How often do I get to explore a dark train car? Not very often, I’ll tell you that. It was unlocked, and there was no chain closing it off, and I’m eternally nosy, so here you go.
When I showed off a photo of Robert the parakeet a few days ago, I skimmed over the rest of Summit’s Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts (which happened this past Sunday, 6/28/12).
(Just for the record, I did not mean to imply that the best part of the festival was a little green parakeet. [Tho' he was pretty darn cute.])
In addition to several streetfuls of white sun-shielding tents, each with its own vendor of arts or crafts, the festival featured several musical groups; each played hour-long sets directly in front of the train station. Being an active trombone player myself, I couldn’t help but stop and smile at outdoor live jazz!
This is the keyboardist (Ray Butler) from the West Hills Project, a small combo group— lots of Sinatra charts, lots of fun! They alternated sets with the Tony DeMeo Orchestra, a classic big band— also with lots of Sinatra. (But never let it be said that I’m not a fan of Sinatra! )
Hey, check it out, it’s the start of a 5K!
Normally, I’d like for my photos to tell (or support) a narrative of sorts. Yesterday, unfortunately, I started with the almost-end of the event, so today, there’s not really anywhere I can go except helter-skelter all over the place.
See that guy with the kelly green shirt, in the center of the top photo? He was the overall third place winner.
Also: there was a shark.
I hope to follow up tomorrow with more race coverage (I guess in reverse chronological order, or no order at all), but this is all I could process and post on Tuesday night before the library (and its wireless internet) close me out.
But yeah! Overlook 5K! Fun times!
Guess what! The gentleman with the parrots, whom we last saw at the Fanwood Street Festival, made an appearance at the Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts this past weekend!
Since I only showed you Fortune the African Gray last time, here’s a shot of Robert the parakeet (on someone else’s shoulder).
This mess of trees may not look like much, but if you really concentrate, you can see the blue-gray rock face in the upper right quadrant of the photo. That’s what’s left of Charles A. Lighthipe’s trap rock quarry!
Millburn was once an industrial town, largely comprised of mills (hence “Millburn”; “-burn” is NOT in fact from all the mills that burned down [which admittedly happened pretty frequently] but from the Scottish word for “river”.) The KIND of mill that dominated Millburn varied according to what was in vogue; paper mills and hat factories were pretty popular for most of the 1800s. (For a more in-depth history on this stuff, read Meisner’s 2002 History of Millburn Township— lots of good info there.)
The Lighthipes, a historically powerful and well-known family throughout Millburn and the Oranges, had loads of mill property. If you look at a 1906 map of Millburn, practically half the town belonged to the Lighthipes.
In the late 1800s, Charles A. Lighthipe expanded his horizons beyond mills and opened a basalt traprock quarry. A rail line (a small spur of what was supposed to be the New Jersey West Line) connected the quarry to the Lackawanna Railroad. (According to Dave Hogenauer, the physical rails stayed there until just a few years ago.)
From all accounts, it was a successful venture. A 1908 issue of Stone magazine noted that the Lighthipes had incorporated the Millburn Trap Rock Quarry, and “the Lighthipes [were] well known quarrymen” (Lent 1908-09, 31).
This business carved out a huge part of the Orange Mountain, leaving a several-hundred-foot sheer cliff of bare rock where there was once a sloping mountain.
In 1913, the Essex County Park Commission purchased the Lighthipe quarry and added the land to the ever-growing South Mountain Reservation (Urquhart 1913, 863). Once quarry operations had ceased, the commission began its effort to make the area more suitable for parkgoers: the quarry buildings were demolished, trees were planted to disguise the bare rock, and the top of the cliff was fenced off to protect people from falling off the side of the cliff (Lampe 1999, 65).
The bottom of the cliff, however, was not fenced off until “recent years.” This afforded local daredevils the opportunity to scale a massive cliff, right in their own backyards! Unfortunately, these grand plans usually didn’t quite work out; the Millburn fire department was often called to rescue young climbers (Lampe 1999, 65; Millburn Item 1941, 1).
Thassall I know. If you have additional information, I’d love to hear it!
Lampe, O.W. (1999, 2000). Images of America: Millburn. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738504130.
Lent, F.A. (Pub.). (1908-1909). “Stone company notes: New companies.” Stone, 29, 31-32. Google eBook.
Meisner, M. (2002). A History of Millburn Township. Millburn/Short Hills Historical Society and the Millburn Free Public Library: Millburn, NJ. eBook.
The Millburn and Short Hills Item. (1941, July 4). “Rescue two from cliff.” 53(27), p. 1.
Urquhart, F.J. (1913). A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey: Embracing Practically Two and a Half Centuries, 1666-1913, Volume 2. The Lewis Historical Publishing Co.: New York & Chicago. Google eBook.
Well, this won’t win any photography contests, but I thought the spinning barber’s pole was very quaint. I know they’re common, but I continue to be charmed wherever I see them.
At the Scotch Plains farmer’s market, it’s starting to get into the season where the fresh produce is pretty interesting! As far as I can tell, these are wax beans. (All I know for sure is that the light was catching them very nicely.)
The Scotch Plains farmer’s market happens every Saturday, May through November, from 8am-2pm, at 430 Park Avenue.
Did you know there are tiny fairies living in Essex County? We found their hangout last week.
Seriously, though, I’m told there’s a large community of artists around and about the Millburn area, and a lot of them come to the South Mountain Reservation to play. So if you’re hiking through, keep your eyes open for slightly unnatural sights.