Sunday, April 21, 2013
Saddler's Woods has some of the oldest trees in the nation.
The Saddler's Woods Conservation Association marked Earth Day Saturday by turning out more than 100 volunteers to clear invasive weeds and debris from Haddon Township's "urban forest." The 25-acre tract off of MacAurthur Boulevard surrounds the headwater spring of the main branch of Newton Creek, a tributary of the Delaware River. The land was once owned by a former, runaway slave, Joshua Saddler, who bought it from a family of Haddonfield Quakers he worked for after escaping from a Maryland plantation. In 1868, his will stated that none of his heirs "shall cut the timber thereon." The trees are now among the oldest in the nation. Saddler's Woods Conservation Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education, restoration …
Friday, April 19, 2013
The annual Earth Day forest restoration event will take place Saturday on this historically African-American-owned property.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Mark Parker is a Haddon Township resident and artist whose book, "HypoEthicals," is being released for the holidays.
Sitting in a warm coffee shop in the company of friends, leafing through a beautifully illustrated book, seems like a great way to spend a winter evening. You stop on a page in the book and read as the author poses a question. “Your 3-year old family dog has a rare genetic mutation that will allow his blood to save the life of a 17-year-old boy in your neighborhood with leukemia. But the amount of blood needed will result in the death of your dog. Do you agree to the procedure?” The accompanying illustration shows a two-thirds-full silhouette of the family dog, attached to a transfusion pole, draining. The coffee shop is still warm, your company still friendly. How do you respond? Will you share your feelings and listen to the opinions of …
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
More than 125 volunteers in Haddon Township attend the annual event recently to maintain the natural integrity of historic woods.
Sunbeams glistened through the leaves of the 300-year-old Emancipation Beech tree located in Saddler's Woods as 125 volunteers from four states recently worked on projects to keep the preserved land as natural as it was when Joshua Saddler owned it in the mid-1800s. The Emancipation Beech received its nickname because it was there when Joshua Saddler, a fugitive slave from Maryland, gained his freedom in New Jersey during the Underground Railroad era. Saddlertown is a small community located along MacArthur Boulevard and Rhoads Avenue in Haddon Township. According to one oral history, Saddler’s owner tracked him down on Evan’s farm in Haddonfield with the intent to return him, his wife and son to Maryland. Evans was a Quaker and …
Monday, November 5, 2012
The land, bought by a former slave, is a rich part of history in Haddon Township and Haddonfield.
Numerous oral accounts of Joshua Saddler’s arrival in New Jersey are documented over the past 172 years. The former runaway slave gained his freedom when a Haddonfield farmer paid off a bounty hunter in the 1800s. The accounts are validated through census, vital records and the accounting ledgers from Evans Farm and the Wood farm. Saddler's work ethic allowed him to earn enough money to purchase land. According to a deed dated May 3, 1842, Saddler bought five acres of land from the estate of John Rowand, providing a place for Joshua and his wife Hannah to raise 10 children and build a community for black people. That land is still known as Saddlertown, a community in what is now Haddon Township, located along MacArthur Boulevard and Rhoads…