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Things to do in Woodbridge

    Morgan Library & Museum Morgan Library & Museum New York City, NY
    The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City is a museum and research library that was started in 1906 to house the magnificent collection and personal library of J. P. Morgan, that contains his collection of prints and drawings, manuscripts and printed books with many having rare bindings. The library would be designed by Charles McKim and cost $1.2 million. In 1924, his son, J. P. Morgan Jr. would make it a public facility and available to all; and made a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Presently, the library is a marvelous complex of structures that serve as a museum and research center, having been shaped in its early years by the personal librarian to Morgan and its first director, Belle da Costa Greene, until she retired in 1948. Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr. would be the next director, and become world renown for his own personal collections. The fabulous library houses numerous illuminated manuscripts and authors' original manuscripts that included; scraps of paper that Bob Dylan had written "It Ain't Me Babe" and "Blowin' in the Wind", as well as some written by Sir Walter Scott and Honore de Balzac. There are many prints, incunabula and drawings of European artists that include; Picasso, Leonardo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Durer, Gainsborough and Rubens. There are numerous early printed Bibles, including three Gutenberg Bibles and excellent examples of fine bookbinding. Other collections include; materials from ancient Egypt, concept drawings for the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, William Blake's original drawings for his edition of the Book of Job, original poems by Robert Burns, medieval liturgical items that include Coptic literature examples, a Charles Dickens manuscript of A Christmas Carol, manuscripts of William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte, George Sand, Lord Bryon, Emile Zola, a Percy Bysshe Shelley notebook, a journal by Henry David Thoreau, nine novels written by Sir Walter Scott including Ivanhoe and a beautiful collection of autographed and annotated libretti and scores from Chopin, Beethoven, Verdi, Brahms, Mozart's Haffner Symphony in D Major and Mahler. Between 1907 and 1911, Morgan would collect a few old Master paintings that include works by Cima da Conegliano, Hans Memling and Perugino and Ghirlandaio's masterpiece Portrait of Giovanna Tomabuoni would be sold during the Great Depression that had decreased the Morgan fortune. Other famous artists in the massive collections include; Paul Cezanne, John Ruskin, Jean de Brunhoff, Vincent van Gogh, Gaston Phoebus, John Leech and Rembrandt van Rijin. The museum contains one of the world's finest collections of ancient Near East cylinder seals, which are small stone cylinders minutely engraved with images that can be transferred onto clay by merely rolling it. There are many music manuscripts, an outstanding collection of Victoriana that contains one of the most significant collections of Gilbert and Sullivan's manuscripts and related relics. The initial structure that housed the early collections was the McKim building constructed in 1903 and designed by Charles McKim and sat next to J. P.'s brownstone house that was constructed in 1880. Morgan would help fellow bankers in the Panic of 1907 to end it and had been resolved in the library after he locked the doors and wouldn't let anyone leave until they all agreed to a rescue plan. The residence would be torn down in 1928 to be replaced with an exhibition hall and reading room, with one remaining brownstone left in the complex that would house his son and heir, J. P., Jr. from 1905 to 1938.

    Staten Island Ferry
    Staten Island Ferry New York City, NYThe Staten Island Ferry is the passenger ferry service that runs between Manhattan Island and Staten Island in New York City and is run by the city's Department of Transportation and is free of charge to riders, bikers, but not cars, they cost $3. The ferry leaves Manhattan from the South Ferry, Peter Minuit Plaza close to Battery Park and on Staten Island, the ferry leaves and returns from the St. George Ferry terminal on Richmond Terrace by the Richmond county borough hall and supreme court. Service is given every day of the year, and has become the most reliable mass transit form with an on-time percentage of more than 96. The ferry has been a municipal service since 1905 and carries about 21 passengers on the 5.2 mile run each year. It takes about 25 minutes each way and although it is free, according to the Coast Guard regulations, the passengers must disembark at the terminals and reenter through the terminal buildings to make a round trip. Autos were allowed on the ferries in the past, but since 9/11, they haven't been. For the majority of the 20th century, the ferry was the best bargain in the city, and had charged a nickel like the subway, until it rose in 1948 to 10 cents, although the ferry stayed a nickel. Mayor at the time, John V. Lindsay suggested raising it to a quarter, saying that the fare both ways would only be 50 cents or ten times what had been brought in during his term as mayor in 1970. In 1975, the fare went up to 25 cents and in 1990, went to 50 cents, but in 1997, they did away with the fares altogether.

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    Metlar-Bodine House MuseumMetlar/Bodine House Museum Piscataway, New Jersey
    The Metlar/Bodine House in Piscataway, New Jersey is a marvelous historical house museum that was damaged in a fire during 2004, but is now almost finished with their repairs and ready for visitors and sightseers. The old home is part of some 70 structures that were built during the 18th century in Raritan Landing, New Jersey and may explain why it is said to be haunted. One of the local Dutch merchants that came here, Peter Bodine constructed the wonderful house in 1728, near the Raritan River, consisting of a two story framed house with fireplace, sleeping loft and root cellar. Peter sold the estate in 1733 to Hendrick Lane, who later passed on in 1761, leaving the house and property to his widow, Margaret. She lived there for almost two decades before selling it to William French, who was the son of a seafaring captain. In 1814, the house would become the property of Isaac Lawrence and then in 1840, he sold it to William Phillips, who would make some changes to the house, as well as adding more space. One of the most significant and historical changes was the installation of a transom above the front door entry way and it was filled with handmade glass; as well as marble and slate fireplaces to warm the added rooms. Samuel Knapp purchased the property in 1853, along with 220 lovely acres and renamed it to Sunnyside, putting on a second addition to the house, in 1870, but keeping it in the style of the former building. George Metlar, a rich land baron and entrepreneur from New Brunswick, New Jersey, purchased it in the 1890s, and had his manager, John Mason move in to look over it. John Metlar and his wife would move in around 1904 and share it with Mason, until George passed away and John inherited it altogether. John Mason turned around and sold off some of the acreage, and in 1955 he sold the property to John P. Newton, which included the house and almost an acre of land. The state of New Jersey bought it in 1977, so they could put a bridge across the Raritan River, but the state changed its mind about the bridge and left the property in the care of the Department of Transportation. The Fellowship for Metlar House is currently finishing up the remodeling so the house will be in pristine condition when it reopens for tours, sometime later this year.

     Kurdish Library & Museum
    Kurdish Library and Museum New York City, NY
    The Kurdish Library and Museum in New York City began in 1981, becoming the first Kurdish program in this country, to inform, preserve and collect information about this neglected race that is the fourth biggest ethnic group in the Middle East. Vera Beaudin Saeedpour, the widow of Homayoun Saeedpour, a Kurdish man from the region of Sanadaj in Iran, began the institution so that Americans and others coming here to learn about this fairly unknown group could get a more detailed and informative idea of who these people were and what their plight is. The Cultural Survival Inc. was initially started so that they could establish the Kurdish Heritage Foundation of America to expressly support the Kurdish Library and museum. It would take another five years before the first Kurdish Library in the Western Hemisphere opened in Brooklyn, New York and become a research facility with a library of 2000 volumes that have been printed in numerous languages, and includes clip files, reports and periodicals. That year, they began publishing a journal, called Kurdish Times, until the fourth edition and then became the International Journal of Kurdish Studies, with outstanding articles about the Kurdish culture, contemporary affairs and history. The library started a publication called Kurdish Life that chronicles the contemporary issues and events that pertain to the ethnic group, as well as analyzing it all. In one of the special collections there are 19th century maps, publications, newspapers from the 1948 Kurdish Republic of Mahabad, a gift from Archibald Roosevelt, Jr., posters and other rare documents. The Kurdish museum was started in 1988, on the library grounds, and is still the only type of institution in the west, with marvelous relics, weavings and crafts, costumes, slides, videos, cassettes, photographs and a large collection of maps. Each year the museum creates two excellent exhibits; with past exhibitions being The Jews of Kurdistan, Color Me Kurdish: an exhibition of Kurdish crafts, the Kurds: an Endangered People, Kurdish poster art and the Legacy of Saladin. The current display is Silver Sounds that is a wonderful collection of Kurdish village jewelry, along with special collections that contains photographs taken in the Iraqi Kurdistan by NY Times correspondent Dana Adams Schmidt from his visit in 1963, slides of people given to the museum by Ismet Cherif Vanly, Iraqi Kurdish costumes given by Hero Talabani and many Kurdish crafts that were donated by the anthropologist, Ralph Solecki.

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Local Restaurants in Woodbridge

    J.J. Bitting Brewing Co.
    Entrees; baby back ribs marinated in golden ale & basted in house BBQ sauce with FF & slaw; stuffed chicken picatta stuffed with prosciutto & mozzarella cheese sautéed in mushroom, butter garlic wine sauce & served with linguine; baby back ribs combo with either chicken or jumbo shrimp, BBQ'd; pound of prime rib with baked potato, sautéed veggies & housemade horseradish sauce; stuffed pork roast with pear sauce, horseradish mashed potatoes & sautéed veggies; NY strip steak 14oz. grilled & served with baked potato & fresh veggies; chicken tina turner is marinated chicken breast basted with buffalo style hot sauce, grilled & smothered with blue cheese, served with fresh veggies & black beans; potato crusted salmon pan-seared, finished with delicate roasted tomato cream sauce & served with rice & fresh veggies; perfect penne tossed with sweet sausage, fresh plum tomatoes, aged romano cheese & spinach tossed in extra virgin olive oil; seafood fra diavlo is jumbo shrimp, New Zealand mussels, scallops & calamari with spiced to taste marinara sauce served over linguine.

    Chris Michael's Steakhouse Lounge
    Pastas; capellini pomodoro is fresh plum tomato sauce with garlic, fresh basil tossed with fresh mozzarella; jumbo lump crab meat sautéed with shiitake mushrooms in white wine, lemon butter sauce over capellini; fettuccini pasta with filet mignon tips sautéed with shiitake mushrooms in brandy semi-glaze cream sauce with pecorino romano cheese; garlic jumbo shrimp sautéed with garlic, extra virgin olive oil & white wine tossed with fettuccini; fresh clam sauce with fresh little neck clams sautéed with garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs & white wine served over linguini; lobster ravioli in champagne cream sauce; penne alla vodka is penne pasta tossed in pink vodka sauce; Chris Michael's pasta is grilled bacon, peas & shiitake mushrooms sautéed in light brandy cream sauce tossed with farfalle. Land & Sea; Hudson Valley duck breast pan-seared with Grand Marnier glaze with wild rice; herbed chicken breast is roasted airline chicken dusted with fresh herbs served with smashed potatoes; salmon is grilled filet of salmon with pineapple salsa & mixed berry reduction served with steamed broccoli; red snapper is filet of red snapper sautéed with capers, white wine & lemon sauce over wilted spinach; lobster tails is two 6oz. lobster tails simply broiled; surf & turf is 8oz prime filet char grilled with broiled 6oz. lobster tail; Alaskan king crab legs is a pound steamed & served with drawn butter & lemon; live Maine lobsters. Steaks & chops; petite filet 8oz.; porterhouse 20oz.; filet 12oz.; NY strip one pound; veal t-bone served with sweet & hot peppers 14oz.; rack of lamb pan seared with rosemary & red wine reduction with smashed potatoes; rib-eye one pound; pork chops is grilled twin rib-chops topped with mixed berry glaze; The Chris Michael is bone-in ribeye 20oz.

Baby Back Ribs JJ Bitting Brewing Co. Woodbridge, NJ


Potato Crusted Salmon JJ Bitting Brewing Co. Woodbridge, NJ

 Lobster Ravioli Chris Michael's Steakhouse Lounge Woodbridge, NJ


Alaskan King Crab Legs Chris Michael's Steakhouse Lounge Woodbridge, NJ



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Hertz Rental Cars Staten Island- 4409 Arthur Kill Rd.
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    Fords Park Fords Park Woodbridge, NJ
    Fords Park in Woodbridge, New Jersey has become one of the most favorite get-away spots in the area, sitting on 18 acres of gorgeous landscaping, with many outstanding venues for the entire community and its visitors to use. Included in the park's recreational activities are 2 playgrounds for kids of all ages, two street hockey rinks with lights, a wonderful pond to sit by and meditate or just enjoy, a baseball field with lights for any sportsman in your family, two basketball courts with lights that usually have room for one or two more, two tennis courts, a bike and walkway for the exercisers, and a marvelous picnic grove for the whole family to enjoy during the visit. There are many shade trees for the hotter days of summer, but the area is just so enjoyable, a little heat won't bother anyone for long. Directions on how to get there are easily found on the parks site, with a few pictures to show you how great it looks and inviting for everyone to come and spend the day enjoying the weather and grounds of this excellent city park. There is always something going on there, but enough room so that if you wish to wander off alone and just daydream, you'll have that too. The city takes care of the park and keeps it quite clean for all visitors to enjoy, and the grass is regularly cut so that if you choose to lay under the shade of a large oak tree you can do that also.

    William Warren County Park
    William Warren County Park Woodbridge, NJThe William Warren Park in Woodbridge, New Jersey is another excellent city park available to the community and their visitors, sitting on a beautiful 126 acres, this park is home to the Kids-in-the-Park summer theater group that offers up some outstanding plays for the whole family to enjoy. There are numerous ball fields for the sportsmen in your family, soccer fields, bocci courts, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, picnic groves and nature trails for all. As are the majority of the parks in Woodbridge, this one also has many shade trees to sit under and ponder the clouds as they pass by or guessing the various shapes to see what you and your family can dream up. There are usually plenty of children playing here as this is one of the area's favorite parks, especially in the summer months when the plays are rehearsing or being put on. These are always an enjoyable afternoon or evening choice and the perfect time to bring that picnic along and enjoy a great play and supper with friends and family. You won't find any better park in the Woodbridge area, so the next time you visit, be sure to go to the William Warren Park and take some time to smell the roses and enjoy the peace and serenity that you'll always find here waiting for you.

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    Brearley HouseBrearley House Lawrence, New Jersey
    The Brearley House is located in Lawrence, New Jersey and it was built in 1761 on the Great Meadow, a large and beautiful grazing and farming land that had been the location of the first people to have settled here, the Leni-Lanapi people. During a 1998 archaeological dig on the property, students of the Lawrence Middle School discovered many artifacts and projectile points in the fields located around the house. The house is a marvelous Georgian brick house that is pretty much the same as the other houses constructed during that period of the 18th century. It is something of a copy of the old English manor houses, but scaled down the handle the needs of an average American farming family. It is said that in those times, the successful farmers would get their wealth from the land, so naturally, the bricks used for the construction of the house would be obtained from the clay soil and then fired by an oven that had been built for that purpose on the property. On the east side of the house, in the gable end, there is a stamped date, 1761, in the glazed bricks, that will darken when a fire is burning in the fireplace. It seems that it had been a common practice in York, England, where John had come from some 66 years earlier, to identify a house with the date of its building on the gable that faced the road. The houses of that period would put their kitchens outside or inside a separate building in case of fires, and this is what John did also. In those same archaeological digs, they discovered two kitchen rooms close to the southeast corner of the house; and another reason for the outside kitchen would be the heat that emanated from the stove or fireplace that would be used for cooking, candle making, boiling water for laundry or baths, as well as preserving fruits and vegetables. James, the grandson of John, would take three wives during his stay at the house, with the first dying after she had born him three sons, and the second, Esther Johnes, would give him three sons and a daughter. His third wife, Penelope Cook would give him three more sons and a daughter, which was great for a farmer in those days, with the added labor that the boys would give him. James would live to be 90 years old, and according to the tax records of 1779, he owned 11 hogs, 19 horned cattle, 8 horses and 2 human beings. No one knows if James owned any slaves, but when he passed on, his estate would go to John III, who married Matilda Baker in 1805 and they would have two sons and two daughters. When John passed on, Matilda, aged 67, her two daughters, Mary, who was 35, and Susan, 41, along with a black male, age 19, named John Lewis, would make up the household. Matilda's son, Joseph and his wife, Gertrude, with their two daughters, Sarah, 12 and Louisa, 9, with an infant son and a black male aged 13 would make up the other household; with the slaves sleeping above the kitchen on a balcony. Louisa married Benjamin Pidcock in 1860, who then purchased the farm, but never came here to live; and left it to his son, William. During the 1860s, a door was cut out of the southeastern wall so that there would be a covered hall going to the kitchen, that was discovered in the archaeological excavations. Dr. James Russell, Dean of Teacher's College, Columbia University bought the house in 1914 and took the inside paneling, fireplace facings and corner cupboards to put in another house he owned. Thomas Boss purchased the farm in 1920, which still had 120 acres with the house, and he used the land to develop a herd of Golden Guernsey cows. He would later deed the property to his sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Walter Fawcett, who owned the farm from 1925 until 1944. The house would be purchased by the Lawrence Township in 1978 and get funding to restore the old house in 1998. In 2000, the township leased the property to the Lawrence Historical Society that now takes care of it and offers tours to visitors and especially the students living in the region.

    Allaire State Park
    Pine Creek RR @ Allaire State Park Monmouth County, New Jersey
    The Allaire State Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey is well known for its restored 19th century ironworks, Allaire Village, that is located on the park land, and is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. It was named for James P. Allaire, founder of the Howell works that is located at the same site, close to the town of Farmingdale. The marvelous park has excellent picnicking areas with charcoal grills, playgrounds, tables and bathroom facilities that are in the developed area of the park. Flowing through the grounds is the Manasquan River, going east towards the ocean and there are seasonal canoe rentals available to take advantage of this great opportunity to paddle slowly along the water, enjoying the beautiful flora and fauna that you will see on the banks. The river is full of fish, but you must get a license to fish in it, and there is an entrance fee to the park on the weekends in the summer. The park's main feature is the Allaire Village that had been called the Howell Works during the early 19th century, that had been a successful industrial town that made pig iron and cast iron from the area's bog iron deposits. The structures still standing here were restored and include a church, manager's house, general store, carpenter's shop, foreman's house and blacksmith's shop. A worker's row house has been reconstructed and contains the visitor's center and museum. Another favorite is the Pine Creek Railroad that is the excursion line operated by the railroad enthusiasts of the New Jersey Museum of Transportation, with a museum run by a nonprofit that moved the engines and rolling stock to the park in 1962. The weekend train runs around a half mile track through the park; as well as numerous trails and the Edgar Felix bikeway.

Thrifty Car Rental Woodbridge

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    Barrow MansionBarrow Mansion Jersey City, New Jersey
    The Dr. William Barrow Mansion can be found in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey constructed by Cornelius Van Vorst from 1835 to 1837, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The mansion is one of two similar houses that Cornelius built, since he was the founder of the Township of Van Vorst and the mayor of Jersey City from 1860 until 1862. The Van Vorsts had been a rich family that traced their North American roots to the third superintendent of the patroonship Pavonia, whose bowery could be found at Harsimus close by. The house is known as the Ionic House, since the wooden Greek revival building had five ionic columns fronting the two-story portico, with columns dividing the structure into four equal bays, with an offset center hall. Since the columns are spaced apart at equal distances, the front door is set off to the right. The insides of the late Federal-early Greek revival style house has many Victorian decorations and contains a ballroom, twelve foot high ceilings and carved Italian marble fireplaces. It was standing along side the Van Vorst mansion, separated by a beautiful expanse of green lawns and close to the Van Vorst family farmhouse. Van Vorst sold his mansion to Dr. Benjamin Edge in 1874, which was demolished in the 1920s. The Barrow Mansion was sold to the Y. M. C. A. during the 1890s and they would add a gymnasium and rifle range. In 1897, St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church bought it and used it as their parish house. The pistol range in the cellar was converted into a two-lane bowling alley, and the next year constructed their church on the huge lawn between the Barrow and Van Vorst mansions. The church would thrive during the 1920s and become a popular social center hosting many of the church's functions. As the years passed by, and the church left, the mansion fell into terrible disrepair, until the Barrow Mansion Development Corporation was founded in 1984 and received grants in 1992 and 1995 to begin its restoration. Today, it is used as a community center and home to the Attic Ensemble, a resident theater company.

    Cathedral Basilica of Sacred Heart
    Cathedral Basilica of Sacred Heart Newark, New JerseyThe Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey is the fifth largest cathedral in the nation, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, built in 1899 and completed in 1954, it is considered a "fitting monument to the faith". The initial design was for an English/Irish-gothic church, however, the plans would later be changed to a French-gothic style. The church was first proposed in 1859 by James Roosevelt Bayley, the Bishop of Newark, some six years after he had been appointed by Pope Pius IX, with many site proposed in the city. Finally, the present site next to Branch Brook Park was chosen. It was picked because it had such a marvelous view of the Orange Mountains on the west and the Newark Valley, New York city and the hills of Staten Island on the east. At the request of the bishop, the Right Reverend G. W. Doane went to England, France and Germany to gather ideas about the looks of the new cathedral, and when Bayley was made the Archbishop of Baltimore in 1872, the task fell to the new bishop, Michael Corrigan. He ordered the site to be excavated in 1875 and 1876, and in 1881, the project was given to another new bishop, Winand Wigger. In 1896, the city wanted to buy the land for its new high school, but Wigger declined. As the plans slowly moved ahead, Wigger decided to build a temporary church under the same name in 1889, and by July, 1897, fundraising began for the new cathedral, as well as the design chosen. O'Rourke, the architect chosen for the new cathedral pledged to Wigger that the work would be a labor of love and not of profits and fees. The cornerstone was laid in 1899 and the exterior used Vermont Rockport granite, and the walls were 50 feet high at the nave and ambulatory by 1902. Wigger passed away in January, 1901 and the next new bishop would be John Joseph O'Connor, who asked O'Rourke to keep the costs below $1 million. As construction moved along at a steady pace, the steel slated roof was finished in 1919, and other parts completed in 1924. Officials of the church wanted the cathedral to be completed by December 1926, to help celebrate O'Connor's 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, but there would be some delays, and when O'Connor passed away in 1927, the church had to be finished asap so that the crypt could be ready for his body. The new bishop, Thomas Joseph Walsh wanted to open the church before it was complete, with his ordination as the new Bishop of Newark, which happened, with a Pontifical Mass following, with over 4000 people in attendance. After 95 years of planning and construction work, the cathedral was dedicated at last by Thomas Aloysius Boland, archbishop of Newark on October 19, 1954. When Pope John Paul II visited the nation in 1995, he celebrated evening prayer at the cathedral, and at that point was elevated to the state of basilica.

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Woodbridge Dollar Car Rental - 631 Amboy Ave.
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    Grover Cleveland BirthplaceBirthplace of Grover Cleveland Caldwell, New Jersey
    The Grover Cleveland Birthplace in Caldwell, New Jersey is the only house museum in the nation dedicated to the former President and was built in 1832; becoming a National Register Historic Place in 1977. Grover was born here in 1837, and it is also known as the Caldwell Presbyterian Church Manse; serving as the Presbyterian church parsonage for the Cleveland family while his father, the Rev. Richard Falley Cleveland served as pastor. Grover had been named Stephen Grover in honor of the first pastor of the church, but chose not to use Stephen in his adult life. In 1841, the family moved to New York, and then a group of private citizens bought the house in the early 20th century to convert it into a museum. The house contains the most expansive collection of Cleveland relics in the nation, that include; his clothing and fishing gear, his White House chair, his cradle and many others. The house sits on 2.5 acres and is filled with period antiquities reflecting the Victorian period that Grover grew up in, with few luxuries that exemplified the type of upbringing and lifestyle he enjoyed as a youth. Grover loved outdoor activities, especially fishing, and as he began to get ready to attend college at Hamilton, his father passed away in 1853. So, Grover, age 16, instead went to work to help support his mother and other siblings. He needed to earn more, so in 1855, he moved west to Buffalo, New York and worked for his uncle; and then later, went to work as a clerk for a local law firm. Grover would be admitted to the bar in 1859, fulfilling his life long goal of being a lawyer. He stayed in Buffalo, practicing law and becoming the Election Ward supervisor, Assistant District Attorney, Sheriff of Erie County and finally mayor. His political career continued to improve, as he went from being mayor Buffalo in 1882 to governor of the state in 1883, and then to become the President of the United States in 1885. All during his political career, he would become known for his fairness, honesty and nonpartisanship. While mayor he had vetoed a resolution that would have allowed dishonest awarding of city contracts and as governor, he vetoed a politically popular public transportation fare decrease and refused political spoils to the part officials located in Tammany Hall that had been the headquarters of the Democratic Party in New York City. During his presidency, he wasn't any different, becoming a strong reformer and defender of anti-imperialism, the gold standard and tariff reform. He vetoed fraudulent pension claims by Civil War veterans and signed into law, the first Interstate Commerce act that would make the country's first regulatory agency and start the Department of Labor. He went on to win the popular vote in 1888, but didn't get enough of the electoral vote to win, so he had to wait until 1892 to win again and become the only president to serve two, non-consecutive terms. He was also the only Democratic president between 1861 and 1912. In his second term, he repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act that put the country back on the gold standard, something that should have been kept at all costs. He would be one of the finest presidents this nation has ever had, and when he passed away in 1908, this country lost a good man. One of the last things he ever said was, "I have tried so hard to do right". Grover's personal and political legacy is still a testament to the constancy of his deep-seated convictions.

    Ellis Island immigration museum
    Ellis Island Immigration Museum New York HarborEllis Island in New York Harbor had been the gateway for millions of immigrants that came to this country from 1892 until 1954, and was the busiest immigrant inspection station during that period. Before that, the smaller original island had been the site of Fort Gibson and then eventually, a naval magazine. Using landfill, the island would be enlarged from 1892 until 1934, and in 1990, the island's structures would be rejuvenated to host a museum of immigration run by the nation's park service, as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. In a Supreme Court decision in 1998, the majority of the island was part of New Jersey. The island is situated in the Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, sitting east of Liberty State Park and north of Liberty Island. The island has an area of 32 plus acres, with almost 83 % made by landfill, with the original part containing just 5 acres. That nucleus is now completely surrounded by landfill, with the original 3.3 acres belonging to New York. It has been owned by the government since 1808. You can get there by ferry, from either the Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park or Battery Park in Manhattan. There has been a bridge built between Ellis and Liberty State Park, but it is closed to the public. In 1995, there were numerous proposals made to change it into a pedestrian walkway or replace with one that did handle walkers, but since 9/11, the island has been guarded by the United States Park Police Marine Patrol Unit. It has a marvelous history and one well worth reading for all Americans since it has been such an important part of our history. You should also visit it when around the big apple since it is so historic and well known with more history than most landscapes of its size.  The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl from Cork, Ireland and her two brothers on January 1, 1892 and the last was a Norwegian merchant seaman named Arne Peterssen in 1954.

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May 13, 2011