Sunday, July 25, 2010

Split Rock Village Furnace Tour & Hike

Split Rock Furnace
Split Rock Village Furnace
Were you aware that a magnificent furnace still stands by the Split Rock Reservoir dam along with the remains of a village?  We saw for ourselves on April 10th when Emma and I met up with Lisa Contreras and her son for the walking tour of Split Rock Village described in 4/10/10 News: Hikes & Ramstein Beer Open House.

Led by noted New Jersey historians Joe Macasek and Bierce Riley, we had the opportunity to participate in a walking tour of the Village of Split Rock, including the forge and furnace, and learn about some of the history of the area.

[Bierce Riley is actively involved with the Society for Industrial Archeology. Joe Macasek is vice president of The Canal Society of New Jersey and has written Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County.]

Joe distributed several documents to help illustrate the story he and Bierce shared about Split Rock Village.  I was able to scan three of them; the others were too big.

Splitrock Furnace Track gives you a sense for the large tracks of land created in the 1770s specifically for the purpose of creating iron which required water, woodland and iron ore.  The Splitrock tract consisted of 3,000 acres which included the Durham Forge, the Splitrock Forge and Furnace and the Cobb mines.

Rockaway hones in on the Rockaway area and the location of various iron mines and forges.

Finally, The Village of Splitrock Furnace lays out the village itself and its many buildings. According to NY/NJ Trail Conference Split Rock Loop/Four Birds Trail Short Loop, "the 32-foot-high charcoal-fired Split Rock Furnace [was] built of stone in 1862 to smelt magnetite ore into the iron needed for the Civil War. The furnace operated for only about ten years, and was abandoned in the 1870s."

Joe Macasek with pig iron
Joe Macasek holding up 'pig iron'.
From the blast furnace documents Joe shared, "The massive stone blast furnace stack supported a tall, brick-lined chamber that was loaded from the top with alternating layers of iron ore, charcoal and limestone.  The burning charcoal fanned by a hot air blast, melted the ore at 2500 degrees F breaking the chemical bonds and separating the metallic iron from the ore.  Molten iron collected in a crucible in the bottom of the furnace and was tapped twice a day.  Because the iron was melted in contact with the fuel, it absorbed carbon from the charcoal, producing cast iron, generally as pigs.  At a finery forge, the pig iron was remelted and the carbon removed to make malleable wrought iron."

Furthermore, "... it took approximately an acre of woodland to supply enough charcoal to run the furnace for one day... The operation ran continuously with two crews, each working 12 hour shifts to keep the furnace running smoothly."


Joe and Bierce regularly conduct historic hikes for Industrial Heritage Walkers.  The most recent one was the Mt. Hope Mineral Railroad Walk.  If you're interested, I suggest you contact Joe Macasek directly at macgraphics1 [at]

Here are my photos of Split Rock Village and Furnace and the hike we took afterward when we hooked up with Tom Kline for a vigorous 3.9 mile hike. Our original destination was the Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch - which wound up being too ambitious for the morning. However, the kids spotted both a bear and a blue-spotted salamander [see photos].

You may enjoy this detailed article on Wildcat Ridge. It helps put the area into perspective.

Finally, here is our trail map.

Split Rock Village Hike

Plan your trips with EveryTrail Mobile Travel Guides

For details on a more intense hike, including a video, visit Four Birds Trail - Wildcat Ridge from

We still need to make it to the Hawk Watch.... Hike anyone?

Friday, July 23, 2010

33rd Annual Kinnelon Book Sale Coming Up!

Friends of the Kinnelon Library
What I consider to be THE Kinnelon event of the summer season is coming right up!  I'm talking the 33rd Annual Kinnelon Book Sale sponsored by the Friends of the Kinnelon Library. I consider it a goldmine!

Here, then, are details on how you can be part of this year's Annual Kinnelon Book Sale.

Do you have books to donate to the Annual Kinnelon Book Sale?

Kinnelon's Firemen's HallIf yes, bring your books to the Kiel Avenue Fireman's Hall located at 103 Kiel Avenue in Kinnelon, NJ, from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 22 starting at 9am when Book Sale Volunteers will be available each day to assist.

You can start dropping off books today. [Yikes, we need to get those unpacked book boxes out from the crawl space pronto.]

You'll notice a book bin on the side of the building where you can leave book donations, too. 

Don't dare drop them off anywhere else but at the Kinnelon Firemen's Hall! 

In terms of what not to bother with donating, here are some guidelines:

No records,  magazines, text books, encyclopedias or Readers Digest Condensed books.

Books need to be in good shape.
Please, no mildewed, torn, or coverless books.

Annual Kinnelon Book SaleSave the date of the Annual Kinnelon Book Sale in you Calendar!

The Annual Kinnelon Book Sales takes place at the Kinnelon Firemen's Hall at 130 Kiel Avenue in Kinnelon.  These are the dates and times:

Friday, August 27:  9 AM – 6 PM
Saturday, August 28:   9AM – 4 PM
Sunday, August 29:   11 AM to 3 PM
Monday, August 30:   9 AM to 4PM

    Care to Volunteer for the Annual Kinnelon Book Sale?

    You would be most welcome say the Friends of the Kinnelon Library. In fact, a Volunteers' General Meeting is taking place this very Tuesday, July 27th from 10 AM to 12 noon at the Kinnelon Library. Do go!

    For more information, call 973-838-1321 or visit

    See you at the Annual Kinnelon Book Sale!

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    The Kinnelon Town Comforter

    The town comforter - Kinnelon quilters reunited after great projectAs promised in The Kinnelon Friendship Quilt in the Kinnelon Library, here is an article from The Star-Ledger from 2006 about the Kinnelon town comforter.

    Thank you, Ron Leavesley.

    The town comforter - Kinnelon quilters reunited after great project

    The Star-Ledger
    June 15, 2006
    by Jamie Duffy

    The quilt had hung in the Kinnelon Public Library for 23 years.

    Each square represented a piece of local life - borough hall, the library, the fire departement and first aid squad, St. Hubert's Chapel on Kinnelon Lake, the Miller Barn on Kiel Avenue, the Smoke Rise Inn and Smoke Rise East Gate and the Butternut Tree at Kinnelon and Kiel avenues.

    But when Lorraine Bravante and Marlys Huss, two friends who worked at an arts and crafts fair together, went to investigate the history of the 4-by-6-foot quilt, they didn't learn much about it.

    "We couldn't find a scrap of information, except for that one picture from The Star-Ledger," Bravante explained.

    Using that one article from March 1983, Bravante and Huss started to piece together the quilt's 23-year-history.

    They made a few calls, and on June 4, about some 35 women who helped make the patchwork cover were reunited at the Kinnelon library. Over punch and cookies, the quilters reminisced.

    "I tell you, it was beautiful," said Alma Koontz, one of the quilters. "We were talking about it. We can't believe that it was that long ago."

    It was so long ago that Koontz forgot how much time she spent stitching Velcro onto the quilt's back while her son Alan, now 46 and a cabinetmaker in Andover, crafted the frame and glued on corresponding Velcro strips.

    "I called him about that. He said, 'Mom, don't you remember? You did the Velcro on it,' and then all of a sudden it came back to me," Koontz related.

    The quilt was created by members of several organizations for the dedication of the new sanctuary at Our Lady of the Magnificat Roman Catholic Church.

    Monsignor John Ryan suggested that the church reach out to different organizations in town to make the quilt after his brother, Monsignor Leo Ryan in Chatham, proposed a similar undertaking, Bravante said.  A church committee chose 20 designs after templates were submitted.

    "You had a person who took a picture of the building, another person would draw the template, another person would buy the fabric, then maybe would do the crewel work, embroidery, some did applique," said Bravante.  "If you look at the quilt, you see there's a lot of different means of putting this together, and they used them all," she said.

    Willie Lummer, who sewed the 12-by-12-inch block for the Kinnelon Fire Company, remembered the camaraderie at the weekly quilting bees.

    "I was so involved with the fire company and with the bowling association that when I got involved in this, I met people I didn't know through these other organizations. Everyone was very friendly."

    Ryan, a beloved priest, who served from 1961 until he died in 1991, was trying to bring the community closer together, said Bravante.  Both she and Huss are members of Our Lady of the Magnificat.

    "He felt the community was fragmented into three parts - the borough, Fayson Lakes and Smoke Rise - and this maybe could pull the community together," Lummer said.

    "Violet Pavlak, she did the Butternut Tree," said Koontz, who had taken a quilting class with Pavlak before the quilt was proposed.  "She was such a part of that quilt.  It's too bad they didn't have this sooner and she could have been part of it."

    Pavlak died about three years ago, said Koontz.

    Bravante and Hess plan to continue to draw on these women's memories.  They have mailed questionnaires to the participants, hoping to write a history of the quilt for the church and library archives.

    "Before everyone is gone, we really wanted to capture that," Huss said of Sunday's reunion.  "It was a piece of our Kinnelon history, and with the passing of Father Ryan we just really came upon that portion of it by accident and then we went from there."

    Do you have stories relating to the Kinnelon Friendship Quilt that you'd like to share - perhaps additional details about those who created the Kinnelon Town Comforter?

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    The Smoke Rise Village Inn History - I

    Early Smoke Rise Village Inn

    If Walls Could Talk…The Smoke Rise Village Inn History - Part One: The Cattle Barn.

    After reading the great review by Ted Whittemore about the Smoke Rise Village Inn on the Smoke Rise and Kinnelon Blog, I decided that my son Chris and I should have a night out. So, a recent Thursday, we headed out to the Inn. As we sat there eating our dinner, which I will elaborate on later, I said to Chris, “If only these walls could talk, for they would reveal thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of happy memories”. Chris was somewhat awestruck at the magnitude of happiness. So I began to elaborate on my years of experiences at the Inn. It was painful for Chris to listen to my ramblings on but he very patiently listened and occasionally asked a question or two for verification. I knew he was taking it all in. Hopefully, someday he will be the next Kinnelon historian. After we finished and arrived back to our home, I began to compose this story, which has taken a couple of months to research and complete.

    The Smoke Rise Village Inn, as many of you know is a public restaurant open Wednesdays through Sunday. Of course, proper attire is required, which lead to some heated discussion before we left, but that is a discussion for another day. All you need to know is that I prevailed! Reservations are encouraged but not necessarily required unless it is a big holiday event.

    For those of you who are into Kinnelon trivia, The Smoke Rise Village Inn is Kinnelon’s oldest and, more or less, continuously operated restaurant and lounge. Yes, one could point to Piccolos, as perhaps an earlier rival, but that fine establishment has had more names than even I can recall. (Valley House, Kin-Wood Inn, Calamity Jane’s, Hungry Bear, Stone House Inn, Lotsa Pasta…uggh!) I do not mean in any way to disparage Piccolos reputation. I actually go there quite often. It’s just that the Smoke Rise Village Inn has operated under the same name, almost continuously, since 1947, that’s almost 65 years. Of course the building is much older than that. So, let’s take a quick look back at its early history and development.

    Kinney's prize pull

    The Smoke Rise Village Inn is part of a group of farm buildings that were constructed in the 1890s by Francis S. Kinney. The Inn itself was actually four original Kinney structures that were merged together over a period of time. The first part, the cattle barn was built circa 1890. This is the stone part of the Inn (Presently the Ball Room) that you can still see today. The small stone building that presently forms an appendage off the “bar area” was the slaughter house, which was constructed in 1892. You can see the corner stone above its arched doorway. The present day main entrance was the hog pens, which was an open structure with stone and brick walls that separated the animals. The forth structure, now gone, was a tile brick silo that used to occupy an area where the present kitchens are located.

    Another Kinney prized bull

    Francis Kinney was vitally interested in breeding Brown Swiss Cows, a breed thought to offer superior milking output. In an article entitled “A Short History of the Brown Swiss Breed in New Jersey” published in the March 1932 issue of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture “Circular”, Warren Kinney, second son of Francis, wrote, in relevant part, “ On October 5, 1890, Francis S. Kinney, who then owned Kinnelon Farms, decided to establish a small herd of Brown Swiss Cattle. He had previously experimented with other dairy breeds but with little success, due largely to the extremely rugged nature of the country and the consequent lack of pasture. The herd started was on a small, conservative basis, the foundation stock representing some of the best breed lines of the breed obtainable in this country at this time. Seven animals, six cows and a bull composed the original group, which included Hebe F., 581; Brunnen 3rd, 580; Brunnen 4th, 667; Hebe, 323; Lola 2nd, 668; Muotto 3rd, 531 and the bull, Imperial, 406. All were purchased of W. R. Fisk of Mystic, Conn., one of the few eastern breeders of the day.

    Smoke Rise Inn as Kinney's barn

    For many years there was no attempt to make production records at Kinnelon Farms, nor to do any showing. The pasture there was very poor, then, and, in spite of the fact that these first Swiss cows were forced to pick up what they could literally from between rocks, they made a very fair showing at the pail. The milk was not weighed in those early days but it is well known that these animals produced much more heavily than any of the local cattle under the same conditions. Fresh blood was introduced into the herd from time to time through the rather frequent purchases of new herd sires, and a general policy of gradual expansion was carried out.

    The death of Mr. Kinney in 1908 necessitated a change in ownership of the herd, and the writer, in partnership with his brother, took over both the farm and animals that same year.

    In 1916, the cow Eloise C 2d, 5095 was purchased of Walhalla Farms, Middleburg, NY. She had won the grand championship at the New York State Fair the previous year, was a very heavy producer, and soon proved a decided asset. Shortly afterward, new dairy equipment was installed, improvements were made to the barn, and the making of production records were attempted in a conservative manner. Eight records were completed during the years 1916 and 1917, but the cows were not in any way forced and outstanding results were not expected. However, with very moderate feeding and average care, the mature animals tested averaged better than 400 pounds of butterfat. Participation of the United States in the World War (keep in mind this was written in 1932) then caused an interruption of activities on the farm for several years, but, in 1921, advanced registry testing was finally resumed and has continued regularly ever since.

    View of the Smoke Rise Inn as barn

    In the fall of 1924 the herd was purchased outright by the writer, moved to its present home at Lee’s Hill Farm, New Vernon and its, name changed accordingly.”

    It should be noted that Warren Kinney, Kinnelon’s first Mayor, continued to work with the herd, obtaining many top awards across the country, until his death in 1975.

    A little bit of trivia about the weather vane. It is original to the stone barn and was presumably meant to symbolize Francis Kinney’s dedication to animal husbandry.

    What a great article that gives some insight into the operations and attitudes of the Kinney Estate! The article also gives some historical perspective to the Inn. In 1912, the original Kinney horse stable and carriage house was destroyed by fire. Shortly thereafter, Warren and Morris Kinney, went on a building spree. The main entrance to the present day Inn was enclosed, the silo was added in the back, along with a new piggery (present maintenance building). Also added, at this time, were a garage in the rear of the building and a smoke house, which, along with the silo, were removed in the 1980 renovation. All of these 1916 vintage buildings were made of a hollow tile brick. All, by the way, have bronze date plaques indicating 1916.

    In addition to these buildings, Warren and Morris also constructed, from red brick, a new stable, carriage house and green house, all of which still survive today, on private property. Incidentally, if you ever need to remember who built what, remember that Francis constructed his buildings out of wood and stone, whereas Warren and Morris built out of tile and brick.

    After Warren left the estate in 1924, most of the old farm buildings, including the Inn, were essentially vacant. The vast staff that was needed to operate the estate was significantly reduced. Most of the other animals were sold off. At this point, Morris spent a good deal of his time traveling around the world. One such trip lasted from 1926 until 1931. Although vacant, all of the buildings were maintained by a much smaller staff of caretakers.

    The Smoke Rise Inn viewed from the current service station
    View of the Inn approximately from where the Smoke Rise Service Station now stands.

    Morris Kinney died in October of 1945. He left his estate to his lifelong friend J. Alden Talbot. In trying to determine a way to preserve the natural appearance of the property, Talbot conceived the idea of the Smoke Rise Community. In 1946 the Smoke Rise Company was incorporated.

    Smoke Rise begins


    What a story! Thanks, Tom.

    Next, If Walls Could Talk: a History of the Smoke Rise Village Inn - Part II. Stay tuned!

    NOTE: Photos courtesy of Tom Kline.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    The Kinnelon Friendship Quilt in the Kinnelon Library

    Kinnelon Friendship QuiltIf you've been on the second floor of the Kinnelon Library, by the elevator, you may have noticed a framed quilt.  This quilt is the Kinnelon Friendship Quilt and it has a marvelous story which I share with you here thanks to Ron Leavesley and the conversations we shared about the Kinnelon Center for Lifelong Learning [CLL] and the Friends of the Kinnelon Library.

    I asked him about the Kinnelon Friendship Quilt and he shared the following with me:

    The history behind the quilt is interesting as it goes from OLM to the Library and the individual efforts of the ladies who created the panels. Rather than me just writing the details, enclosed is an article we put in Bookmarks a few years back.

    The article refers to 'purchasers of the quilts'. That refers to the copies of the Kinnelon Friendship Quilt that the Friends had made and used as a very successful fundraiser from late1998 to 2005. The quilts are no longer available.

    The Friends of the Kinnelon Library have been involved with the maintenance of the quilt and funded a protective glass cover in 2008.

    From Bookmarks:

    The Kinnelon Friendship Quilt - A True Community Effort
    (Article Originally ran in Bookmarks, November 17, 2005)

    Many purchasers of the quilt have asked about its origin since the Friends first reproduced it in 1998. At that time we solicited information on how it all came about but with limited success. We knew it was given to the library and done by a number of local ladies, but not much more. Recently we found out the rest of the story and here it is...a true cooperative community effort to "create a picture of unity". Thanks to Lorraine Bravante for her efforts in putting together "the rest of the story".

    However, the story isn't over. The Friends are planning a reception in the spring for all those who contributed with their determination and hard work.

    On display, in the hallway of the Kinnelon Library's second floor, is the original 'Friendship Quilt' that was created in 1983 by a group of talented Kinnelon women who deserve the thanks and recognition of our community. If you look closely at the quilt, you will see that some of the quilted blocks are signed, some are initialed, and some show no ownership recognition. The few that are signed are: Willie Lummer, who initiated the idea to share the history of the quilt. Willie created the Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Company design, Alma Koontz, Violet Pavlak, Moya Shannon, Marion McKeown, and Peg McLaughlin worked on the Our Lady of the Magnificat design. The Tri-Boro First Aid Squad design was executed by Pat Moore. Frances Lopez and E. Talle completed the Smoke Rise Village Inn design. The balance of the creators remains a mystery.

    It would be helpful if our readers would help solve the mystery and recall the names of the unknown creators. They are: P. E. Biczak whose name appears on the Kinnelon Town Seal, SH, for the Methodist Church, Pat D, for the Horse Farm, ME, for the OLM Chapel, MK and MS, and the Miller Barn. Totally unknown are the designers and creators of the squares for Silas Condict Park, Kiel School, the Kinnelon Library, the Fredericks House, St. David's Church, the Reformed Church in Kinnelon, St. Hubert's Chapel, the Smoke Rise East Gate, the Borough Hall, the Community Church of Smoke Rise, and the Butternut Tree. If you can identify any of these individuals, contact the Friends of the Library at (973) 838-1321.

    The initial idea for this project came from Monsignor John Ryan, Pastor of Our Lady of the Magnificat Roman Catholic Church. Monsignor Ryan, while visiting another parish, noticed a community quilt that sparked his idea for Kinnelon. Observing that Kinnelon was a community of three major areas, the Borough, Fayson Lakes, and Smoke Rise, Monsignor Ryan was looking for an opportunity to use as a magnet to pull all areas together as one.

    The force, he felt, could be a cooperative effort from the organizations in all the areas of Kinnelon to join together and create a project where the final result would be a picture of unity. To this end, Monsignor Ryan's project was a success. The Friendship Quilt is a lasting legacy to his memory and insight.

    The project was initiated by Monsignor Ryan and a committee was formed of members who represented various Kinnelon organizations. The consensus was that each organization would submit a design for a 12x12 inch square that would be representative of their organization and the Kinnelon Community. This design would then be submitted to a group for juried approval.

    Upon completion of this first stage, the real work was started. According to Willie Lummer, local women met at the library two to three times a week transferring the accepted designs to a quilting type form. The designs were then appliqued and hand stitched. Alan Koontz designed and completed the wooden form that holds the quilt. His mother, Alma, velcro-ed the frame and the quilt together. This established an attractive vehicle to display the beautiful finished product. The project took on the aspect of an old time quilting bee where determination and hard work created a unique and lasting masterpiece.

    The Friendship Quilt was on display in the foyer of the auditorium where Our Lady of the Magnificat held Sunday Mass before the new church was completed. After a time, Monsignor Ryan felt that the quilt belonged to the community. With that thought in mind, he graciously donated the Friendship Quilt to the Kinnelon Library, where it is on display for all the community to enjoy.

    Thanks, Ron.  Next, an article from the Star-Ledger about the Kinnelon Friendship Quilt.

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    The Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog: 2 Years Old Today!

    It's our second birthday today! That's right. The Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog is 2 years old.  That means we are on our third year...


    This is also our 200th post.

    Thank you for being part of our shared experience.

    If you'd like to celebrate with us, then please tell family and friends about The Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog.  Invite them to subscribe and to share stories. More is better!

    Happy Birthday!

    Christine, Ted & Emma

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Rich Powell & The Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill

    Rich Powell & his brothers: The Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill
    Did you know that Emergency Drills used to take place at the Smoke Rise Tower? That's what Rich Powell described in a comment he left on Tom Kline's post about The Smoke Rise Tower and Kitty Ann Mountain.

    More specifically, Rich wrote:

    Great story, thanks! I have fond memories of playing around the tower with Tommy Swanson. His family was actually not the frozen food Swansons but instead, the owners of Thomas' English Muffins back then!

    I recall an emergency responders drill in the 70s in which the scenario was that a passenger plane had hit the tower and the "wounded and dead" were scattered in a path down the mountain. We had quite a few volunteers playing dead and wounded on Ridge Road. As a kid on a bike, it was a blast riding around and watching the chaos!

    Wow! I remember taking part in emergency drills in the late 70s when I volunteered at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC. I had no idea they were also taking place in residential areas!

    I was so intrigued that I asked Rich to share details. I was also curious about where he had landed after Kinnelon.

    Rich Powell and his brothers - pictured above, from left to right: Rich, Dave, Bob and Bill - lived off of Ridge Rd. Terrace in Smoke Rise from 1968 to 1979. His brother Dave was good friends with Tom Kline.

    CB: Rich, you say that this drill scenario had a plane crashing into the Smoke Rise Tower! That must have been wild!

    Rich:  It was amazing. Some folks went all out, hanging from rooftops, missing heads. I remember one of the Babcock kids made it look like he was missing a leg and had used an actual roast beef or something disgusting for the stump! Crazy.

    CB: Geez! What a scene! I wish there were photos... 

    Rich: What I'd give to have photos from the event. I distinctly remember a load of "corpses" on the lawn of Erik Hanson (who eventually became a major league pitcher for the Mariners) and specifically the guy with the roast beef on his leg (one of the Babcock boys from the corner of Hilltop and Underhill). Yeccch!

    CB: You now live in Asheboro, NC. How did you make your way there from Kinnelon?

    Rich: By the time we moved from Smoke Rise, my oldest brother Bob was already out of the house, working at a hospital having returned from a year working as a ranch hand in Wyoming.  Dave was living in Colorado, attending College with his high school sweetheart, Nancy Woerner from Fayson Lakes.

    My brother Bill and I accompanied my folks to the SF Bay Area where I finished up high school and Bill attended Berkeley. I eventually joined the Marines and when finished with that, went to art school where I met my future wife. We lived for many years in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite, working on computer games, painting and freelance illustration. My brother Bob moved from Jersey to NC sometime in the early 80s. My folks ended up here in the Carolinas in 1991 followed by my brother Dave after the tragic passing of his wife, Nancy. We followed suit in 1995, bringing our daughter Bailey along. Bill lives south of LA.

    CB: Rich, thanks for sharing those details about the Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill and your journey to Asheboro. 

    I encourage you to visit the Rich Powell Illustration website which is full of marvelous images and illustrations many of which you will recognize from publications, greeting cards, book jackets, magazine covers, children's books, national advertising campaigns and Mad Magazine.  Rich's work ranges from traditional to digital media, from watercolor and ink - including large scale acrylic paintings available in Greensboro galleries - to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop... and I'm sure a few other things in between!

    Rich, I particularly like those photos of your studio with its view.  Those woods remind me Kinnelon and Smoke Rise!

    By the way, according to Smoke Rise's Christine Bell, emergency drills have also taken place at the Smoke Rise Beach. I wouldn't be surprised if others took place in Fayson Lakes and elsewhere in Kinnelon.

    Have you participated in emergency drills in Kinnelon or Smoke Rise? Do you have pictures? Or recollections? Please do share!

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Ramstein Beer Open House, Tour and Tasting this Saturday, July 10 at 2 PM

    Here is reminder for this weekend’s Ramstein Beer Open House and Tour, this Saturday, July 10.

    There will be one tour and tasting session at 2pm.

    Available will be the Ramstein Blonde Hefe-Weizen, Ramstein Classic Dunkel Weiss, and Ramstein Golden Lager. Double Platinum Blonde should be on tap at the end of the week.

    Ramstein Blonde Hefe-Weizen and Ramstein Classic Dunkel Weiss are available in six-packs.

    1 and 2 Liter Growlers are in stock.

    I am very partial to the Golden Lager, which is the best lighter lager I have ever had, and the Ramstein Double Blonde is one of my all-time favorites.

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

    Also, we will have 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.

    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, July 4, 2010

    Didja Know? The Smoke Rise Inn

    Didja Know?
    Time for another article from Cornie Hubner's Didja Know?? Series. This one is about the Smoke Rise Inn. Consider it an introduction for a marvelous present day historic series about the Inn titled "If Walls Could Talk... The Smoke Rise Village Inn" that I will share with you in upcoming posts....


    The Smoke Rise Inn

    Originally published 11/15/1985

    The early Smoke Rise brochures pictured a beautiful Club House and Inn, to be built on the Lake Shore near the beach.  Until its completion, space for Club activities would be available in the Barn Complex.  The renovated Stable, still showing the wall indentations for stalls (now the reception and cloak rooms), became the Dining Room, with a capacity of forty.  The present rear cocktail lounge was the slaughter house.  It had a huge fireplace (since remodeled) used to singe the carcasses of the farm-raised meats and became a cozy bar seating ten.  Both were unique.

    The Inn opened in 1948 for the then twenty-five residents.  A French couple, previously employed at the Washington French Legation, in attractive uniforms provided a note of elegance that disguised the ancient kitchen and equipment that thwarted their culinary skills.  The setting was ideal for the salesman, who after a tour in his new Rolls Royce, further impressed his prospects with a demonstration of what they could enjoy.  Unfortunately, the $.50 sandwiches and $2.00 dinners, impeccably served, ceased when Mr. Talbot decided he could no longer subsidize the operation.

    Smoke Rise Brochure: The Inn
    After the French couple, a Housekeeper/Cook took over under the supervision of one of the sales staff. Several bedrooms were furnished on the second floor.  These, serviced by one Victorian bathroom, accommodated the members who wanted to view their home's construction.  Meals were prepared for the guests and a diminishing number of customers.

    As membership increased at the rate of twenty to twenty-five families yearly, more space was needed for special events and Club activities.  A roof was built over the patio (now the bar) to connect with the low ceiling Carriage House.  Called the White Room, it was used for dances, social and club meetings and extending to the end of the building, it was the largest room available.  The Bull Pen, now the Cauldron Room, retained its original name and was used as a snack bar.  Building, remodeling and maintenance costs were reported to run up to $65,000 yearly.

    The Early Smoke Rise Inn
    In 1956, John Talbot opened the Inn with Chef Frank Milanasi from Col. Bradleys Beach Club of Palm Beach.  He hoped to start a trend for fine food.  Handicapped by the kitchen and a limited clientele, Frank became the first of a series of chefs like Tobin of the Chambord, one of the Sardi's, and a succession that failed to make it pay.

    Finally, after almost seven years of inactivity, the Club faced a crisis - its liquor license would be lost unless business was resumed.  The purchase of the Inn Complex by the Club followed.  Plans for the additions, equipment and renovations were approved and all work was completed in 1981.

    Cornie HubnerNo longer restricted by impossible conditions, and Seven Hundred families to serve, the grand opening was held in November, 1981.  Unfortunately, this ended in financial difficulties after four months.  In October of 1982 an agreement was reached with an experienced local couple to resume operations on a restricted basis. To a menu featuring a wide range of sandwiches, they added dinners, nicely served.  This was a menu that after nearly three years provided the transition to the current operation managed by "Beverly." [Note: Beverly Myers retired in 2009.]

    Increased patronage enjoying the extended menu and occasional Brunch under the critical eye of Chef "Ronnie", has made the operation increasingly more profitable.  The outstanding facilities for Weddings, Parties, Conventions, etc., patronized by members and friends had added income that has reduced operating costs for the Club.

    Improvements, as needed, will keep the facility one YOU can be proud to entertain in.  Think - it all took nearly 35 years.

    Thank you, Christine Bell, for sharing a photo of Cornie Hubner.  For links to previous posts in the Cornie Hubner Didja Know? series, click on this link.

    Please do stay tuned for "If Walls Could Talk... The Smoke Rise Village Inn" from Tom Kline.

    Images of the Inn, courtesy of Tom Kline.

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Mrs. Joseph's 1969 3rd Grade Class, Kiel School, Kinnelon. Who's Who?

    Who's Who in this photo?  Perhaps a few current or past Kinnelon residents recognize themselves in this October 1969 photo of Mrs. Joseph's third grade class at the original Kiel School.

    If you do, leave a comment!

    Thank you, Damon Carmona, whom you may remember from Kinnelon Castle aka the Untermeyer Estate, for sharing this photo.

    Mrs. Joseph's 3rd Grade Class Oct. 1969, Kiel School Kinnelon, NJ

    For a higher resolution version of the photo of Mrs. Joseph's 3rd grade class, Oct. 1969, please click on this link

    Happy 4th of July Holiday!
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