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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

The Stroll: 1900

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The Stroll: 1900

New Jersey circa 1900. "Mine Brook Road, Far Hills." We return to the Garden State to observe the lost art of strolling. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Dead River

The bridge could be over the Dead River, farther south on Old Mine Brook Rd on the other side of I287 toward Liberty Corner.

I prefer this location over the one near the railroad, because the terrain is flat as in the picture.

Strolling, still done

This photo looks like hundreds of today's rail-trails (former railroad beds converted to trails). On rail-trails, we have strolled, walked, run, bike and, even though I'm too old for such silliness, roller-bladed (on a paved trail in Fla.). Rail-trails are among our national treasures.

You Are Here

I think this is the location, looking north.


View Larger Map

Mine Brook

There's actually a place named Mine Brook at the intersection of Old Mine Brook Road and the present-day Whitenack Road, which crosses the railroad and then Mine Brook (the stream) as one heads North from Mine Brook (the community). I'm speculating this section of Whitenack Road was originally called Mine Brook Road simply because it crossed the stream by that name and led to the community of Mine Brook. I expect that early trains could be flagged at Mine Brook. See this aerial view.

Also, an 1898 topo map:

I'm going out on a limb here and say that it's afternoon in the photo and the strolling pair has walked up to the bridge and are now heading south back to Mine Brook.

Goin' My Way?

Regardless of their gait, if they have a destination in mind, even back to where they started from, they're meandering; if they have no destination in mind, they're maundering.

To add to the confusion...

According to my Delorme TopoUSA map, there are two Mine Brook Roads. Route 202 heading northeast out of Far Hills morphs from Main Street to Mine Brook Road, as a previous commenter noted. There is also a Mine Brook Road off Whitenack Road. Now you figure it out!

[It is (or was) the same road. Part of it is Route 202 now. - Dave]

IMHO

A clear case of ambling.

The missing creek

I took the geography challenge using Google Maps. I discovered that Mine Brook Road as it runs westward through Far Hills morphs into the modern day Main Street. Following Main Street heading further west you can see a sizable creek flowing under it. My bet is that at some point the Mine Brook Road location we see in the photo was renamed Main Street as Far Hills was developed. The shadows in the photo show Mine Brook Road as a somewhat east-west road and the creek would then be running north-south. The current map view matches this.

Corsets again

It isn't the belt that is cinched tight, it's the bloomin' corset those women grew up with. And, yes, it probably does affect her breathing.

It Adds So Much

A picture like this could add so much to stories you may have heard about the old days from your grandparents or great grandparents. It would be easy to describe Spring walks with Mom down country roads and how special those times were. But to see the dirt roads, budding trees, iron bridge over a gentle river and a special person holding hands with a little girl really fills out the moment...

Different Jargon

The first comment reminded me of when I first moved from the Northeast (where everybody moved at a full gallop) to the Deep South (where everybody kept telling me to "slow down") and the crossing signals at the intersections, instead of saying "Walk" or "Don't Walk," said "Mosey" or "Don't Mosey."

Strolling, or --

clearly a walkabout.

Can't find a creek

Maybe someone else can try, but I couldn't find an obvious creek along Mine Brook Road, whether in Bing Maps or Google Maps. There is a Beaver Creek Court off of Mine Brook Road, so there might be one there. It's a largely wooded area, and there are plenty of very large, expensive homes.

A more innocent world

I just want to walk into that picture and down that road and into 1900 . . .

I can't breathe!

I'm no expert on these matters, but that belt looks like its cinched so tight that it's gotta hurt

Destination dependent

A mosey would take them to a destination different than their starting point. Strolling is a loop function. My guess is a stroll to the river.

It's neither

I've studied the photo in normal and hi-def modes and the juxtaposition of length of stride in relation to body heights amd have come to the conclusion that what we have here is a saunter.

Step softly.

Maybe the troll won't hear us.

To me, it looks more like --

Sashaying.

Strolling, or --

Could they be moseying?

 
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