Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dolliver's Travels Part the Second

Then off to the nearest historical village, Cranbury, whose main street was a main street before the Revolution, and still is.



The Inn was an inn then, too, serving people on the long trip by carriage and coach from Philadelphia. It even has the first traffic casualty known in these parts, a Scotsman returning from Philly after a good day of trading, which I suspect involved alcohol, since he fell out of his carriage. He's buried in the cemetery opposite the Inn, along with a lot of other history.

The dolls honored our predecessors in these parts by posing,



one in front of a sandstone gravestone, dated 1792, and which I found, after I'd done the pic, was that of a baby girl, aged seven days. So she got her dolly, a bit late, but I did say a prayer for her while I was there.



Then the other end of the spectrum, a marble modern stone (behind it is the original limestone one which has weathered to illegibility) honoring a man who fought in the Revolutionary War, but lived to what was then a ripe old age.

There were in fact skirmishes of the war right here on the street you see. I have an odd link of a connection with one: before HS was born, when I was eight months' pregnant, about this time of year several decades ago (!), I was visiting the cemetery in the course of researching NJ history, which was a big interest of mine at the time, and doing gravestone rubbings.

I came across a very very old man, who said he was still the custodian of the graveyard and showed me some of the most historical markers, since I was interested, and told me the story about the Scot who fell out of the carriage. Now, the custodian was in his very late 80s, and told me that his grandmother used to tell him how when she was a very small girl, she'd heard firing in the street, now Main Street Cranbury, and ran out to see what was what. Her mother was furious with her, yelled at her in a panic, dragged her back home, she never forgot it. And later they found that they had been in the middle of the skirmish.

So here was a link all that way from my unborn baby, all the way back to the Revolutionary War. A couple of weeks later, right after son's birth, I saw the old man's obituary in the local paper. So we caught a fragile link, just in time.

Cranbury is full of original early houses, the tiny ones, then later styles that were built in the 19th century and later.



The Bookworm is a beloved local secondhand bookstores whose owners I knew for years and years, so the Noodle Sisters paid their respects there, too, sneaking onto the back stairs



where people are not allowed any more, it being a bit ancient now. And admiring the views from the upstairs rooms





It's full of nooks and crannies where you can sit and browse among thousands of great books. They have an online business now, too, but people still love to visit the house itself.

And so home, to snooze in the knitting bag.

2 comments:

dogonart said...

Still smiling in enjoyment of the dolls journey. Doll #3(Snoozin' Susie?) looks very interesting.

eepy said...

Nice, Liz. I want to come visit both your cemetery and your bookstore!