Saturday, October 29, 2011

Meeting Friends at the Smoke Rise Inn: Herb Fisher

Meeting Friends at the Smoke Rise Inn: Herb Fisher and CB Whittemore
HOF and CB
Herb Fisher came to Kinnelon last week and we got to meet in person at the Smoke Rise Inn!

He had come to visit from Texas for the reunion of the first four years to graduate from Kinnelon High School. The first class graduated in 1962 - making next year the 50th reunion year...

[That's a story that needs to be told. I believe current KHS students interviewed Herb and his fellow alumni for KHS TV... Is a transcript available?]

I can't say enough about how wonderful it was to talk with Herb IRL [in real life]. Despite this being our first time meeting, it felt as if we were long-time friends given all of our exchanges via email and the blog.

Pretty neat.

Herb also brought me my very own book of Smoke Rise matches which, he says, used to be available in the Smoke Rise Inn lobby area in a large bowl.

Smoke Rise Matches

Thanks, HOF! I hope you'll be back to visit soon.

Congratulations to the first KHS graduating class alumni! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Smoke Rise Inn Transformation

Welcome to the Smoke Rise Inn
Welcome to the Smoke Rise Inn! If you haven't been to visit in a while, you are in for a treat since it has been transformed!

In honor of Bathroom Blogfest 2011, I want to share with you the Smoke Rise Inn transformed...

Starting with the Sitting Area in between the Main Entrance and the Restaurant, which is newly and attractively carpeted, painted, and decorated.

It is a brighter, friendlier and more welcoming space, and it makes a nice introduction to the Bar, Lounge, Gazebo and Ballroom dining areas.

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed
New Furniture, Carpet and Decor

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 2
Small Interloper on New Couch

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 3
More Furnishings

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 4
New Table and Chairs

Since I am partial to beautiful carpet, I do hope you will pay attention underfoot and admire the new carpet in the Lobby Sitting Area of the Inn.

Marvelous patterned carpet

More Carpet with draperies

Next, the bathrooms, and more importantly the ballroom bathrooms.
Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 7
Carpet and Bathroom Entrance

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 8
Wainscotted Hallway to Bathroom

Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 9

This is one of the front hall bathrooms.
Smoke Rise Inn Transformed - 10

I hope you'll go explore and admire how beautiful the Smoke Rise Inn looks and how comfortable it feels. Take a tour before sitting down to one of the dishes on Chef George's new menu. I think you'll be impressed!

Happy Bathroom Blogfest 2011!

Monday, October 24, 2011

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ for Bathroom Blogfest 2011

In honor of Bathroom Blogfest 2011, I share with you the first of two stories. This first one takes place at Twain Recording in West Milford, NJ.

Back in May 2011, Emma participated in a program sponsored by the Kinnelon Children's Library titled Kick the Can With Jersey's Nanny Granny. Four of Kinnelon's kids - including Emma - got together at Twain Recording Studios in West Milford, NJ with Mary Jo - aka Nanny Granny - to discuss current events and matters of interest to kids.

More specifically, they explored tolerance and what it means to be different.  In the process, they covered territory ranging from outer space to Ladies Gaga and Godiva. This interview was recorded and will soon be available - I think - on the Kinnelon Library website.

The reason that I include this story for Bathroom Blogfest 2011 is that Twain Recording was filled with the most unbelievable musical memorabilia, featured a working - yes - rotary phone and the most perfect toilet seat ever! In anticipation of the upcoming Blogfest, I saved it for you until now!

By the way, Bob Both at Twain Recording is the most patient, encouraging and wonderful person ever to be part of a recording session. Thank you, Bob!

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ - 1
Yes, that is a working rotary phone!

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ - 2
Kinnelon's Kick the Can with Jersey's Nanny Granny participants

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ - 3
Bob Both adjusts Mary Jo's microphone

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ - 4
Is this musically perfect or not?

'Kick The Can' at Twain Recording, West Milford, NJ - 5
Another view of musical perfection
In terms of the Bathroom Blogfest theme of 'Climbing Out', this 'Kick the Can' session was all about climbing out of preconceived notions. Well done, Mary Jo! Thank you.

Bathroom Blogfest 2011 includes the following participants who celebrate this year's theme of 'Climbing Out'. If you'd like to participate and share stories, let me know!

Thanks for being part of this year's event!

NameBlog NameBlog URL
Susan AbbottCustomer Experience CrossroadsCustomer Experience Crossroads
Paul AnaterKitchen and Residential DesignKitchen and Residential Design Blog
Shannon BilbyFrom the Floors Up
Toby BloombergDiva MarketingDiva Marketing
Laurence BorelBlog Till You Drop
Bill BuyokAvente Tile Talk
Jeanne ByingtonThe Importance of Earnest Service
Becky CarrollCustomers Rock!
Katie ClarkPractical Katie
Nora DePalmaO'Reilly DePalma: The Blog
Paul FriederichsenThe BrandBiz Blog
Tish GrierThe Constant Observer
Elizabeth HiseFlooring The Consumer
Emily HooperFloor Covering News Blog
Diane KazanUrban Design Renovation
Joseph MichelliDr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika MillerModenus Blog
Arpi NalbandianTile Magazine Editors' BlogTile Magazine Editor Blog
David PolinchockPolinchock's Ponderings
Professor ToiletAmerican Standard's Professor Toilet
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley PondScarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy RenshawPurple Wren
Bethany RichmondCarpet and Rug Institute BlogCarpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. SandersRIMtailing
Paige SmithNeuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie WeaverExperienceology
Christine B. WhittemoreContent Talks Business BlogContent Talks Business Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSmoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSimple Marketing Blog
Ted WhittemoreWorking Computers
Chris WoelfelArtcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.
Patty WoodlandBroken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohnbrand as business bites

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Memories of OLM in Kinnelon

Herb O. Fisher Jr.'s family: Baptism at OLM
Cornie Hubner's latest Didja Know about Our Lady of the Magnificat, generated several Memories of OLM that I share with you here.

Special thanks to Herb O. Fisher Jr. and Kim Vawter.

Herb sent in this photo from his and wife Jan's daughter Jenny's baptism at Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel. [HOF, what year is this?]

From left to right: Margret Galmiche (Jan's mom), Mitzi Yucknat (HOF's grandmother on Emily's side), Francis Galmiche (Jan's Dad), Cindy (Jan's sister), Herb Fisher Sr., Jan and Jenny, Emily Fisher (HOF's mom) and behind her, HOF himself. Behind them is The Chapel.

What a great photo! Thanks, HOF.

Kim Vawter sent me this message:

"I forget if I shared this with your readers, but my first substitute teaching job was at the Our Lady of Magnificat school. I had just completed 60 college credit hours and was able to substitute teach in those days. I think that this was January of 1970. I was 19.  I taught several days- weeks? not sure but it was a long term job since the nun who had the first grade lost her voice. The class was quite full; over 30 kids who seemed to never be absent themselves! They all wore the cute little school uniform and were well behaved. The youngest little Connelly girl attended and she wore nylon stockings. First grade! Her sisters probably were responsible for dressing her. (The Connelly family lived up the street from me on Orchard Road.)

If I had any trouble getting them to pay attention I asked a little boy in the front row to "lead the class in prayer" since I was a lay teacher and not a Catholic. We had the daily mass for the kids and I lead them down to the auditorium and they followed me in a long line like little ducks follow their mother.

I remember that the nun who had the first grade was very young.  She met with me every day where she graded papers and gave me the lesson plans for the day. At my college I had the whole month of January off so I was able to do this. After I returned to college in Kansas City I got a large yellow envelope in the mail. The nun (wish I knew her name) had the kids write me thank you letters! I read them all and I still have them--somewhere.)

Mother Superior (?) who was a very wonderful, large woman ran the school with a great sense of humor and a lot of love. She still wore the full white habit.  My mother and I both had jobs. She had the 5th grade. I don't remember how long she had a substitute job there but I do remember how much fun it was to work together. She had a degree in chemistry but went back for a second degree in education to be able to teach.

I remember Father Ryan. My friend Joanie asked me to go with her to a Youth function in the late 60s. Father Ryan was there. We went roller skating and Father Ryan strapped on the skates and went out into the ring with all of us. He was such a nice friendly person to looked like he was enjoying his time with us. It changed my perception of what it is to be a Priest.

I also attended Mass with my Catholic friend Lynn Byles. It was all Latin and I had to bring along one of my Grandma's nice lace trimmed handkerchief to put on my head. The Mass at OLM was in Latin and when they rang the bells Lynn whispered to me "Good Humor!"  I think she was trying to crack me up. The Catholic Mass was so intimidating since my home church was the little Smoke Rise Community Church.

Thanks for sparking these memories."

Kim, thank you! These are marvelous memories.

If you have stories or photos you'd like to share, just let me know in the comments or send me an email to
Added 10/23/11:


I don't know if you remember but you have heard from my family before. My name is Paul Kabis. We lived on North Road in Smoke Rise from about 1960-1986. My sister, Patty Hopkinson wrote to you with some Kinney photos from Narragansett, RI.

Anyway, I attended OLM for all 8 years of grade school and in 1970 would have most likely been in the 1st grade. The principles name was Sister Beatrice. I think our regular 1st grade teacher was Sister Patrick. I may even be able to find an old OLM school photo. I can't say that I remember Kim as a substitute but the timing seems to right.

Please pass this along to Kim and have her contact me directly and maybe we can share a few photos and other memories.

I had two sisters married in the OLM chapel so I know we have lots of those photos still around. I was the youngest of 7!

Also wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Always brings back lots of great memories. Keep up the great work.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kinnelon Public Library Presents Author and Former Kinnelon Resident Stephanie Stiles Discussing Her New Book -- 'Take It Like a Mom' -- Sun, Oct 23, 3 PM


 will host

Stephanie Stiles

Author and former Kinnelon resident, Stephanie Stiles will discuss her book: 

‘Take It Like a Mom’

 Sunday, October 23 @ 3 – 4.30pm 

One thing sets her apart from other modern-day superheroes: mom genes. 
Annie Fingardt Forster used to be a lawyer who wore dry-clean only and shaved both legs. But things have changed. Now a stay-at-home mom, she wears cargo pants and ponytails and harbors a nearly pathological hatred towards hipster parents.



PS Where did she go? Stephanie, that is.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pathways of History Museum Tour: Kinnelon, Boonton, Boonton Township, Pompton Plains

Have you participated in the Pathways of History program? We came across it last year while driving past the Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History and had to stop and explore. In the process, we got to speak with members of the Historical Society, learn about local history and discover how interconnected our towns [and boroughs] are. It was fantastic!

Pathways of History represents a collaboration between our local historical societies. Last year's included the Boonton, Boonton Township, Kinnelon, Butler and Montville Township Historical Societies. During the two-day program, a range of  events took place offering visitors a chance - via walking tour, musical performance, slide shows, lectures and other activities - to experience and explore our history.

This year is no exception.  Pathways of History - Links to Each Other and to the Past - returns next weekend, October 22 and 23, 2011.

Here are details of the 2011 Pathways of History Museum Tour.

Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and
Sunday, October 23, 2011 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Pathways of History Museum Tour – Morris County is a grand coordinated undertaking by four local historical groups designed to spotlight their museums and historic sites. Admission is free for this two day event. The Historical Societies of Boonton, Boonton Township, Kinnelon, and Pequannock are pleased to open their museum doors, and those of historic homes in their towns for visitation. Programs, presenting history in multiple forms are planned to interest visitors of all ages.

This two day program will offer local history; each will feature special activities, demonstrations and exhibits. 

Admission to this two day event is free.

Start at your local museum, L’Ecole Kinnelon Museum, 25 Kiel Avenue, Kinnelon.
  • L’Ecole Kinnelon Museum will offer a presentation about the historic Charlottesburg Furnace at 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM.
  • The Museum of Pequannock Township’s discussion on the Railroad in Pequannock will be highlighted with images and documentation that bring to life some of what was experienced by those impacted by the railroad.
  • History comes alive with a family-friendly Civil War Living History reenactment at Boonton’s historic Miller-Kinsland House; The Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History in Boonton Township offers house tours, a Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Exhibit and the Kincaid fine Crafts and Art Shoppe.
Visitors may start the tour at any location where a brochure and detailed map will be provided to guide you to the next stop. For more information call (973) 263-0907.
For perspective on what to expect at one of those museums, here are the pictures I took during our visit last year to the Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History.

Offical Sign: Oscar A. Kincaid, Home of History, Circa 1785

It's officially a historic landmark.
We understand this was a working store until relatively recently.

Writeup on the Valley Farm Roadstand

Corn shucking anyone?

Oscar Kincaid Home

I love these barns and want to paint them someday.
Marvelous Kincaid barns.

Yes, there's a story!

The original face.

Electricity anyone?

Yes, Emma had fun!

Fabulous angles and additions.

More angles, additions and perspectives.

View of the house from the back.

I like the sheds, too.

I hope you'll go take part in Pathways of History. Then, let me know what you discover about what makes this part of the world so magical!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Newly Released Jersey Highlands Trail Map, Morris County

If you love hiking in the area, you'll be pleased to know that the NYNJ Trail Conference has released a trail map of Morris County, north of I-80 and south of Route 23.

Avid hiker and long-time reader, Pete Beck shares the following about the Jersey Highlands - Central North Region Trail Map.

The newly released TC map of Morris County north of I-80 and south of Rte 23
By Pete Beck, date 5/11/11, rev 9/21/11

The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference has published its first entirely new hiking trail map in 10 years.

It covers the area North of I-80 and South of Rte 23 from High Mountain preserve in the east to Stephens Park in the west.  A feature on the map that I find especially useful is the trail head parking areas with enough detail to show the local roads necessary to get to them.

The map is called "Jersey Highlands Trails, Central North Region" and has 230 Miles of Trails in 30 Parks; it can be ordered from the NYNJTC website - or picked up at the hiking stores, [e.g., Ramsey, REI, Campmor, and EMS].

I am especially proud of the details shown for Rockaway Township (yes, I contributed).  This is a good map to learn to do map reading on and maybe plan a hike from [e.g., 95 Mile Fire Tower at Budd Lake, the old Ogden railroad right of way near Minisink park in Hopatcong, the Audobon Trail in the Sparta WMA, etc.].

For the Kinnelon crowd the trails in Apshawa, Echo lake, Mountainside park, Silas Condit, Kakeout (Butler) reservoir, Split Rock and Pyramid Mountain are covered.

If you are not familiar with the New York New Jersey Trail Conference (the volunteer hiking infrastructure people in our area) then visit their web site, www.NYNJTC.ORG.  Of particular interest is their on-line catalog of hikes accessible with a search engine.  Also, find out how you can become a volunteer trail maintainer.


Thank you, Pete, and congratulations on the release of the Jersey Highlands Trails, Central North Region trail map!

Pete writes a blog RT Outdoors about exploring the outdoor spaces of Rockaway Township, Morris County, NJ. He is very active in the Union County Hiking Club.

I recommend, too, that you check out Pete's Picasa Photo Album with amazing photos of area hikes.

Happy Hiking!

Added 10/16/11:  A reminder from Estelle - "Echo Lake and surrounding Pequannock Watershed are owned by City of Newark and require purchase of a hiking permit from their office on Echo Lake Rd." Thank you, Estelle.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apple Sweet-Potato Soup Recipe from the Smoke Rise Inn

I love soups, particularly around this time of year. Chef George Tavolara must have read my mind when he forwarded this recipe for Apple Sweet-Potato Soup from the Smoke Rise Inn for us all to try.

Let me know what you think.

Smoke Rise Inn Apple-Sweet Potato Soup

3 lbs of Sweet Potatoes
1 Medium Onion Diced
4 Tablespoons of Butter
6 Cups Chicken Stock
6 Cups Apple Cider
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper
1 Vanilla Bean

Bake the sweet potatoes in their skin, 55 to 75 minutes depending on size, until soft.

Sauté onions in the butter.

Scrape vanilla bean into the butter then add stock and apple cider.

Peel baked sweet potatoes and add to the liquid; bring to a boil, then puree.

Add cream and salt and pepper to taste.


It sounds perfect, no?

Thank you, Chef George!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Lady of the Magnificat: Didja Know? by Cornie Hubner

Cornie Hubner: Didja Know?
I'm overdue for a story from Cornie Hubner. My excuse is that Emma and I were waiting for a beautiful sunny day to take photos of the OLM Chapel. Here is Cornie's Didja Know? article about Our Lady of the Magnificat, in Kinnelon, which he wrote when OLM was celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Fitting to share it with you as OLM celbrates its 50th Anniversary [see OLM: Looking for Founding Parishioners].

Our Lady Of the Magnificat

by Cornie Hubner

St.Hubert's Chapel, in the lake, was the first consecrated Roman Catholic place of worship in Kinnelon in 1886. It was the private chapel of the Kinney family, served by the Franciscan priests of St. Anthony's Mission of which the few local families were communicants. It was not until 76 years later, in 1962, that the first official mass was celebrated in the newly formed mission of Our Lady of the Magnificat. It was named after the gospel of St.Luke, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," by Henry Wise Miller who donated the Chapel buildings and land to the Diocese of Paterson in '54.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 1
The acreage, part of parcel owned by Robert Morris in the early 1700s, was purchased by Miller in 1925. Nationally recognized in his own right, Henry numbered among  his ancestors a descendant of an officer in Wellington's command at Waterloo, George McCullough, the designer and builder of the Morrris Canal, an early president of Harvard and the last Whig U.S senator. He designed and built three stone houses, in one of which he reassembled the Captain's cabin of an old four master. Its exquisite walls were a fitting background for his priceless collections.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 2
Shown only to close friends, his jades, loosely fondled by the lucky ones, left them breathless when they later learned the value of what they had been privileged to handle. The collection of silverware, represented the artistry of every continent. As a dealer, he maintained contact with others by mail and the exchange of 8x10 photos, sometimes taking up to a year to exchange or purchase a unique or historic masterpiece. His book on the subject was a bible for the trade.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 3
Following a politically doomed business expierience in Brazil, he pirated thousands of rubber tree seedlings for planting in Cuba. There, shortly after the Spanish-American war, he started a plantation at the eastern extremity of the island. After several years it was apparent that nature would not cooperate and he transferred his unbounded energy to a succesful Wall Street career. This led to his marriage to a famous socialite author.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 4
Alice Duer, his first wife, a descendent of the defender of New York City, one of Washington's trusted officers, and two early Colombia University presidents, was born on a large estate on the bluffs overlooking New York City. After several successful novels, she turned her talents over to poetry. Her "White Cliffs of Dover" became an international sensation. It had 33 editions and sales of 700,000 that made it unique in '45. Read by Lynne Fontaine to the accompaniment of an original scored symphony it started a trend popularizing many records for home enjoyment.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 5
Henry loved his wife dearly and attempted to share his feelings in his book "All Our Lives," published in '45 after her death. Two English Copper Beech trees, which he accompanied from England, were planted for her, in the 20s at the then rumored astronomical cost $750.00 each. They prospered and added the open English countryside touch to the area where the Chapel was built.

Modeled after an ancient church that he had seen in Harescombe, England, Henry corresponded with church authorities until he completed the plans from which the edifice was built. In failing health, he was carried on the crossed hands of his workers, to surpervise its daily progress until completion. Affirmed
in the Catholic Faith, he died shortly after and his funeral Mass was the first in his beautiful Chapel.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 6
From 1954, the Diocesen Estate, with its Chapel and buildings was in the custodial supervision of the Order of Salvadorian Fathers. The Polish Prelates transferred to their Gary, Indiana headquarters in 1961 when Fr. John R. Ryan was assigned to the newly designated Mission. On his arrival, he wondered what he did wrong to warrant his banishment. Now, as Monsignor, he wonders just what to do to remain. With the help of a sympathetic family and encouraging welcoming parishioners, much was quickly accomplished.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 7
The first Official Parish Mass was held in '62. The Chapel was soon bursting with worshippers frequently obliged to participate in open doors and windows (a bit discouraging in rain and freezing weather). The need for expansion forced the construction of a school with a large auditorium that could accomodate the ever
increased attendance at several Masses. The first class entered school in '64 when the first Mass was celebrated.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 8
The Cemetry was opened in '65 and a drive for Church started in '70 culminated in '73 with the dedication of the beautiful monument to the faith and loyalty of congregation. Father Ryan, now Monsignor, with his associates Pastors William J. Mooney and Richard J. Messenlehner, provide for five Sunday and one Saturday evening Masses for the 850 families in the parish. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill originally staffing the first four classes, now supervise eight classrooms, a Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 9
The 25th Anniversary will be fittingly celebrated later this year when a more detailed history will be published. "Our Lady of the Magnificat" will always be an influence for good, that parishoners and the entire community are thankful for and wish continued success.



Thank you, Cornie!

Here are a few more photos that Emma and I took when we visited Our Lady of the Magnificat's Chapel.

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 10

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 11

We love closeups of stone. Marvelous texture and color, don't you think?

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 12

Our Lady of the Magnificat Chapel, Kinnelon - 13

Special thanks to Emma for typing up Cornie's article.
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