Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ
The past weekend was another one where we did lots of stuff with the Granddaughters. Friday night it was dinner at Cracker Barrel.
Dinner with them can be a challenge. Six year old Charlotte has many food allergies - gluten (wheat, barley, oats, rye), eggs, corn, dairy to name a few. Just try to find something on most menus! Did you know McDonald's and many restaurants dip their potatoes in milk and flour to make the French Fries crispy? So we asked before ordering her French Fries. Cracker Barrel does not. Green Beans? Nope, they have butter cooked in them. Carrots? Nope, she loves carrots but only raw. Okra? Of course not, it is coated in breading. Macaroni and Cheese? Dairy AND wheat. Even beverages are a challenge. The only soda/pop she can have is Sierra Mist as it is all natural, no corn sweeteners. Yup, a real challenge.
We headed out early Saturday as we knew the temps were going to hit the high 90's. One of my favorite places in South Jersey is Batsto Village. Check out www.Batstovillage.org. Because of the abundance of wood and cedar lakes and streams, starting in 1766 Batsto was an Iron producer. They made such items as pots and kettles and war supplies during the Revolutionary War. In the 1800's iron production declined so the area became a glass maker for a few years. In 1876 a Philadelphia businessman Joseph Wharton bought the property and made improvements to the mansion.
I remember as a child the area was in disrepair. There were several old homes in the area. New Jersey purchased the area in the 1950's and allowed the few people still living in the area the live out their lives in their old homes. The last to leave was in 1989. I can remember visiting a family relative with my parents and grandmother on my fathers side. I always thought it was an old lady as all I can remember was that the person was sitting in a rocker with a homemade quilt wrapped around them. I was told many years ago it was a man. Sorry to say I never asked further and now anyone who would know who it was has died.
Over the years the State of New Jersey has made continuous improvements to this important site. It is listed on the New Jersey and National Registry of Historic Places.
The first place in the village we visited on Saturday was the museum.
We then took a short walk around - it was getting HOT! We showed the girls the site where their parents, who are archaeologists, dug well before they were born.
This site is now off-limits protected by a fence. Not sure what they found. Amy says some old construction material as she remembers.
Then we visited the Nature Center. They have live snapping turtles, snakes, frogs and other native species. Also some "stuffed" critters such as beaver and rattlers.
We found a spot under trees to have our picnic lunch.
We took a small ride around the area including over the Wading River
via the Draw Bridge
So many people think New Jersey is all cities, towns, strip malls and Turnpike. However, the wilderness of the Pine Barrens include a major land area of the state.
Later that day the girls enjoyed some refreshing time in their wading pool back at their Aunt T's and Uncle Steve's.
Sunday morning it was church. After lunch it was fun at the water park at our local Bridgeton Park and Zoo. This little water park opened just last month. What fun.
After an hour and a half both were exhausted. As Abby says - let's leave, I'm tired.
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