Chapter 1 Ike’s World - 1800
was Indian Summer at Sand Hill and the end of the 19th century.
Indian Ike reminisced about the eight decades that
elapsed as he rocked back and forth on the front porch of his large Victorian
Avenue on Sand Hill. As he
smoked his pipe, watched his grandchildren chase fireflies, nursed an amputated
big toe, Ike reflected on the transformation of New Jersey shore villages caused
by industrial changes. Sand Hill was located on the Atlantic coast, about
fifty-five water miles south of New York City and
about thirty miles east of Princeton , NJ .
Sand Hill was home to several generations of Lenape
and Cherokee Indian families, such as the Richardsons and Reveys. Sand Hill
became the gathering place for summer powwows as descendants returned home each
the street names have changed on the triangular piece of land that was Sand
Hill. Ike’s family owned fifteen acres on Sand Hill. The acreage bordered
on the north, now named
on the south, now called
on the east, recently called
Springwood and Springdale Avenues were named after the springs on Sand
Ike’s four sons, Isaac W., Theodore, Richard and Joseph Richardson,
owned fifteen acres of farmland at Sand Hill buying the property in 1877 from
James A. Bradley for $500. Twenty-five years of industrial, technological and
mechanical advances were changing life at the Jersey shore. The Richardson homestead, called Richardson
Heights on some maps, was composed of a dozen houses, barns, smokehouses,
out-houses, sheds and other structures built by the Richardson men. Sand Hill
was heavily wooded and surrounded by magnolia, black walnut, fruit and hardwood
trees. Nearby acres were purchased and used for cutting lumber for construction
Fields for horses, cows, goats, chickens, a bull
and geese were located in the valley below two freshwater springs that bubbled
out of the hillside. A hand pump on the back porch was connected to the spring
and water was stored in a barrel. A large corncrib was stocked with animal feed
for winter use. Since there was no electricity, families used oil lamps for
light, had an ice-box with a square block of ice in the bottom and kept a root
cellar for winter use.
preparation occurred in a large country kitchen while the men worked building
new dwellings around shore towns. Meals were served in the large dining room,
which had its own porch that faced westward catching the afternoon sun. There
were five or six bedrooms upstairs, front and back staircases, and a huge mound
of coal piled in the cellar to feed the stoves in winter.
1818 full-blooded Cherokee Indian, Isaac Revey Richardson, was born to Rebecca
and Joseph Richardson in the small village
, NJ, (just a few years after the
British burned the White House). Indian Ike was the youngest of twelve siblings,
some of whom remained in the mountains of Georgia
when the family left or migrated westward
and were never heard from again.
Ike’s relatives were a fragment of the Cherokee Nation located in the
southeastern states of the
Georgia, the Carolinas and
explorers met Eastern woodland tribes as they trekked through this area of the
in the 1500s. Interaction with
Spanish and French explorers searching for gold, silver, precious metals,
valuable furs and skins upset the trade balance of native communities in the
1600s. Indian natives used medicinal herbs such as dandelion, red clover, yellow
dock, violet flowers, burdock to prevent disease and boost the immune system.
Cosmetic lotions of sunflower and nut oils were used for sunburn and bear grease
kept away insects. The Lenape had no Algonquin word for garbage or trash since
all organic matter was stored in pits and used for gardens and fields as
After hiding out in the mountains for a while, Ike’s forefathers
chose to make a better life for themselves by moving north following the
Appalachian Trail. They
lived with their Lenape cousins, the Reveys in the area called Shrewsbury, of which Eatontown village and the hamlet of
Falls were a small section.
Since Isaac married Elizabeth Revey from New York, part of the Sand Hill history is tied
Farmers from Holland settled the
New Jersey shore before England declared
ownership of the entire eastern seaboard in the 1660s. European settlers bought
land near Sandy Hook from the local natives and
started clearing the land for farming. Nearby we find Holland Road and
many roads with Dutch surnames, Van Brackle, Van Mater, and Van derveer. Later
Van was dropped from some names. Eventually, European diseases brought fourteen
epidemics of small pox, diphtheria, typhus and measles, which eradicated ninety
percent of the native population of New
and New Jersey.
letter of July 8th, 1524 from Giovanni de Verrazzano to King Francis
France gives us our first
description of the area of New Amsterdam, now called
New York, and New Belgium, now called
. A Dutch map of 1635 lists local area tribes and
their villages: Naraticons, Awuauachuques, Sanhikans, Tappaens, Manatthans,
Matouwacs, Sennecans, Makimanes, Quirepeys, Weckewons, Matavacons, Neversinks
Port-au-Pecks and Raritans.
Modern maps reveal our local Indian heritage by
using names of tribal places, such as Tappans (Zee), Manhattans, Matawan,
Manasquan, Navesink, Seneca, Lake Takanassee and (Chief) Wanamassa. Other names
exist on local street signs, towns, brooks, streams names as Wickapecko,
Wickatunk, Port-au-peck, Pocano, Ticonderoga, Onieda, Genessee, Ithaca, Cayuga,
Horicon, Pocaontas, Wyandotte, Hiawatha, Sgamore, Commanche, Werah, Manahasset,
Takanassee, Musquash, Cold Indian Springs, Minnehaha, Minnesink, toboggan,
Unamis, Shenandoah, Passaic, Narrumson, Manito, Wanamassa, Rumson, Cheasquake,
Assumpink, Wampum Brook, Mahwah, Piscataway and Kittatinny Mountains.
Street names in the local town of Oceanport are Iroquois, Wigwam, Widgeon, Weehawkin, Huron,
Mohawk, Mohegan, Ontario , Oswego , Tecumseh, Tohican, Waackaak, Mohoras Brook and
Hill School in Holmdel. Located in
Tinton Falls are Squankum, Hochhochson Road and the Revey Branch of
Located in the Freehold area are Algonquin, Apache, Topanemus,
, Pigeon, Assumpink, Metedeconk,
Matchaponix, Weamaconk and Winkatunk. Our state names identify the native tribes
in Utah, Kansas, Iowa, Dakota, Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota,
Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi,
Missouri and Alabama.
Cities using native names are Tuscaloosa, Chatanooga, Witchta, Omaha, Topeka, Chicago, Toronto,
Canada, (Chief) Pontiac, Cadillac, (Chief) Seattle. Native Indian names
for sports teams and mascots are considered demeaning to people with native
ancestry. Lenape heritage remains in New York
by tribal names such as Carnarsie, Rockaway, Gowanus, Matinecock, Montauk,
Syosset, Massapequa, Mamareneck, Poughkeepsie, Sagaponac (Sag) Harbor,
Shinnecock and Ronkonkomo.
While the family lived in Eatontown village Ike and his brother,
William H. Richardson, were commissioned in 1854 “to build a school for colored
children” on Wall Street about a mile south of Eatontown village. This location
is now under the Eatontown traffic Circle near Monmouth Mall. Nearby on
Richardson’s headstone and other relatives were interred. Also bordering Wall
Street is the historic
century old headstones provide evidence of the history of Ike and Elizabeth’s
many Richardson and Revey ancestors.
Due to the tremendous growth of shore resort
towns, the Richardsons and Reveys continued to prosper with the growing economy.
At the time land averaged about $10.00 per acre. In
averaged $39 an acre. Land in
sold for $2.50 an acre.
Wealth was measured in land, property ownership, trading and
Another small village in
, where the Revey
family owned one hundred and five acres.
was named after Tintern Abbey near
. In 1660s
Lewis Morris of Barbadoes was granted a royal charter to mine iron from the
falls a mile west of
Eatontown. Morris brought in hundreds of African slaves to mine the ore
resulting in the highest number of slaves in
the colony of
at that time. Villages centered on water, small
rivers, creeks, where gristmills, sawmills and lumber mills could use the
waterpower for energy.