The Dead River Journal: Progressive News and Views in Bernards Township, NJ

A progressive, critical, satirical, and thoughtful vehicle for reaching local citizens. This site is progressive but nonpartisan – our goal is to reach out to Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans alike.

Editorial: Why The Dead River Journal …and what you can expect to find here.

The idea for the Dead River Journal was hatched at a meeting to consider a new communications strategy for democrats, independents, and moderate republicans in Bernards Township. We intend to be serious, wide-ranging, funny, and engaging, and provide what a local newspaper or magazine should – articles worth reading. Read more…

PLEASE NOTE: The focus of the Dead River Journal has changed substantially since it first began. I’ve kept much of the original description here, but we never implemented some of these ideas, and are not likely to. Rather, it has become a vehicle for sharing original thoughts, articles, and essays for me and a few close colleagues in Bernards Township, NJ. (Jonathan Cloud, Nov. 8, 2013)


Liberty Corner, Bernards Township, NJ (circa 2009)

The DRJ was originally meant to be a hyperlocal site — that is, we would focus initially on what’s happening in our local community — though this can certainly include local writers commenting on state, national, or global issues. “Right here” is Bernards Township, NJ, a 24-square-mile exurb in Somerset County with a population of about 25,000 people. Our principal mailing address is Basking Ridge, though technically that refers to the downtown village at the northern end of the township; other sections include Lyons (which has a train station and a shopping center, but not a “main street”), and Liberty Corner, which does have a sort of main street (Church Street) and is centered on a triangular intersection with Lyons Road (see photo).

“Neighborhoods” are not that well defined, except in The Hills, which is a newer (and, by some folks, deeply resented) community of nearly 5000 homes that straddles the boundary with the neighboring town of Bedminster.

As we post articles, we tag them as to content, and the entire archive of local items can be accessed here:

Local News Archive

The Dead River:1

Photo Credit: Passaic River Coalition (http://www.passaicriver.org)

The Dead River is a tributary of the Passaic River that has its source in Somerset CountyNew Jersey in the United States. For several miles it forms the northern border of Warren Township with Bernards Township, both in Somerset County. It joins the Passaic just north of Exit 36 of I-78, and the junction was moved northward, away from the Exit, to allow enough room for the exit ramps. There the river is crossed by King George Road. At the next I-78 westward, Exit 33, the river is crossed by the Martinsville-Liberty Corner Road, and there is extensive commercial development in both Warren and Bernards north of the Exit and south of the river. The Somerset Hills Hotel is on the banks of the river in Warren, and its sister hotel, now Indigo, is to the west on its banks in Bernards. For many years the Indigo was known as The Inn at Somerset Hills, and its lounge-tavern was known as The Dead River Pub. Between the two I-78 exits the river is crossed by one road, known in Warren as Dead River Road and Bernards as Acken Road. Prior to World War II there were several brick works along the river due to the good clay found there. A 1960s housing development in Warren, originally called Dead River Estates, found more success when renamed Whispering Hills. The Dead River Road bridge was for a long time closed due to flooding and disrepair, and a controversary over whether it should be repaired and reopened significantly affected the 1983 election for Warren Township Committee. From river source to the Passaic the land is very flat, which, except during heavy rainfalls, results in hardly any detectable flow in the river, hence its name—which has absolutely nothing to do with anything “dead” along its course, save the river itself.
1 From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_River_(New_Jersey)

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