Saturday, December 25, 2010

Smoke Rise Postcards: Wishing You Were Here

Smie Rise Postcards: East Gate
Were you aware that postcards were once available featuring noteworthy Smoke Rise sites? Herb Fisher recently came across a few and sent me scans of them.  I think you'll enjoy them. I'm assuming these date back to the late 1940s.

Smoke Rise East Gate, Kinnelon, N.J.

The best place to start is at the Smoke Rise East Gate and this image is fabulous. As you can see from the photo, access is via one lane. Note, too, the wall along the right hand side of the access road.

The original road into Smoke Rise was what is currently the meandering exit route.

Here is the caption from the back of the postcard:

Gate - All visitors must be announced at this "Gate" leading into Smoke Rise, New Jersey's unique 5000 acre mountain-lake woodland Club Plan community of small estates. For other cards in this series in Lake Kinnelon, homes, the Inn, etc., address Smoke Rise, P.O. Box 818, Butler, N.J.

Smoke Rise's St. Hubert Chapel

This postcard of St. Hubert's Chapel gives you a sense for the view that Francis Kinney might have had of the chapel from his home with the Tiffany stained glass cross and relief of St. Hubert prominent.

Smoke Rise Postcard: St. Hubert's Chapel

Smoke Rise Beach

Yes, this is New Jersey!  Granted, not in December, and quite tropical looking. It makes me wish I were there.

Here is the caption from the postcard:

View of Smoke Rise beach and Lake Kinnelon in Kinnelon, N.J., looking toward the north with Kitty Ann Mountain, 1,156 feet elevation, and the 80ft tall stone Lookout Tower, in the background. Smoke Rise is the unique Club Residential Community on Route 23 in northern New Jersey, 30 miles from New York City.

Smoke Rise Postcard: Smoke Rise Beach

Thanks, Herb, for sharing these.

Other postcards of Smoke Rise exist, of the Inn - for example. They exist of other noteworthy locations, establishments and points of interest not just in Kinnelon, but also around Northern New Jersey and beyond.  After all what better way to promote specific places and to memorialize your presence there.

Slightly different than how we do so today via smartphone cameras and other digital devices.

If you were creating a postcard collection today, what would you capture in photos not just in Smoke Rise, but elsewhere in and around Kinnelon?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Kinnelon Christmas! Happy Holidays!

It's the final countdown before Christmas here in Kinnelon and elsewhere, too.

On Tuesday, Emma's third grade class at Kinnelon's Stonybrook School put on a fantastic presentation of Holidays around the World. We learned about Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Chinese, Muslim and American Holiday traditions.

Today, Emma had her final rehearsal with Our Lady of the Magnificat's Cherub Choir which is made up of children in kindergarten through 3rd grade. They sing for the 4pm Christmas Eve Mass which is more of a Christmas musical than a traditional mass. It's an exuberant celebration.

Next year, we'll experience the 6pm Christmas Eve Mass for the first time since Emma will have graduated from the Cherub Choir. I expect that will be equally amazing.

Emma with Santa, 2009
For now, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's event.

Over the past two weekends, two other magnificent musical events have taken place in Kinnelon:
Emma can't wait for the unfolding of the rest of the Christmas festivities... We finished watching The Santa Clause and really enjoyed this digital version of the Nativity story. Final countdown time...

Then, depending on the weather, maybe we'll take a hike through the Hemlock Trail on Christmas Day...

What do you have planned for these Kinnelon Holidays?

We wish you health, happiness and marvelous times during these Holidays and for all of 2011!

Ted, Emma &

Monday, December 20, 2010

Smoke Rise Village Inn History: Appealing to Businessmen

Smoke Rise Village Inn History: Appealing to Businessmen
Via Tom Kline's Smoke Rise Village Inn History series - see Part I and Part I - and the Smoke Rise Village Inn in Pictures - see The Smoke Rise Inn: Outdoors in Pictures and Indoors - you're getting a feel for the different roles the Inn has played over time.

Here is a brochure from the early 1970s from the Smoke Rise Inn appealing specifically to businessmen [yes, sorry businesswomen :( ] and encouraging them to consider the Inn for business meetings.

From the Smoke Rise Village Inn

For sometime, we have been involved in such improvements as new carpeting, new chairs and tables, redecorating, etc. However, improvements must be accomplished on a basis which is economically feasible.  The Inn must operate on a sound fiscal basis, if its activities and facilities are to be expanded.

Thus, we are writing to each Smoke Rise businessman in the hope of encouraging additional participation in The Inn and its facilities.  The Inn is -- and always should be -- a private club for use of Smoke Rise residents. However, we feel that its scope might be broadened to include sales meetings, seminars, board meetings and other functions run by companies whose owners or management executives live here.

We are willing to install the club equipment essential to the conduct of business meetings.  Our management and the management of The Inn will go out of their way to make special arrangements, as necessary.

May we ask that you try to help us expand The Inn activities by using the facilities for your next business meeting, business party or sales meeting?

Ken Davidson will be happy to sit down with you and help formulate plans, menus, table arrangements, etc.

With your cooperation, we anticipate being able to improve the role which the Village Inn plays at Smoke Rise.

With the Yuletide season approaching, we would also like to remind you that the Smoke Rise Village Inn private label spirits and all standard brands are available for gift-giving as well as personal use.  Your support will aid us in maintaining and enhancing The Inn.
Happy history-filled Yuletide season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kinnelon Community Gardens Update, Events, Website

Kinnelon Community Gardens Update, Events, Website

Have you been keeping up with the Kinnelon Community Gardens (KCG)? Let me update you...

Kinnelon Community Gardens Website

Kinnelon Community Gardens has a website: which includes photos and writeups of recent KCG events.  Definitely check out the photos from the Two Pond Farm visit in West Milford!

Kinnelon Community Gardens Update

This from Galina Adair:

"Hello everyone – I wanted to give you an updated account of what is happening at the Kinnelon Community Gardens. We have started to meet with the Open Space Committee. The Open Space Committee extended an invitation to the Kinnelon Community Gardens and we accepted.

The Kinnelon Open Space Public Advisory Committee and the KCG’s meetings have been going extremely well. With the help of the Open Space Committee, we realized that in order to obtain a parcel of property, there are steps necessary to follow and a clear course of action was determined. A list of potential sites was discussed, and the OSPAC is investigating these possibilities. It was agreed that the KCG would attend any future OSPAC meetings in order to keep up to date on what was being accomplished. So, KCG is very optimistic of our forthcoming plot of land!"

Kinnelon Community Gardens Events

Did you know that Kinnelon Community Gardens organizes monthly seminars that take place at L'Ecole Museum (25 Kiel Avenue) in Kinnelon? These sessions are great fun, informative and seem to consistently involve tastings of food created by local Kinnelon garden enthusiasts.

The first we attended took place on October 6 with local beekeeper Don Lynch.  We'll share more notes in a separate post.

Ted discussed the history and making of hot sauces with tastings of his SR Fresh Hot Sauces on December 8th.

Upcoming Kinnelon Community Gardens seminars include:

Jan. 5, 2011:  Bill of ‘Bill’s Figs’
Bill Muzychko of Bill’s Figs from Flemington, NJ has been growing figs for ~ 7 years. He has over 100 fig trees and his mature trees (i.e,. 4 years old or older) produce between 200 and 300 figs during a growing season. This is a major accomplishment since fig trees are semi-Tropical and not used to cold winters. Bill has developed a system that not only extends the growing season, but encourages rapid growth. Here is a link to a presentation he shared in 2008 on the caring and growing of fig trees.  Bill will also have some of his fig trees available for sale.

Feb. 2, 2011  Diane Nelson – wild flowers of the Highlands

March 2, 2011 Movie 'Power of the Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil'  with wine/cheese.
This documentary, a People's Choice Award winner for best international film at the Aotearoa Environmental Film Festival, explores how rapidly an economy can become self sufficient as oil supplies dwindle? Cubans didn't have a choice in the matter and figured out how to grow their own food and use alternative forms of energy to power refrigeration, light, transport etc.

April 6, 2011 Allyson Hosford from Two Pond Farm in West Milford on onions and garlic....saving seeds....small farm farming and farmers

May 4, 2011 Beer (?) Field Trip

June 8, 2011 Indian Herbs & Indian Cooking

As you can see, lots to look forward to about our Kinnelon community, and what's possible with gardens.

If you have any questions, please contact  See you at an upcoming seminar!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kinnelon's Trash 2 Treasure Contest 2010

Kinnelon's Trash 2 Treasure Contest 2010 The second annual Kinnelon Trash 2 Treasure Contest ended on December 7th, 2010, with winners announced and prizes awarded. Luckily, all of the children's creations will be on display in the Kinnelon's Children's Library through the end of December 2010. Go visit them. Be amazed at our children's ingenuity and imagination. It's a treat!

Nancy McMurrer, Kinnelon Librarian and champion for the Trash 2 Treasure program, detailed highlights:

Nancy McMurrer, Kinnelon Librarian and champion for the Trash 2 Treasure program+ 100 entries in 2010 vs. 60 entries in 2009.

+ Since last year, a Terracycle drink pouch brigade has formed thanks to Karen Baker who got the program running at Kiel School.  Kiel School is now a collection point for drink pouches which yield a $.02 return to the school and are then upcycled into school products.

+ The Trash 2 Treasure Contest has evolved since last year's event. Not only have the Kinnelon school art teachers - Scully and Santagato - been asking about the event, but so have the students.

+ The seven 2010 Trash 2 Treasure judges either live, work or volunteer in Kinnelon and include 3 men, 4 women; 2 Kinnelon High School seniors; a Suburban Trends editor and several prominent and active members of the Kinnelon community.

More specifically:

Bob Collins - Mayor Elect
Linda Farmer - Kinnelon Library Board Member/ Artist
Diana Friedman - KHS Senior
Sid Johnston - Editorial Assistant Trends
Gene Myers - Features Editor Trends
Fiona Reidy - KHS Senior
Carol Sventy - CLL, Open Space, Kinnelon After School Enrichment

1st place Trash 2 Treasure winner, Emma Whittemore
Hurray for Emma!
And, now, the 2010 Trash 2 Treasure Winners:

K and 1st Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

1st Place: Christian Sokol – Luigi’s Haunted Castle #21
2nd Place: Kevin Baker – Giraffe in the Jungle #34
3rd Place: Allison Donohue – Monster Garden #17

2nd and 3rd Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

1st Place: Emma Whittemore – Books Galore #22
2nd Place: Jenna Stickley – Don’t Pollute our Oceans # 18
3rd Place: Erin Pelliconi/Olivia Bosefski – Boats on the Bay # 8

4th and 5th Grade Trash 2 Treasure Winners

1st Place: Sara Schotanus – “Ante” Eater - #11
2nd Place: Lauren Abderhalden – Old Fashion Typewriter #10
3rd Place: Michael Halasnik – Abraham Lincoln #3

Many thanks to Tiffany Seymour and PNC Bank for generously supporting the contest. Each first place winner received a $100 savings bond! All winners received highly coveted TerraCycle school products.
Kinnelon's 2010 Trash 2 Treasure first place winners
All three 1st Place Trash 2 Treasure winners
Interestingly, after corresponding with Nancy about the Trash 2 Treasure Contest details, I came across this fascinating Fast Company article titled The Four Secrets of Playtime that Foster Creative Kids, written by Frog Design.

I found this paragraph particularly thought-provoking... and supportive of Trash 2 Treasure:

"In 2007, Howard Chudacoff, a professor of History at Brown University, wrote a book called Children at Play: An American History, in which he identified a disturbing trend suggesting that play is changing dramatically from a world invented by children to a world prescribed by parents and other adults. He discovered that “the resourcefulness of children’s culture has eroded, as children have become less skilled at transforming everyday objects into playthings.” Plato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” What do our children really need to invent for themselves in such a manufactured, overly structured world? While an African child might be monetarily poor compared with his European counterpart, I would argue that he is richer in play because he must invent the very ball he tosses or kicks around. Children in the US simply go to Walmart. From education to play consumption, we have unknowingly created a society of more game players rather than game designers —and that’s an important distinction."

Congratulations, Trash 2 Treasure 2010 winners! Congratulations to all of the kids who participated in the contest and Thank you, Nancy, for championing such a marvelous program! I hope you'll go visit the Kinnelon Children's Library and check out the 2010 Trash 2 Treasure Contest entries.

And for some additional perspective on the Trash 2 Treasure Contest, read Kinnelon Children's Library: One Kid's Trash... Although from 2009, it's a fun read.

Added 12/24/10: Nancy McMurrer sent me a link to Princeton Alumni Weekly's Slide Show: Trash Made Beautiful.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10 Holiday Gift Ideas With a Kinnelon Twist

10 Holiday Gift Ideas With a Kinnelon Twist'Tis the season to be thinking of gifts. Lucky for you, I've been thinking of the very subject for a while and jotting down unique gift ideas with a Kinnelon twist. Here's my list of 10 Kinnelon Holiday gift ideas.... whether you've been naughty or nice!

1. Get your special someone a Growler from the High Point Brewery and fill it with Ramstein Beer. In so doing, you not only share the best German style wheat beers in the state, but you also guarantee conversation -- about the growler, the beer, the water in our area and other fun topics.

2. What about Dinner at the Smoke Rise Village Inn? Great food, the most child-friendly environment you could ask for in a building filled with more history than most other buildings in Kinnelon.  It's open to everyone.

3. Jen Singer has a new book available titled Stop Second-Guessing Yourself--Baby's First Year: A Field-Tested Guide to Confident Parenting (Momma Said).

4. Speaking of books, don't forget Lynmarie McCullough's Grand Hall Character Ball...

5. and The Age of Conversation 3, a collaborative book about social media marketing best practices - to which I contributed a chapter. Proceeds from sales of the book benefit Charity: Water.

6. or Liz Holste's Skiing in New Jersey!

7. Have you checked out the wonderful note cards with scenes of Kinnelon available at L'Ecole Museum?

8. If you need to get all dolled up for the Holiday celebrations, consider visiting our friend Anne Walsh at Anne's Hair Spa in Butler.

These next two are very close to home...

9. Ted's SR Fresh Hot Sauces make marvelous stocking stuffers plus they are sure to enhance your Holiday meals.

10. Treating yourself to a new computer this year? Ted can make recommendations and help you convert your existing data onto your new computer. If you haven't yet, check out Ted's Working Computers blog for lots of valuable advice for keeping your computer [and you] happy.

Bonus! Although not a Kinnelon resource, my friend Devon Valenti is based in New Jersey [Princeton to be specific] and her company's product is terrific.  Offer your special someone with a smartphone the gift of CoPilot Live, an app based GPS navigation device!

What would you add to this list of Holiday gift ideas with a Kinnelon twist?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kinnelon's Mead Barn, Meadtown 1972

Main Barn Mead Farm, Kinnelon, NJ 1972

Kinnelon's Mead Farm, Main Barn, Meadtown 1972

I want you to close your eyes and imagine how today's Meadtown area and Kinnelon Mall looked before they became Pathmark. Think fields, farm buildings, a magnificent house integrated with the Butternut Tree, gentle slopes, picket fence...

You can get a better picture by visiting l'Ecole Museum in Kinnelon.

Or, enjoy this lovely sketch that Damon Carmona - who shared with us his tale of the Kinnelon Castle aka the Untermeyer Estate - sent me over Thanksgiving.

Damon writes,

"What better e-card could I send you than this....the sketch I did of the Main Barn at the old Mead Farm. I just found it this afternoon. It was in rough shape and had a crease down the center but I was able to "doctor" it a bit after scanning it into my Photobucket account. This dates from 1972 when I was eleven. Later that year these barns burned to the ground. Within two years the whole farm complex was bulldozed for the Kinnelon Mall. The big barn faced the back of the house with the house facing Rt. 23."

Damon also drew the Mead house, creating a color rendition of the house itself. He explains, "The original was framed and presented to the late Grace Mead in the basement Fellowship Room of the Kinnelon Reformed Church. She had grown up on the farm and it was suggested that I give her the picture... probably to redeem the fact that I'd once been taken to the Police Station for trespassing on the abandoned farm. (A teacher from Pearl Miller School was actually arrested that day...he was removing a shelf unit...I, of course, was merely sketching.) So here's a souvenir from my brief career as a juvenile delinquent. Please feel free to share this on the blog...and if you ever come across photographs of the Mead Farm I'd LOVE to see them."

In a previous message, Damon shared memories of the Mead farm.

"I remember the Mead farm in its last days. I think I must have explored every room of the house and barn complex. I remember when the main barn burned down. That farm was an historic site and should never have been destroyed for a mall.

It's funny, but I can still remember the odd oval doorknobs, the "bullseye" window frames and the door which opened to a secret stairway leading to what I now suppose was a servant's room. The house had many rambling additions. It once had yellow siding, white trim and dark green shutters. That is how I drew it, as if restored."

Thank you, Damon, for these memories and your sketch. I'll be on the lookout for photos of the Mead Farm.

Do you remember the Mead Farm? What details stand out?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ramstein Open House and SR Fresh Hot Sauce this Saturday @ 2 PM -- Last Call for 2010

Ramstein Beer Open House

Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, Dec.13. Directions are at the website.

This will be the last Tour for this year and the Tour and Open House schedule will resume in March with the introduction of the 2011 Maibock. Hooray for 2011!

There will be 2 tour and tasting sessions, one at 2 PM, and another at 3:45 PM

The Ramstein Golden LagerRamstein Winter Wheat, and Ramstein Dunkelweiss will be available.

2 Liter Growlers and pint glasses will be in stock.

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-CherryHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. Come try them!

Also, we will have some Cayenne Blast and a small amount of Ripe Red Fresno-Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Sweet and Hot.

This will be the last SR Fresh Hot Sauce Tasting of 2010 as well, and we will resume with Ramstein's Open House in March of 2011. 

You Hot Sauce people can check out the new SR Fresh Hot Sauce Website, where the sauces are explained and sold. Check out the Fresh Hot Sauce Blog as well.

As usual, there will be a tour and explanation of the brewing process by Greg Zaccardi, the owner. [See previous post about Ramstein Beer with videos for a primer.]

See you there!

Ted and Christine and Emma

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Grand Hall Character Ball - Book Now Available

The Grand Hall Character Ball
Do you remember The Grand Hall Character Ball theatrical presentation at the Kinnelon Library?  It took place at the Kinnelon Library Winter Festival on January 2nd, 2009 [see Kinnelon's Winter Festival for full description].

Great news! The author, Lynmarie McCullough - who performed the role of the rabbit - has just informed us that The Grand Hall Character Ball is now available as a printed hardback book filled with engaging illustrations.

The Grand Hall Character Ball - Book Now Available
You can purchase the book - available for $14.99 + tax/shipping/handling - by visiting where you can also watch several videos of Lynmarie's budding-author-son Marshall who has several books in the works.

Congratulations, Lynmarie, on the publication of The Grand Hall Character Ball!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12/11/10 Silas Condict Park Hike in Kinnelon. Party, Too. Yippee!

Silas Condict Hike - 2Please save Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9am for another Morris County Park Commission Hike through Silas Condict Park in Kinnelon.

Last year's hike - described in Silas Condict Hike Encounters Smoke Rise Hospitality -was unforgettable. I believe this will one will be even better as it includes a party, too!

Here are the details.

When: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9AM

Where: Meet at the Silas Condict Casino (i.e., the main stone building by the lake).

The Route: On a proposed trail through the recently acquired area south of the lake and adjacent to Borough owned properties along Kinnelon Rd and the Smoke Rise area. This area is about 250 acres.

Description: Parts of this proposed trail are “difficult” in that they are along a narrow ridge. We will determine by hike time just how to safely navigate the area and still afford everyone the really wonderful views in most all directions.

In other words, the trail may take us through parts of Bear Mountain in Kinnelon [see Kinnelon's Bear Mountain Trail - Part I]. Pretty exciting if you ask me!

Here's the added fun: a party after the hike!

Says Tom Edmunds: "Party Time!!:  We invite everyone to stay after the hike for an informal Holiday party at the Casino.  Light snacks and refreshments.  We're pretty well set on the basics, but if you'd like to bring some of your special Holiday goodies, send an email to Janet McMillan at"

If you do plan on joining us for this Holiday Hike through Silas Condict Park in Kinnelon, please contact Tom Edmunds, MCPC Trails Mapping/GPS at

Ted, Emma and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, December 11th.

PS: If you'd like to make a whole day of the event, plan on attending Ramstein Beer's December Open House at 2pm the same day.  Details will be published separately.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Smoke Rise Hemlock Trail: Re-Opened!

Smoke Rise Hemlock Trail

Consider a hike along the newly re-opened Smoke Rise Hemlock Trail.

Hurray! Ken Bitz, from the Smoke Rise Lake and Environment Committee, shares the following news.

The Hemlock Trail is open for fall hiking!

The project to clear and re-blaze this 0.5 mile trail that was undertaken by Boy Scout Ben Wasserman and his troop has been completed. The Hemlock trail that is accessed at the corner of Brush Hill Road and Summit Terrace South is open and very inviting for a nice hike in the weather that the crisp fall brings.

The committee is working on a new updated map of hiking trails in our community, which will be available when ready.

Emma, Ted and I haven't yet had a chance to experience the newly re-opened Hemlock Trail. However, we enjoyed it very much in its previous state and look forward to an even better hike soon!

You can also find a detailed listing of Smoke Rise hikes in Smoke Rise Hiking Trails: The List.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Come to the Hot Sauce Talk at L'Ecole, Wed. Dec. 8th at 7 PM

Kinnelon Community Gardens has invited me to talk about Hot Sauces and the making of Hot Sauces as a part of their Monthly Education Seminar Program, so .. that's what I'm going to do, on the evening of Wednesday Dec. 8 at 7 PM at L'Ecole, 25 Kiel Ave. in Kinnelon. I will also bring some of the Hot Sauces that I make for tasting and sale.

I myself have liked spicy and hot food including Hot Sauce since my late teens and have been making Hot Sauces for over 20 years. Check out The Fresh Hot Sauce Blog, and the SR Fresh Hot Sauce website for more information, including reviews of popular hot sauces, in my inimitable writing style.

I attended the Bee Keeping Talk earlier this fall and enjoyed it a lot. We had a good crowd and I am not surprised since most people do like honey, after all.

I'm wondering if there are enough Hot Sauce enthusiasts out there interested in hearing about the history of Hot Sauce in America, from McIlhenny's commercial  introduction of Tabasco in 1868 (yeah, that long ago), to more boutique and colorfully named brands such as Dave's Insanity and Blair Lazar's "Death" Sauces in the last 2 decades of the 20th century.

I will also talk about popular methods of crushing, chopping and juicing peppers and related hot sauce ingredients and methods of preserving and bottling the results as Hot Sauce.

Do you like Hot Sauce?

Wanna make some???


OK. Just come and listen!

Don't like Hot Sauce???

I am sorry for you -- you can stay home.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

No, this isn't a turkey, but it is a real Heron photographed in Smoke Rise and with it we wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Many thanks for being part of the Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog. We truly appreciate it.

Christine, Ted & Emma

PS: If you are cooking for the Thanksgiving Holiday, what is your favorite recipe?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

MCPC Hikes: Discover Morris County's Trails

If you haven't taken part in a MCPC [Morris County Park Commission] hike, you are missing out on one of the best local activities available for discovering Morris County's Trails. The hikes take place monthly on the first Saturday of the month, and explore the many parks and municipalities of Morris County.

I shared with you how I first discovered the program in this post from 2009 titled Morris County Hiking Trails In Daily Record. Since then, we've participated in many of the hikes, learned a lot about the area, and met fun people.

Most amazing about this program are the three MCPC people who organize each hike, map it out, prepare the trail, guide, and invite local representatives to join in and provide perspective on the creation of the trail:  Russ Nee, Tom Edmunds and Janet McMillan.

By the way, Russ Nee, MCPC Trails Foreman, quoted in the 2009 Daily Record article, is pictured here in this September 15, 2010 article titled "Patriots Path runners trail being resurfaced."

MCPC Hikes: Discover Morris County's Trails

MCPC Hikes: Details of our Discovery of Morris County's Trails

Here are the details of the MCPC hikes we've been on. These posts include trail map, photos and any historic references I'm able to find. I will add to the list as I complete posts about more recent hikes.

Let me know if you have any questions. We'd love to see you on an upcoming MCPC Hike.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Smoke Rise Spirits Shop

Have you ever taken a walk behind the Smoke Rise Inn? There's a doorway there with a green awning that I believe may have been the door to the Smoke Rise Spirit Shop.  You know, the place from where Smoke Rise Spirits Survive came.

After receiving those Smoke Rise Spirits photos from Herb Fisher, I asked him for details and learned that his Dad, Herb Fisher Sr., had run the Spirit Shop!  Here is what he shared:

"Herb ran the Spirit Shop (volunteer/no compensation) with his "lady friends".

Why he stopped? I really can't add much to this story.  We lived down in Texas and the only exposure I had was when we visited my parents in Smoke Rise during that one summer. 

Several times during that two or three week period I would help him stock the shelves or carry stuff in from the delivery truck -- while I was there I did not want him to carry cases of booze and beer. 

He enjoyed doing it (kept him busy) plus at the back of the current bar at the Inn was a window type arrangement, so Herb could chat with the bartender (think his name was Jim Rodda) and chat with anyone who was sitting at the bar. Besides a pilot, Herb was a Public Relations expert and enjoyed BS-ing with everyone!

Jim Rohrer was running Rosernes at the time and there was some reason why Harry Rohrer, Jim's oldest brother decided not to get involved with the Inn. I cannot really remember."

I asked Herb about his Dad's bar and whether it was stocked with Smoke Rise Spirits.

Emily Fisher
"No, Herb's bar at home, from as far back as I can remember, was stocked with "top shelf" liquor.  His favorite was Scotch: Chivas 12 year old, 18 year old Highland Park, etc., or other whiskeys - Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Crown Royal, and the same for vodkas and rums.  Herb made one huge unreal Bloody Mary for overnight guests that accompanied Emily and Mitzi's/Nana late morning super brunches.  That drink was a 628 Mountain Road specialty (Emily enjoyed one or two on occasion... See photo).

Herb kept a bottle of Smoke Rise Scotch, Bourbon, etc. at the house more as a novelty. He would also send them as gifts. Ya know, living in an upscale gated community with it's own liquor label, status!

When I see a picture like the attached... Emily reminds me of Barbara Billingsley, mother of Wally and the Beave/the TV show "Leave it to Beaver".  Those were better times. Glad I lived them."

Thanks, Herb, for helping us imagine The Smoke Rise Spirits Shop! Any chance you have Herb's unreal Bloody Mary recipe?

Do you have memories or stories relating to the Smoke Rise Spirits Shop? What about recipes for favorite drinks served at the Smoke Rise Inn or even at family events?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coyotes In Our Community -- They're Here to Stay!

Coyotes In Our Community
Coyote in the "Light Phase" Color Doing Its Thing

We have coyotes in Kinnelon as permanent residents and we're going to have to come to terms with them! That's the message we took away from the Coyotes in Our Communities lecture given Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 at the Kinnelon High School, by the The NJ Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish & Wildlife.

In a fairly informal lecture with statistics and pictures with questions asked and answered afterwards, a moderate sized crowd was given a picture of the rise of the coyote population in NJ over the last 60 years, a bunch of facts, what to expect of coyotes, how to deal with them, and what the State of New Jersey's policy is toward coyotes.

First some facts:

For whatever reason, coyotes are new to New Jersey, and in fact the entire Eastern United States. They have pushed eastward from their traditional range in and around the Rocky Mountains in only the last hundred years or so. It's not a case of them having been hunted to extinction, and that they are now bouncing back, but simply that they are now able to expand in a way they have not been able to before.

The guesstimate of a population for coyotes in NJ is about 3,000 individuals, based on sightings, roadkill, diseased and/or dead animals reported, and hunter kills, which are legal during deer season, and which must be reported to the State within 24 hours of the kill.

The greatest density of animals is in the north and west of the State, and northern Morris County is in the high density area.
Depending on sex and age, adults vary size from 35 to about 50 lbs; they live less than 10 years in the wild, and perhaps as little as six.

Most coyotes do not make it to adulthood, but die before reaching the age of 1 and before they've learned enough to stay alive. They are hit by cars, taken by disease, and/or fail as hunters when they are pushed out of the family group at about 6 months of age.

Litters are produced in the spring, and only in the spring, and they are on their own by early fall. Which means that each adult pair produces a maximum of 6 new coyotes per year, most of which do not survive that first year.

Coyotes come in different colors or "phases" from from lightish beige and grey, to to a darkish charcoal color.

They have bushy tails which they hold still and down, unlike many dogs.

Their scat is somewhat dog-like but contains a lot of small bones and fur.

They do NOT hunt in packs and are not pack animals. Sightings of multiple animals are FAMILY sightings, which top out at around 8 animals, a typical litter of 6 and 2 parents.

They hunt small prey, considerably smaller than themselves, principally rodents such as rabbits, mice and voles, as well as birds, up to and including wild turkeys, and will consider small dogs up to about 20 lbs, and possibly even small children of a similar size, to be prey.

They are dusk and nocturnal hunters but not exclusively, and may be seen in daylight.

Coyotes ARE afraid of people and WILL give ground if charged or approached, if they are not cornered.

New Jersey has only 5 employees for the entire state to deal with larger animals, including mammals and birds, such as bear, deer, turkeys, owls, falcons, bobcats, and, yes, coyotes.

The state will not take any pro-active action against coyotes in any area, but will only address specific problems such as repeated taking of livestock, or attacks against people, because of a lack of NJ State resources, and because the experience of Western states has been that it has not been possible to eradicate, or even curtail the coyote population, even with the commitment of substantial public funds -- which NJ does not have.

That's about it for the facts I remember.

In remarks after the lecture itself, we were told that the best way to protect pets and children is to keep them inside, and not to let small dogs and children run free or far from adults when outside.

Incidents in other communities in NJ were discussed, just a very few over the last 50 years, involving attacks on people which led to the State's trapping of a specific animal which then ended the problem.

Several people expressed unhappiness over the State's policy and felt that NJ ought to do "something" about the coyotes, and 2 recounted tales of having their small dogs taken during a walk or from their backyards when their pets got a distance away from them, and were then grabbed by a coyote.

After a combined hour of lecture, slides and questions, the meeting was ended with thanks to the representative of NJ Fish and Wildlife and applause, as well as a few grumbles from those who wanted more to be done.

There you have it.


Also see Kinnelon Critter File: Coyotes

Image courtesy of EnviroPolitics Blog.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ramstein Open House and SR Fresh Hot Sauce this Saturday @ 2 PM

Ramstein Beer Open House

Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, Nov.13. Directions are at the website.

There will be 2 tour and tasting sessions, one at 2 PM, and another at 3:45 PM

The Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde Hefe-WeizenRamstein Winter Wheat (for which there will be the seasonal intro), and Ramstein Dunkelweiss will be available, as well as my very favorite, the Amber Lager, which, if it were not for other considerations, I could drink all of the time!

2 Liter Growlers and pint glasses will be in stock.

And SR Fresh Hot Sauce will be there with the Fresh Cayenne-CherryHabanero Gold, and XXXXTra Hot Habanero Hot Sauce. Come try them!

Also, we will have some Cayenne Blast and a small amount of Ripe Red Fresno-Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Sweet and Hot.

You Hot Sauce people can check out the new SR Fresh Hot Sauce Website, where the sauces are explained and sold. Check out the Fresh Hot Sauce Blog as well.

As usual, there will be a tour and explanation of the brewing process by Greg Zaccardi, the owner. [See previous post about Ramstein Beer with videos for a primer.]

See you there!

Ted and Christine and Emma

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Smoke Rise Inn in Pictures: Indoors

I promised you more photos of Smoke Rise Inn activities taking place during the early Smoke Rise days in The Smoke Rise Inn In Pictures: Outdoors. Here follow images of several types of events that took place indoors at the Smoke Rise Inn.

These first two photos seem to relate to a sale of Christmas items - perhaps books, cards, ribbons and calendars. Based on the poster announcing an auction on October 17th, I assume this photo was taken in early October [note short sleeves and scene through the glass door. However, the little girl behind "Frenchy" in the second photo is wearing earmuffs... and I can't figure out the wintery scene behind the glass doors.]

Of course, I'm assuming the two photos were taken at the same event based on Mrs. Chantler's outfit.

Women at the Smoke Rise Inn
Pictured here are: Marion Dougherty, Ann Nevius, Mrs. Braks, Mrs. Chantler.

Intense conversation at the Smoke Rise Inn
Louise "Frenchy" Scott and Mrs. Sam Chantler.

Note the food items for sale behind the two women: cole slaw, fresh cauliflower, spinach. What do you suppose is in the tins?

Events at the Smoke Rise Inn look to me to have been marvelous affairs and perhaps not so different from those taking place today. What do you think? I love the details that these pictures capture.

Halloween at the Smoke Rise Inn
Halloween Party at the Smoke Rise Inn - 10/29/1949

Smoke Rise Inn conga line
Conga line on the terrace outside? - Smoke Rise Inn Party - 9/3/1949

Santa visits the Smoke Rise Inn
Santa visits the Smoke Rise Inn 12/19/1948

Christmas at the Smoke rise Inn
As the children listen carefully. Or, are they more interested in the photographer?

These next photos relate to the same dinner event.  I'm assuming the evening started out in the seating area, moved on to the bar and then to the dinner table.  That's how I've organized them.  Unfortunately, no dates or names... Must have been early '50s.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 1
Magazines on the coffee table:  TIME, Bazaar. I love the hat.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 2
I'm assuming this took place during the warmer months. Notice the open window and also short sleeves. Why is that young man seated on the floor?

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 3
I love the patterned dresses.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 4

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 5
Notice the windows are open. Also, the boy-girl seating.

Smoke Rise Inn dinner event - 6

Fun, no? Do you have stories or memories related to these events? Let me know!

Many thanks to Tom Kline for sharing these photos.
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