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Was Allaire Village Ever “Deserted?” By Kristianna Chanda

There are many sources that suggest that Allaire Village was once abandoned or deserted. In 1967, Alden T. Cottrell published a book titled The Deserted Village at Allaire in which he argues that the village was abandoned twice: once after James Allaire’s son, Hal passed away in 1901 and again after World War II. Several years after World War II, the Monmouth County Planning Board developed a plan to help restore the “Deserted” Village of Allaire. In a book titled “Historic Allaire Village: The Short History of the Life and Times of the Howell Works Co (1999),the Board of Trustees for Allaire village mentions a restoration project titled “The Deserted Village At Allaire, Inc” where the planning committee reaches out for private funding to restore the village. Both sources use the word deserted at one point or another when describing the history of Allaire Village. The media perpetuates this notion through entertainment websites, such as the “Weird NJ” website, claiming its former abandoned or deserted status.

 

It is not only inaccurate to categorize Allaire Village as once deserted, but it also neglects those who lived and worked on the property. Granted, deserted can hold many different meanings. Deserted can mean abandoned, remote, and without activity. However, evidence suggests otherwise. The term “deserted” first was used to describe the village as early as the late 1800’s (Howell Works Restoration 1979), during Hal Allaire’s lifetime. Indeed the Works themselves were no longer in operation and certain buildings began to fall into disrepair, but Hal and others still lived in the village. In 1880 the old carpenter shop opened as De Lisle’s Restaurant which remained in operation as a French restaurant and inn until the 1920’s and after was used as a Boy Scouts HeadQuarters. Further first and second-hand accounts recall their families living in the village in the early 20th century. 

 

There is also evidence that, in 1928, Arthur Brisbane invited the Boy Scouts to use the grounds. From 1928 to 1947 the Boy Scouts helped maintain the village grounds and helped recruit organizations to fund reservation projects. There are also photographs that show buildings being used as private residences after Arthur Brisbane’s death.  After giving the land to the State of New Jersey, retainers on the property were given life rights although during the writing of the 1979 Restoration plan only one or two residents remained. But as you can see even during times the Village was deserted there was still a strong community!

 

The Thanksgiving Meal Part 2 by Leah Wilderrotter

Today we are going to be continuing on the journey of the Thanksgiving meal. Last week’s post we went over a brief history of Thanksgiving and how potatoes were used at the first Thanksgiving. This post will be about the vegetables and pumpkin pie. Vegetables One of the reasons why the pilgrims were celebrating Thanksgiving

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The Thanksgiving Meal by Leah Wilderotter

To kick off this holiday season, we start off by saying what we are thankful for and spending time with friends and family. Here at Allaire Village we celebrate our Day of Thanks by thanking our volunteers for their support of the village and for keeping Allaire’s history alive! We end this event day by

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Insights from Intern Jamie

My name is Jamie Morris and I have had the privilege of interning at the Historic Village of Allaire this past summer. As a rising junior year at Washington College, I have been interested in volunteering at the village ever since I was a child visiting with my parents. Over countless trips to the village,

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Insights From Intern Julia

My time at the Historic Village at Allaire has been filled with interesting finds, lots of reading, and a bit of dirt. Although many people would not choose to rifle through piles of dirty, broken glass, I jumped at the opportunity to look through findings from an archaeological dig of the Village. The shards of

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Insights from Intern Tom

I am often asked why history is my favorite subject, and I believe that I have a very unique answer. It all started when I was 8 or 9 years old. Like nearly all other kids of my generation, I loved video games and they consumed much of my time, to my parents dismay. At

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Archivist Ash: National Blueberry Month History

Happy National Blueberry Month, everyone! 2019 marks 113 year since the blueberries we know today were domesticated. Although, the idea of domesticating the little blue dynamos originated in 1893, the brainchild of Elizabeth Coleman White. White was the daughter of cranberry farmers from Whitesbog, New Jersey. She, along with USDA botanist Frederick Colville, began experimenting

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