What a week of discovery we’ve had! Today, we followed the map to the little township of Walpack, NJ, where a large group of Fuller’s farmed. After finding the town center with it’s old boarded up school, the Methodist church across the street, and post office with afew residences tossed in for good measure, we stopped and looked around some. A quick inquiry about the cemetery led us further down a road, across a creek, up a hill to the final resting place of Ira Fuller. Ira is Dave’s grandfather six generations back. The stone was easy to find, we say that now, but really we just started systematically walking rows when Dave happened upon it. Jubilation! Double that when we found the stone was in great condition and could be easily read. It is a large, flat non-descript headstone reading, Ira Fuller, died, Dec 7, 1849, 78 yrs, 4 mos, 9 days. Since there has been some discussion as to his date of birth, the stone gives us all we need to figure. We heard there had been many Fullers in the area so we sought out other graves and found some. As luck would have it, the museum was open when we were leaving town so we stopped in to inquire. Chris, the curator on duty, was more than happy to relay info to us about the Fullers and their part in the community. As it would happen, the Fullers have played a prominent and some leadership roles here.
During the 1970’s, the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers led their 3rd attempt to build a dam on the Delaware River and flood the valley to make a reservoir and generate electricity, sort of like Lake Mead and Hoover Dam out west! They came in and strongarmed many if not all the farming residents to sell to the gov’t or else! The proposed dam and reservoir didn’t get done for this time either as so many of the residents raised a stink and waited them out. But in the meantime, many had already sold and moved away that today the Walpack and the Minisink Valley isn’t a hundredth of it’s former glory as a farming community. All the farms are grown over with trees, most houses are destroyed or rotting. Word has it that Sam and Julia Fullers home can be seen, we’ll try to find it.
So that’s quit the personal story! If you’re interested in your family history, get out the computer find out how easy it really is. To start, try www.ancestry.com and www.findagrave.com maybe you’ll locate some interesting people.
This day we went to Martin Guitar in Nazareth, PA about 30 miles south of our location here at Scotrun.
Martin Guitar is named for it’s founder C.F. Martin who was trained as a guitar craftsman in Germany during his youth. He then moved to New York and finally to Nazareth, PA and established his company in 1833. This company is known for and is considered THE standard for world class acoustic guitars. The have tours virtually everyday and are free, limited to 15 people, narrated by a guide and taking 45 to 60 minutes. There is another more “personal” tour costing $25@. Our guide had a mic and all of us had headsets through which we listened to him. They are necessary due to the factory noises. They produce 200 guitars each day and are 6 months behind production. Not a bad thing even in this poor world economy, but when one considers the usual price for even a midgrade Martin Guitar, somebody is making good money out there.
We made a friend, Gail who works at Martin Guitar and as luck would have it, she’s famous! Yep, she is one of two, “clothespin” ladies. During one of the 300+ steps to produce a guitar, Gail uses clothespins to apply the glue strip to the inner top and bottom before the top and bottom are applied. Gail, gave us two clothespins the night before so we could sign them and she’d use them at her bench when she applies the glue strips. Her station is the last one visited on our tour, she had used our pins and showed us that they were between Jimmy Buffet and John Oates and other names I’ve since forgotten. So look for the picture and see if you can tell who the other signatures are!
The tour was fun, fun fun and we were enthronged by the museum in the old part of the building. Wow! We were treated to guitars made for the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and so many others. Dave thought his process of 23 steps to create his custom fishing rods, but here more than 300 steps floored him!