Hobbies and Pastimes

1905: Ironing while memorizing passages from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”

The play Hiawatha being performed circa 1920 – NARA – 285367, by Unknown or not provided – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17160440

Going through some old books a few weeks ago, I came across Longfellow’s Hiawatha, and inside was this wonderful and curious little note left behind by my grandmother Zillah Trewin. I don’t know when she wrote this note; it was probably some time later for the benefit of my mother who would eventually inherit it:

Zillah from Mother, 1905.
Mother memorized the introduction, first 5 chapters, also 10, 11, 12, 19, 20 and 22, largely while ironing.

If you are familiar with Hiawatha, you’ll know that this was no small feat! I try to envision my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin standing over her iron and simultaneously memorizing Longfellow’s verse. An image definitely emerges–now if only I could hear her voice. That would really be something!

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin, 1904, before traveling abroad

Zillah Trewin, 1904 (age 19)

Longfellow

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Categories: Reading literature, Trewin | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Circa 1900? – Unidentified lady with cat & little girl at tennis court

Here’s and interesting photo that was in the Colemans‘ possession. It is unlabelled. As far as a date goes, I am thinking 1890s/early 1900s? Thoughts, anyone? It’s highly possible these are Coleman / Angus / Woodruff family members, but so far I can’t make any best guesses. I’m assuming the photo was taken somewhere in Elizabeth, New Jersey, given that’s where they were all based at the time, with a few exceptions. If anyone recognizes this lady and little girl, please let me know. Thank you!

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Elizabeth, New Jersey, tennis court – unidentified woman with cat and young girl

Categories: Angus, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Tennis, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Fishing Lake Mohawk in 1929

I love this photo of my Dad, Charles Brodhead, and his brother Woody (his only sibling) way out in the distance, fishing Lake Mohawk (Sussex Co., NJ), in 1929. He was eight and his brother was 17; it’s fun to see them enjoying some brother time together. They had quite an age gap between them, and because of that and the fact that Woody was away from home at a boarding school for much of the year, they did not have many opportunities to do things together.

Lake Mohawk 1929

Lake Mohawk 1929

The lake was the creation of the Arthur D. Crane Co., which began constructing a 600-foot dam on the Wallkill River in 1926. When this photo was taken, probably by my grandfather, the lake had only been filled with water for a year or so. My dad’s parents were among the first to buy a lakefront lot and to have a home constructed there. Crane and his associates created Lake Mohawk to be a private community, and they had total control over development and sales. Many of the original homes and the lakeside plaza—all created in a very distinctive Alpine style—remain. The lakeside plaza reminds me a bit of Lucerne, Switzerland. (YouTube tour of Lake Mohawk; Old Photos of Lake Mohawk on YouTube)

For my dad and his family, Lake Mohawk was their little oasis for R&R whenever they could get away from their main home in the city (Elizabeth, NJ). His parents sold the house while my Dad was off in the Pacific during WWII, something he learned about only after returning home. Needless to say, he was very upset, but he went on to buy his own little lakefront house there as soon as he was able. For him, Lake Mohawk and the surrounding countryside held so many great memories, he wanted that magic to continue. And I can’t say that I blame him. It’s a lovely spot.

Categories: Brodhead, Fishing, Lake Mohawk Sparta, New Jersey | Tags: | Leave a comment

In 1858: Viewed from “across the pond,” Americans seemed a sickly lot, but at least we had cricket!

I recently happened upon the London Times article “Bad Health and Body-Fragility of Americans” which was published in 1858 in many US papers including the Long-Islander (Friday, 12 March 1858; article below, courtesy of Fulton History dot com).
Cricket

It’s quite a curious read, the writer observing how weakened the American populace had become compared to their ancestors, the early colonists, and he had various theories for that, as did Americans themselves—they also found this phenomenon distressing. He mentioned feeling somewhat encouraged by America’s adoption of cricket as a sport, and indeed if you troll through 1858 newspapers, you will find plenty of mentions of cricket being played around the US. Click here to view a digital image of the printed engraving “Cricket Match Between Canada and the United States, at Hoboken [NJ], August 2, 3, and 4, 1858.”

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A cricket match in Newport, Rhode Island, 1902 – Credit: Library of Congress digital images (Catalog number 2007663759)

Cricket had been played in America since the early 1700s. George Washington is even said to have joined in a game with his troops at Valley Forge during their winter encampment of 1777-1778. Philadelphia, which once had as many as 100 cricket clubs, became its epicenter. While the sport’s popularity began to wane when baseball gained a foothold during the Civil War years, it was still being widely played into the early 20th century (up to the WWI-era). Interestingly, efforts are underway to rebuild this most English of sports in America where it is experiencing a revival in places like Atlanta and Los Angeles. For the interesting 2006 Smithsonian article “The History of Cricket in the United States,” click here. The Atlantic‘s 2014 article “Cricket Is Back” is also worth a read.

Bart King of Philadelphia, 1897. King is considered to be America's best cricketer ever.

Bart King of Philadelphia, 1897. King is considered to be America’s best cricketer ever.

Cricket or no cricket, at least on the surface we seem to be doing better as a nation today than in 1858, when the average American was viewed as a “thin, frail creature.” That said, as we all know, the pendulum has definitely swung in what could be argued an equally undesirable direction: approx. 66% of Americans (and 62% of UK residents) are now categorized as overweight or obese.

And, while the US and the UK have garnered high numbers of Olympic medals (the US garnering the most of any nation), neither country can claim to be the most athletic. When comparing a country’s population to its medals, the US ranks 17th worst, and neither the UK nor the US makes it into the list of the top 20 healthiest countries in the world. So it looks like both sides of the pond still have some work to do. I wonder what they’ll be saying about all of us 158 years from now, in the year 2174? And, will they be viewing us from a Wall-E-world type of environment and marveling at how slim and mobile we are? Or will, fingers-crossed, the pendulum have swung back for them and stopped in a much healthier place? For their sake, I hope it’s the latter!

Resources:
The book of American pastimes: containing a history of the principal base-ball, cricket, rowing, and yachting clubs of the United States by Charles A. Peverelly, published 1868

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Categories: Cricket, Health Matters | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Jule & Juliet, 1896: Madame De Ryther’s “Roast Saddle of Venison” — a recipe from the Adirondacks

Hound and Hunter (1892) – by Winslow Homer. Per Wikimedia: Homer’s watercolor sketch for Hound and Hunter showed, lying behind the boy, a rifle that the artist later painted out. When this final canvas was exhibited in 1892, its subject was condemned as a cruel sport then practiced in the Adirondacks. Some viewers believed the youth was drowning the deer to save ammunition. The artist curtly responded, “The critics may think that that deer is alive but he is not—otherwise the boat and man would be knocked high and dry.”

Hound and Hunter (1892) – by Winslow Homer. [image cropped] Per Wikimedia: Homer’s watercolor sketch for Hound and Hunter showed, lying behind the boy, a rifle that the artist later painted out. When this final canvas was exhibited in 1892, its subject was condemned as a cruel sport then practiced in the Adirondacks. Some viewers believed the youth was drowning the deer to save ammunition. The artist curtly responded, “The critics may think that that deer is alive but he is not—otherwise the boat and man would be knocked high and dry.”

One new thing I’ve learned about late 19th-/early-20th-century food writer Madame Jule De Ryther comes from the New York Times, March 1, 1896, article “The Secrets of the Carver; An Early English Dinner. Studies in the Operative Surgery of Animals” by Juliet Corson. It featured a roast saddle of venison recipe, “traceable to Adirondack hunters and guides,” that belonged to Madame De Ryther, “the descendant of a line of hunters and hosts whose forest cookery has long been famous.”

John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) Claiming the Shot - After the Hunt in the Adirondacks

John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) Claiming the Shot – After the Hunt in the Adirondacks

While Jule De Ryther, a famous concert soprano, found a second career discussing and sharing her knowledge about food, Juliet Corson (1841-1897) spent her whole career trying to educate the public about food and cookery, and healthy and economical eating, particularly among society’s poorest. She was a proponent of letting nothing go to waste and making the tastiest and most nutritious meals possible no matter how small the budget. At 35, she founded the New York School of Cookery and operated it for seven years before ill-health forced her to close it down. She traveled the country, between bouts of ill-health, to promote the need for cookery classes in public schools. The French Consul General in NYC even consulted with her to see how her methods could be adapted to France.

Miss Corson’s numerous publications included Fifteen-Cent Dinners for Workingmen’s Families, published by the author for free distribution to working-people earning $1.50, or less, a day (New York, 1877), Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six (1879), and Practical American Cookery & Household Management (1886); for links to other publications, click here. I’ve not had time to read any of them, but I am sure she has plenty of tips that could apply to us today. Many of us are always looking for economical ways to feed our families and maximize our resources. One can only speculate what else Corson may have taught us had her life not been cut short at age 56 by a debilitating tumor (NYT obituary – “Death of Juliet Corson; The Well-Known Writer and Teacher of Cookery and Dietetics Expires Almost Alone”).

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Juliet Corson (Credit: Wikipedia)

By the time Miss Corson penned this article in 1896, she was near her life’s end. You can tell from the article how passionate she is about food, and how knowledgeable. I was going to include just the portion about Madame De Ryther, but decided to include the entire article since it contains so much interesting information on the history of food and the preparation of game, an art that was already being lost in this country back then when venison was “the only wild meat ever seen freely in the New York market,” and is now in most places a great rarity, which is understandable of course, but it’s still interesting to get a sense of how our ancestors lived and worked, and what they ate. And how they may have prepared it.

Have a good Monday, all!

PS: Receipts = recipes; frumenty = thick wheat porridge usually served with venison (in Medieval times).

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Categories: Adirondacks, Corson Juliet food educator, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Hunting, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blooming Grove Park, Pike Co., PA (Post 3)

Blooming Grove Park

“Blooming Grove Park—The American Fontainebleau” (Image from my personal copy of Harper’s Weekly, December 17, 1870)

This past June I did a post on an 1891 Brodhead hunting expedition in Blooming Grove Park, Pike Co., Pennsylvania (and a subsequent follow-up). I just realized, while leafing through the December 17, 1870, Harper’s Weekly newspaper that contained the great scenes from Blooming Grove, that I failed to include in my post the accompanying article about this private 12,000-plus-acre hunting and fishing club. So, I will include it here now. It’s interesting (and good) to see how even back then, conservation was on people’s minds. You have to wonder what may have happened to all that land had it not fallen under the club’s protection.

As for the article, I had to chuckle when I read that the train took “only” 4.5 hrs to get to Blooming Grove from NYC, a distance of some 87 miles that is described as being one of the Park’s great advantages, which indeed it was at that time—and still is today. While Blooming Grove is still private/members-only, that part of Pennsylvania offers many other areas that are freely accessible to outdoors-lovers. We are still hoping to get up there next summer for some trout fishing and family-history-hunting expeditions.

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A clipping of the article on Blooming Grove from my personal copy of Harper’s Weekly, December 17, 1870

Categories: Brodhead, Fishing, Hunting, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | Tags: | 5 Comments

Fishing Pike County in the spring of 1877

Image from p 46 of The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout by Charles Bradford (NY & London: GP Putnam's Sons, 1916)

Image from p 46 of The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout by Charles Bradford (NY & London: GP Putnam’s Sons, 1916)

I don’t know what the fishing is like today in Pike County, PA, but here is an 1877 article from The Country, Vol I & II describing the experiences of one visitor to that area from April 1-4, 1877. During those 4 days, this visitor caught 400 fish weighing 45 pounds and brought back to New York 234 fish that “scaled 33 pounds honest weight.” Roughly 88 of them were between 8 – 13.5 inches in length; the other 150 or so, he said, were small trout, but not “fingerlings” — “fat as butter and excellent eating.”  Obviously these were the days before any limits were introduced! Today he’d be able to walk away with just 5 trout per day, and each would have to be at least 7 inches long.

I love the great outdoors and that includes “escaping mentally” to the great outdoors of yesteryear to imagine what things must have been like in a certain location at a certain point in time. If you’re like me, and you enjoy fishing, perhaps you will find this article of interest too. Present-day fishermen and women in Pike Co., feel free to comment about your experiences fishing in that part of PA.

Happy 4th of July, All!
fishing1fishing2fishing3The Country, weekly journal, Vol 1-2, pub. 1877

Credit: Google Books

Categories: Brodhead, Dingman, Fishing, Fourth of July, Hobbies and Pastimes, Nature, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | 6 Comments

Germany, 1912: Early paddleboarding?

Paddleboarding is hugely popular here in south Florida, so I did a double-take when I saw this image in Recreation magazine (Vol. 47, Sept. 1912, p. 75; available via Google Books). But, as I read the brief accompanying article and examined the images more closely, I realized something a bit different was going on. I love the choice of attire. Obviously they were very optimistic about staying dry!
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Categories: Germany, Hobbies and Pastimes, Watersports | Tags: | 13 Comments

Miami, 1912: No “fish story” here!

[45 ft long shark (whale?) on trailer; 2 children on its back ( Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

“[45 ft long shark (whale?) on trailer; 2 children on its back]” ( Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division – no known copyright restrictions)

Wow! Now there’s a photo that got my attention.

At first glance, I thought this was some sort of man-made parade float until I read the Library of Congress description and blew it up a bit so I could try to make out the writing along the side of the trailer: Copyrighted by Chas. Thompson. Photo J. Hand Co.[?], Miami, Florida, 1913. Weight 30,000 lbs. Length 45 ft.

Imagine being on vacation in Miami 100 years ago and catching a good look at this, and then going back up North to tell your friends what you saw. You’d have the ultimate “fish story” only it would actually be true. Would anyone believe you?

But, back to the photo—what exactly is it? A whale? A shark? It does not exactly look like either to me. Hubby wants to know how they caught it. I want to know how they got it out of the water and onto the trailer, and how it was disposed of… refrigeration must have been an issue.

Some say that Floridians have a penchant for the bizarre. The Weird Florida book is full of examples of some of the unusual things that go on here. We’ve ventured out to see some of these strange things for ourselves: Coral Castle, Spook Hill, and Devil’s Millhopper, among others. Judging by this photo, it appears that ‘freaky’ things have been going on here for a very long time!

Miami population: 1910: 5,500; 2013: 417,650

Resources: Miami timeline / Miami history

Update: It was indeed real; I found some newspaper articles about the catch on the Fulton History site. To answer my questions, it was a ‘whale shark’ (Rhinodon typus) caught off of Knight’s Key, which is pretty far down the Florida Keys (just past Marathon Key and before Bahia Honda). According to Natural History Magazine online: “[The] whale shark () was taken in Florida in 1912, was grotesquely stuffed […] and exhibited as a marvel.” At capture (per the captain, this was after a 39-hour battle) it was supposedly about 38 feet long, but the stuffing process stretched it out to 45 feet. 

The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA, Saturday, April 12, 1913
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The Cortland Standard, Wednesday, August 6, 1913, p. 5

Cortland1The Cortland Standard, Wednesday, August 6, 1913, p. 5

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The Niagara Falls Gazette, Monday, April 7, 1913

The Niagara Falls Gazette, Monday, April 7, 1913

Categories: Fishing, Florida, Miami, Nature | 2 Comments

Some Brodheads on an 1891 hunting expedition in Blooming Grove Park—a playground for all seasons (Post 1)

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“Blooming Grove Park—The American Fontainebleau” (Image from Harper’s Weekly, December 17, 1870 — not long ago, I acquired the issue in which it appeared from ‘Timothy Hughes’ Rare & Early Newspapers’ of Williamsport, PA)

When Daniel Brodhead and his family settled in Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley in the late 1730s, that area was a vast expanse of wilderness, a true frontier. Hunting and fishing was done for survival. As time went on and villages and towns emerged, stores cropped up where one could buy fresh game and produce, but by and large the common man, and definitely the poor man, fed his family by his own hand—through the use of plow, knife, trap, or gun. But by the 19th century, and especially in the second half of that century, the upper classes, wanting to “re-create pioneer values and to approach nature through wildlife,”1 developed a burgeoning interest in field sports. In answer to this demand, entrepreneurs and others caught up in this trend cobbled together fairly massive parcels of land to establish private hunting and fishing clubs which they hoped would rival the great game parks of Europe that served as private parks for the nobility2, and “by 1878, about 25,000 Americans belonged to 600 of these clubs. Among the leaders was the Blooming Grove Park Association.”3 “Blooming Grove Park,” established in Pike County, Pennsylvania (the county to the north of Monroe County, home of settler Daniel Brodhead’s town of “Dansbury”–a.k.a. East Stroudsburg), in 1870 by the Blooming Grove Park Association, was (and still is) an exclusive hunting and fishing club that has expanded far beyond its initial borders.

Map showing the location of this township within Pike County, Pennsylvania (Credit: Wikimedia Commons - contributed by Rcsprinter123 on Dec 6, 2014)

Map showing the location of Blooming Grove Township within Pike County, Pennsylvania (Credit: Wikimedia Commons – contributed by Rcsprinter123 on Dec 6, 2014)

Initially some 14,000 acres in size, encompassing vast tracts of land, lakes, and trout streams, the members-only Park attracted well-heeled outdoors-people throughout the year—men and women, as the above etching shows. Many were wealthy New Yorkers, searching for supreme experiences in the great outdoors. To cater to their need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the nation’s stock market, the club eventually stretched wire all over the park4 so that interested members could check on their business interests at any time during their nature jaunts. Not surprisingly, the Park was initially very poorly received by locals who had happily hunted these territories for generations before abruptly being shut out by those of wealth and power5.

Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

A Day’s Sport At Blooming Grove Park by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

When established, the Association was granted the right of ‘self-determination’ by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, whereby it was able to establish and enforce its own game laws as well as propagate fish and game for an improved ‘visitor experience’. The Association later became officially known as the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, and it remains to this day a very private and exclusive organization. Over time, the public in general came to appreciate the conservation work done on the Club’s lands much of which had been decimated before 1870 by excessive logging. And today, with development accelerating beyond the Club’s borders, the Club’s lands remain safe and protected with little prospect of that changing. According to the “Blooming Grove Township Comprehensive Plan” produced by Community Planning & Management, LLC, in May 2008, which includes a map of the Club’s lands: “Blooming Grove Township holds less potential for development than many of the other municipalities in Pike County and the Pocono Mountains.” So that’s definitely good news from a conservation standpoint.

Trout Fishing by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

Trout Fishing by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

Chapter 13 of The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania (Mathews, Alfred, Philadelphia, R. T. Peck & Co., 1886), gives some background on Blooming Grove Park, including the following: “The Blooming Grove Park Association was projected by Wm. H. Bell, of Branchville, Sussex County, NJ, and Fayette S. Giles [a gentleman jeweler6] in 1870. [Charles Hallock, future founder of Field and Stream worked with Giles as a promoter7.] John C. Westbrook and Lafayette Westbrook deeded 13,000 acres of land to the association, and they have since purchased 1,000 acres in addition. F.S. Giles was the first president of the association. The stockholders have changed, and most of the stock is now held by New York parties. The lands lie in Blooming Grove, Greene and Porter townships, and include Lakes Beaver, Giles, Scott, Bruce, Westbrook, Laura, Ernest and Belle, according to the names which the association have given them. One square mile of the land is inclosed by a wire fence, as a breeding park, in which they have about 200 deer. The club-house is erected on ground overlooking Giles Lake, or Blooming Grove Pond, as it was formerly called, at a cost of about ten thousand dollars.”

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Salmon and Sea Trout Flies from Fly Fishing (1899), Sir Edward Grey, 1920 edition (Wikimedia – Public domain in US)

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Several months ago, a bit after I finally ‘discovered’ some traces of Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead, my second great grandfather’s brother, and while digging through some search results on the Fulton History website, I came upon an article in the Port Jervis, NY, Evening Gazette, entitled “Home of the Bear and the Deer. What a ‘Gazette’ Man Saw in the Hunting Section of Pike County, PA.” The article is dated November 30, 1891, and it was a fun find because it mentions a hunting party that included both my second great grandfather—Andrew Jackson Brodhead—AND his little brother Abram. Andrew would have been 69 at the time, and Abram 67. And it was even more fun because it described them as “famous sportsmen”: At Blooming Grove, “Moses Westbrook’s”, we found a notable party of hunters, some of whom have followed the hounds in the wilds of Pike for 40 consecutive years. Among them were the famous sportsmen, “Abe” C. Brodhead of Lehighton, Pa., Andrew J. Brodhead and George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa. They were hourly expecting John C. Westbrook, of Milford, and Captain ” Lafe” Westbrook, of Stroudsburg, the great deer slayers of Pike for the past 40 years, it being a fact that they have to their credit the slaying of over 600 deer during that time. It would be unfair not to mention their brother “Mose” in this connection who, although having no record to exhibit, has without doubt killed nearly as many as his brothers.

Sadly, this may have been one of the last times Abram enjoyed a hunting expedition; a little less than a year later, he fell ill and passed away at his daughter Jennie (Brodhead) Linderman‘s home in Bethlehem, PA. Andrew, meanwhile, was blessed to live another 21 years, dodging the “heart attack alley” that seems to zigzag up the Brodhead family tree, so he probably enjoyed many more such outings before being forced by infirmity to give up such pleasures. Serendipitously to finding the article, I found the above 1870 image in Harper’s Weekly and went so far as to purchase the issue so I could include the image here. Don’t worry, I did not have to rob a bank. 😉

Please don't rely on my data as being 100% accurate. Mistakes happen along the way! ;-)

Please verify my data before you use it. Mistakes happen along the way! 😉

p. 103 of The Runkle Family: Being an Account of the Runkels in Europe, and Their Descendants in America by Ben van Doren Fisher (T.A. Wright, 1899) Other members of the hunting party included “George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa.” Who were these men? Well, I figured out that W. F. Brodhead referred to Colonel William Franklin Brodhead (1842-1932), a cousin of the Brodhead brothers via the Dingman side of the family. William’s mother Jane Dingman was the younger sister of Andrew and Abram’s mother Cornelia Dingman. Jane and Cornelia both married into the Brodhead family.  (See the greatly condensed family tree inset for a visual.) U.S. Grant Tobias (1868-1940), a clergyman, was William’s son-in-law of just six months.  Grant married William’s daughter Edith on May 5, 1891 at the family’s Packerton, PA, home8.  In November 1891, William would have been 49, and Grant9—23. I think George T. Gray must have been a friend of Andrew Jackson Brodhead’s as both men were visiting from Flemington, NJ. I found George and his wife Rachel Ann Cherry in a Runkle family genealogy book10(see clipping inset and end note below). If I have the correct George (and I think I do), he was 66 at the time of this hunting trip.

At first I thought perhaps they were all members of the Blooming Grove Park Association, but when I discovered it was the exclusive preserve of the wealthy, I decided that was unlikely since as far as I know, my second great grandfather, dad to 10 children, was not a wealthy man. Brother Abram, long-time widower and father of one, had been the superintendent of the Lehigh Stove Foundry, and during the Cleveland administration, had held a lucrative position in the Philadelphia mint. Perhaps, he had the means.

Then I looked into what was meant by “Moses Westbrook’s,” and came upon a mention of this location in The Country, Vol. 1-2 (published in 1877; page 369): “Fishing on the Shohola, the large stream which runs through the territory of the Blooming Grove Park Association, is accessible via Lackawaxen, on the Erie Railway. The headquarters are at Moses Westbrook’s hotel at Blooming Grove, an excellent, cheap, comfortable hostelry…” By 1891, the hotel may have had a makeover, but obviously it was still standing, and providing lodging to this hunting party. Whether they were heading to the Association’s lands or other lands within Pike County, once they met up with John C. Westbrook and Captain ”Lafe” Westbrook, I don’t know. But, given the fact that the former had deeded 13,000 acres for the establishment of Blooming Grove Park, it seems likely that he would have been a member there.

John C. Westbrook (Image from The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties by Alfred Matthews, p. 895)

John C. Westbrook (Image from The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties by Alfred Matthews, p. 895)

Speaking of the Westbrooks, there were a number of them who married into the Brodhead family, and vice versa, through the years. For example, Andrew and Abram’s aunt Sarah Brodhead (1792-1879) was married to Colonel John Westbrook (1789-1852), and the brothers’ mom Cornelia Dingman Brodhead was the daughter of Daniel Westbrook Dingman (1774-1862) and Mary Westbrook (1774-1851). I have not sufficiently researched the Westbrook tree to know where “John C. Westbrook” fits (or “Lafe” or “Mose”, for that matter). If anyone out there knows, please feel free to give a shout. [Update: There is a bio of John C. Westbrook in The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, (RT Peck & Sons, 1886, pp. 894-896); Lafayette (‘Lafe’) was a brother of John C. Westbrook] [Note: See follow-up post on August 5, 2015]

Well, I will close now and leave you with the Evening Gazette article in the event you want to read it in its entirety. For those “scanners” among you, I have highlighted the names of our Brodheads and their friends. When the reporter left Blooming Grove, [the group was] following five deer. No matter what the day’s results were or where exactly their adventures took place, I hope they all enjoyed their time together in the great outdoors.

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PORT JERVIS EVENING GAZETTE, 30 November 1891

HOME OF THE BEAR AND DEER. WHAT A”GAZETTE” MAN SAW IN THE HUNTING SECTION OF PIKE COUNTY, PA

Many Noted Hunters at Present in That Country Searching for the Big Game. Plenty of Deer but Not Many Captured, as Yet—A Brief Mention of Several of the Many Excellent Hunters Homes.

The hunting season of Pike County, Pa., is now at its best, and in all parts of that vast area of wilderness, barrens and swamps lying between the famous valley road and the Paupack country, the birds the deer and the bears are on the alert to escape the death dealing shots of the wily hunters and the keen scent of their swift footed and well trained dogs. When the law is “on” protecting the game, this vast country is nearly as silent as the grave, and the intense quiet is only broken by the occasional sound of the woodman’s axe.

On a recent drive through this section, the writer found many famous hunters at the various “Hunters Homes.” At Sheriff Hoffman’s hospitable home on Sawkill Lake, five miles out from Milford, on the Milford and Owego turnpike, the Hawes Brothers, of Central Valley, NY, men noted in the Adirondacks and in the Maine forests for their skill as hunters, were in full possession and with the Sheriff and his sons were making it lively for the deer and were capturing many birds. We are informed that they took home with them two four-pronged bucks. Mrs. Hoffman, by the way, we found very ill but the honors of the home were excellently carried out by her daughter. The jolly Sheriff laments the fact that he has not this year his usual number of dogs, by death and other causes his kennel is now reduced to sixteen.

At Shohola Falls a party of gentlemen from Nyack, NY, who had been guests of Garry Hart, the owner of the famous Shohola Falls and the adjacent country, had just left and had taken away with them six deer. These gentlemen were assisted in their hunting by the noted Greening Brothers who know every runway and hiding place for deer in that whole country. In this connection we wish to take the liberty of mentioning that Mr. and Mrs. Hart caught the largest trout that were taken in Pike county this season. They caught in the Rattlesnake creek and in the Shohola, in the “Meadows,” seven trout none of which weighed less than 2 ½ pounds and one weighed a trifle over 6 pounds. Mrs. Hart enjoys the reputation of being one of the most expert anglers of that section.

fishing5

Illustration for index page of The Country, Vol 1 & 2, published 1877; find it on Google Books (free) — the index is extensive and there is good reading to be had here. The 19th-century American passion for the great outdoors is on display!

At Blooming Grove, “Moses Westbrook’s”, we found a notable party of hunters, some of whom have followed the hounds in the wilds of Pike for 40 consecutive years. Among them were the famous sportsmen, “Abe” C. Brodhead of Lehighton, Pa., Andrew J. Brodhead and George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa. They were hourly expecting John C. Westbrook, of Milford, and Captain “Lafe” Westbrook, of Stroudsburg, the great deer slayers of Pike for the past 40 years, it being a fact that they have to their credit the slaying of over 600 deer during that time. It would be unfair not to mention their brother “Mose” in this connection who, although having no record to exhibit, has without doubt killed nearly as many as his brothers.

When the writer left Blooming Grove the party first mentioned were following five deer and we have no doubt that they captured the greater part of them.

Over on the Paupack there were a number of hunters at “Jack” Kimbles and at Marcus Killam’s and all were having fairly good luck. Marcus Killam, now considerably advanced in years, is another of the famous deer hunters of Pike, having killed over 400 deer in the past 60 years. At Dimon’s, also on the Paupack, a number of hunters were gathered. These gentlemen were under the guidance of the noted local guide and deer hunter Henry Quick, and had already started up several deer but, unfortunately, had not been able to get a shot at them. Among the hunters in the Paupack country was a young divine, Rev. F. T. Angevene, of Sharon, Conn. The young clergyman is an ardent sportsman and an excellent shot; although he did miss two deer when out with “Eph” Kimble, of Kimbles, and we do not doubt that he took away with him more game than any other man of the party. The cause of his missing the deer was a peculiar condition of the atmosphere just at sunset and he was not able to correctly estimate distances.

“Sim” Lord, at Lord’s Valley, has also captured several deer but as he was out following a deer the day that we were in his section we did not see him and consequently are not able to mention the hunters that have been making their headquarters at his very hospitable home. We, however, did see his brother Jury Commissioner, Levi Lord, and he stated that game was comparatively plenty at Lord’s Valley and vicinity and the hunters were having excellent sport. [this part was cut off] …but, for some reason explainable only by those who stood on the runways, none of them were stopped. This home is on the head waters of the Rattlesnake creek in the heart of a famous bear, deer, bird and trout section. The great black bear brought to Port Jervis last February, the skin of which was purchased by Counsellor John W. Lyon, of this village, was shot by Dr. Kelly within three quarters of a mile of his residence. Mrs. Kelly, by the way, is an expert shot and on the day of our visit killed a pheasant, or rather ruffed grouse, that will entitle her to take the first premium this year. The bird weighed a trifle over three pounds and was the largest of his species that we had ever seen.

Space will not allow us at this time to mention the bear hunting in Greene township and at the “Knob” and we will rely on our correspondents to give the interesting bear stories to our readers later on.

We would say to our readers who have a love for the sports of the field that there is no better hunting section than Little Pike to gratify their desires in that direction and, more, that the “Hunters Homes” are comfortable and excellent beyond description. You cannot make a mistake, they all, without exception, are ideal ”Hunters’ Paradises.”

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – Page 51 of Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania’s Vacationland by Lawrence Squeri (Penn State Press, 2010)
8 – Carbon Advocate wedding announcement, Volume 19, No. 26, Saturday, May 9, 1891
9 – Carbon Advocate, Volume 20, Number 22, Saturday, April 9, 1892:  In A Few Words. We congratulate our popular young friend Grant Tobias, of the County Seat, over the arrival of a bright little son in his family. We hope the little fellow may have a long life and abundant prosperity, while at the same time we feel like closing digits with granddad Brodhead, at Packerton.
10 – Page 103 of The Runkle Family: Being an Account of the Runkels in Europe, and Their Descendants in America by Ben van Doren Fisher (T. A. Wright, 1899)

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1877_PikCo

The cost of a 2-week trip from NYC to Pike Co. in 1877? No more than $30. (The Country, Vol. 1-2; pub. 1877; page 369)

Categories: Brodhead, Dingman, Fishing, Hobbies and Pastimes, Hunting, Nature, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | 7 Comments

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