Riverside Fall Festival, October 7

The Knowlton Township Historic Commission will host the annual “Riverside Fall Festival” at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead on SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

Named for Irish immigrants, James and Adam Ramsay, the 1795 settlement was a key location for trade along the Delaware River. Among the Ramsay brothers’ many ventures was a thriving lumber business. The river launching point where the homestead property now stands served as both a terminus for lumber rafts coming from upriver and for shipping downriver to the ports of Easton and Philadelphia. Prosperous trade continued throughout the early and mid-1800s until the development of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the early 1850s by Warren County native John I. Blair. With the advent of the more economical train transportation, river commerce faded.

The Commission hosts a series of annual events at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead, a twelve-acre riverfront property located on Route 46 at Ramseyburg Road. These include the Memorial Day picnic, the Riverside Fall Festival and Christmas in the Country, Plein Air Painting, as well as a series of summer Barn Concerts. An interpretive nature trail is near completion at the site, which also offers car-top launch access to the Delaware River for kayaks and canoes.

2018 Fall Festival activities will include: quilting exhibits, 15th Regiment NJ Volunteers – Company B – Reenactors, lace making, apple tasting, cider making, smokehouse demonstration with Myron Baley’s famous bacon, woodworking exhibitions, and more. Humpty Juniors will be offering tasty, seasonal refreshments. At two o’clock, Chuck Walsh, President of the North Jersey Rail Commuter Association will present a talk and slide presentation, “The Lackawanna Cut-Off and Railroads of Knowlton”. Chuck is a Knowlton Township resident and has been involved in the effort to preserve and reactivate the Cut-Off for over 30 years. He will cover the history of the Cut-Off—which is a rail line that runs from Lake Hopatcong, through Knowlton, to the Delaware Water Gap—and will also bring us up to date on the latest details on NJ Transit’s project to reactivate the line to Andover, NJ, and beyond. In addition, Chuck will touch upon the Cut-Off’s relationship to other rail lines in Knowlton, including a rail line and tunnel that was to have begun at Ramsaysburg that was never built.

FallFest_2018

July 28: The Bohemian Quartet

The popular Bohemian Quartet is making their third return to the Concerts in the Barn series. This accomplished ensemble includes violinist Agnes Kwasniewska, violinist/violaist Olga Terlitsky, cellist James Mark Pederson and pianist/harpsichordist Elena Braslavsky playing well-known and hidden gems of the contemporary and earlier classical repertoire. The Quartet will relate the historic background of their music and for this performance will embrace the acoustics of the eighteenth century Ramsaysburg barn.

In a world of fragmentation, the Bohemian Quartet, a multicultural Ensemble (as opposed to “from many cultures”), strives to integrate its audience through music using several means:

    • Playing the widest range of the repertoire (from early XVII to today’s new commission)
    • Connecting to its audience at the essence of humanity (we talk to the audience not only about the historic background of the music we play but also how it affects us)
    • Encouraging contemporary composers to write new music (we will be premiering a newly commissioned piece —an “Homage Sonata to Biber” by Bob Paoli);
    • Helping the audience to find its taste (we prepare a very diverse repertoire)
    • Playing the music we love and believe in (music can only be categorized as good and bad —-we choose to only play the good)
    • Building up the trust in our audience and creating a situation where programing the piece will be enough of a choice for people to say: “Aha, if it is programmed we should hear it (We try to learn about our audience and create the right program for its taste)

Barn doors open at 5pm and seating in the barn is on a first-come, first-served basis. Or bring your own seating.   Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own refreshments and lawn chair/blanket for a picnic in advance of the show. Picnic tables are available. Music begins at 6pm. A suggested donation of $10 helps support future events. The concert will take place rain or shine.

August 26: Bill Kirchen with Mike Esposito

The celebrated Titan of the Telecaster, Bill Kirchen, will inaugurate the Ramsaysburg Homestead Riverside Amphitheater with a solo performance on Sunday, August 26 at 3:15pm. Mike Esposito, master of the resonator guitar, will perform at 2:30.
Bill Kirchen is no stranger to Knowlton Township, having performed at Riverfest six times!

Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen first gained national recognition as a founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. His trademark guitar licks drove their Hot Rod Lincoln cut into the Top Ten in 1972. He has released ten CDs on his own, and recorded and/or played guitar live with a who’s who of Americana and Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, among them Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.

Bill is an architect of what is now known as Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll and Americana, and still continues to be one of its most active proponents, playing, writing and performing throughout the world. Named a “Titan of the Telecaster” by Guitar Player Magazine, he celebrates a musical tradition that embraces rock ‘n’ roll, blues and bluegrass, Texas Western swing and California honky-tonk.

Bill received his Grammy nomination in 2001. A winner of multiple Wammies over the years, in 2002 he was one of three artists inducted into the Washington D.C. Area Music Association Hall of Fame along with Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Philip Sousa.Nick Lowe describes Bill as “… a devastating culmination of the elegant and funky… a really sensational musician, with enormous depth.”

In demand on the lecture circuit, he has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC as part of the “Electrified, Amplified and Deified – The Electric Guitar” exhibition and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was interviewed on the national TV special “Yesterday and Today: Honky Tonk & Western Swing” at the Broken Spoke in Austin, TX, where he performed along with Hank Thompson, Doug Sahm, Don Walser and more. Bill was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Elvis Presley in Memphis and currently finds time to lead workshops and instruct at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch and the Augusta Heritage Center.

Justly famous for his indelible Telecaster sound, Bill Kirchen has been everywhere over the span of a 40-plus-year career: he was a founding member of the legendary Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen; he released eight critically acclaimed solo albums; he toured internationally with Nick Lowe and has performed with Doug Sahm, Gene Vincent, Elvis Costello, Dan Hicks, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby and Link Wray.

Now living in Austin Texas, Bill maintains his rigorous and far-reaching tour schedule and also teaches at Augusta Heritage Center, Centrum Voiceworks and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch.

Artist Website: www.billkirchen.com


To many, Mike Esposito is one of the finest country/blues guitarists to be found anywhere, especially with his exquisite touch on the Dobro and National Steel resonator guitars.


A New Jersey native and resident, Mike  is unique in the world of American roots music; his live shows are a virtual panorama of this country’s musical tradition. It’s blues, it’s bluegrass, country, rhythm & blues, rock n’ roll, Appalachian folk, New Orleans jazz and even a little bebop for good measure. A virtuoso performer on bottleneck slide, Dobro, lap steel, acoustic and electric six-string guitar and even electric bass and ukulele, Mike could easily adopt a swaggering air of braggadocio, the blues man’s traditional stock in trade, yet he remains a humble man, quietly exuding confidence in his talent and abilities. With interest in American roots music at an all-time high, guitar ace Mike Esposito, as a solo act and with his band, is a unique and talented performer who will be impressing his loyal followers for years to come with feats of instrumental and vocal virtuosity.



The new Riverside Amphitheater at Ramsaysburg.

The Riverside Amphitheater is positioned under a canopy of trees between the historic barn and the Delaware River. It was recently developed by members of the Knowlton Township Historic Commission with help from Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead supporters.   This beautiful setting is available for concerts, weddings and community events. The Sunday, August 26th concert with Bill Kirchen will debut the use of the Riverside Amphitheater.

July 14: Plein Air Painting and Photography

Plein-air artists, please join us at 10:00 am for a day of painting and photographing the beautiful views along the Delaware River, intimate woods scenes along our paths and of course the old restored buildings at Ramsaysburg Homestead. Bring a pot luck lunch served about 1:00 to share and get to know below artists in the area It will be
a fun day of painting outside and getting to meet fellow local artists. Feel free to come early or stay late.

Drum Circle to Welcome the Summer Solstice: June 22, 2018

“Aduna” (The Tree of Life) group will  hold a drum circle to unite people and listen to the healing rhythms of West Africa: Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Ivory Coast .

The event will be hosted by Laura Dempsey, lead drummer, Shelley Janes, lead drummer, Lori Gold, back up drummer, and guests.
Some of the instruments we will perform with are Djembe, Djun Djun, Congas.
The group is always growing, changing, learning, studying the vast rhythms of Africa.
Drum circles are a unique experience, healing of the soul, lots of fun, and a great way to unite people.

All are welcome. No experience is necessary to come and join us at 6pm in the barn.

Memorial Day Community Picnic – Monday, May 28

Hosted by Knowlton Township Historic Commission (KTHC), the annual Memorial Day Community Picnic will take place on Monday, May 28th, 2018. All are welcome to attend from the community and surrounding region. The event begins at 12:00 noon, rain or shine.

An Inaugural Flag Raising Ceremony will take place at our newly installed flag pole. The flag pole installation is an Eagle Scout project for Kameron Steckel, member of Belvidere Boy Scout Troop #141. The flagpole was generously donated by the First Hope Bank. Boy Scout Troop #141 will perform the Flag Raising Ceremony. The Belvidere High School Band will perform patriot music in celebration of the flag raising.

The community is welcome to enjoy a self-guided hike through Ramsaysburg Homestead’s newly established interpretive trail through a mature forest adjacent to the Homestead. Interpretive signaae highlights the geology and hydrology indigenous to the Delaware River Valley. This trail was dedicated in October 2017 through the accomplishment of Boy Scout Alex Hicks of Belvidere Troop #141 in achieving his Eagle Scout merit.

All are invited to arrive by canoe or kayak. Take a self-guided kayak and canoe journey by floating down the Delaware River from the Columbia, NJ boat launch to the landing at the Ramsaysburg site. The distance between the two points is approximately 3 miles down-river. River travelers should look for the large brown sign stating “Ramsaysburg – Landing” at marker 204.0 along the left bank (NJ side).

Riverside Fall Festival, October 15

The Knowlton Township Historic Commission will host the annual “Riverside Fall Festival” at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead on SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER 2017 from 10am to 4pm.
A special ceremony at 12 noon will celebrate the Commission’s 20th anniversary with esteemed dignitaries and members of the community, honoring former Mayor Frank Van Horn and former Committeeman Rene Mathez . Van Horn endorsed the 1997 creation of the Knowlton Historic Commission at the urging of local residents, and Mathez was instrumental in arranging the lease of the Ramsaysburg site to the commission.

Over twenty years the Knowlton Township Historic Commission, a volunteer organization that functions as part of the township’s government, has worked to raise awareness of Knowlton’s historic resources and to educate the community on the importance of preserving the township’s unique agricultural heritage: the historic farms, barns, wagon sheds and outbuildings that reflect the legacy of farming and river trade that established the area. Under the leadership of Chairperson Hal Bromm, the Commission has organized historic barn tours, walking tours of potential historic districts, ice cream socials, and other community-based activities. The commission has also nominated several of Knowlton’s hamlets and villages for inclusion on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including Delaware Village, Hainesburg, Columbia and Ramsaysburg. Delaware Village was awarded a position on the registry in 2003.

The commission’s most important achievement is the fifteen-year endeavor for the restoration of the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead. To save the Ramsaysburg site, the Commission worked with elected officials, led by Mr. Mathez, to lease the property from the State of NJ following acquisition of the site by the NJ Green Acres program. Mathez was instrumental in bringing the recreational attributes of the site to the attention of the Department of Environmental Protection, focusing on its riverfront location comprising nearly twelve acres. Facing imminent demise, the severely deteriorated structures on the property were stabilized thanks to a 2003 emergency grant from the Delaware River Greenway, and have since been restored through grant funding generously awarded by the NJ Historic Trust, Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, Warren County Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund, and other generous donors. Restoration work will continue with a newly awarded Transportation Alternatives Program grant to fully restore the structures at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead.

Named for Irish immigrants, James and Adam Ramsay, the 1795 settlement was a key location for trade along the Delaware River. Among the Ramsay brothers’ many ventures was a thriving lumber business. The river launching point where the homestead property now stands served as both a terminus for lumber rafts coming from upriver and for shipping downriver to the ports of Easton and Philadelphia. Prosperous trade continued throughout the early and mid-1800s until the development of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the early 1850s by Warren County native John I. Blair. With the advent of the more economical train transportation, river commerce faded.
The Commission hosts a series of annual events at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead, a twelve-acre riverfront property located on Route 46 at Ramseyburg Road. These include the Memorial Day picnic, the Riverside Fall Festival and Christmas in the Country, Plein Air Painting, as well as a series of summer Barn Concerts. An interpretive nature trail is near completion at the site, which also offers car-top launch access to the Delaware River for kayaks and canoes.

2017 Fall Festival activities will include: quilting exhibits, a ribbon-cutting of our newly established interpretive trail, Boy Scout demonstrations of pioneer skills, lace making, apple tasting, cider making, smokehouse demonstration with Myron Baley’s famous bacon, woodworking exhibitions, and more. Humpty Juniors will be offering tasty, seasonal refreshments. At two o’clock East Stroudsburg University Associate Professor of History Martin Wilson will present “Resorts Along the Delaware.”

Desire: August 26, 2017

The third and final of this year’s Concerts in the Barn Series at Ramsaysburg features Desire, who will perform their special brand of vocal harmony, singing oldies classics, doo-wop, acappella and street corner harmonies that you won’t be able to resist!