Category Archives: Blog

HSR Meeting May 24 to discuss cycle events and vote on Board seats

Nellie Bly Bi orig (Copy)

What better place for a discussion of upcoming cycling events than Nellie Bly’s Olde Tyme Ice Cream Parlour?

The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society convenes on Tuesday, May 24 at 7pm.

Iris Gaughan, our cycling event liaison, explains our need for some volunteers:

Dear HSR Members and Riverton Friends… Please note that the Historic Riverton Century and 3-Mile Community Ride will take place on June 11th , and the Historic Riverton Criterium on June 12th.  A description of this two-day event is in the current issue of The Gaslight News.


We need your help!  For the Criterium on June 12th, 24 corner marshals are needed…this entails standing at one of the race corners making sure no one crosses the street while the bike racers are passing.  Each marshal will spend one hour at a corner.  The marshal needs to stand for the entire hour.  If you feel you are not able to physically perform this task, perhaps you have someone in your family or a friend who could step in to help.  You must be 16 years of age to be a marshal.  Once you volunteer, specific directions will be sent directly to you.   If you feel you are not able to do this task,  volunteers are needed to sell tee shirts.  We need 2 people per hour for the 5 hour duration of the race, each person working one hour.

Please contact Iris Gaughan at or 856-829-8671 if you are able to give an hour of your time on June 12th.

Other items on the Annual Meeting menu include making nominations for Board members and ice cream sundaes for all members attending. – JMc

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Totally worth it

IMG_0798 (Copy)

Linda McCormick, Phyllis Rodgers, Susan Dechnik

Linda McCormick, Phyllis Rodgers, Susan Dechnik

The rain held off this morning and even when it came it was just intermittently drizzly.

Soon we almost had enough people to convene a meeting of Retired Riverton School Teachers.

It was great to catch up with RPS alum, Kim Piotrowski, with her mom, Ann Marie.

We enjoyed conversing with browsers who came by the Porch Club during the Garden Tour.

May Hannah brought by a color postcard of Fulton Street, c.1912, for me to scan.

IMG_0857 (Copy)Shown here framed, click here to see the retouched scan I made from it.

In the course of congratulating Tom Shaw on the work he is doing on his house at 301 Main Street the origin story of the famous Duster sailboat came up.

Local lore holds that Owen Merrill designed and built the first Duster there in a room on the 3rd floor. He and some friends lowered the craft from a window, took it down to the river, and christened it a “Duster”.  It became a world-class sailboat.

Tom is convinced that he has seen a newspaper photo of that moment – but where? Let’s ask the universe to find it. If a reader can direct me, please help. Tom wants to find an old Duster, seaworthy or not, that he can plant in his garden as a kind of “The Duster was born here” historical marker.

IMG_0856 (Copy)After grazing on a luncheon plate of goodies prepared by the Porch Club women, I also bought two table centerpieces composed of papier mache birds and plants in tiny Dreer’s Nursery terracotta flower pots that were found on the riverbank near the Pompeston Creek.

IMG_0851 (Copy)Bunched together here on my picnic table in Delran they will wind up in the HSR Museum at some point. It is coming together slowly… very slowly.

Oh yeah, we also sold five mugs, too, so the day spent was totally worth it.  – JMc


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Rain, rain, go away, so the Garden Tour continues Saturday

Porch Club by Richard Moore (Copy)During the Porch Club sponsored 2016 Garden Tour on Saturday, May 20, we plan to have a table set up on the Porch Club lawn with other vendors to have mugs available for purchase.

More info about the Garden Tour here, but we hope that the rain holds off enough so we can last until noon  – maybe later if the rain is light.

Come for the tour (and the wonderful lunch served 11 AM-2 PM), but linger a while and check out our new collection of historically themed mugs.

There have been other Riverton collectible mugs made available over the years, including the cream-colored ones depicting pen and ink scenes of several Riverton landmarks by artist R.C. (Richard) Moore. They remain treasured keepsakes in many homes today.

new mugsIncluding the most recent additions (shown in these digital previews) our choice of mugs has grown to more than 60 different styles now. You are sure to find a few for gifting others or for treating yourself.

Dishwasher safe and microwave safe 11 oz. mugs are $15 each with proceeds benefiting the HSR. – JMc



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Lest we forget

Honor Roll and Band Stand, Palmyra, NJ undated postcard

Honor Roll and Band Stand, Palmyra, NJ undated postcard

Veterans Honor Roll Monument, Riverton, NJ

Veterans Honor Roll Monument, Riverton, NJ

The meticulously cared for Memorials to veterans in Riverton and Palmyra show the high regard and great respect with which citizens of these sister towns hold their veterans.

The Riverton Memorial Day service will be held on Sunday, May 29, at 10:30 AM. The VFW & American Legion will be present.

Two names, Matthew Basara and James McDermott, will be added.

Should you find yourself in the area on Sunday, stop by and pay your respects.  – JMc

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Historic Riverton Century riders arrive in one month

2016 3 mile community ride school flyerIn just one month a gutsy crew of cyclists participating in the Historic Riverton Century will meet at High Gear Cyclery parking lot, 20 Main Street, Millburn, NJ at 8 am and pedal 101.8 miles to Riverton.

Their goal is to again celebrate the spirit of the New York Times 1895 Tri-Sate Relay Race that attracted premier riders representing New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

(For more about the Riverton bicycle track and the 1895 race click here.)

The Historical Society of Riverton is sponsoring a Community Ride to welcome this 21st century band of bicyclists and to accompany them as they arrive at Riverton to complete the last three miles of their journey.

See the flyer at right for more information and register at   -JMc



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Mug sale at RFL Sunday 1-3pm

Tomorrow’s sale will the last chance to buy a mug until the Garden Tour in May.

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Belated Antique & Collectible Event recap from Harvey and Phyllis

Reporting on the outcome of he March 19 HSR Antique & Appraisal Event is yesterday’s newspapers now, but I have an excuse.

I was otherwise occupied that day with using a video camera and projector to show close-up views of the items at Ron Shaffer’s table on the school’s screen. So no narrative or stills of that event by this web editor.

FullSizeRenderThis is way better.

HSR Board member Harvey Sklar later sent in this shot of wife Eleanor’s photo in the Burlington County Times.

Harvey posted his heartfelt reaction to the experience on his Facebook page…

The appraisers were amazing, not only knowledgeable but entertaining. It was a fun sunday and it was all part of …THE RIVERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY….Such a small town with a large heart…TOTAL MEMBER DEDICATION….AND TOWN SUPPORT….I LOVE MY.RIVERTON. I HOPE WE CONTINUE TO DO THIS EVENT. THANK YOU RIVERTON

Whatta guy! He works to help a project and he thanks the town. No wonder he has so many FB friends.

President Phyllis Rogers summarized the activity in an email to Board members as follows:

Greetings HSR Board Members,

Thanks to all who did a great job with the appraisal event. The  appraiser Ron Shaffer did a terrific job taking his time and explaining each artifact. It was informative and entertaining. Nick Fratto from Anthony Jewelers also did an outstanding job. We had 3 hours of nonstop items being evaluated. The turnout could have been better in spite of our fantastic publicity which was everywhere. Thanks, Susan (Dechnik) for your efforts in this department. Thanks to John (McCormick), the items were displayed on the Big screen which greatly enhanced the presentation and for bringing over the mug display.

Thanks to Mike’s ( Spinelli) teacher organizational skills the line up went smoothly (and he generously donated all the soft pretzels and Tastycakes which we will freeze for the Bike Event). Thanks to Harvey (Sklar) for his assistance and to his wife Eleanor for  her set up help. Thanks Pat (Brunker) and Bill (Brown) for the help with the registration table and special thanks to Bill B. for donating the sodas which we will save for the Bike Event.

Nancy (Hall) did a great job serving the hot dogs ( my treat) and HSR member Sheila Hines for her cleanup efforts. I sure hope I did not forget anyone as you are such a great group to work with.

These are the great people who volunteer their time and give to bring the Historical Society of Riverton offerings to you. – JMc

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Boston Strangler at the Red Dragon Canoe Club April 20

You’re thinking, Ewww!

But not really – it’s just a free lecture about him, an Open House of the historic Shipman Mansion, and dessert. BONUS!

So, yeah, it’s history, albeit history of a scary time.

For a generation that lived during the 1960s, it brings back the lurid headlines, images of famous attorney F. Lee Bailey defending him in court, and perhaps even a memory of seeing the 1968 scary movie, The Boston Strangler, with Tony Curtis as the defendant, Albert DeSalvo, and Henry Fonda and George Kennedy as the homicide detectives who apprehend him. See  the RDCC’s publicity pitch to learn of the accused’s local connection.

We pass along this announcement from Norma Carter and our buds at the RDCC about a lecture WHO REALLY WAS THE BOSTON STRANGLER?  – JMc

The Shipman Mansion at Red Dragon Canoe Club is hosting another lecture on April 20 on the Boston Strangler.  Melissa Bozarth from the Mt. Holly Prison Museum will be the presenter.  She gave a lecture last year on Charles Lindbergh that was excellent so we have great expectations for this lecture.

An exciting addition to this event! An Open House and tour of the Shipman Manion has been added at 6:00 PM. The program will begin at 7:00 PM. All FREE and open to the public. A great way to learn more about the Red Drgaon Canoe Club, the Shipman Mansion and the work of the Shipman Mansion Foundation.

Albert DeSalvoA special presentation by Melissa Bozarth
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7 pm

The man convicted for the crimes of the Boston Strangler was Albert DeSalvo, and he was the most notorious inmate ever to call the Burlington County Prison in Mount Holly his home. Learn about DeSalvo’s early life, his arrests, his incarcerations and the aftermath of his later crimes and trials.

Admission is free and desserts will be provided.
All are welcome.
Location:  The Shipman Mansion at Red Dragon Canoe Club; 221 Edgewater Avenue, Edgewater Park
Tour of the Mansion available at 6 pm.
Like us on Facebook – Red Dragon Canoe Club

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A free and fun community event coming up two months from today

Historic Riverton Century poster 2016 (Copy)

Check out Jeff billing me out at his old Apple computer. Now that's historic!

Check out Jeff billing me out at his old Apple computer. Now that’s historic!

Just picked up the posters for Rob’s event at Joie Budget Printing. He sends this blurb below about plans for the 3-Mile Community Ride on June 11.  – JMc

The century riders will start in Millburn, NJ that morning and bike 101.8 miles to Riverton to commemorate the June 1895 race from the NY Times to Riverton.

The community is invited to join them for the final 3 miles at a leisurely pace, ending in Memorial Park for some light refreshments and Mart Soft Pretzels. This event is hosted by the Historical Society of Riverton. We hope you can join us!  – Rob Gusky

Joie Apple



Footnote: Apple fans- what model is this antique?

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Some old postcards like miniature Monets

detail from 1914 Riverton postcard

detail from 1914 Riverton postcard

Just won an auction on eBay. See the entire postcard scan here. Let me know if you see your house. A few flea bites on the house at left, but altogether in decent shape for being almost 102 years old.

Camden fans can check out a complete 1951 postmarked Souvenir Folder of Camden, NJ sent in by friend of the Society in the Camden Images section. Scroll all the way to the bottom for a 26 item slide show. Also find another new scan sent in, a sharp 1908 RPPC of Penn Street, Camden. – JMc

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