80 SPOTS PLUCKED FROM AN OLD MAP—
HOW HARD COULD IT BE TO VISIT THEM ALL?
Turns out, Dave Van Ronk put in a whole lot of homework to assemble these verses.
His album liner notes call out the publication Towns and Municipalities in New Jersey produced by the NJ Highway Department, a resource that was not only elusive to track down but also one that was unlikely the source for some of these lyrics.
Some places remain easily recognizable— from the tenacious Ironbound section of Newark to the small town of Netcong that somehow acts as a navigation point on almost every major highway in the state, these "stomps" are quick to find on a map and have a bounty of history to pluck through.
Others are unincorporated communities— old towns and villages that melted into a municipality along the way, and now are only kept alive by the will of their residents or a glimpse at an old map. Timbuctoo in Westampton is a dedicated preservation effort by descendants of freed slaves, while the Blue Ball section of Adelphia only comes into focus when looking back to documents from the mid-19th century.
Then, Dave starts throwing in everything from small creeks (Shabakunk) to parks (Wawayanda) to a long-abandoned Boy Scout camp (Mahalala). Most impressive, though, is that these places were culled from a vast array of maps and documents throughout our state's history; some places vanished from maps and documents long before other places came to be— some of those are nearly long-gone memories themselves.
While we did our best to evoke some of the character of these places through our Garden State Stomp video, it's impossible to provide much context when each location has about 0.7 seconds of air time. We hope this site, and the following closer look at all eighty locations, helps to bring some of these places to life.
MY SINCERE APOLOGIES
FOR THE POOR FORMATTING
OF THESE LOCATION PAGES ON SMARTPHONE DEVICES.
I AM WORKING TO CORRECT THIS, BUT FOR NOW RECOMMEND VIEWING ON A DESKTOP, LAPTOP, OR TABLET.