Cool Places in America~ Clinton Road N.J.

That Strange Doctor of the Pines hired my parents again. I think he has them trying to write code so he could “Rule the World!” Who knows. This time I ventured a little further and came across this classic that has appeared several times in Weird NJ. Weird NJ is what started Myth Busters fortune.

So many strange things have happened on this long desolate road. One is the tale of the Iceman. I always wondered why they called him that. I thought it was because he ‘iced you’ when he shot you. No it meant he threw you in a freezer to confuse people.

In May 1983, a human body was found in the woods close to the road. According to Weird NJ, legend dictates that a cyclist going down the road discovered the body after investigating a vulture feasting at a spot in the nearby trees.

An autopsy found that the man had died of foul play, remarking something initially puzzling: ice crystals in blood vessels near his heart. His interior organs also had decayed at a rate far slower than his skin. Pathologists concluded that someone had frozen his body after death in an attempt to mislead investigators into believing he died at a later time than he actually did. The man was identified as someone on the periphery of mafia activities in nearby Rockland County, New York. The investigation ultimately led to the 1986 arrest of “The Iceman” Richard Kuklinski, a New Jersey native involved in Rockland organized crime, who confessed to being the killer.

Then there was Cross Castle, or what is left of it…

In 1905, a man named Richard Cross built a castle on high land near the reservoir for his wife and three children. Later in the 20th century, it fell into ruin after a fire had destroyed part of it and thus became a popular destination for hikers and local teenagers looking for secluded locations to camp out and have parties.[13]

According to Weird NJ, “visitors have written telling of strange occurrences in or near the castle site, such as people going into seizures and having bruises appearing on their bodies afterwards, or having strange, disturbing visions. Writings that suggest Satanic symbols have been reported as appearing on the castle’s interior walls, particularly in areas that were supposedly inaccessible.”[13]
Newark’s water department razed the castle as an attractive nuisance in 1988, but the foundations remain and several hiking trails still lead to the site.

Then here are the weird legends:

  • The ghost boy at the bridge: At one of the bridges over Clinton Brook (Dead Man’s Curve) near the reservoir, if you put a quarter in the middle of the road where the yellow line is, at midnight it will supposedly be promptly returned by the ghost of a boy who drowned while swimming below or had fallen in while sitting on the edge of the bridge. In some tellings an apparition is seen; in others the ghost pushes the teller into the water if he or she looks over the side of the bridge in order to save him from being run over as he was in life.
  • Besides the ghost boy, there have been other ghosts described by Weird NJreaders. One claims to have seen a ghost Camaro driven by a girl who supposedly died when she crashed it in 1988 (any mention while driving the road at night is supposed to trigger a manifestation).[8] Another claims to have encountered two park rangers one night while camping with friends near Terrace Pond, a glacial tarnon a ridge accessible from the road by hiking trails, who in the morning turned out to have been the ghosts of two rangers who had died on the job in 1939.[8] Other Weird NJ readers claim to have seen people dressed weirdly at odd hours who simply stare at those who see them and do not speak, who either disappear or are not seen by others present.[9]
  • The Druidic temple: A conical stone structure just east of the road south of the reservoir was said to be a site where local Druids practiced their rituals, and horrible things might come to pass for any intruder who looked too closely or came at the wrong time. The building is actually an iron smelter left over from the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 when the United States was forced into creating an economic independence to complement its political freedom. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Clinton Furnace in 1976.[10] It is currently fenced off by the Newark water department to prevent any entrance and the liability for injury that might result.
  • Ghost truck: There are accounts of phantom vehicles: pickup trucks or even floating headlights not attached to any vehicle that supposedly appear from nowhere in the middle of the night and chase drivers to the end of the road, then disappear.[11]
  • Strange creatures, from hellhounds to monkeys and unidentifiable hybrids, have allegedly been seen at night. If not of supernatural origin, they are said to have been survivors of Jungle Habitat, a nearby attraction that has been closed since 1976, which have managed to survive and crossbreed.

Well I did not see anything. In fact I was hoping this was the road where your car gets pulled uphill when its in neutral. Everything else happened on this road but that…

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Incense and Peppermints…?

Have a listen. My first album of flute and piano was released this week. It is music to ease the soul in a hectic world. It is entrancing. Music from simpler times. Cosmic. Pulling traditions from traditional Japanese music and Native American. A blending of jazz sentimentalities of Jaco Pastorius and Classical tastes of John Cage. Throw a little Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, and Peter Gabriel and you will have my ice cream Sunday of inspirations.

Available at Open Mics around Salem and at Salem House Press.
Only $5

 

Limited Time Preview:

Where Does Your Imagination Bring You!

Hmmm….

Where does your imagination bring you? What is on the other side of the door? Would you walk in? How long has the door been there? These are all questions you can ask. What are the answers? Share your answers below. Does this illustration create a story in your mind? Share it below with us.

Cheers,
Chris
Illustration from Mr. Pelinger’s House & Intergalactic Roadshow available on Amazon.com.

Dance Painting

Slam Dancing, Sword Fighting, Keystone Cops, and Painting…

For twenty years I have been dancing and painting behind live bands. What I have found out is throughout the performance the audience are creating in their minds several images before I finish. They end up doing far more work than I do. Before I am done they have created 20 separate paintings in their mind for every time they look back and pay attention to what I am making they create in their mind another image of what the finished piece will look like. Even after I am done, their different experiences and attitudes still interprets my finished piece different than my intention. Which is Awesome. The painting takes a life of its own after I give birth of to it. Paintings take their own life like children do and then you let them go.

I have done this in nightclubs on small easels, large chalkboards, and large canvases. Other times the venue could be in public parks and at music festivals. I have inspired someone in New Orleans to make a living painting large murals as he runs on scaffolding in a jazz club. Sometimes I get the next generation of artist to come up and paint these canvases with me. The youngest being 3 years old.

Dance Painting is great. I get to dance back and forth to the music and apply the paint as I go. Is it more dancing or painting, who is to say but it is definitely gestural… At times I have straight men or women paint with me. Once I had a model in a bikini pose for me. For two hours I would not let her move or almost breathe. What the audience had seen which she couldn’t was I was drawing stick figures which had nothing to do with her. Than at the end of the performance I painted her head to toe. Her boyfriend thank me the net day and I have heard she still treasures the shorts I painted her in to this day 20 years later. I also had another person I painted with who I shared the canvas with. We slammed dance and wrestled to get space on the canvas, painted each other, slapped one another with brushes, dropped kick a corned beef and cabbage at each other, and painted over each others’ work.

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a fun time. Keeping look in different venues and parks this summer, you might just see me there. Plus I am still hoping for someone to catch me painting and dancing at the same time in these picture. But for now, I can only hope…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELgaagcU2Y?feature=player_embedded]

Cheers,
Chris

For more info on Chris and his illustrated books visit www.salemhousepress.com. Plus you can email him at chris.dowgin@salemhousepress.com to book him for your venue.

Paint Dancing

Pretty Darn Cool..

Here is something I started years ago with the Bogus Quartet back in the Bleacher days…
I learned it from watching That’s Incredible in the 80’s. Check out this other artist paint dancing.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4ba309H0WI?feature=player_embedded]
Cheers,
Chris

Vintage Salem Morning!

Town House SquareTown House Square Salem MA 1891

The Stearn Building which housed H.P. Ives Bookstore once was flush with the corner of Short Street, which was long gone even in this photo. The building opposite the Stearn Building, on Short Lane, once held the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, after John Hancock took up Reverend Bentley’s offer to move it here after Boston was invaded during the Revolutionary War.  The offending part of the Stearn Building has been removed to make it now flush to the new corner of Washington Street and Essex Street. Most of the buildings behind it have long since been removed and the new ones are also flushed to the current location of Washington Street.

Also you can see the beginning of the tunnel that led to the underground train station in which goods were smuggled through from the Kinsman Building in the distance. Do you remember the fortune telling machine or the traffic cop in the box from here? Tell us below?

Send us your favorite vintage Salem photos to info@salemhousepress.com and we will post them and give you a shout out! Also if you have some to add about the photo from family histories, your readings, or your memories, please share them below in the comments section.

Salem Smugglers’ Tour and Salem Secret Underground Mentioned in Another Book!

 

 

In Wicked Truths:Book 3 of the Wicked Cries series  has the characters taking the tour and talking about info from the book. Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton used the book to research for their Wicked Charms book. Also The Librarians TV Show and Carol Perry in her Witch City Mysteries used the book to research the tunnels in Boston and Salem.  Have you read the book these people really dig yet? Check out The Wicked Truth Series….

Also Carol Perry in her newest book in the “Witch City Mystery” series have created a cast of characters using my families surname. In her previous work she used Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City as research to understand the tunnel routes inside the town. I wonder if Carol or Janet was the first to use my book to study tunnels in Salem for their books.

It is cool to see who is reading Salem Secret Underground and how mystery writers are building tales of the tunnels I helped to bring to light.

You can buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City today at Salem House Press or Amazon.com. Pre-orders for Grave Errors can be purchased here on Amazon.com.

Cool Places in America~ The Free Republic of Indian Stream

My parents had to write some software for a municipality in northern New Hampshire on the Canadian border. It is not that they had to wonder how to pay taxes to Canada, but if they had to pay them to the country of Indian Stream?

Republic of Indian Stream or Indian Stream Republic was an unrecognized constitutional republic in North America, along the section of the border that divides the Canadian province of Quebec from the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It existed from July 9, 1832, to August 5, 1835. Described as “Indian Stream Territory, so-called” by the United States census-taker in 1830, the area was named for Indian Stream, a small watercourse. It had an organized elected government and constitution and served about three hundred citizens.

St. Francis Indian chief, called King Philip by his white neighbors, after the King Philip who had led many successful raids on New England settlements during the 1670s. I believe the first Dowgin came during that time to be killed in the King Phillip War.

United States and Canada as defined in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. There were three possible interpretations of where “the northwestern most head of the Connecticut River” might be. As a result, the area (in and around the three tributaries that fed into the head of the Connecticut River) was not definitively under the jurisdiction of either the United States or Canada.

tax-collectors and debt-collecting sheriffs. The double taxation angered the population, and the Republic was formed to put an end to the issue until such time as the United States and Great Britain could reach a settlement on the boundary line. Some of the citizenry considered Indian Stream to be part of the U.S. but not a part of New Hampshire. The Indian Stream assembly declared independence on July 9, 1832, and produced a constitution. So you see why my parents were confused…

“The people inhabiting the Territory formerly called Indian Stream Territory do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other to form themselves into a body politic by the name of Indian Stream and in that capacity to exercise all the powers of a free, sovereign and independent state, so far as it relates to our own internal Government till such time as we can ascertain to what government we properly belong.”

Coos County to cease his involvement in affairs, with later events leading to an impending invasion by New Hampshire. On July 30, 1835, this sheriff asked for the militia. Two companies of infantry from the towns around Colebrook met at Stewartstown, ready to march into the disputed territory. The sheriff preceded them and, on August 4, met with between 30 and 40 members of the assembly, to whom he issued an ultimatum. Threatened with forcible occupation, most of the gathered assembly capitulated and relented to being annexed by New Hampshire.  The Republic ceased to operate independently the next day when five leaders of Indian Stream wrote to a Canadian official in SherbrookeLower Canada, that, with a response to their petition for protection by the British not having occurred in time, Indian Stream had agreed to annexation by New Hampshire. One of the “Streamers”, Richard I. Blanchard, agreed to serve as a deputy sheriff of Coos County. The militia stayed in Stewartstown and dispersed to their homes on August 6.

Canaan, Vermont, with the bleeding magistrate as prisoner, where local leaders treated his wound and released him immediately. In the aftermath, a detachment of fifty New Hampshire militia, including troops and officers, occupied the territory from mid-November until February 18, 1836.

international incident caused a diplomatic crisis. The British ambassador to the United States protested to President Jackson and the Secretary of State. Both governments, appalled at the idea of war over a matter so trivial as a hardware-store debt, determined to take measures so that matters did not escalate, and an uneasy peace endured in the years preceding the conclusion of a treaty settling the border.

Lord Palmerston in London dismissed all charges in the British judiciary system arising from the incident and reiterated the British position that the territory was part of Canada.  The area was still described as Indian Stream at the time of the U.S. census taken on June 1, 1840; the local population totaled 315. Upon petition by the residents, the area was incorporated as the town of Pittsburg in 1840.

Webster–Ashburton Treaty, and the land was assigned to New Hampshire. However, the 1845 Lewis Robinson Map of New Hampshire based on the latest authorities, shows the boundary north of the town of Clarksvillebut just south of modern-day Pittsburg.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…