Sunday, May 01, 2005


I live on ancient land. Yes, I know, dirt is old and all land is ancient. Still, this land is ancient in a special sense. Mastodon hunters once dwelt here. Lenapes, called the ‘grandfather people’ by their peers, made a home for uncounted generations on this land where I cut my grass. A Revolutionary War skirmish, the Battle of Second River, was fought a short walk from here where I sit writing. Birthplace of the American industrial revolution, this town’s factories poured copious quantities of war materials as well as fighting men into the victorious battles for freedom during World War II. Today, this town sits in the dawn light of the twenty-first century, worn, hard-used, waiting for it’s people to cause it to blossom again. I believe it will, it is good land.

I feel an attachment to this place. I have been here a long time. I was brought here as an infant in the late ‘40s by my parents who lived their entire adult lives here. I have always lived here, went to school here, raised a family here and sent my children to school here. At an early age, while still in school, I became fascinated with the history of this village which, by American standards, is very old. For the decades since, I have soaked-up the history, legends and wonders of this place once known as the Village of Second River, now known as Belleville. It is a thing worth sharing.

This is but a tiny corner of cyber-space, but I should like to put it to some good use by sharing with those who may stumble into it what I have discovered about this ancient land along with what I have experienced while growing-up here. Perhaps you will find it interesting.

To be continued ….