(This article appeared in a local newspaper in 1911)
By: Patte Haggerty Frato
Sandyston Township Historian
President, Sandyston Township Historical Society
By: Patte Haggerty Frato, Sandyston Township Historian
Alsacia Farm was situated north of Mettler Cemetery on
the Old Mine Road. This old photo is from the collection of Patte Haggerty Frato
Sandyston Township
''A Look Back''
Alsacia Farm: A Fine New Barn Modernly Dedicated
The event of the week in the beautiful valley of the Delaware was the dedication of the newly completed barn of Messrs. Frank and Ira Stoll, proprietors of the widely known Alsacia Farm, in Sandyston Township. In Bible language, this farm is beautiful for situation. It is located one mile from the bridge crossing the Delaware at Dingmans. It’s fertile acres of level and undulating land class it well at the head of the many rich and productive farms in that section of the county.
Some two years since the barn buildings upon Alsacia Farm were destroyed by fire, the large family residence barely escaping the ravages of the flames. Since that time the construction of the substantially erected barn which was dedicated Wednesday night last by a largely attended barn dance has advanced step by step.
It was the desire of the Stoll Brothers to make this not only one of the largest but most durably constructed barns in their native township. From a tract of land upon the farm they secured the timber for the frame of the proposed structure, each “stick” without so much as the semblance of a blemish. It was decided that the structure should be thirty-two feet in width and sixty-five feet in length, with twenty-four feet posts, with what is known in building lore as “hip roof”. It is covered with slate from the Newton quarry. The entire floor will be of concrete while novelty siding of white pine was used in its completion. A metallic ventilating system has been adopted with weather vane crowning the superstructure. A complete system of lightning rods insures absolute protection. The oak timber for the frame of the barn was all sawed upon the farm and placed upon the ground before Emanuel Kice , the well- known contractor and builder of Blairstown, commenced work. The “raising” of the timbers was an event that attracted the attention of the entire community. Under the captaincy of carpenter Kice, no accident happened and the work advanced systematically until its completion.
Early upon the evening of its dedication guests began to arrive, coming from different points of the township, Dingman’s, Milford, Port Jervis, Branchville, Newton and more distant points. They were greeted with a hearty welcome and no end of Chinese lanterns gently swaying in the cool and refreshing breezes. Prior to the arrival of the hour for dancing, the guests viewed the appointments of the new barn, complimenting in a style most flattering to the owners and the contractor and his workmen its many excellences. A period was also afforded for general conversation in which community interests were discussed in a most friendly and animated fashion. The representative of the Herald noticed that touch of the conversation had to do with the building of the proposed boulevard from Trenton to Port Jervis, NY, which it was predicted would pass directly by the Stoll farm. There was marked unity of opinion that the great state thoroughfare should be built. One bright-eyed girl was overheard to remark that at last it was pleasant to know that at least one thing was to come to Sandyston that would be welcomed by everybody. A gentleman said what he liked best about the boulevard proposition was that there was no politics about it. He said that the thought that it should be built originated in the minds of a number of wealthy Republicans interested in the prosperity of the Delaware Valley, and that the appropriation from the survey was made possible by a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature, hence both Democrats and Republicans were interested, consequently neither party could make capital out of the great state improvement. The information was given out that not a few of the farmers would donated the right of way should the state conclude to build the great highway along the western shore of the Delaware, the construction of which means so much for the prosperity and wellbeing of the inhabitants of the counties through which it will via Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and Mercer.
The arrival of the celebrated Fenner orchestra of Port Jervis was the signal for the dancing to begin. The barn was brilliantly lighted and the dancers appeared to the best possible advantage, the ladies clad in beautiful gowns, the young men resplendent in shirt vests. A platform had thoughtfully been erected for the onlookers, a convenience thoroughly appreciated. The quality of dancing was without a fault. Those qualified to speak, say that the exhibitions of really artistic dancing shown throughout the evening compared favorably with that noted in the larger cities and towns evidence that the young men and ladies of the Delaware Valley and their friends had enjoyed unusual advantages in the art of dancing.. The young man or young woman unacquainted with this popular conceit should loose no time in acquiring a knowledge of its intricacies and beauties. A standard musical publication tells its readers that the barn dance is “all the go”. Refreshments were served on the roomy piazzas of the Alsacia farm house and the spacious lawns surrounding the same at twelve o’clock when dancing was again resumed and continued until two o’clock, the hour named upon the program for the departure of the guests. The occasion was one of great pleasure, and if there is a baron in the township of Sandyston more becomingly or popularly dedicated than that upon the Alsacia Farm, we have not read on it.