Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Jersey City was one of five passenger railroad terminals on the Hudson Waterfront during the 1800s to 1900s. Hoboken is the only one of the five still in use today.  The Jersey City, or Communipaw, terminal was built in 1889 and operated through 1967.

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Along with nearby Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the terminal was part of the immigration era. Over ten million immigrants entered the country through this station.

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The terminal is on the National Register of Historic Places and was incorporated into Liberty State Park. It was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and reopened in 2016.

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Today the terminal is a museum and is also where you can get tickets for the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands.

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Location: 1 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Designation: State Park, NRHP

Date designation declared: 9/12/1975 NRHP

Date of my visit: 2014, 2016, 2018

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Dawn on a cold March day in 2018

Battery Maritime Building – NRHP

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Visitors to Governors Island National Monument will pass through the historic Battery Maritime Building. It is located in Lower Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

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This Beaux-Arts structure was built in 1909 to serve as the Municipal Ferry Pier. Since 1956, it has served as the ferry terminal to Governors Island.

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At first used by the Army to access the military base on the island, management was assumed by the Coast Guard in 1966 when Governors Island became the largest Coast Guard base in the country.

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In 1996, the Coast Guard moved its base to another location. In 2001, 22 acres on Governors Island, including two of the historic forts were designated a National Monument managed by the NPS. The remaining 150 acres were sold to New York City to be managed by the Trust for Governors Island. The Trust now manages the ferry terminal, shuttling visitors via a $3, eight-minute trip to the island, between May and October.IMG_2861

The Battery Maritime Building is constructed of cast iron, steel, zinc and copper. It was restored to its original appearance in the early 2000s.

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To see my other Governors Island posts, please click below:

  • Battery Maritime Building
  • Soissons Landing and Castle Williams (Coming Soon)
  • Liggett Hall (Coming Soon)
  • Fort Jay and The Hills (Coming Soon)
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Guide Mario showing the group the difference between now and then: the view of the  New York City skyline from the ferry.

Location: 10 South St, New York, NY 10005

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 12/12/1976

Date of my visit: 9/11/2018

 

Whitefish Depot – NRHP

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The history of Whitefish and neighboring Glacier National Park is intermingled with the history of the Great Northern Railroad. Great Northern was founded in 1889 by James J Hill and ran from St. Paul, MN to Seattle, Washington. Hill’s business strategy was to develop the areas the trains ran through in order to attract tourism and trade.

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The Whitefish Depot was built in 1928 in the same alpine style as the GN-built National Park Lodges. The Stumptown Historical Society purchased the station and restored it in the 1990s. Today it houses a museum with exhibits on local history and is once again an active railway station for Amtrak.

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With some time to kill before our dinner reservations at nearby Abruzzo, we walked around the depot.

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There is a vintage Great Northern locomotive on display, an antique bus that was used to transport passengers from Kalispell to Whitefish stations and a park across the street from the station.

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Location: 500 Depot St, Whitefish, MT 59937

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 7/11/2002

Date of my visit: 6/22/2018

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We saw trains like this throughout our stay in Glacier National Park, the legacy of the Great Northern Railroad. This one was near the Blankenship Bridge on the Flathead Middle Fork

John Fell House – NRHP

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For the past 8 years, the Northwest Bergen History Coalition has been holding a themed History Day. On History Day, several historic sites in the area are open, running tours and stamping passports. This year, the theme was ‘How Immigration & The Railroad Shaped Our Towns’ with 10 sites participating.

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The John Fell House, which was originally called Peterfield, was built in the 1760’s, was expanded in the 1830’s and again in 1915. John Fell was an American Patriot during the Revolutionary War.

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Fell had made his fortune with his shipping company, but was imprisoned by the British at the beginning of the war. His famous cell-mate, Ethan Allen, convinced the British to release John Fell when he fell ill in the prison. As a member of the First Continental Congress, he ratified the constitution.

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In the 2000’s, the owners were no longer able to keep the mansion up and it was in danger of being sold to developers and demolished to make room for condos. A group called the Concerned Citizens of Allendale raised the funds to purchase the historic home and petitioned to have it added to the National Register of Historic Places.

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Today, the non-profit group holds events on the site to raise funds for its restoration. Each Spring, the arrest of John Fell by the British is reenacted for audiences. Docents give tours of the house and help to bring a forgotten page of history back to life.

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For History Day, they also had two dancers performing old-fashioned waltzes to a vintage phonograph and presented a slideshow on the history of the railroad in Allendale.

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I managed to tour five of the participating sites that day. To see my posts on the other NW Bergen County historic sites, click on the following links:

  1. The Old Stone House (Ramsey)
  2. The Schoolhouse Museum (Ridgewood)
  3. The Hermitage (Ho-ho-kus)
  4. The Zabriskie House (Wyckoff)
  5. The John Fell House (Allendale)

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Location: 475 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale, NJ 07446

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 2011

Date of my visit: 4/28/2018

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The original section of the house, dating to the 1700s
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A later addition to the house

NRHP: Museum at Barnegat Light

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Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Every October the NJ Lighthouse Society runs the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey in order to raise funds for the state’s historic lighthouses and maritime sites. This year, we purchased an incomplete commemorative deck of cards at our starting point and then tried to complete the deck by collecting cards at each of the participating locations. There were 13 sites included in the challenge this year and I got to 5 of them on the Saturday of the challenge.

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About midway through my day, I arrived at Barnegat Light State Park where I climbed to the top of old Barney and walked the Maritime Forest loop. A few blocks away is the Barnegat Light Museum, operated by the Barnegat Light Historical Society. The museum was a designated stop on the challenge, so I headed over there to take a look.

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The museum is housed in the old one-room schoolhouse from 1903. It served as the town’s school until 1951 and was converted into a museum in 1954. It showcases the light’s original first-order Fresnel lens, as well as other lighthouse related exhibits.

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The schoolhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The grounds are maintained by the local garden club.

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Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:

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Location: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated or established: June 6, 1976

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018

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Absecon Lighthouse State Historic Site

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Welcome back to National Parks with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Every October the NJ Lighthouse Society runs the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey in order to raise funds for the state’s historic lighthouses and maritime sites. This year, we purchased an incomplete commemorative deck of cards at our starting point and then tried to complete the deck by collecting cards at each of the participating locations. There were 13 sites included in the challenge this year and I got to 5 of them on the Saturday of the challenge.

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For my first stop I visited the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City.  Absecon Inlet was called Graveyard Inlet due to all the shipwrecks that took place there. Jonathan Pitney, the ‘Father of Atlantic City’, pushed for federal funding for a lighthouse to illuminate the dangerous waters.

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The beacon was first lit in 1857. In its heyday, the lighthouse was a popular tourist attraction and the keepers did double duty as tour guides.

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The light was decommissioned in 1933 and went dark for decades. Today, it shines on Atlantic City every night but is no longer an active navigational aid. The tower and keeper’s house were restored in the late 1990s, though the house was destroyed by fire during the renovation and had to be completely reconstructed.

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Absecon Light is a State Historic Site, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is managed by a non-profit organization.

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The  lighthouse is the tallest in New Jersey at 171 feet. It has 228 steps which I know because I climbed them. When I arrived at the top, huffing and puffing, a nice volunteer handed me a card for having made the journey.

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Back down in the keeper’s house I perused the museum displays. I took some pictures outside. And then I hurried off to my next stop in the challenge.

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Lighthouse Challenge and related posts:

  • Sandy Hook Lighthouse
  • Navesink Twin Lights (coming soon)
  • Absecon Lighthouse
  • Tuckerton Seaport (coming soon)
  • Barnegat Lighthouse (coming soon)
  • Barnegat Maritime Forest Trail (coming soon)
  • Barnegat Museum (coming soon)
  • Sea Girt Lighthouse (coming soon)

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Location: 31 S Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Designation: State Historic Site, NRHP

Date designated or established: 9/11/1970 (NHRP)

Date of my visit: 10/20/2018

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NRHP: Cameron Suspension Bridge

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The Cameron Suspension Bridge was built over the Little Colorado River in 1911 to provide better access to the Navajo Nation and Hopi Indian Reservation. The bridge originally carried highway 89, nearly collapsed under the weight of too many sheep in 1937 and was replaced by a more modern bridge in 1959.

 

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Five years after the suspension bridge was erected, the Richardson Brothers established the Cameron Trading post where the Navajo and Hopi came to barter for dry goods. As the town grew up around the bridge and trading post, it became a hotel for the area’s tourists.

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Today, it is a Southwestern version of the Cracker Barrel, with a restaurant and large gift shop and an adjoining motel. We stopped there on our way to the Grand Canyon to use the restroom. We perused the native crafts available in the gift shop, walked through the motel’s courtyard garden and took some photos of the historic bridge and canyon from the back of their property.

Location: US Highway 8954 Miles North of FlagstaffCameron, AZ 86020

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 6/5/1986

Date of my visit: 8/19/2014

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