Archive for Occupy New Jersey

Crossing the Delaware

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2011 by Pat Regan

Riders on the Northeast Coast were blessed with a very comfortable day for taking their bikes out for a nice ride. And that’s just what I did. My destination was the location where George Washington crossed the Delaware River to capture Hessian troops as his own troops were on the brink of despair. This battle reinvigorated the Revolution. I started my history seeking in Trenton, NJ. The house below was built in 1719 by William Trent. His land eventually became the city of Trenton. Hence the name. This old brick dwelling was also home to numerous New Jersey governors.

I had a brief look around Trenton as well. There are some very depressed neighborhoods in Trenton surrounded by neighborhoods once grand in stature. Both of the grand old homes below are for sale.

I went to look inside through the windows when I was startled by this bird stuck inside.

I have posted before about the Occupy Wall Street movement in NYC. Here is New Jersey’s version.

A few miles north of Trenton is where George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River on December 25, 1776.

To visit places of historical events on rivers is a bit odd. Most rivers in the United States have been dammed since the time of George Washington or Louis and Clark. They no longer resemble the rivers that would have been described during the time of these events. In the case of this crossing however, some things have remained. The building to the right is the McConkey Ferry Inn on the banks of the Delaware River (Pennsylvania side). Samuel McConkey operated a successful ferry business at the location of the famous crossing. George Washington had dinner here before traversing the river. The house on the left was built in 1817.

There is a boathouse where they keep the replica Durham boats. These boats are used in reenactments.

The red spot represents the McConkey Ferry Inn where the crossing of the Delaware began.

Across the river are a few other structures that date back to the time of the Revolution. Below is the ferry house on the New Jersey side built in 1740.

I returned to the Pennsylvania side and headed north. Looming above just ahead of me I saw a tower atop a mountain.

Bowman’s Hill Tower was built in 1930 to commemorate the American Revolution.

To the south you can see the lovely sight of strip mining on the Jersey side.

 The overcast skies were pushing in from the west as I looked to the north. Down below you can see a couple buildings from the colonial days.

This is the Thompson-Neely Grist Mill. This mill was build in the 1830’s.

When I think of a grist mill I visualize a big wheel on the side of the mill powered by water. This mill has a trough for the water to get to the mill, but it leads the water inside.

The wheel to power the mill is located inside. I could lift my camera to a basement window and see the inner workings.

The water then exits through a channel cut on the other side of the mill.

Across the road is the Thompson-Neely house. During the winter of 1776-77, this home was used to care for soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Lieutenant James Madison (later the fourth President of the US) was quartered here for a time.

From here I continued north along Route 32. It’s a great ride as the road continues along the Delaware. It passes through New Hope which was packed with people wining and dining on either side of the road. Many motorcycles lined the street as well. It was getting too late for me to stop and explore New Hope.

The hurricane last month has had lasting effects in these parts. Firstly, it is the reason the grist mill was closed to the public, but also there was a resulting detour. This took me west when I wanted to go east. It was also getting dark and cold. However the detour did lead me to a beautiful sunset.

Someone recently asked me what my favorite color was. The answer is here. It is the color of the sky just before night.

It was a cold ride home. Not only that, Bonnie is leaking oil. It was a very slow drip when the thick dark oil from my cross country trip was circulating through the bike. But since a recent oil change things have gotten messy. That drip was spraying at 70mph all over my left side. My pants are now oil soaked. A well earned greasy souvenir.