Maybe I should have just bought one of those books that you fill in about yourself, scan it, and plop it up on here haha. Anyway, most of you do know me, but not all of you. Even those who do, may not know why I started this blog, so I’ll fill you in. This is a get to know me post.
First off, today marks 2 years since my very first post! *cue the trumpets* And what a crazy 2 years it has been. Thank you to those who have been reading since day 1 and thank you to those who just started reading.
Let’s see…I’ve always enjoyed social studies and history classes in school. When I was a freshman in high school, I had Ms. Fitzgibbons for a history class. She taught with such zest and made you feel like you were actually present when these events were happening. Needless to say, I did well in her class. After high school, I went to community college and took the mandatory history classes…which were taught with so little enthusiasm. However, that’s when I was introduced to Weird NJ magazine! It was the perfect blend of history, oddness, fun, and paranormal. Oh, and I am a big fan of ghost stories and haunted things. Unfortunately, I never really went to any of the places because at first, I didn’t have a car. Then I did, but it was a hunkin’ piece of junk (it had no tapedeck and the bass would kick in during “My Heart Will Go On.” What? It was 1998/1999?). Most of my friends weren’t into that sort of thing either.
Time went on and I still loved reading about historical places, haunted places, etc. Watched a lot of shows on the History Channel, you know, before aliens and people hocking items. I was a closet history geek, but still needed so much to learn (still do and refreshers).
One day about 2 years ago, one of my closest friends, Robin, and I were talking about blogs and I told her my idea about visiting all the towns in New Jersey and taking a single photo of the town’s sign and a single photo of the point of interest in that town. That idea snowballed into creating my “New Jersey Bible.” It is broken down into county then town/unincorporated community. I have attempted to compile basically every cemetery (and address) for each town, places of interest from Weird NJ magazines, and places listed in books I have read. It’s kind of a guide for ideas of places to check out.
In case you are wondering why this blog is called 150by70, it is because I had read somewhere a while ago that the state of New Jersey is 150 miles long and 70 miles wide. I didn’t give it the name because I’m into math.
It wasn’t until last year when another friend suggested to check out a cemetery. I’d only been to 3 funerals at that point- go in, have the ceremony, leave a flower, mourn, and leave. This time, I got to observe that they are actually quite beautiful and informative. Obviously, there are some really sad headstones you come across, but it’s also joyous when you can read all the accomplishments the deceased person had! It’s also exciting when you find someone of note, or if you’re like me, someone who shares the same birthday as you.
Which also leads me to where I get my inspiration from! Find-A-Grave is a big one and they now have an app, which is so helpful! I also use NJ Town Guide and Revolutionary War New Jersey as websites to inspire me. Along with these websites, I bookmarked on my phone Historical Marker Database and allowed for it to use my current location. I also get my inspiration through Weird NJ magazine, several books about New Jersey, I have “liked” about a gazillion historical society pages on Facebook, and Pinterest.
When I first started, I admit, I lost steam. I know I am not the best writer or photographer too. But, I enjoy it and don’t care about either issue! I have reached out to a few churches for information and pastors and secretaries have been so gracious, they’ve provided me with what I was looking for…and then some. I’m so pleased to be able to share my passion with my friends who have accompanied me on my “explorations” as well.
I am first generation on my mother’s side and her family lived in the Journal Square section of Jersey City when they came here. I am second generation on my father’s side and his aunts and uncles owned some delis that became well-known in Bergenfield and Secaucus back in the day. Now, I am attempting to make my own footprint in New Jersey history.
Once again, thank you to everyone who’s reading or checking out the pictures. This blog is becoming so much more than I had ever expected. I’m looking forward to exploring other areas of New Jersey, and maybe a few more Hall Passes, as well as incorporating new series (still want to do a food series!) too. For now on, I’m going to have posts scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with an extra here and there, released at 4 p.m.
Feel free to share what you would like to see me cover and I’ll see what I can do!