Told Along the Turnpike highlights historic figures and legends from New Jersey’s past

 Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth, engraving by J.C. Armytage, c1859. Licensed under Public Domain

Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth, engraving by J.C. Armytage, c1859. Licensed under Public Domain

Imagine actually stopping to learn the story behind a roadside historic marker rather than speeding past with hardly any notice… again.

Storyteller Dorothy Stanaitis will present eight Jersey-centric anecdotes which cover true historical accounts and local lore on Apr. 16 at the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library in Washington Twp.

Told Along the Turnpike features stories about notable New Jerseyans like Molly Pitcher,Temperance Wick and others whose lives contain many colorful and intriguing details.

One of the unsubstantiated, but titillating tales that attendees will hear concerns a teenageSwedish royal named Elizabeth.

During a time of unrest, she was spirited out of Sweden in a barrel and put on a ship toAmerica. However, disaster struck and a shipwreck washed her ashore somewhere alongthe Jersey coast. Elizabeth was later rescued by a hunter and fell in love. The story goesthat they married and raised a large family in what is now Bridgeton.

This yarn might sound vaguely familiar to those with ancestors from Cumberland and Salem counties, as the hunter was supposedly surnamed Garrison and the union believed to have produced legions of decedents.

Stanaitis says that legend came to her attention through an insert found in a telephone bill.

A Philadelphia tour guide for the past five years, she found she had amassed quite a collection of stories after retiring as a children’s program director at the Gloucester City Library two decadesago.

Many, including ones that she will present on Thursday, center around women. Stanaitisconsiders their history, particularly in the colonial era, to be her specialty. Narratives involving women are not as well known as their male counterparts, she asserted. In recent times, new information and newly discovered stories have come to light. “It’s amazing what women of that time did and amazing that nobody knows,” she said.

Told Along the Turnpike is open to the public and free, but advance online or phone registration is required. Thursday, Apr. 16, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – 606 Delsea Dr., Washington Twp., N.J._________________________________________________

This post is part of our South Jersey Events Listing

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