Allaire State Park Things to Do

  • Howell Iron Works Foreman Cottage
    Howell Iron Works Foreman Cottage
    by KiKitC
  • Restoration around the bakery
    Restoration around the bakery
    by KiKitC
  • Allaire Village Iron Works
    Allaire Village Iron Works
    by KiKitC

Most Recent Things to Do in Allaire State Park

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    Visit the village bakery

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Allaire Village Bakery
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    There is alot of restoration being done in the park, so we'll skip the mill next to the water and shoot to the next building, the bakery. The bakery is strategically located right next to the mill, as the milled flour didn't have to travel far. Allaire employed a full time gardener to grow produce for the village, so he probably employed a full time baker. It's not clear. This is the place where residents purchased fresh baked breads or meat pies, making it a retail shop. But it also seems that one could bring their dough to cook in the oven, making it a communal bake shop.

    We were in the park before the buildings were open to the public, so I didn't get inside to take a picture. When open, demonstrations of 19th century baking will make you appreciate your ovens and other kitchen appliances! I would bet it was the place to be in the winter...

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    1800's Iron Workshop

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Allaire Village Iron Works
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    Another strategic positioning in the village is the placement of the iron works building. Right next to the blast furnace. Didn't have far to travel with the heavy processed iron.

    When open, you can get a good look at some antique equipment. Here, the smith did everything from making cannonballs (that were secretly floated down the creeks in flat bottom boats in the night), horseshoes, tools, househol supplies and more. The shop is large, but when you see how the old equipment required more space, you'll understand why.

    When the village is open, one can see a blacksmith, in period garb, see demonstrations and ask questions.

    One thing that was impressive...the headers and footers on the remaining buildings are still holding really strong...

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    19th Century Mega Mart

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Back of the Inn

    One of the largest buildings in the restored village is the general store. This is a four story building that acted as the local mart...boasting they had everything one would need. There was a post office, a general goods store, a butcher, an apothecary, a furniture store, and storage of essentials grains and screws.

    The Howell Works Company Store supplied the needs of both it's residents and local patrons. It is believed that people traveled from as far as Camden to shop the stores goods. It provided the one stop shopping of the period. Fantastic, since patrons had to walk or travel in carriage to get here.

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    Foreman's Cottage

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Howell Iron Works Foreman Cottage

    The foreman's cottage stands on it's own, with a strategic view of the blast furnace. This little cottage shows the difference in the social classes in the village, as it has one and a half stories! This offered a second floor sleeping area with storage, with it's own hearth for heat upstairs. There is the cooking hearth downstairs and a medicinal herb garden in the back. When open, actors in period garb demonstrate different chores required for daily living and answer questions about medicinal herbs used in the period.

    What was really interesting to learn was why the foreman had such easy views of the furnace. Well, with one quick look out of most windows in the cottage, he could see the smoke coming out of the furnce. Yellow smoke indictaed that too much sulfur or charcoal was in the blast. Too much carbon ...the smoke would be black. If too much calcium or flux was added, a white smoke would emerge. The foreman was responsible for monitoring the production of the ore. Any of these indicators would have him hopping to the furnce to adjust the worker's raw materials.

    One thing that was noticeable...the footer of the door into the cottage is cracked, due to the settling of the cottage. This was the only broken iron header/footer I noticed.

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    Employee Housing in the 1800s

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    There is one section of row houses that have been restored. Most of the employees of the industries here, lived in one of the many row houses that evidently stood here. The remaining row house was refered to as the "White Row" and actually provided nicer accomodations than the other row houses (which were situated by the church but did not survive). It is believed that the reverend lived in one of the eleven houses still standing. Now, the visitor center and museum are placed here. It wasn't open when I was there, but it provides visitors with another look at 19th century living.

    What I remember was that this was very posh for the period. The main room contained the fireplace for cooking and heat, and the living and sleeping quarters all in one. There was a small room off the back for supplies, etc.

    Much of this building has been restored...but shows the lifestyle of the time...

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    1800s Carpenter Shop

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Allaire Village Carpenter Shop

    I really wish it was open when we were there. The carpenter's shop is full of interesting antique wood working equipment and tools. It's neat to see how things were done then. The village carpenter was there to help create the molds for casting for the Howell Iron Works, as well as household needs and even toys.

    When the village is open, a period dressed carpenter will be there to demonstrate his craft and answer questions.

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    1800s Spiritual Center

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Allaire Village Chapel

    The most important part of any village is the church. Not only was it the center of worship, but also acted as a meeting place for the village and the school. James Allaire did not require his employees to attend church, as he believed in freedom of religion. It was, however, a requirement that all children of the village attend the school. So strong was his beleif in free public education, Allaire supposedly paid for the education of the children out of his pockets (profits of the iron bog). This really helped establish the first free schools in the northeast. The minister acted as schoolmaster as well and was paid $500 a year...wow!

    The chapel has become one of the most popular spots for wedding on the Jersey Shore. Want to get married there? Make reservations a YEAR in ADVANCE! It's that popular for weddings. For wedding info visit www.allairevillage.org/Weddings.htm

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    A Busy Carriage House in 1834

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    19th Century Transportation Hub

    The carriage house that now stands was built out of need, since Howell Works had become such a transportation hub in the area. As the Howell Works community grew, and people started coming from all around, eventually a US Post Office was established here. One could hop on a stage to go to Freehold, Red Bank, Lakewood and more. From there, travelers could head out to New York City, Albany, Boston and Charleston; opening commerce for the Howell Works even more.

    Now, visitors can watch demonstrations of period leatherworking and see period stable equipment.

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    Recreated Barn in Allaire Village

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Recreated Barn in Howell Works

    The barn that now stands next to the carriage house is actually a smaller recreation of the barns on site. The barn was used to house the oxen and mules needed for the iron productions, as well as the Allaire's personal horses. Since Howell Works had become such a transportation hub, these barns would also offer boarding for visitor's horses or oxen.

    Demonstrations of leather working and knot tying, among other stable related chores, can be watched by visitors today.

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    The Allaire Mansion

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Allaire Mansion

    The mansion, which is the largest residence in the village, was actually a farmhouse that was built in 1790. Whe Allaire first purchased this area for it's iron rich bogs, he hadn't intended to live here. As the village became such a well traveled depot, he eventually moved his family there. It is believed that he moved here for the health of breathing clean, New Jersey air. (Now there's a paradox...clean air in NJ?) But, of course, changes had to be made to the farmhouse before his wife would move in. The bedroom that was downstairs (as with most period houses) was turned into a parlor, so his wife could entertain guests. The stairs were moved so there would be more entertaining room, and servant quarters and a larger kitchen.

    Allaire hired a full time housekeeper, who ran the house year round, whether the Allaire's were in residence or not. A very fair employer...

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    Pine Creek Railroad

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    Catch the train at the depot!
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    Here at Allaire, visitors can ride a period-style train that winds through the floodplains and around the village. The Pine Creek Railroad, as it's called is a great family attraction. It's not a long trip, but perfect for the kids!

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    Have a Blast by the Furnace

    by KiKitC Written Apr 17, 2006

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    Allaire's Blast Furnace
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    The blast furnacewas the most important part of the operation. By the turn of the 19th century, the furnace was already being used to process the raw bog iron into ingots. The furnace was called the "Monmouth Furnace" and was being operated by Benjamin Howell. That's how the industry village got it's name "Howell Iron Works." in 1822, Howell supposedly told James Allaire about the iron works, and a beautiful partnership began.

    All that remains of the blast furnace is the large stack. At the bottom was where the fire was fed and the upper floors is where the actual process began. There is an artist's rendering of what the entire building did look like during it's hey-day.

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    Whats left of the Charcoal Depot

    by KiKitC Written Apr 17, 2006

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    What's Left of the Charcoal Depot

    Charcoal. It was a necessity in the 1800s. And for this industry...valuable. What was the charcoal for? Well, it was needed in the blast furnace, making gun powder and more.

    This building did not survive in tact. The park has an artist's rendering of what the building looked like which offers a tidbit of information. All that remains of the building is a small piece of one of the corners. The charcoal depot was strategically placed close to the carpenter's shop and the blast furnace.

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