Alllll Aboooard! I’ve always wanted to say that and now I can. Exciting news here on the farm - move over Thomas the Train – the WoodsEdge Express has arrived!
Designated as one of WoodsEdge’s historians, I have the pleasure of knowing many stories (and secrets) about this 41 year old family farm (which dates back to the 1700s and was originally named the Corle Farm). So back the train up - I’m going to get a little nostalgic...
The area around WoodsEdge is named for Dr. John Bowne, a physician who owned a nearby farm. In 1856, historic Bowne Station (formerly called Barber Station) was home to his doctor’s office, train station and post office. In the 1870s, the Flemington Railroad & Transportation Company constructed a railroad through the area connecting Lambertville and Flemington with a station. Now, fast forward almost 150 years to today.
The return of the Black River & Western railroad scenic excursion passenger train to Bowne Station has been 20 years in the making. The last train that ran on these tracks was back in 1997 and it was hijacked!
It’s a rather unique story - you see - my loyal caregiver Brent Walker, owner of WoodsEdge Farm and third-generation New Jersey farmer tells the story…..
Back in the late 90’s, I remember the crunching of gravel as a sleek four-door sedan drove up our driveway. A gentleman slid out from the squeaky leather seats and approached my father. My father pulled a red handkerchief from his tattered jeans and wiped the oil from his rough and callused hands. They stood in the driveway and chatted for what seemed like hours. The guy asked my father, “Do you have cable out here?” Yes, in the 90’s we still did not have cable in the country.
My father replied, “No, not yet, but I hear it’s coming soon.”
“Well, would you like me to run it up your driveway?” My ears perked up as, at a young age, I had traveled the U.S. to livestock shows and stayed at hotels where they offered cable TV. It was a kid’s dream!
My father was always open to help from a friendly face. He shrugged his shoulders and said “Sure, but what’s the catch?”
“Well, you see...”said the guy; “I’m planning on robbing the train.”
My father looked at him like he was nuts. “What???” The fellow continued “I’m getting married and we are ridding the Black River & Western railroad to Lambertville. There is a perfect spot near the tracks where I can ride up on horseback and kidnap my bride from the train. The train will stop and my groomsmen will rob everyone and usher them off. I’ll ride up and then we’ll have our ceremony on the land next to the tracks. That is, if you allow us on your property...”
Again, my father shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sure.” Another handshake and the sedan cruised down the driveway. My hands were sweating and my heart pounded in my chest – I could barely contain my excitement. Cable in the country – AT LAST!
A few weeks later, we loaded the trailer full of alpacas and off to a show we went. We returned a few days later and there is was – cable ran all the way up our driveway to our 1700s farmhouse. Come to find out - the groom worked for the cable company!
WoodsEdge Farm is excited to partner with Black River & Western Railroad to bring back a journey through the scenic Hunterdon countryside and visit to our 41 year old family owned and operated fiber farm. The WoodsEdge Express will feature a train ride 2.5 miles from Ringoes to Bowne Station and a wagon ride to WoodsEdge Farm. There you will have 45 minutes for a self-guided tour to visit the WoodsEdge Farm Store and to meet and take up-close and personal photos with our llamas and alpacas.