The Knowlton Township Historic Commission will host the annual “Riverside Fall Festival” at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fall Festival activities will include a Civil War camp reenactment with the 15th New Jersey Company E; apple tastings; demonstrations of the apple press; tours of the historic buildings; self-guided scenic walks along the interpretive trail and Delaware River; and a 2 p.m. presentation with railroad historian Chuck Walsh regarding “The Lackawanna Cut-Off and Railroads of Knowlton.”
Humpty Junior's will be offering tasty, seasonal refreshments.
The event is free with on-site parking available. Donations are welcome – your generosity will help to support future events and endeavors. The event will be held rain or shine. Pets are welcome on a leash.
About “The Lackawanna Cut-Off and Railroads of Knowlton”
Chuck Walsh, President of the North Jersey Rail Commuter Association, will give a slide presentation on “The Lackawanna Cut-Off and Railroads of Knowlton”. Mr. Walsh is a Knowlton Township resident and has been involved in the effort to preserve and reactivate the Cut-Off for more than 30 years. Over the past two years, Mr. Walsh and his daughter, Larissa, have been recording a series of videos on YouTube about the Cut-Off. During his presentation, Mr. Walsh will cover the history of the Lackawanna Cut-Off — which is a rail line that runs from Lake Hopatcong, through Knowlton, to the Delaware Water Gap — and will also bring us up-to-date on the latest details on NJ Transit’s project to reactivate the line to Andover, NJ, and beyond. Finally, Mr. Walsh will touch upon the Cut-Off’s relationship to other rail lines in Knowlton, including a rail line and tunnel that was to have begun at Ramseyburg that was never built. The presentation will take place in the barn.
About Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead
Named for Irish immigrants James and Adam Ramsay, the 1795 settlement was a key location for trade along the Delaware River. Among the Ramsay brothers’ many ventures was a thriving lumber business. The river launching point where the homestead property now stands served as both a terminus for lumber rafts coming from upriver and for shipping downriver to the ports of Easton and Philadelphia. Prosperous trade continued throughout the early and mid-1800s until the development of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the early 1850s by Warren County native John I. Blair. With the advent of the more economical train transportation, river commerce faded.
The Commission hosts a series of annual events at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead, a 12-acre riverfront property located on Route 46 at Ramseyburg Road. These include the Memorial Day picnic, the Riverside Fall Festival and Christmas in the Country, Plein Air Painting, as well as a series of summer Barn Concerts. An interpretive nature trail is near completion at the site, which also offers car-top launch access to the Delaware River for kayaks and canoes.
About the Knowlton Township Historic Commission
For more than 20 years the Knowlton Township Historic Commission, a volunteer organization that functions as part of the township’s government, has worked to raise awareness of Knowlton’s historic resources and to educate the community on the importance of preserving the township’s unique agricultural heritage: the historic farms, barns, wagon sheds and outbuildings that reflect the legacy of farming and river trade that established the area. Under the leadership of Chairperson Hal Bromm, the Commission has organized historic barn tours, walking tours of potential historic districts, ice cream socials, and other community-based activities. The commission has also nominated several of Knowlton’s hamlets and villages for inclusion on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including Delaware Village, Hainesburg, Columbia and Ramsaysburg. Delaware Village was awarded a position on the registry in 2003.
The commission’s most important achievement is the 15-year endeavor for the restoration of the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead. To save the Ramsaysburg site, the Commission worked with elected officials, led by Rene Mathez, to lease the property from the State of New Jersey following acquisition of the site by the NJ Green Acres program. Mathez was instrumental in bringing the recreational attributes of the site to the attention of the Department of Environmental Protection, focusing on its riverfront location comprising nearly twelve acres. Facing imminent demise, the severely deteriorated structures on the property were stabilized thanks to a 2003 emergency grant from the Delaware River Greenway, and have since been restored through grant funding generously awarded by the NJ Historic Trust, Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, Warren County Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund, and other generous donors. Restoration work will continue with a newly awarded Transportation Alternatives Program grant to fully restore the structures at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead.
Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead is located at 140 Route 46, Delaware, NJ 07833 at the intersection of Ramseyburg Road and State Highway Route 46, in Warren County, about 12 miles south of the Delaware Water Gap and three miles south of Interstate 80 Exit 4.