

These two covers came from that dozen lot also... did I mention I paid $5 plus $3 postage for it? I already had the cover commemorating the Akron disaster in my Zeppelin book, so I put this into the New Jersey Collection. Lakehurst is in Ocean County, and the post office was established in 1897. You will find this postmark on all period zeppelin covers since the Naval Air Station post office was only created in 1961. For the record there was also a Lakehurst Proving Grounds cancel that appears to have only happened in 1918. So if anyone has one, I sorely need it!

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For the town of Carteret, we received this Inauguration Day cancel for Jimmy Carter. In the era before computer graphics, we created cachets with paper clip art and rub on lettering. This cover creator wasn't that great with keeping straight lines, but he was able to get a nice clean 4 bar cancel, so it's a keeper!

Carteret is in Middlesex County and the post office had been in use since 1884. Carteret is bordered with water on two sides, the Rahway River to the north, and the Arthur Kill to the East, which is the border between New Jersey and Staten Island.

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This nice Montclair card from 1907 (with my Ben!) came to me via Stamporama. I believe it came from Larry in Utah, in a lot of cards with NJ postmarks he sent to me. Although Morristown, NJ is rather prominent in the state, I was unaware that there was also one in New York, but indeed there was. It seems that there was enough misdirected mail for the Morristown, NY post office to have a rubber stamp. And they were right, there was a Wheatsheaf Farm in Morristown, NJ. There is still Wheatsheaf Farm Road there today. There are million dollar condos on that road, so so much for the farm! Still, I love interesting postal markings, especially in my Ben Franklin era.

This is one of those covers with two or more New Jersey postmarks. I've had quandaries where I needed both towns, or in one case all three! So what to do? In this case, I have several to many Morristown covers so it was easy to put this one in the Montclair slot. Located up north in Essex County, the post office was established as Mont Clair in 1861, but was changed to Montclair in 1894 and has remained that way to this day. Montclair is on the east side of the First Mountain of the Watchung Mountains. Some higher locations in the township provide excellent views of the surrounding area and of the New York City skyline about 12 miles away.

Montclair is noted for its historic architecture. It is home to six historic districts listed on the Register of Historic Places of both the state and country as a whole, 92 individually listed landmarks, and two locally designated commercial districts.

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The Lackawanna Railroad Station was built in 1856 and the rail lines were eventually abandoned. Here's the station around the turn of the 20th century in it's heyday and again today, where a shopping district has been built around it. Note the column on the left side of the old postcard is the same column holding the "Lackawanna Station" overhead sign today. That's too cool! It's nice to see it preserved!

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And to leave you with an interesting old postcard from Jersey City in 1898. In this era a quick postal card was a way to communicate. This was way before we had cell phones and text messages... even before we had telephones. Read the urgent message. The writer is planning on meeting the recipient's train that evening. The mails were efficient and the card was most likely received in the morning mail. We will never know if these two met on schedule.

Until next time!

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keesindy
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12 Feb 2017
12:57:09am
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

That message on the last postcard is similar to many I've seen on the thousands of Indiana c1910 postcards I've scanned in the past 12-13 years. The interurban system was growing rapidly and phones were generally only available in a local business that would hang a sign outside on a utility pole announcing the location of the phone. Lots of mail showed cancellations one day and "Received" cancellations the following morning, if the circular date stamp info is to be believed. Traveling salesmen used postcards to let their family know where they were and where their next stops were and when they'd be home. Cousins and other relatives used the cards to announce their planned visits. Businesses used them to let customers know a special order was ready for pickup. Those postcards were an important part of life before the telephone arrived in the homes and the automobile arrived in the garages.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
08 Mar 2017
02:50:22pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

I just realized that I hadn't updated this thread in a few weeks... busy, busy here! So I'll add a few of the new covers we've acquired since last installment. Note that I'm always about ten covers behind with these reports. That's a good thing since my new Zeppelin cover acquisitions have set me back some, so I probably won't be shopping on eBay for a while (yea right!). Anyhoo, here we go...

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I was fortunate to acquire this very nice 1907 strike of the Sicklerville, NJ postmark. It's on my favorite Franklin no less! I've never liked embossed postcards as covers, and you no doubt figured out it is a Christmas card. Eagle eyes will notice the Christmas eve postmark. It's a pity there isn't a Christmas Day receiving cancel, but that's probably because it was local service. It could have even been delivered the same day mailed.

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Sicklerville is an unincorporated community located within Winslow Township in Camden County, and the post office has been in constant operation since 1873. The town was founded by John Sickler in 1851, who originally called it "Sickler Town". Paul H. Sickler (his descendants still live in Winslow Township) was appointed the first Postmaster. Today, the Post Office is located near the original location on Sicklerville Road. I took a look on Google Street View hoping to find a quaint historic structure. Alas, I found this blue box. Oh well!

Scooting around town via Google, it's a fairly normal New Jersey bedroom community with lots of housing developments. This is the birthplace of Edward Forchion, marijuana rights activist, who uses the name "NJWEEDMAN. He gets interviewed on NJ Talk Radio (FM 101.5) on a regular basis.

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Staying in the same postal era, we have a nice card from Mount Freedom. Mailed from Summit, only about 18 miles away, you may ask why someone paid double the going postage rate.

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Here's why... notice that the girls dresses had glitter on them. The addition of glitter, or putting a message on the postal side of the card, made it a first class letter. Some collectors were deducing that the "glitter rule" was because the sparkles may have damaged the postal equipment, but no. It was because a postal worker got glitter in an open cut on his finger and died from it! Seriously! Of course that wouldn't happen today since we have antibiotics that were not yet discovered in 1906.

Mount Freedom has a big and bold patriotic name for a small town in Morris County. The post office had two lives, first from 1825-31 and the current office was established in 1871. It's an unincorporated town within Randolph township.

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Randolph, particularly the Mount Freedom area, became a vacation destination for Orthodox Jews in the early 20th century. Around 1905, several families opened summer boarding houses. As the tourists came, more lodging sprung up to handle the trade, eventually hosting 11 hotels, 45 bungalow communities, summer camps and swim clubs.

The fame was short lived as the post-war affluence of the 1950s and the opening of the New York Thruway and Garden State Parkway marked the beginning of the end. Vacationers were now able to travel the superhighways to the New Jersey shore, the Catskills and other resort areas that were previously too far away. None of the hotels exist today.

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Road trip time! Actually I ventured a few blocks off of Route One when I was driving between my office locations in New Brunswick and Hopewell. I had been looking at my map planning out future postal excursions, especially for postmarks that could be easily obtained near my normal travels. I noticed that there was a Princeton post office in a modern office area called Carnegie Center. I was hoping that they would have "Carnegie Branch" or something like that on the postmark. So I stopped in to see.

Again, armed with my prestamped envelopes and printed postal regulation, I ventured into the large modern building. There was a line, and three clerks working. When it was my turn, I approached the nice middle age woman and politely asked if I could please have a postmark for my collection. She replied, "Of course", she tipped the stamping device towards me and asked, "Would you like to do it yourself?" Wow! I almost fainted!

As you can see it's just plain old Princeton. And I have half a dozen of those from various ages in my collection. Since she was super nice, I asked why, and she said that this was the main office. She said if I went downtown, the Nassau Street branch would have a different postmark. As many of you know, Princeton is a town that dates back to revolutionary times. The post office was one of the first in the state, if not the country, founded in 1776. The downtown area is very historic and impressive to drive through. And of course everyone knows Princeton University takes up much of the downtown. So it makes sense that they built the main postal building out in the burbs, where they had the land to build one of an enormous size and keep traffic out of the village. I didn't have time that day to venture downtown, but that will be my next stop!

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And just to add some value to this post, here's one of my older Princeton covers. It's a special delivery cover from 1923. The return address on the back flap is "The Nassau Club" which was a Princeton University faculty organization founded in 1889. It's still in existence today with very close ties to the school.

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Hazlet is one of the many farmland communities that sprung with suburbia in the 1950s with the opening of the Garden State Parkway. North Jersey and New York City families moved to the promise of the suburbs. In this era where nearly every man was a veteran due to World War II, developers marketed these homes aggressively with the no money down GI bill mortgages. Literally, a brand new house could be bought for the rent previously paid by these families in the city!

Hazlet was mostly built up prior to the 1970s. The Hazlet post office was established in 1876 on what was then "Holmdel to Keyport Road", the road that farmers brought their produce through the town to the docks at Keyport, loaded onto ferries for the trip to New York City markets across the harbor. The downtown area was around the railroad station at the crossroads of what is now Holmdel Road and Bethany Road. Those in the know, can point out which of the homes were the post office and first school house, but the history is lost on most of today's residents.

I'd like to say the most important thing that ever happened in Hazlet, was that I lived there from 1972 through 2010, and that I still maintain a second home there. Of course there's at least a dozen Hazlet covers in the New Jersey collection, but when I saw this one on eBay I stopped quick and had to have it.

This cover was from an open house at the Hazlet post office, another one of those non-descript light brick offices built in the 1960s. I believe this might have been Stamp Collecting Day. Hazlet was a philatelic office, and the cachet is the sticker they'd put on all the packaging for the stamps they sold. Now the important part. The autograph is Allan George, who was the Hazlet postmaster. Allan was a proficient stamp collector and was one of the founders of the Hazlet Stamp Club in 1974. I was a charter member of the club. I was a teenager, and Allan took me under his wing and brought me along on all of his trips to stamp shows and first day ceremonies in the area. With his official status, we always got good seats at the ceremonies and special treatment! Allen passed away many years ago, but this cover in the New Jersey collection is mighty special. In fact, if I had to hone the collection down to one cover per town, this would be the one because it's full of fond memories.

I will leave you today with that good feeling! This is a short post, but I'm pressed for time this week. Until next time!

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smaier
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Sally
08 Mar 2017
10:17:06pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Enjoyed the post as usual - especially the story about your mentor. Great memories for sure. Thanks for posting! Keep 'em coming. Thumbs Up

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Jeredutt3
09 Mar 2017
01:21:27am
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

These are great posts ! Love reading them. I am slowly working on on ohio dpo collection and it is fascinating to see the towns that have come and gone. Keep up the good work ! Thanks so much !

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
13 Mar 2017
11:02:09pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

I'm at home this week so I thought I'd pop out an update...

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Here's a ratty old cover from 1879, the town of Salterville. My DPO catalog lists "Saltersville" as the town name. It is a section of Bayonne, in Hudson County, and the post office 1858-89 for a run of 37 years.

The cover is ratty and some bright soul "restored" it with modern magic tape. It does have an interesting enclosure about property transfers and holding liens.

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Bayonne was originally formed as a township on April 1, 1861, from portions of Bergen Township. At that time, Bayonne included the communities of Bergen Point (post office from 1849-89), Constable Hook (1887-9), Centreville (none), Pamrapo (1947 to date) and Saltersville. In addition to Pamrapa, post offices exist today in Bayonne (established 1864) and Bergen Point (1849-89 and 1928 to date). Unfortunately we are on the hunt for most of these postmarks. The above Bayonne cover from Standard Oil Company (Now Exxon-Mobil) is appropriate since most people in New Jersey associate Bayonne with the refineries that have been there since before 1877.

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We have this Thanksgiving Day card from Hornerstown which is an unincorporated community located within Upper Freehold Township in Monmouth County. The post office reigned from 1834 to 1929. This is a rural area comprised of residences and horse farms even today. Mail delivery has been through Cream Ridge since 1929.

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Watchung is a well known name in New Jersey with the Watchung Mountains, Reservoir and Wildlife Reservation.The name "Watchung" comes from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, meaning "high hills". It seems funny that the post office was short lived and the name was used a number of times. Our cover is from the original Watchung post office that only was in business 22 years, from 1899 to 1921 in Somerset County. The name was used for a post office in Essex County for less than a year in 1950, but was resurrected as a Branch office of Plainfield starting in 1959 to this day.

The name "Washingtonville" was used in early times, but was rejected as the name for the area by the United States Postal Service, which felt that the state already had too many places named Washington, so Watchung it was!

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Upper Macopin is an unincorporated section within West Milford in Passaic County. The post office served the community from 1872 to 1926. West Milford is a pretty rural area in Northwestern New Jersey. Another community within West Milford is Wanaque, which we've shared the cover already.

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There was little to find. At first I only found mention of Macopin, and like many old lost names it was found on Macopin Road. When I hit the map for Upper Macopin it put the spot at the corner of Macopin Road and Westbrook Road. And what's at this intersection? This old historic building. I'll bet this was the general store and the post office in the day.

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A minor mystery... I bought this cover that was being sold as "Patton, NJ". My sources show no such office. The cover was part of a cheap lot, so I took a chance that I'd be able figure it out. Sure enough this cover is from Fairton, in Cumberland County. And as luck would have it, I didn't have an example in my collection. Fairton is a current post office, being in service since 1806. The town occupies the lower left coast of New Jersey. This area was occupied historically by the Lenape and Nanticoke Indians. Their territory was encroached on by European-American settlers from colonial times. The first business there was a grist mill established in 1702. In the 1810s, a pork and beef business was the principal industry in this area. In the center of town was a busy public wharf, from which were shipped vegetables, fish and lumber to large city markets. Fairton was also active in the boat building industry; between 1850 and 1897.

Most interesting, it is the cultural center of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation. The tribe boasts 3,000 members. Fairton was on my list from my last postal road trip, but we never got that far. It looks like we'll take a look on a future trip.

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I was pleased to pay a premium for this excellent North Long Branch cover with the star cancel. It was advertised as North Lono Branch, which I instantly knew never existed. Still, I have to chuckle at the dealers who regularly advertise bad town names. A simple Google search people?@!

Anyway, North Long Branch is an unincorporated area of the city of Long Branch in Monmouth County. The post office was short lived, only a 21 year span overall. It existed as North Long Branch until 1895, and then became North Longbranch for the last 7 years. There was a post office department directive in 1895, ordering a simplification of post office names. One of those was to discontinue a space between words such as "Long Branch", which then became "Longbranch" on the postmark. So that's the change we have here. There were also towns that complied and later went back to their preferred two word spelling. All of those are entries in the DPO listings, and the curse to postmark collectors, that suddenly a single town can call for three different covers, one for each era. Argh!

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Since we're discussing Long Branch, here's the main post office which was established in 1834 and has soldiered on until today. There was a period of time, 1895-1905, when the postmark read Longbranch, but as I said above, the town pretty much told the post office department to go scratch and went back to the preferred spelling that they have retained. There is also a Long Branch City from 1886, that again combined the two words "Long Branch" into one from 1895 until it closed in 1902. I don't have an example of these markings.

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Continuing on, Long Branch Village existed from 1882-6 and yes indeed I have a cover that I didn't pay a lot for. When I started the collection and saw post offices that existed for less than 10 years, I figured I'd never get the post mark. This one was very encouraging since the post office existed for about 4 years!

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And of course there was East Long Branch from 1873-82. I don't have this one, but it's on my regular searches. Which takes us to West Long Branch. We have a modern cover I found as I settled my parents papers, they saved everything! So I have their dental bill in my collection. It is good that the collection varies in eras.

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Also part of Long Branch is West End...

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As is Elberon, which we covered in an earlier installment. Just picturing it here for the record.

Overall, Long Branch is fairly large at over 6 square miles and a population of about 32,000. It is ocean front and was a grand old resort in the 19th century. Several presidents vacationed in Long Branch. President Garfield was brought to Long Branch in the hope that the fresh air and quiet might aid his recovery after being shot on July 2, 1881, an incident that left the assassin's bullet lodged in his spine. He died died here on September 19, 1881.

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West Long Branch is home to Monmouth University, on the former summer estate of Woodrow Wilson. His former home is known as Wilson Hall on the campus today. If this home looks familiar, it was used as Daddy Warbucks house in the movie "Annie".

That's it for this episode. I'm really enjoying doing the research on different areas of the state that I didn't know existed before! I hope you enjoy following along. Until next time!

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51Studebaker
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18 Mar 2017
06:22:31pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

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According to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills; the first post office in Basking Ridge was established in 1802 and by 1827 there was stagecoach service to New York.

I grew up in Basking Ridge so I thought I would contribute this one to the thread.
Don

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Jun 2017
07:02:36pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Okay, my last entry in this saga was March 13th! I have posted two road trips since then so you can see I have been active. I've also been acquiring covers nearly every week. Some I buy on eBay, some from folks on this board who have been very helpful. Somehow Pedroguy manages to keep finding towns I don't have! Thanks Bill!

Right now the collection stands at 555 towns and the total unique cancels on my checklist is 1552. I expect that to grow to over 2000 as I slowly put entries from "New Jersey Postal History" onto my spreadsheet. One issue I need to sort out is that the authors of this book were way too diligent.

There are entries for every change in post office status like:
ALFRED VAIL RURAL STATION (Eatontown) Monmouth DPO 1943 1958
ALFRED VAIL STA (Eatontown) Monmouth DPO 1958 1964
ALFRED VAIL BRANCH (Eatontown) Monmouth DPO 1964 1975

The question is if the postmark would be any different. Do I keep one entry listing from 1943-1975? Or do I keep all the entries? Kinda academic since I don't have a single one of these!

Then we get into towns that are showing a gap in service dates. Was the post office closed for some reason and later reopened? Like this:

TOWNSENDS INLET Cape May DPO 1849 1896 (8 year gap)
TOWNSENDS INLET Cape May DPO 1904 1970
TOWNSENDS INLET Cape May 08249 1970

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And yes I do have a cover from Townsends Inlet which would fall into entry two. Do still seek out further examples? Or call this good enough. Yea, that isn't the greatest postmark so I would replace it if I found a better cover or card.

I am interested in opinions, so please do chime in!



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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
03 Jul 2017
11:58:18am

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

And I figured "what the hey," let's post something for the holiday... so today's post will focus on some stuff I've acquired recently...

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My friend Bill, PedroGuy drops me a note asking if I have "Ogdensburg". I take a look and see that I just have a 2x4 cut square sent to me back in March by Milpatch also from this board. So I told Bill I'd be pleased to have that 1890 cover in my collection. Upon it's arrival I noticed that it's OgdensburgH with an "H" at the end.

Of course there's a story here. Back in 1827 when the Post Office Department decided to add the H to any town whose name ended in "burg", becoming "burgh". Then in 1890 then president Benjamin Harrison signed an executive board creating the US Board On Geographic Names". The members submitted their first report on December 23, 1891, which was printed and distributed on January 5, 1892.

"The board considers it desirable to depart from local usage in certain cases in order to effect refors in nomenclature." Among the findings were:
+ Avoiding the possessive form of names
+ Dropping the final "H" in the termination "burgh".
+ The suffix "boro" would replace "borough".
+ The spelling of "Center" as here given. (No more Centre I guess)
+ The omission of "C.H." (court house) after the names of county seats.
+ The simplification of names consisting of more than one word by eliminating spaces and combining it into one word.
+ The dropping of the words "City" and "Town" as parts of names.

Starting in 1892 postmasters were directed to change the office name to conform with the boards suggestions. The program was successful and nearly all offices complied.

So the post office of Ogdensburgh was founded in 1860 and the name was officially changed to Ogdensburg, per the postal order, in 1983. The name still stands today and the post office is still in existence.

From what I can tell, the town was always called Ogdensburg locally but the new post office complied with the 1820 law. so the 1894 law actually changed it back to the right way.

Ogdensburg is a very small borough in Sussex County with a population of 2,410 according to the 2010 census.

So both the cover from Bill and the cut square stay in the collection, both representing an era of history. Cool stuff.

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Now the town of Ocean View was also affected by the name change laws. It was Ocean View from 1830-95, Oceanview, following the law from 1895 to 1905. In 1905 someone must have said "screw this" and changed it back to Ocean View as seen on this cancel here. There are a lot of towns that flip flopped, creating quite a few varieties for town cancel collectors. Ocean View is an unincorporated town within Dennis township in Cape May County. Ocean View doesn't appear to have any actual water front, maybe just the "View". It is across the Garden State Parkway and behind Sea Isle City. It may be worth a trip just to make sure of this assumption.

And back to our story... so Pedroguy mails me the Ogdensburgh cover from the Oceanville, NJ post office! Aha! Another cancel that I didn't have. While the postal clerk did cancel the stamp in a way that makes the town name difficult to read, the added meter cancel is very clear. That makes for an interesting cover in the collection! So thank you Bill.

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At my local stamp club, we received a donation of a large box of postcards from a local family. This was a huge trove of every card some family had received over 80 years or so. I did find a New Jersey cancel I needed, Villas, which was founded in 1931 and continues to this day in Cape May County. I love this card! A nice hand cancel and obviously addressed by an adult, but a card from young Bud to his mother.

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And you can see that young Bud was all about fishing on his vacation! Villas, actually known as The Villas locally is an unincorporated section of Lower Township. It is on the "left coast" of New Jersey, with beach front on Delaware Bay. Population was 9064 as of 2010.

That's all for now...

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ernieinjax
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03 Jul 2017
02:03:13pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

What a wonderful card. The message makes it even better! That's a real treasure Tom. Thanks for sharing.

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bobstew617
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03 Jul 2017
11:41:17pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Ah, memories of my home state. My mom grew up in East Orange, and my dad in Bloomfield. I have been in Clara Maass hospital, one time visiting my grandmother in the hospital there.

Edison Twp where my dad now lives was one of the Raritan Twps.

Oh, and my doctor had his office in Watchung. Big Grin

BOB

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
04 Jul 2017
09:39:57am

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

And Bob, just for you:

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East Orange where your mother grew up...

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Bloomfield for your dad..

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Clara Maas Hospital in Belleville..

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Edison, where your dad lives now (Unofficial FDC on my ODDITY Cachet! I remember running from Washington, DC to Edison on that day like it was yesterday10

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And just for the record, Hazlet (where I grew up) was the other Raritan Township. The high school is still Raritan High School.

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And Watchung where your doctor was!

Yea, the collection is really filling out. Many thanks to those who have helped me with a cover or two!

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Tom in Exton, PA
27 Sep 2017
10:02:06pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

I've neglected this thread for some time now. No, I haven't stopped collecting, the NJ binders are busting full! Several new towns come from the eBay delivery service every week... often several days per week. But it's been a busy summer, so I haven't done any town histories, other than my few postal road rallies and those posts have been more about the rally than the towns.

I got the itch because this one came in the mail today...

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I didn't have a single cover from Flanders, New Jersey even though it's a currently operating office in Morris County since 1822.. that's like 195 years! I would tell you that the town was named after Ned Flanders from the Simpsons, but the town was named before the show.. actually before TV and even electricity.

Anyway, I saw this cover on the 'bay for $10, and you may remember that my previous threshold of what I'll pay for a cover for this collection was $5 (at least that's what I've told the "Make An Offer" dealers) and we've since crossed this line in the sand. I can reason that $5 or $10 is just one click. Anything that can rationalize a stamp purchase.

But I thought this cover was pretty cool, being a stampless manuscript franking and cancel cover. Most stampless covers I see are from major cities, and the ones from small towns are listed at huge prices (take a look!) so when I saw this one for $10 I just hit that "Buy This Sucker Now!" button. I have less than 5 stampless covers in the collection.

Note that the first US stamps were issued on July 1, 1847 and this cover is postmarked on November 8, 1848, over a year later. Apparently the word that there were stamps hadn't gotten out to the woods yet. Actually I'd love to know how postage stamps got phased in and why this office was still doing the ink pen thing, and not even a cancellation device.

To add to the interest, I Googled Dr P.J. Stryker and found he had a case listed in the Philadelphia Medical Museum, Volume 6, which appears to be a medical journal of unusual cases in the early 1800s.

So not only do we have another town, but we have a cool old cover and we may actually learn something.

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simothecat
01 Oct 2017
02:42:28pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Tom,

Do you have Elizabethtown?

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If you need this, you can have it.

Jan

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
01 Oct 2017
10:11:47pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Aha Jan! You have one I don't have yet. I'd be very pleased to add it to the collection! Thank you!

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simothecat
01 Oct 2017
11:32:33pm
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Send me your address. I'll pop it into the mail.

Jan

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Oct 2017
02:10:02pm

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re: The New Jersey Project 2017

I just sent you a private message. Many thanks!

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
18 Feb 2018
09:01:00am
re: The New Jersey Project 2017

Hey Tom,
I saw this interesting NJ cover https://www.ebay.com/itm/152912427097 and thought I would mention it to you. As a bisect usage, it would add a lot of additional interest to your collection. The seller is a well known, good guy.
Don

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