Today we start a new story, Battle at Cedar Bridge Tavern. Henry, everyone’s favorite immortal, finds himself as General William Howe at the last battle of the Revolutionary War in the New Jersey Pine Barrens trying to steal back the Ark of the Covenant. So read on to find out how Henry became the British general who led the war, how he lost the Ark, how he got it back, and what Benjamin Franklin has to do with the Jersey Devil?
This week I traveled to Double Trouble in Berkley, NJ deep in the Pines. This was the home to a lumber and cranberry operation. The town was named for the fact that muskrats breached a local dam twice in one week.
The Double Trouble Historic Village was originally a cranberry farm and packing plant. The Double Trouble Company was formed by Edward Crabbe in 1909 to sell timber, millwork products, and cranberries. Many sawmills have been in the town since the mid-18th century. The village consists of cranberry bogs and fourteen restored historic structures dating from the late 19th century through the early 20th century including a general store, a schoolhouse, and houses. The sawmill was restored in 1995, and the cranberry sorting and packing house were completed in 1996.
The first Mason Lodge, Hiram Lodge No. 1, in Connecticut was chartered under the Provincial St. John’s Lodge in Boston. It resided in the same city as Yale, New Haven. Influential to its charter was Israel Putnam. Putnam was from Salem and sided against his relatives in the hanging of Rebecca Nurse during the Witchcraft Trials. He went on to serve during the French and Indian War and was at Bunker Hill and the Crossing of the Delaware. He was one of the founding Masons in Connecticut. Another who would help start the first lodge was Col. Nathan Whiting.
Nathan was the grandfather of Nathan C. Whiting who was the founder of the town I grew up in NJ. Col. Nathan Whiting also served during the French and Indian War and was instrumental during the battle of Louisbourg along with Sir William Pepperrell.
Pepperrell’s portrait hangs in the Peabody Essex Museum. He is the spitting image of my friend Jim Armstrong. The portrait hangs next to Richard Saltonstall, who is the spitting image of his brother Neil Armstrong. Not the astronaut… Then again I am not sure if Col. Whiting’s wife Mary Hayes Saltonstall was related to Richard Saltonstall…
Col. Nathan Whiting’s uncle Thomas Clap who was president of Yale University brought him up after his parents death. Nathan attended Yale and served in the state senate.
Others instrumental in the founding of the Hiram Lodge No. 1 was Pierpont Edwards, a relative of Aaron Burr. He also attended Yale with Benedict Arnold. Also David Wooster and Elihu Lyman were founding fathers who attended Yale.
Nathan C. Whiting the grandson founded a sawmill in the Pine Barrens of NJ and had a train station across from his house. The stop was called Whiting’s. So that is how my town in NJ got its name.