As I’ve mentioned, the events of the How It Was series of booklets took place in the real world as well as in the world of The Boy’s imagination (then and now). The real town where all this happened is in southern New Jersey, on the Delaware River and a few miles north of Philadelphia.
The Missus knows how tightly I cling to memories of that place and time and, accordingly, has set up on eBay some kind of early-warning system for herself, to let her know that something tagged with the town’s highly unusual (almost certainly unique) name has come on the market.
This past Christmas, she came up with some winners: a series of maps, dated 1876, and a couple of postcards. (That’s a thumbnail of one of the maps at the top of this post; click on it for the original as scanned, which will open in a new window or tab.) My friend Jimmy still lives in that area, and occasionally drops me a line to let me know of some item of interest. Recently, the local post office celebrated its 150th anniversary, and issued a series of commemorative postcards — reproductions of the originals; Jimmy sent me a few of them.
One of the things I’d like to do sometimes here at Running After My Hat is to try filling in some background on the town — not necessarily what it’s like now, or even how it really was… but at least how it was in The Boy’s latter-day memory. I’m going to start with this map — a larger-scale, annotated version of -which you can see “below the fold.”