How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Comments About the Blog - Steve Eichinger

Most of the old timers in town don't have computers, so are unable to read the Blog. To remedy this situation, I print each Blog entry and place it in a notebook which I pass around to those New Gretna natives that I know will enjoy reading about the good old days.

A few weeks ago, I loaned the notebook to my buddy, Steve Eichinger, who is computer challenged. He wrote down some of his reflections on the Blog after reading the Blog Notebook. I choose a few to share with you today.

December 9, 2008
Some Thoughts About Pineys - Part 2

The man in the photo by the wood pile is George Crummel. When he used to burn charcoal in Jenkins Neck his mounds would be along the swamp between Route 542 and Godfrey's Bridge, near today's Wading Pines Campground. Many times, when he burned the piles, the smoke would follow the river down steam to the south. One time it got so bad that Paul Ludwig, who managed Chip's Folly at that time in the 1940's, called the Fire Company. That is when we had only one fire truck, an American LaFrance. The road into Chip's Folly was a 2 rut gravel and sand road. George Crummel's smoke sure caused some excitement.

George Crummel at his charcoal pile.
(Photo courtesy of the William Augustine Collection, Rutgers University.)

January 13, 2009 Blog Entry
A Happening in the Old Civic Hall - Beverly Mathis Robinson

A little help for Beverly . . . I don't remember the occasion she speaks of, but I can answer some other questions regarding the old Civic Hall.

The old Civic Hall.
(Photo courtesy of Franklin W. Gray.)

It didn't have a basement, but it did have a deep crawl space of about four feet high. It also had a heater or furnace room that was entered from the outside. There was no inside entrance. The heating system was a steam system, until the sewing factory was started.

I worked in the Sewing Factory as a presser in my teens with a steam iron that looked like a regular household iron, but it was about 4 times bigger and weighed about ten pounds. Mt station was in the rear of the building, next to the kitchen.

I remember the layout of the building. There was no attic. There were 4 access doors - one at the center for the kitchen; two rear doors, one on each side for the main room; and a double front door. It had a vestibule and there was a second set of double doors to enter the main room.

This Civic Hall was suppose to have been the original Fire House, but too much disagreement between the Civic Association and the newly formed Fire Company prevent it. The Fire Company built their own building next door on a piece of land given to them by the Civic Association.

The Civic Hall was used for the following civic associated purposes: PTA parties, card parties, minstrel shows, and Old Home Society dinners. When it came into private hands it hosted a movie, skating rink, and a sewing factory. A deer club also used the building for 2 or 3 years for a week in December.

In the early days there was no indoor plumbing for the patrons. There was a WPA type double out house that had a double seat on the women's side and one seat on the men's side with a sand box type urinal. This was used until the Sewing Factory installed indoor plumbing.

February 12, 2009
Levi Downs Reprized - Don Maxwell, etc.

I remember getting my hair cut by Levi Downs in the barber shop shown on this page. 25 cents was the charge which included being entertained by Skeets Hickman, Alvie McAnney, and Booter Mathis. They would talk about deer hunting and fox hunting and were always full of teasing, I don't remember whether they teased me or not, but they probably did.

The barbershop was on the right hand side of the little building. It had one barber chair, a mirror on the left wall, and 4 or 5 chairs along the right wall for customers. The lighting was poor.

Levi's Barber Shop.
(Photo courtesy of Norman and Ann Mathis.)

Levi used to have a two door 1928 Chevy with a driver's seat and rear seat. The front passenger seat was removed and in its place there was a kerosene heater, probably a Ivanhoe, that was a fox hunter's warming place.

I want to thank my buddy, Steve, for his thoughts on various Blog topics and have a favor to ask of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere. Please don't tell Steve that I called him an "old timer".

Pete S


  1. Pete,

    This article has 3 more place names for you:

    Jenkins Neck
    Godfrey's Bridge
    Wading Pines Campground

    John Allen

  2. Thanks, John.

    I added them to the September 7, 2009 List.

    Pete S