Helen Sears Carty has been placing flags on the veteran's graves at Miller and Hillside cemeteries for many years. (Photo courtesy of Helen Sears Carty.)
Thinking about our flag and the sacrifices of those who have served under it, brings to mind the Adams-Eichinger family of Bridgeport, that small Bass River Township neighborhood that is nestled on the Wading River adjacent to the bridge.
Bridgeport as shown on the 1849 Otley-Whiteford Map. The Adams-Leek-McKeen Cemetery and a school house operating in the old Quaker Meeting House, on the present day Leektown Road, are just a stone's throw from the McKeen Hotel. Charles Cramer's house and saw mill can be seen just down the present day Hammonton Road.
A young Martina Adams, standing on the roof, helped to display the "Lincoln" flag at the home of her mother, Martha Downs Adams Merchent, and her step father, Samuel Merchant, at Bridgeport on the Wading River. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Eichinger, Jr.)
Stephen Eichinger, Jr. remembers the flag being stored in the attic of the old McKeen Hotel where he lived as a young boy. The family would unpack it once a year when they cleaned the attic.
The "Lincoln" flag was stored in the attic of the old McKeen Hotel (above) when Steve Eichinger, Jr. was a child. (1939 photo courtesy of Stephen Eichinger, Jr.)
The old Merchant gas station became the home of Martina and Stephen Eichinger and, later, their son Lee Eichinger and his wife, June. Lee passed away on October 31, 2007, and June lives in the Eichinger home on the Wading River, today. (July 21, 2004 photo by Pete Stemmer.)
I am thankful for my friendship with Steve Eichinger who grew up in this area. He has generously shared his childhood memories and family history with me. Without his friendship, help, and encouragement, I would have never gotten so involved in New Gretna history which has become an important part of my life. I think of us as the New Gretna History odd couple.
Steve has been a big help in the collection of Bass River history and our efforts to pass it on in various ways, including the Bass River Gazette and the Blog. (May 28, 2003 photo by Pete Stemmer.)