(GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ)(May 23, 2021)--FREEDOM PIER AERIAL VIEW--The first arrow is pointing at Freedom Pier located on the Delaware River, King and Cumberland Streets, Gloucester City, NJ. In the distance is the City of Philadelphia. Proprietors Park and the Gloucester City Marina are on the left side of the arrows and are out of view. A restaurant and marina were first proposed for the city's waterfront in the 1980s. In 1991 the City obtained the deed to the Freedom Pier site from the federal government for $1 which included the four-story Coast Guard Building at King and Cumberland Streets. The second arrow is pointing to the top of that building. (photo source unknown)
Peyton and me visited the Gloucester City Marina, Proprietors Park, and Freedom Pier last week. The three sites are connected via a pedestrian walkway that is less than a mile long. Millions of dollars were spent to improve these properties starting in the mid-90s up until 2012.
It was a sunny day and a nice breeze was blowing off the river.As we left our vehicle we headed north towards Proprietors Park and Freedom Pier. The first thing we noticed was Gloucester City's Fire Engine 51 parked on the right side of the Marina's office building. There were no firemen around. We tiptoed through the goose droppings laying on the sidewalk and the parking lot. The tide was going out and the marina's boat ramp was full of debris which was washed up during high tide. The land mines of goose droppings continued throughout Proprietors Park parking lot and the pedestrian promenade.
PEYTON! STRIKE A POSE!--Above is the monument erected by the State of New Jersey in 1919 commemorating the first white settlement in West Jersey at the mouth of the Big Timber Creek and the erection of old Fort Nassau by the Holland Dutch in 1623 under Captain Cornelius Jacobeson Mey of the Dutch West India company. Members of the commission John H. Fort, Frank H. Stewart, Alfred M. Neston (CNBNews photo)
A SIDE NOTE: We recently learned that nearby Woodbury is not idly sitting by doing nothing about the nuisance geese in their city. From their website: Consider that ONE hungry goose, who can consume up to 4 pounds of grass in a day, can generate up to 2 pounds of poop a day – at a frequency of every 12 minutes! These droppings account for high costs for cleanup, repair and maintenance. Public works installed an electronic, programable geese management system. This program features a base unit and 4 speakers that emit one of three audio sounds to deter the geese from congregating in the parks.
Woodbury might be onto something. Wouldn't it be nice if our Public Works Department or City Administrator contacted Woodbury to learn more about it. Find out the cost of the system and where to buy it. The Johnson Blvd. jogging track would also be another area that would benefit from this since the goose droppings are a annoyance there too.(Read the article here)
Above- the concrete on the Pusey and Jones Monument is broken and in disrepair. The plaque reads in In Memoriam Hugh. Ramsay, (1876-1918) General Superintendent, Pusey and Jones shipbuilding company, Gloucester Yards Employees and Friends. According to Gothro Phil 03/12/2014, Pusey & Jones started in business in 1848, organized by Joshua Pusey and John Jones, and was a major 19th-century shipbuilder, with an impressive volume of business in South America. A second shipyard was added for the WWI effort, in Gloucester City NJ. It was an early participant in the WWII shipbuilding program, its two ways being increased to three in the second wave of shipbuilding expansion. After WWII, Pusey & Jones converted the shipyard's facilities for the manufacture of paper-making machinery but the company closed in 1959. (CNBNews photo)
Read more at wreck site: https://www.wrecksite.eu/ownerBuilderView.aspx?2057
The plaque reads: H.M.S AUGUSTA, Launched 1763, sunk at the Battle of Red Bank, Gloucester County October 22, 1777, towed to Gloucester City, 1869. Hulk on Beach between Market and Powell Sts, NJ September 17, 1940, Ye Olde Gloucester Chapter D.A.R. (CNBNews photo)
We stopped at several monuments that are erected throughout the park to see what was written on the plaques. On some the original transcript was scarcely legible so it was hard to read what was inscribed. We discovered one monument was facing in the wrong direction(above). Instead of the plaque being on the side of the pedestrian walkway it was on the back of the monument.
SIGN READS--WARNING Possible sewage overflows during and following wet weather contact with water may also cause illness. Because of the raw sewage coming out of the pipe (below) boating, fishing, and swimming are prohibited in this area of the river. (CNBNews photo)
Because of Gloucester City's outdated sewer pipes in certains sections of the city raw sewerage still runs into the Delaware River supposedly only when their a heavy rain storm. Most recently the brick sewer line on Charles Street and on Seventh Street caved in. Emergency repairs on those two streets continues.(CNBNews photo)
A few steps further and we discovered a sign that said warns against fishing, swimming and boating in the river as sewage from Gloucester City outdated sewer pipes are causing human waste to be dumped into the Delaware River. As we were taking a photo of the sewer pipe a man walking by said the sewage comes out of that pipe on a daily basis not just on days when there is a severe rain storm.
Looking out at the river from that location we noticed three Gloucester City firemen floating by in one of the fire department's three boats they owned. Apparently, these men had parked Engine 51 near the marina's office building and were now heading back to it. The photo of the Fire Department's rescue equipment stored behind the King Street Fire House was taken in April 2021. (CNBNews photo)
A little further on the promenade towards the Freedom Pier Peyton started to act anxious and began barking at something ahead. The reason for her actions was a two foot snake laying in the middle of the walkway. We gave it some distance and warned a pretty young lady on her telephone to be careful, "Watch out! You are going to step on a snake."She was startled but didn't miss a step and was overhead saying, "You are not going to believe this mom, I almost stepped on a snake."
A Google search for New Jersey snakes suggests that this snake is a young Eastern Garter, the scientific name being a Thamnophis sirtalis (see New Jersey snakes) (CNBNews photo)
We made it to the entrance to Freedom Pier and found bricks missing from the promenade. Four years ago when we visited the Pier we found that every lamp on top of the three-foot high post were broken off. Almost all the pedestrian benches were gone. We were told the city has placed them in storage. A three-inch anchor stud was left on the spot were each bench had been erected. You can barely see any of the tiny studs until you are on top of it. We found out that they were there the hard way after tripping on one.
As you approach Freedom Pier there is an incline where several bricks are missing. There were no signs of the bricks so we assume that they were stolen by vandals. The cost for the Freedom Pier walkway was $400,000. (CNBNews photo)
Most of the benches were removed. However, the studs holding them down were left in place. They are barely visible because they are so small. A good "Slip and Fall" lawyer could rack up a nice lawsuit against the city if their client can prove their injury was caused by these metal studs. Just saying!...(CNBNews photo)
SIDE NOTE: In a 2012 press release about the construction plans for Freedom Pier City Mayor William James talked about extending the present river walk at a cost of $387,391. He also mentioned the future plans for the pier. "This will be followed by three additional phases of construction which will include the repair of the bulkhead sheathing on the Coast Guard pier, new transit boat dock and a 5200 square foot restaurant with a completion date of 2012. Myself along with Council will stay committed to improving our valuable waterfront. This project will be the catalyst for future economic development in our King Street business district."
We headed south down King Street towards the Marina parking lot admiring the memorial veteran signs on the lamp posts but soon noticed that the face of one the deceased soldiers was covered by a tree branch. (CNBNews photo)
A few steps further we came upon the stop sign at King and Market and found it too was blocked by tree branches (see arrow)making it hard to see until you were right on top of it. (CNBNews photo)
Right before the vehicle entrance to Proprietors Park is one of the monuments you can barely read the inscription. The cement on the monument has been repaired several times. The inscription says In memory of (we think Sarah Harrison Hugg Gloucester Town Heroin 1778 placed by blank Service of Red Cross 1934 (CNBNews photo)
Thanks for taking the time to read our article. We hope by pointing out these issues we have helped to improve our community in some small way. We would appreciate your comment (s)~Peyton and Me
- The Tale of Holt, the Coast Guard Base, and the City of Gloucester City (2nd Part) -cnbnews.net (gloucestercitynews.net)
- FIRST PART: The Tale of Holt, the UDAG, and the City of Gloucester City -cnbnews.net (gloucestercitynews.net)