September is a Sweet Time of Year!

September is a Sweet Time of Year!

Honey — it’s a sweet and delicious substance that adds great flavor to morning toast, creates decadent desserts, and even packs some serious nutritional benefits.

Here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we even keep honey on hand for sweetening our morning coffee!

The other day, just as I finished opening the storage rental office, in walked one of our storage customers, Mrs. Xander. She needed to purchase packing supplies before making her way back to her storage unit.

“ Are you celebrating?” she asked.”

Celebrating what?” I replied.

“Well, I saw that you put honey in your coffee, and thought that maybe you were celebrating National Honey Month.  My friend is a beekeeper and he has been telling me all about honey and it’s history!”

“I did not know September is National Honey Month.” I replied. We chatted about honey for a little while before she headed back to her storage unit.

I sat down to my desk and began to think about how much I love honey, and how little I know about what it takes to make it. Where did the idea of honey as a food even come from? I started my research…

A Concise History of Honey

2400 BC
Ancient Egyptians leave hieroglyphs about beekeeping in an ancient Sun Temple near Cairo.

2000 BC
The Ancient Chinese used honey because of its spectacular medicinal properties.

1000 AD
Honey was used as a form of currency in places throughout Europe.

1638
European settlers introduced beekeeping to the New England colonies.

1926
A.A. Milne created the lovable honey-loving bear, Winnie the Pooh.

How to Celebrate!

Take a beekeeping tour
You’ll get up close to beehives and find out what an effort it takes to make a jar of honey. 

Host a honey tasting party
Gather up a few different high quality jars of honey, invite a few friends over, and indulge your sweet tooth.

Whip up a honey-themed dessert
Baklava, flan, cupcakes, and ice cream. All of these sweet treats lend themselves to becoming delicious honey-flavored desserts. There are a ton of excellent recipes out there for honey desserts, so the possibilities are endless.

5 Sweet Facts About Honey

Bees try harder
The average worker bee only produces about one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey throughout its entire lifetime.

That’s a lot of flowers
For every pound of honey, honeybees must tap over two million flowers.

Insect chefs
Bees are the only insects that produce a substance that is edible by humans.

Honey isn’t just for bees
Mexican honey wasps are also known for producing honey.

Not Created equally
There are different variations of honey. Depending on the type of flower used during production, honey will have different colors and flavors.

Why We Love Honey

Honey is a health aid
Dating back to ancient times, honey has been used for its medicinalpurposes. The next time you have a cough, try reaching for a jar of honey. Honey is even known to help heal wounds and relieve dry skin.

It’s Naturally Sweet
Honey is excellent for curing almost any sweet tooth. Unlike some highly processed sugars and sugar-like substances out there, honey is chemical free and found directly in nature.

Honey Helps You Sleep
In short, honey causes insulin levels to rise, and when this happens, serotonin gets released throughout the bloodstream. Serotonin gets converted into melatonin, and melatonin has been known to aid in getting you off to dreamland.

Wow! Who knew that something that tastes so good could also be so healthy!?! 

As for me, I will continue to put honey in my morning coffee, strictly for health purposes, of course. Happy Honey Month from the crew here at The Storage Inn!

 

The Storage Inn – Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

Happy Labor Day From The Storage Inn

Happy Labor Day From The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township and Ocean City!

Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

Here we are – it’s Labor Day weekend, and I get an extra day off from my job helping folks rent storage space for residential storage and commercial storage at The Storage Inn! Summer is almost over, and the kids are going back to school, so let’s take this weekend to relax and barbeque! But what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it? Here is a quick look at the meaning and history of Labor Day…

The Beginning

Labor Day can be traced back to a parade organized by New York City union leaders in 1882. In those days, unions were mostly concerned with getting their members a fair wage, decent working conditions, and a decent work schedule. The parade was held on Tuesday, September 5th, and billed as a “Monster Labor Festival”. Few people showed up that morning, and organizers were beginning to worry that workers were reluctant to give up a day’s wages to join the rally, but soon workers began flowing in from across the city. By the end of the day, over 10,000 people had marched in the parade, and joined in the after parade festivities, in what the press dubbed, “a day of the people”.

Let’s make it official

Annual festivities to honor the nation’s workers spread quickly across the country, but Labor Day didn’t become an official holiday for more than a decade. In 1887 Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday quickly followed by states like New York, Massachusetts and Colorado.

Prompted by the growing awareness of the labor movement across the United States, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day an official holiday in 1896.

Construction Hard Hat with Gloves Labor Day

Take Time to Remember

So whether you’re a CEO, a waiter, or work in the storage rental industry like me, take time this weekend, between the beach and fireworks, to remember what Labor Day is all about. Just think…without the historic efforts of the of the labor movement throughout U.S. history, we would all be working on the first Monday of September! 

 

 

It’s Summer – Ride the Wave!

The Storage Inn offers boat storage and jet ski storage.

Hi everyone! It is midsummer here at The Storage Inn Self-Storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the place is hopping! Our storage rental customers are constantly shuttling in and out of their storage spaces enjoying summer activities.

We have tenants who store boats, motorcycles, and personal watercraft – and boy are they busy this time of year! This week alone, I have seen a dozen jet skis and waverunners coming in and out of the property. I am a motorcycle rider, and I’ve always thought of a jet ski as a motorcycle on water. Having seen so many recently, it made me wonder who came up with the idea for motorcycling on the water? I did some research and here is what I found…

Early Beginnings

The first personal watercraft, called a waterscooter, was developed in Europe in the 1950s. These crafts were unique with their handlebars and small design that allowed a user to propel themselves around a body of water. However, these early waterscooters did not become very popular and never actually made it to the mass market.

The Motorcycle Connection

Development on the concept of a watercraft continued through the 1960s. Clayton Jacobson II, an American inventor and motorcycle enthusiast, conceived of the notion of a waterborne craft that would provide its rider with a similar feeling to riding a motorcycle. Having suffered an accident where his motorcycle ran into a ditch, Jacobson sought a safer way to get the same fast-paced adrenaline rush that a motorcycle provided without incurring serious injury. He quit his work to develop his idea of a powered water-ski type device, which resulted in an aluminum stand-up prototype. Jacobson developed a dozen prototypes of stand-up models as well as designing sit-down models.

The Snowmobile Inspiration

In 1966, Bombardier Recreational Products, a snowmobile manufacturer, took note of Jacobson’s prototype and licensed his patent for a sit-down personal watercraft model that drew inspiration from their Ski-Doo snowmobile. The sit-down PWC, christened “Sea-Doo,” was released in 1968 and marketed as a “jet-powered Aqua Scooter,” continuing the earlier waterscooter inspiration.

Today’s PWC

Today, the market is loaded with personal watercraft brands, but there are three major companies that have dominated. Stand-up PWCs were the original style, but over the course of the 1980s, sit-down styles that accommodated more than one passenger became more popular. These two and three person watercrafts began to take over the market by the 1990s. However, stand-up PWCs continued to be marketed for experienced riders who sought higher speeds and tighter handling on the water. These three companies are the frontrunners of the personal watercraft market:

Kawasaki
The Jet Ski® by Kawasaki has a history stemming back to 1973, when they were released to the U.S. market. Jet Ski® was the first brand of watercraft to become commercially successful. Their stand-up style was favored for its sleekness and speed, and these qualities have only been enhanced in the decades since.

Yamaha
The WaveRunner® by Yamaha was released in the 1980s, resulting in a shift from the stand-up PWC style to the sit-down style that provided room for more than one passenger at a time. WaveRunner® PWCs are known for their unique jet of water that shoots into the air from the rear of the craft.

Bombardier (Sea-Doo) Recreational Products
The new and improved Sea-Doo® re-entered the personal watercraft market in 1988. Featuring a streamlined design with a sit-down style, the Sea-Doo® became a fierce competitor after having made waves as the initial personal watercraft design.

21st Century PWC
Today’s personal watercraft have become streamlined, more powerful, quieter and more fuel efficiency. Personal watercraft of all types are extremely popular, fun and thrilling. They allow both families and solo enthusiasts alike to soar across the water with ease.

Now that you know the history of the personal watercraft, you might want to join the party and own one yourself! Hmmmm…I wonder if they’ll take a trade-in on a slightly used Harley-Davidson? See you on the water!

Breaking News – What’s the Big Scoop on Eating Ice Cream in July?!

Holy Frozen Cow! The crew here at the Storage Inn has just been informed that July is National Ice Cream Month. This made us all so happy that we jumped for joy and decided to share our ice cream enthusiasm with everyone! Now, as a nation, we all have a great reason to curb our diets and celebrate with ice cream!

How did this amazing discovery come about you ask? Well, as the manager at the Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, I have the wonderful opportunity to speak with so many storage rental customers everyday. Today I was having a conversation with one of our tenants, Mr Giordano.

I’ve always known that Mr. Giordano is a teacher because he stores his extra classroom items in a storage unit all summer long. But! it turns out that he also has a very delightful summer job. He’s an ice cream man!

That’s right! – During the hot summer months you can find Mr. Giordano cruising around your neighborhood in that big white truck that plays the music you can hear from 5 blocks away!

During our conversation, he informed me that July is indeed National Ice Cream Month; so in honor of National Ice Cream Month and Mr. Giordano, here are some fun facts about America’s favorite frozen treat…

Fun Facts About Ice Cream

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation’s population.

The waffle cone was created at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis when Abe Doumar, a traveling salesman, encouraged an ice cream vendor to serve their ice cream on rolled waffles made by another nearby vendor when they ran out of paper dishes.

The first known ice cream recipe was handwritten in the recipe book of Lady Anne Fanshawe in 1665, and it was flavored with orange flower water, mace, or ambergris – an intestinal fluid from sperm whales.

Chocolate ice cream was invented long before vanilla, and the first documented recipe for it appeared in the book The Modern Steward, published in Italy in 1692.

Vanilla ice cream may be the default flavor today, but it was quite exotic and rare in the late 1700’s, as vanilla was difficult to acquire before the mid-19th century.

Many ice cream flavors popular in the colonial era in the United States are still mainstays – vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, coffee – but others, like oyster, parmesan, and asparagus – didn’t have staying power.

The Häagen-Dazs brand was established by two Americans – Reuben and Rose Mattus – and the name was made up to sound Danish and sophisticated.

Ben & Jerry’s was the first company to sell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in 1991, and the flavor was created based on an anonymous suggestion on a board in their Burlington, Vt., shop.

Food photographers frequently use modified mashed potatoes as a stand-in for actual ice cream in photos.

“Brain Freeze” happens because the nerve endings on the roof of your mouth are not used to being cold, and they send a message to your brain signaling a loss of body heat.

Apple pie a la mode was invented at the Cambridge Hotel in New York when a customer named Professor Charles Watson Townshend regularly ordered ice cream with his apple pie. Another diner, Berry Hall, coined the dish’s name.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors are full of chunky mix-ins in part because co-founder Ben Cohen has no sense of scent, and a lot of his pleasure in ice cream comes from its texture.

The sundae was invented when soda jerks in the late 1890s bowed to criticism from religious leaders for serving “sinfully” rich ice cream sodas on Sundays. They started serving the ice cream and syrups without soda water and called it a “sundae.”

Dreyer’s and Edy’s are the same brand, but the latter name is used in the East and Midwestern United States, and the former is used in the West and Texas.

Hawaiian Punch was originally created and marketed as a syrup intended as an ice cream topping, but it became more popular mixed with water as a drink.

Professional ice cream taste-testers use special gold spoons which allow the tester to taste the product with virtually no trace of flavor left over from what was last on the spoon.

Blue Bell Creamery and Dreyer’s/Edy’s both claim to have invented cookies and cream ice cream, and there is no substantial proof as to which brand was actually first.

The earliest versions of Neapolitan ice cream were made of green pistachio, white vanilla, and red cherry ice cream and was made to resemble the Italian flag.

So, there you have it, a few things that you might not have known about America’s favorite frozen treat!

Boy, all this talk about ice cream reminded me again of Mr. Giordano. Where’d he go? I was gonna, ahem, suggest I keep a close eye on his ice cream truck while he took his good ole time rummaging through his storage unit. 😉

Happy National Ice Cream Month Everyone!

 

 

 

Remember to thank Veterans all year long

How Memorial Day Came To Be

Memorial Day weekend is finally upon us, and the yard is buzzing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. People are visiting their storage units, retrieving their barbecue grills and beach chairs in preparation for the big weekend. As I watch the busy storage yard activity, it occurs to me that many of our tenants and quite a few of our employees are veterans.

As a tribute, here are a few Memorial Day facts that you might not have known, courtesy of The Storage Inn.

The observance, which began in the years following the Civil War, was originally known as Decoration Day. By the late 1860s, many Americans had begun hosting tributes to the war’s fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and flags. It gradually came to be known as Memorial Day over the years.

It was Union General John A. Logan who called for an official nationwide day of remembrance on May 30, 1868, a date chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle. However, the southern states originally observed a different day to honor the Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. Eventually the holiday evolved to commemorate fallen military personnel in all wars. There are still 11 states that observe an official day to honor those who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy—Virginia is the only one that observes Confederate Memorial Day on the same day as Memorial Day.

In 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace.

In 1968, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. But Memorial Day didn’t actually become an official federal holiday until 1971.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which asks Americans to observe a Moment of Silence at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day..

Some of the largest Memorial Day parades take place in Chicago, New York, and, of course, Washington D.C. which boasts an audience exceeding 250,000, who watch as marching bands, active duty and retired military units, youth groups, veterans, and floats head down Constitution Avenue.

On Memorial Day, the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico direct the flag to be flown at half-staff until noon on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels.

U.S. citizens are asked to display the flag at half-staff from their homes before noon, as well.

So, while you’re having a great time with family and friends this weekend, do take a moment to remember those who gave their lives, to preserve our American way of life.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and God Bless America!

 

Celebrating Moms for over 100 years!!!

Celebrating Moms for over 100 years!!!

Today is Friday, two days before Mother’s Day, and the rental office here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township, NJ is a buzz with people shuttling back and forth to and from their storage spaces, preparing for various spring activities and events.

Yesterday as one of our tenants, Mr. Hendry, was returning his van rental, I reminded him, “ Don’t forget about your wife this Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day!” “ Yeah”, he groaned, “ Another holiday made up by the greeting card companies.” As Mr. Henry shuffled out the door, and headed toward his storage unit, I realized that this was not the first time I had heard that comment made by someone. I wondered if it was true, so I checked into it, and here’s what I found.

I was surprised to find that Mother’s Day turns 103 this year! The holiday is known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation, but the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace.

Mother’s Day and The Civil War

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination during the Civil War. The group also tended to wounded soldiers from both sides of the conflict.

In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe – best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.

The Modern Mother’s Day

After Ann’s death in 1905, her daughter, Anna took up the cause, and largely through her efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states around the country, until President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

Today, of course, Mother’s Day is right up there with Valentine’s Day in terms of of consumerism. Americans will spend an average of $162 on mom this year, with total spending expected to reach $19.9 billion. The U.S. National Restaurant Association reports that Mother’s Day is the year’s most popular holiday for dining out, and the third most popular greeting card holiday behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day! About 133 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged annually, according to Hallmark. After Christmas, it’s the second most popular holiday for giving gifts.

So, on Sunday, give Mom a nice card and some flowers, take her to a nice brunch, and then take her to see a Civil War reenactment – That is, after all, where this whole thing got started. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Motorcycle Self Storage Tips for Spring!
Time to Ride!

April is on and there are plenty of motorcycles cruising past our office at The Storage Inn Self Storage facility here in Egg Harbor Township in South Jersey. I’ve also noticed a few of our storage space customers getting their bikes out and who could blame them on a days like these?

As I was making my rounds, I ran into one of our long time motorcycle storage customers, Chuck, who had his storage unit door open. He appeared to be staring intently at the inner workings of his Harley Road King.

“Headed out?” I yelled to him.

“ Not until I do my Spring safety check “  he shouted back at me.

Upon closer investigation, I found that Chuck had a paper checklist that he follows every spring. Being a rider myself, I was curious to see what his list included.

Here is Chuck’s checklist…

  1. Check your battery – This the heart of your ride’s electrical system. Chuck says that any biker worth his salt will have already been connected to a trickle charger, and should be good to go, but if you don’t have your battery on a charger, the first thing to make your motorcycle ride-ready is to charge your battery.
  2. Change the oil & filter – It’s best to change your bike’s oil before you store it for the winter, but if not, now’s the time to do it. Swap that stale lubricant out for fresh clean oil and a new filter. If you don’t do the work on your bike, make arrangements with your favorite cycle shop to get it done.
  3. Kick the Tires : We don’t really want you to kick them, but you should do a full 360 degree check on each tire for any cracking or punctures. Also, check for wear. On many tires, tread wear indicator bars signal a need for replacement. But there also the old trick of using a penny. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head  when facing down and inserted into the tire tread… it’s time for a new tire. If your tires pass the wear test, inflate them to the manufacturer’s inflation specs and your rubber is ready to go!
  4. Fuel up  – Ideally, you should have stabilized the fuel in your motorcycle during the winterizing process before you placed it into storage. If you didn’t winterize, and also didn’t fill the tank before storing, check the fuel tank for rust, which may have formed due to water condensation. If the tank is clean, fill it and ‘ride-on’. If there are signs of rust, you’ll live with the consequences – fouled carburetor, clogged fuel filter, etc. – until you replace the tank.
  5. Check your Connections – A Spring tune up of cables, plugs, and pivot points is time well spent. Check all electrical connections, cables, and all moving parts that might require lubrication. Things tend to dry out over the winter, so take the time to make sure that the moving parts are kept moving!

    Mature man,working on motorcycle in garage

  6. Lights! Camera! Action! Turn on your motorcycle’s power and check all the lights for any that have inoperative bulbs and replace them. (i.e.  brake lights, turn signals, headlights, etc.) Often, replacement bulbs come in twos, so save extras for the next time you need one. If a new bulb does not light, it’s time to check the fuse box. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to visit your local cycle shop. Electrical problems are best left to the experts.
  7. Ready, Set, Stop! Stopping your motorcycle safely is just as important as ensuring your bike can accelerate. Before you hit the road, thoroughly check all the components of your brake system – lever adjustment, cables, calipers, brake pads, etc. If things don’t seem right and you’re not comfortable making adjustments, seek professional help. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  8. Stay Hydrated – Check all of the motorcycle’s fluid levels – brake, clutch, oil, coolant. Top them off as needed. Look for any leaks on the floor where your motorcycle’s been stored. Another way to check for leaks is to start and warm your bike to running temperature, then turn it off and check for leaks.
  9. Keep it Clean – The old adage, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is true – especially for your motorcycle. When you’ve taken all the steps to prepare your motorcycle mechanically, thoroughly clean the exterior. Your bike will look as good as it runs and you’ll look good riding it!!!
  10. Ride safe! Always watch out for other drivers! 

So there you have it. Chuck’s checklist. Get ready, get that bike out of storage, and get riding!

 

April Showers and Springtime Flowers

It’s April here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and things have been busy & sunny and busy & wet! It depends on the day!

A couple days ago during a torrential downpour I was speaking with one of our storage space customers. He was wearing his rain gear while organizing his storage unit. “I feel like I’m living in Seattle!”, he exclaimed. “Or London!” I shouted back.

As I walked back to the self storage rental office, I was thinking about rainy places. I wondered where the rainiest places in the world exist, so I google it. Here is what I found…

Although it might feel like you’re gonna float away on a river of rain sometimes, the average rainfall in the United States is about 32 inches a year and that’s nothing compared to the top 10 rainiest places on earth.

Imagine weathering these spots…

10. Emei Shan, Sichuan Province, China
Average annual rainfall: 322 inches

Mount Emei is the highest of the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism and receives the most rainfall in China. There is a phenomenon called a “clouds sea” in the area and during the monsoon, it attracts a double layer of clouds that result in it receiving huge rainfalls.

9. Kukui, Maui, Hawaii
Average annual rainfall: 366 inches

The mountain peak of Puu Kukui is the 9th wettest place on earth.

8. Mt. Waialeale, Kauai, Hawaii
Average annual rainfall: 384 inches

The name Mt. Waialeale means “overflowing water”. The rain around this extinct volcano is so wet and slippery that access is extremely difficult. Researchers believe that the peak’s conical shape makes it so rainy.
In 1912, Mt. Waialeale saw a record 683 inches of rain.

7. Big Bog, Maui, Hawaii
Average annual rainfall: 405 inches

Despite being subjected to constant rain, Big Bog is a major tourist attraction on Maui because of its lush scenery.

The amazing precipitation is caused by easterly trade winds that bring moisture from the Pacific up against the steep mountainside.

6. Debundscha, Cameroon, Africa
Average annual rainfall: 405 inches

The village of Debundscha lies at the foot of Mount Cameroon, the highest peak in Africa. It’s believed the location contributes to its massive rains as the mountain blocks the clouds.

5. San Antonio de Ureca, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Average annual rainfall: 411 inches

San Antonio de Ureca is the wettest place in the African Continent. The dry season is only from November to March, with the rest of the months attracting heavy rain. During the brief dry season, tourists can watch turtles come ashore on the beaches to lay their eggs.

4. Cropp River, New Zealand
Average annual rainfall: 453 inches

The river may only be only 9km long, but it certainly punches above its weight in precipitation.

3. Tutendo, Colombia, South America
Average annual rainfall: 463 inches

There are two rainy seasons in this region so it’s pretty much teeming all year round.

2. Cherrapunji, Meghalaya State, India
Average annual rainfall: 464 inches

Ironically, despite being the second wettest place on Earth, residents of this village face water shortages in winter when no rain falls at all for months at a time. During the wet season, incessant rains lash the region, sometimes for 15-21 days at a stretch. The area is also famous for its waterfalls, hills and living root bridges.

1. Mawsynram, Meghalaya State, India
Average annual rainfall: 467 inches

Located only 15km from Cherrapunji, there’s often dispute between the villages about which should hold the title of world’s wettest.
Villagers in Mawsynram use grass to soundproof their huts from deafening rain that pelts their homes during the rainy season.
Meteorologists say Mawsynram’s location, close to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal is the reason it receives so much rain.

That concludes our list of the top 10 wettest places on Earth, so, as you can see, we really don’t have it all that bad here in the good ole U.S. of A. “Happy Spring Showers and Flowers” from the staff here at The Storage Inn, and if your heading to India, be sure to pack your swimmies!

The Storage Inn investigates South Jersey’s Underground Railroad

South Jersey’s Underground Railroad

Its mid February at The Storage Inn Self Storage here in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and we’ve already been through Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s Day. February, however, is also a month-long celebration of our nation’s Black History. The Storage Inn is located just outside Atlantic City, New Jersey, a city rich in Black History – Club Harlem, Chicken Bone Beach, and the Boardwalk Empire Prohibition Era come to mind immediately, but what many people don’t know, is that Atlantic and Cape May counties in southern New Jersey were integral in the success of the Underground Railroad in the mid 1800’s.

This was brought to light by one of our storage customers who happens to be the curator for the Black History section of the Atlantic City Heritage Collections at the resort’s public library. Below are the highlights of our conversation regarding the underground railroad in our area.

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used in the 19th century by slaves to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.



These safe houses were located in small communities, so those seeking freedom could go from town to town without anyone noticing them, For slaves using the Underground Railroad to escape the south, reaching Atlantic and Cape May counties offered hope that the journey to freedom might soon be over.

Communities such as Somers Point and Egg Harbor City in Atlantic County offered those escaping slavery a direct path to Pennsylvania, a state that had already outlawed slavery.

“The goal of slaves on the Underground Railroad was to make it to Pennsylvania, so when they got to Egg Harbor City, NJ they knew that freedom was just days away. I’m sure that many people don’t realize how much of an impact South Jersey had on the Underground Railroad,” said Ava, our curator.

Cape May also played a prominent role in the Underground Railroad. Cape May sits directly across the Bay from Delaware and Maryland. During that time, land crossings were actually more difficult than water crossings, so places that had water access became more popular.



Cape May was known to those seeking freedom, as a place with safe locations that they could count on.


Finding reliable numbers for escaped slaves who traveled through New Jersey, let alone Atlantic County, has proven tricky. The national estimate for those who used the Underground Railroad as a path to freedom is between 30,000 and 40,000 escapees.

You know, they say that you learn something new everyday, and today I learned something that makes me just a bit more proud of the South Jersey area!  Until the next time!

 

Nice Weather…If You’re a Penguin!

It’s early February here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the frigid temperatures are here! Earlier today, I bundled up and ventured out of the rental office to do a yard check.  As I made my rounds, I noticed one of our longtime storage tenants, Mr. Bradley, removing a few items from his self storage unit. “Nice weather!” I yelled. “Yeah, If you’re a penguin!” Mr. Bradley shot back. ”I feel like we’re living at the North Pole”  I said as I shivered past him. Then he said something that I found curious …”Well you won’t find any penguins at the North Pole”. 

I was too cold to continue the conversation, so I went back to the office to ponder Mr. Bradley’s comment. Was he correct about the penguins not living in the North Pole? I did a little research. It turns out that Mr. Bradley was correct – penguins only live in the southern hemisphere, mainly in Antarctica. Surprisingly, I also came across some other interesting differences between the North and South Poles. Here is what I found… 

North Pole vs South Pole

The biggest difference is that the Arctic is a sea surrounded by land while the Antarctic is land surrounded by a sea. This fundamental difference is the reason for many of the other differences between the two regions.

The North Pole

The North Pole is basically in the Arctic Ocean.

The ice there is 1m to 3m (3-10ft) thick floating on the Arctic Ocean. It’s made of frozen sea water with snow on top. Sea level is usually no more than 1 meter below your feet and the sea bed another 4,260 meters below that. The ice may be flat and smooth or rough, having been broken up and refrozen together again. The ice is moving at anywhere from a snail’s pace to walking pace.

The North Pole is 450 miles from the nearest land at the northern tip of Greenland.

Temperatures are estimated from those measured elsewhere in the Arctic, as there are no structures or settlements out on the ocean, the ice is too unreliable and unstable.

At the North Pole the sun is continually above the horizon from the March equinox to the September equinox reaching a high point of 23.5° at the summer solstice around June the 21st. From September to March it is continually below the horizon.

The poles have 5 months of daylight, then a month of twilight, then 5 months of darkness, then a month of twilight before starting all over again.

The Arctic has many large land animals including reindeer, musk ox, lemmings, arctic hares, arctic terns, snowy owls, squirrels, arctic fox and polar bears. As the Arctic is a part of the land masses of Europe, North America and Asia, these animals can migrate south in the winter and head back to the north again in the more productive summer months. 

There are also many kinds of large marine animals such as walrus and a variety of seals. Narwhals and other whales are present but not as plentiful as they were in pre-whaling days.

 

The South Pole

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The South Pole is a point on the great ice sheet of Eastern Antarctica.

The South Pole is at an altitude of about 9,300 ft on ice that is 9,000 ft thick! It reaches down to rock which rises to just over 350 ft above sea level. This rock is pushed into the earth’s mantle by the weight of the ice. Altitude sickness is a risk at the South Pole for people arriving by plane. Accumulated snowfall that has built up over time and it never melts accounts for the creation of ice.

The ice is moving towards the Weddell Sea in the west at about 33ft per year.

The nearest sea, called the Bay of Whales, is about 800 miles away.

Temperatures have been measured at the South Pole since 1956 as there is a large research station there.

There is a ceremonial pole that is repositioned every year on the first of January.

 

The South Pole also has 5 months of daylight, then a month of twilight, then 5 months of darkness, then a month of twilight before starting all over again, but its seasons are opposite the North Pole.

The largest land animal in the Antarctic is an insect, a wingless midge, less than 0.5in long. There are no flying insects (they’d get blown away).

There are however a great many sea creatures that live in the Antarctic region. These include huge numbers of penguin varieties such as the Adelie, Chinstrap, Gentoo, King, Emperor, Rockhopper and Macaroni. Seal specifies include Fur, Leopard, Weddell, Elephant and Crabeaters.(Crabeater seals are the second most populous large mammal on the planet after man). There are also many kinds of birds such as albatrosses and assorted petrels. There are places in Antarctica where the wildlife reaches incredible densities mainly because there is no indigenous human population on Antarctica to hunt them!

Well, now we all know more about the North and South poles than ever before! Luckily The Storage Inn rental office is nice and warm, but if this weather keeps up, I think we may have to adopt a penguin as our mascot! Enjoy the rest of the winter everyone!