Today the sun popped out, the temperature rose, and it was time to hit the road. I visited a couple spots in New Jersey I had marked on my map.
Labert Castle was the home of a wealthy silk merchant outside of Patterson, NJ. He had this castle built in 1892 with the wealth he accumulated from the silk industry.
You can see the city from the castle.
Inside is an atrium with surrounding balconies. These walls were once covered with the works of Rembrandt, Pissaro, Monet, Courbet, Renoir, Van Gogh and more. Unfortunately for the former silk baron, the business went belly up during a prolonged strike forcing him to sell most of his collection.
On the way up the stairs is this incredible stained glass window.
A room upstairs is filled with folk art and historical objects from the Patterson area.
The Great Falls of the Passaic River.
An Abandoned Baseball Stadium
Hinchliffe Stadium. One of only a few remaining Negro National League stadiums in the country, it stands vacant and dilapidated.
The stadium is best known for its role in professional baseball as home to the New York Black Yankees of the Negro National League in the 1930s and 1940s. It has been closed since 1997 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In September 1933, within their first Hinchliffe season, the New York Black Yankees played the Philadelphia Stars here in the Colored Championship of the Nation. They lost the championship, but not their momentum, opening the following season with an eight-game winning streak! The streak-ending ninth game with the Pittsburgh Crawfords came on July 28, 1934, a face-off that saw Hall-of-Famers Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, James “Cool Papa” Bell, and Oscar Charleston all play in regular-season battle.
Rain disappointingly ended the game after 7 1/2 innings, but not before Crawfords’ star Gibson and Yankee Bob Clark had both hit powerful home runs, Gibson’s contributing to his League championship home-run record for that year.
On July 13, 1935, Elmer McDuffy pitched an 8-0 no-hitter at Hinchliffe Stadium against the House of David. According to the Paterson Evening News, it was “the first time such a feat had ever been turned in by by the Negro club in this territory.”
Paterson’s favorite son, Hall-of-Famer Larry Doby, was to be picked up by the Cleveland Indians in 1947 and break the American League color barrier. But what hometown fan can resist imagining that for the five years he was an Eagle, maybe-just maybe-he faced off at least once against the Black Yankees at Hinchliffe? via
The New York Cubans called Hinchliffe Stadium home in their second season in the Negro National League (1936). The team featured Cubans star Martin Dihigo (HOF 1977), a resourceful ballplayer who played all nine positions at various points in his career. Dihigo was a whirlwind. He began as a second baseman, but found his true talents on the pitching mound. Paterson rooters came out June 6, 1936, to marvel at his prowess as the Cubans faced their league rivals, the Newark Eagles, with two future Hall-of-Famers in the lineup: third baseman Ray Dandridge (HOF 1987) and shortstop Willie Wells (HOF 1997). The right-handed Dihigo struck out six Newark batters in the course of the game, and then proved he was a threat with the bat too by hitting a solo home run en route to a 12-5 victory for the Cubans! via