To expand on an earlier post:
The PLOT THICKENS…
Jacob’s Ladder #2 – So I kept digging about Jacobs Ladder. Not that I wanted to, but the internet has it’s way of bringing information right to my doorstep. It seems that a few of you who’ve spent your childhood in the region realize that the Jacob’s ladder mentioned in Weird NJ is not the REAL jacobs ladder, but a rendition of what they wanted you to believe. How about that! I was stunned at first as well, until I got a second email. Then a third. All indicating that the Jacob’s Ladder mentioned above is not the downward spirialing woods and water death trap drop that they remembered.
It went down and down into a ravine with little waterfalls sliding down rock walls and at the bottom, a long stretch of path thru the ravine, so far down it was always in shadow,” wrote one reply. “I never got to the end of the path, though it seemed that I walked a long way. The only reason I know it was called Jacob’s Ladder was that there was a tiny little sign at the entrance. I never say anyone else down there, probably most people didn’t know it was there…it was beyond the last house on the road, beyond the paved road, and you’d have to be on foot to find it I think. It was very mysterious, to me, as a child…..” he wrote..
The other writer….who definately would have known wrote me to say “Jacobs Ladder likely refers to one of the oldest children’s toys that I know. From the web <Jacob’s ladder is an old toy made of six blocks of wood, which are connected by ribbons. If you take only the top piece and turn it, then the pieces under it turn alternately to the left and to the right and fall down. It descends quickly for a short time, levels out to allow a diagonal ridge to force any run off to the side of the road and then descends steeply again only to repeat. These could be considered the steps of the ladder. It was almost impassable by the end of the 50s.”
While I didn’t find the sign, I certainly found the area. And it’s in Peapack, not Bernardsville. Ah our childhood….things looked so different then!
If you hear of any other tales. or you’d like to elaborate on your local lore of Somerset Hills, drop me an email. Click Here. Don’t worry. They’ll know who to give it to.