A Crumbling Piece of History

WHENEVER a heavy storm rips through this coastal city, Mary Witkowski, a local historian, immediately has the same worrisome thought: “Are they still standing?” So far, she has been both amazed and relieved to find that the two rickety structures known as the Freeman houses have indeed survived on their adjacent 161-year-old foundations. Thought to be the state’s oldest remaining houses built by African-Americans, the boarded-up homes are the only remnants of a south-end community of free blacks and runaway slaves who thrived here before the Civil War. Read More … [Read more...]

After 200 years, 3 slaves get a final resting place

The 200-year-old remains of three black slaves from Sussex County were reburied Thursday afternoon in a small graveside ceremony in Newton after being stored at Space Farms Zoo and Museum for 30 years. The three men, named Tom, Dan and John, were discovered in the 1970s when the land, once owned by Henry Simson Sr., was being developed. Read More … [Read more...]

Freedmen’s Plots

In the years of chaos and dislocation after the Civil War, a group of freed slaves clustered along a quiet road near Bethania. They tended garden patches in their small homes, worshipped in their own church and went on to establish their own school, two stores and a canning factory. Read More … [Read more...]