Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Ds do a walking tour

Richard Moody, a local very knowledgeable history buff, offers walking tours of nearby Cranbury, and I finally got around to signing up for one.  The Ds were more than ready, Call me Michelle and Dreads shown here starting the car.

At our starting point, the Cranbury Museum, we found our group.

We introduced ourselves, and this blog, but while scoring some interest in the blog (even though he's originally English, R clearly missed the joke of the title, oh well) he also scored a first in the history of the Dollivers: a firm refusal to hold them for a picture!  Nothing daunted, I went along with his agreement to have a picture of him, sans Ds., and here he is consulting his notes, with his group of ten walkers gathered around.

The notes were a list of all the small businesses that used to be practiced in Cranbury generations ago, of which only the tavern and the funeral home remain.  Here's Dreads posing in front of the sign showing the location of the harness maker of long ago.

And here's the Sexton's House,very much enlarged over the years, since the original sexton probably couldn't have had this munificent a place, but lovely all the same, with a great cottage garden.

This town has Civil War as well as Revolutionary War sites and markers, as the Ds. show,
collapsed onto a bench with a plaque about George Washington who assembled troops here and planned the Battle of Monmouth from Cranbury, along with a Civil War monument recalling when Cranbury was a mustering point for troops to join the Union forces.  The drill hall for them is now a salon for therapeutic massage, and other small enterprises, quite far from assembling cannons and learning drills.

The day was fiercely hot, over 90F and humid, so I gamely stayed with it, but after two hours (billed as a 90 minute event, but he's an enthusiast), the Ds and I bailed.  A couple of other people seized the chance to do likewise, thanking him kindly for a mass of information about the architecture, history, points of interest I'd never noticed in all my walking around Cranbury.  He's also embroiled in local issues of preservation, very passionate about them, don't get him started on neon signs on the main street of this historic town..
If this tour is offered in cooler weather, I think I'll sign up again, not wanting to miss anything.  But as a couple of us left, we could see the group grimly marching up the street probably in for at least another hour of interesting information.  I was beginning to feel like a tourist in Europe!  but it was great. 

And it was excellent to get home and have a cool lunch of watermelon and blackberries and yogurt, and recover my inner thermostat.


Minimiss said...

I love finding out about local history. Unfortunately ours doesn't go back as far as yours does. I'm amazed you lasted as long as you did in the heat.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Wow - I'm surprised the D's didn't boycott the tour after the photo op refusal!