COVID-19 symptoms alert

A symptom of the current COVID-19 situation seems to be an onset of nostalgia by many parties and we are not immune to its effects. Based on our website comments and feedback, neither are our readers. For now, whether it’s looking through old photos, reminiscing about simpler times, or returning to one of our favorite interests, nostalgia mostly seems to be offering people a way to cope during the pandemic.

Here are some examples of the reminiscence therapy that website visitors found here.

Ye Olde Swimming Hole, Camp Lenape, Medford, NJ c.1954

Harlan Radford‘s post about Camp Lenape (Summertime evokes memories of Burlco’s Camp Lenape) made in June 2016 has attracted at least eight remarks from former scouts and spun off another post (Memories of Wartime Scouting in Beverly) made by Don Ulmer, a website visitor. Joseph Hackett recently added his recollection of the long-gone Boy Scout camp:

I attended Camp Lenape 1952-54. The post cards pictured in the article brought back many memories. While the article mentions sleeping in wall tents I remember sleeping in a lean to which had two sides, a back and a slanted roof. The front was open and there was a floor. Like some of the others who have commented I also went through the speechless weekend being initiated into the Order of the Arrow. Had to sleep “under the stars” in my sleeping bag. Woke up in a huge puddle of water as it rained most of the night. Many of my memories of Camp Lenape have faded but some are vivid. We had the luck to grow up during the best of times.

Should something here rekindle a memory of your “best of times’ please leave a comment.

We can thank Mary, AKA Meg, (Espinosa) Lario‘s brother Gene for putting rivertonhistory.com on her radar. She wrote us a fan letter and included a few questions. We’ll help with her question about 616 Thomas. Maybe a reader can supply more information about Rogers News Agency and its former owners.

Rogers News Agency, Google screenshot 2019

Hello, good afternoon to all the team there. My name is Mary. I grew up in Palmyra and my grandparents lived in Riverton. May I ask several questions? I worked at Rogers news agency in high school for several years. The owners Joseph and his wife were lovely people. My whole family knew Mr. Rogers from the store. Does any team member know where the family is now and how they are doing. The store was amazing, and had a little telephone booth in it. Mr. Rogers was a kind person to all who visited the store for their morning chat or newspaper and candy pickup. He treated everyone like family. He was a great boss. We also wondered if there is any history on the house built at 616 Thomas Ave. My grandparents and all our family gathered there for many celebrations! I know it has been sold several times over the years. Thanks for considering my questions, all the best, Stay safe, and we love your website! Thanks also for the wonderful work you are doing! Sincerely, Mary Lario Ps my nickname was Meg. maiden name was Espinosa. I had 5 brothers Rich, Jim, Phil and Gene and my late brother Joe died at 31. My sister Eileen was 5 when she passed. We loved Riverton….beautiful town. It reminds me of Cape May in its elegance. My brother Gene sent me your information and history.

Someone younger today might well ask, “What’s a phone booth?” An interior shot of that store might clear it up and serve to further illustrate what people once experienced here.

Our Research Your House page has a link for Riverton’s 1999 National Register of Historic Places Registration Form which contains information about many properties. This came from page 96.

National Historic District Registration Form, 616 Thomas, p96

Perhaps the pandemic has awakened in some of us a long-dormant interest in baking, photography, or genealogy.

Earlier in the summer, Joann Sanderson found the Research Your House page helpful when she was doing a deep dive into the history of her house, coincidentally also on Thomas Avenue.

Hi, The research your house information is fantastic. I already started researching online the book and page of deeds… 

In June, two visitors (one local; one from Texas) who visited our Store page inquired into buying our Romance of Riverton DVD, but we had to wait until August, when we were allowed to finally get to our inventory in the Riverton Free Library’s basement to get them.

Seither home, 417 Lippincott, Aug. 23, 1947

Christopher Klabe used his visit to our comfort station to comment on a photo he found in our post of June 2018, “Duster origin photo – local legend or fact?

As a former owner of Duster 100, the boat hanging from the 3rd floor window. I have heard of this photo from Mr. Robert Lundstedt but never did see it until now. The boat was in our family from the late 60’s until my wife and I sold it in the mid 80 after doing some extensive rebuilding of the boat in the winter of 81-82. Thanks for the great posts of long-ago memories and the great picture.

This stressful time has robbed us of the opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Historical Society of Riverton with you.

For now, the Historical Society of Riverton has no immediate plans to hold meetings or offer presentations. Look for a Gaslight News newsletter in October in which we will lay out a plan for the fall and winter.

Until then, try looking through almost ten years of website posts, or browse five decades of back issues of the Gaslight News and reams of news from Riverton’s and Palmyra’s old hometown newspapers. We hope that the experience proves to be a diversion from the daily news. Please know that we welcome your comments, feedback, and submissions. Feel like writing about your experience? Send it to rivertonhistory@gmail.com or use the contact form below.

Stay safe, kids, until we meet again. -JMc

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