Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The Thomas Clarke House in Princeton New Jersey is starting to have problems. The house, built in 1772, is a white clapboard farm house. The structure is central to the Battle of Princeton fought on January 3rd 1777 between Crown forces and the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington.

The house also became hospital after the battle taking in both British and American wounded. American General Hugh Mercer died here nine days after the battle from being shot and bayoneted.

After two hundred years, the wooden house shows signs of rot.
The rot is especially evident around the windows.

Near the foundation, the rot is also evident.

The shutters, doors, threshold and steps also need work.

Lots of work!

Boards are popping.

Close ups show how much scrapping and painting is needed, but wood replacement is not always so easy to see.

The front steps are not safe!

More wood rot that is clear to see.

The second floor shutters need replacement.

Please help with donations, so that matching grants can be attained.

Please help the Princeton Batlefield Society with donations to help save the Clarke House:


On December 5th 1783, General Washington and his staff with Baron von Stueben was entertained for lunch by the people of New Brunswick at the Drake Tavern. It was his headquarters for a time, a short time. He had left his officers at his famous farewell in NYC the day before and was making his way to Annapolis to return his commission to the Congress.

The tavern is now restored and preserved as the Indian Head Tavern. It is part of East Jersey Olde Towne at Piscataway.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Beautiful Pennsylvannia roads lead you to St. Juliana's Church at Rock Lake.
The Roark family reunion has been going on for decades and I have been going for the last twenty. I have rarely been in the company of such gracious fun loving people.
The hall for the reunion. Needs a little work, but it still does the job. Burgers, hot dogs, and chicken are the fare with pizza at night.

The ice house below is now for storage.

The Rock Lake Cemetary has generations of Roarks and descendants.

The inside of St. Juliana's. The original structure burned down. This one was rebuilt in 1866.

The man below is T.J. Roark. He had four daugthers who married and gave him many grandchildren. The Ryan's, McGranahan's, Gill's, Taylor's, Page's, and McCormick's, plus Blue's, Clevenberg's and Tamkin's come together with ever growing numbers to celebrate their grandfather.

The Roark Rocket gives hay rides to all.

The cemetary shows the family members who served their country. The grass is cut and flowers trimmed.
St. Juliana's below is a lovely old church. Mass is out and now the party begins.

Some are not invited to the party!

Little Niagara Falls nearby. It is left over from an old lumber business.

A welcome addition to any celebration. What a surprise.

The reunion is every year and a wonderful chance to get caught up. Place names come alive with all the history and family stories. Grampa's corners, Flat Rock, Rock Lake, Lake Cuomo,, and the Sticker House don't always show up on the map, but they live through the collective memories of all who attend and that is the best kind of history.