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!

Nancy and Spencer Reed Quartet: July 29, 2017

The second of this year’s Concerts in the Barn Series at Ramsaysburg features the renown vocalist/bassist Nancy Reed and guitarist Spencer Reed. Artistically consistent and always the consummate professional, Nancy has performed for the last thirty-five years in a wide variety of settings. Mr. Reed’s resumé is equally impressive. Joined by Matt Vashlishan on woodwinds and Storm Heter on drums, four decades of jazz collaboration promise an evening full of inventive jazz vocals and instrumentals.

Warren County Preservation Day: May 21, 2016

The Warren County Department of Land Preservation will host the annual Warren County Preservation Day at the Ramsaysburg Homestead on Saturday, May 21 from 10am to 4pm. By exposing numerous groups who have been working to protect open space, farmland, and historic sites across the County, the annual event builds greater awareness and support of all organizations engaged in local preservation efforts. This year’s event will feature wildlife presentations, a medicinal plants hike, musical performances, and river kayaking programs by the Delaware River Sojourn. There will be food vendors, a smokehouse bacon demonstration, and reenactors for both the French & Indian and Civil War eras. Dozens of exhibitors will provide information and answer all your questions about other historical sites, outdoor recreation, environmental issues, and other facets of Warren County’s vibrant heritage. If you have questions or want additional information, download  this brochure or call (908) 453-2650. Please join us!

Christmas in the Country: December 10, 2017

Come share our Christmas celebration at the Farmstead from 1-3 pm on December 10. Activities will include the annual tree lighting, a visit from Santa, caroling, and a Christmas performance by the Knowlton Fine Arts Homeschooled Choir. Refreshments will include comfort foods provided by Humpty Junior’s.

A special thanks to Triple Creek Farm and Nursery for fresh-cut wreathes and a beautiful tree!

Riverside Fall Festival, October 4, 2015

Rams_WoodsRamsaysburg’s beautiful location on the riverbanks of the Delaware River is the perfect spot to experience early frontier life while taking in the colorful fall foliage. Tours will illuminate the rich history of this historic early settlement and will be available for those attending the event. Members of the Historic Commission will be on hand to meet and talk with visitors who are interested to learn about the history of Ramsaysburg and its important river trade role in the development of the area prior to John Blair’s railroads.

There will be  informal tours of the historic main building, barn, smokehouse and cottage with architectural historian Dennis Bertland, pumpkin painting, corn husk dolls and games, plus storytelling by the campfire. Appetites will be tantalized with homemade chili and artesian breads, cider donuts and more. A fun time for all!

Please join us from 1-4pm. There is no admission fee.

Gary Staples Trio, September 26

On Saturday, September 26 at 6 p.m., the Knowlton Township Historic Commission (KTHC) presented the last in this year’s series of free concerts in the barn, featuring The Gary Staples Trio with special guest Nelson Hill. The members of this group are storied musicians with many years of experience who have played with the likes of George Benson, Maynard Ferguson, Dave Brubeck, and Clark Terry among many others. They have performed all over this country and all over the world including Europe, Japan and South America. Their schedules include appearances at the United Nations and The White House for President and Mrs. Obama.Rams_BarnConcertJazz

The program included songs from The Great American Songbook, popular jazz standards, and few surprises.

Gary Staples has been playing and performing since an early age on Hammond B3 organ and piano. He studied jazz at Berklee Conservatory of Music in Boston, and has performed all over the country and in Europe with his own ensembles as well as working with such notables as guitarist George Benson. Gary is known for his complex, yet tasteful interpretations and his uncanny sense of accompaniment.  He continues to stay on the top of studios and players’ ‘first call’ list as well being in demand as a group leader.

Nelson Hill graduated from The Eastman School of Music and then toured and recorded for years with Maynard Ferguson. Nelson has played with Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli, and Wayne Newton among others. He is in demand all over as a group leader and sideman for performing and recording purposes.

This concert was made possible in part by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Further information about the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead can be found on the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead Facebook page.


The Bohemian Quartet – July 25, 2015

Rams_BarnConcertThe exciting premiere of the Ramsaysburg Homestead Historic Site’s Summer Concerts in the Barn series took place Saturday, July 25th. The unique barn concert featured The Bohemian Quartet, a group that was founded by violinist Agnes Kwasniewska. The ensemble has performed at many different New York and New Jersey venues, but this is the first time the group had performed in a barn setting.

The acoustics of the barn were superb in amplifying the American premiere of Saturnalia Strings, composed by Maestro Robert W. Butts, an important New Jersey composer and conductor of The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. The barn seating was at full capacity to enjoy the quartet’s performances of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Dvorak. The evening’s program ended on a rousing note with a medley of selections from Frederic Loewe’s My Fair Lady.

Several guests took advantage of the beautiful summer night and were seated on the lawn outside the barn. Intermission offered a time for all to mingle and sample the homemade iced tea and other refreshments. Guests also brought picnic suppers in the tradition of Tanglewood.

The event was supported, in part, by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Please join your friends and neighbors for the next Summer Concert in the Barn that will be held on Saturday, September 26th. It will feature jazz ensemble The Gary Staples Quartet.

For more information: 908-475-5352.