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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rescue on the Mullica

Over the years there have been many an unsung hero with New Gretna roots. Stanley Cramer is one such hero as the following January 5, 1940 Tuckerton Beacon article documents.

Ralph Maxwell

Horataio "Tater" Cramer, Stanley's father,
at the Bridge Tender's House window

Stanley Cramer, age 21, at the Mullica River
The old Iron Bridge is in the background.

Tuckerton Beacon - January 5, 1940

Stanley went on to become the owner of the Chestnut Neck Marina on the Mullica River for many years.

I'm wondering if there are any relatives or friends of either Ralph Maxwell or Stanley Cramer out in the Blog-O-Sphere. If so, I would like to hear from you. Perhaps, you can relate an old story about Ralph or Stan that you might wish to share with us.

Pete S

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tuckerton Numerology

Numerology is the study of the special relationship between a number and some coinciding observed event. Frequently, people associate a number with either good luck or bad luck in their lives.

For instance, the number 13 is considered to be unlucky by many. This belief goes way back in history. Some believe it goes back to the Last Supper where twelve apostles joined Jesus and the thirteen had the Passover meal. Others believe that it is related to the practice of witchcraft as witches often formed groups of 13 called covens.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was especially fearful of the number 13 and took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size. If he had a cancellation and it looked like 13 people may show up for a White House luncheon or dinner, he would invite his secretary to join them so there won't be thirteen people sitting at the table.

The Jersey Devil, born in Leeds Point not far from Tuckerton, was the thirteenth child of mother Leeds. Wikipedia says the following about Mother Leeds and her thirteenth child. 
. . . Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after finding she was pregnant for the 13th time, stated that this one would be the Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the Devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a goat's head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the demon for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890. 

Click on the Jersey Devil to read
what Weird New Jersey says about him.

Some believe that the Jersey Devil roams the Jersey Pines to this day. I have spoken to people who swear that they have seen him.

Friday the thirteenth is considered unlucky in our culture by many people. There are people who hesitate to get out of bed on this day.

Since the number thirteen is considered so unlucky, I was somewhat perplexed to find the following article involving the number 13 and the Tuckerton Bank in a 1903 newspaper article. If I kept my money there and read this article, I might feel a little uneasy. How about you? 

I wonder if there was a run on the bank back then. After all, that's a lot of thirteens!

Pete S

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Animal Planet - Tuckerton Style

There are many home video shows on TV. One of my favorites is Animal Planet which showcases videos of animals doing some strange, funny things. 

Click on the video below to view some horse bloopers that are bound to make you chuckle.

Well, Animal Planet has nothing that Tuckerton didn't have 140 years earlier, as evidence by the following August 20, 1870 newspaper article. As you read it, think about how the story might unfold in a Tuckerton themed Animal Planet video. Then close your eyes and play it back in your mind. I bet you can't help smiling.

Now, that's entertainment - Tuckerton style!

Pete S

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Descendants of Yoos Sooy Gathering

I posted a Sooy genealogy on the October 16, 2009 Blog which traced my friend Steve Potter, who lives in New Gretna, 8 generations back to Yoos Sooy. You can read this Blog entry by clicking on the photo below

Fred Noyes at Yoos Sooy's grave

For those of you interested in the Sooy family, I got the following email from Troy Murphy about a September 28th Sooy gathering at the Atlantic County Library in Galloway Township. You may email Troy with any questions or further information.

There will be an informal gathering of The Descendants of Yoos Sooy in the Meeting Room at the Atlantic County Library in Galloway Twp, NJ on September 28, 2013 from 10am to 4pm. The address is 306 East Jimmie Leeds Road - Galloway Twp NJ 08205. Please feel free to contact me at if you want to RSVP or get more information.

The purpose of this gathering is to exchange Family Tree information, fill in the blanks and put some faces to the names. You are encouraged to bring your Laptop Computers, Documentation and Family Photos.

It looks like a great opportunity to meet some Sooy descendants and gather some Sooy family genealogy.

Pete S

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Appleby Estates Finale

The last Appleby Estates Blog, posted March 17, 2013, ended with Steve Eichinger and I running into the following barrier and sign while driving in the Appleby Estates area of the Pine Barrens.

The signs read:
Restricted Area - Unlawful to enter this area without authorization of the Installation Commander.
. . . on this Installation all personnel and the property under their control are subject to search. Use of deadly force authorized.

Living in Bass River Township, Steve and I are familiar with the United States Government operations in this remote area of the township, but many of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere are probably wondering "What's going on here?"

Well, here's the skinny. The federal government operates the Warren Grove Bombing Range for the east coast National Guard to practice bombing and strafing activities. 

Barriers and warning signs have been placed along the many sand roads leading into the bombing range to protect any Pine Barrens travelers from venturing onto the bombing range and placing their lives at risk. Steve and I were two of these travelers in our search for the elusive Appleby Estates.

Over the years planes from the bombing range have proven to be both an annoyance and a danger to local residents. Low flying jets circling outside the bombing range have produced noise pollution in our peaceful Pine Barrens and some nervous moments. I can recall incidents when jets streaking low over the Bass River have passed close by my house making the glassware in our china cabinet vibrate and rattle.

The dropping of dummy bombs and flares have resulted in many forest fires throughout the years, some of which endangered nearby pineland's homes. Some of the most recent fires are listed in a Wikipedia article on the Warren Grove Gunnery Range:

·         In May 2007, flares dropped from an F-16 belonging to the 177th Fighter Wing set off a large wildfire that consumed more than 18,000 acres (73 km²) of the Pinelands and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents.
·         In January 2002, another aircraft practicing at Warren Grove crashed near the Garden State Parkway spewing flames and molten metal across the busy road.
·         In June 2001, a 1,600 acres (6 km2) forest fire occurred when an Air National Guard plane dropped a 25-pound practice bomb at the range.
·         In April 1999, Nearly 12,000 acres (49 km2) of forest, wetlands, cedar swamp and cranberry bogs burned after a Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 111th Fighter Wing plane dropped a "dummy" bomb more than a mile from its target.

The most serious incident occurred on Thursday, November 4, 2004 when an F-16 jet from the District of Columbia National Guard, on a night time training mission, accidentally strafed the roof and parking lot of the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School, now the Frog Pond Elementary School. Fortunately, a tragedy was adverted as the incident occurred in the evening when students were not present.

So, I guess Steve and I were lucky. We merely got excited by a couple of threatening signs. It could have been worse, for as far as I know, Steve's truck is not bullet proof. Needless to say, I don't think we'll be back to Appleby Estates anytime soon.

Pete S

PS- Sorry about the long delay since the last Blog post. Computer and health problems combined with a severe case of writer's block took their toll. I'll try to get back to a once a week schedule.