History of The Caldwells

We stumbled upon the fine website of the First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, which features this incredible page of history on The Caldwells.

You can visit the page by clicking here.

Among our favorite photos include Bloomfield Avenue, The Monomonock Inn, and of course the Crane House. The “Denver of the East” never looked so good!

These fantastic photos got us thinking about the history of our own property. Crane’s Mill was originally built by Caleb Hatfield in the 1780s. The land and mill were purchased by Samuel Crane, and the mill was run by his family. Four of Crane’s grandsons (Nathaniel, Moses, Zenas, and Asher) rebuilt the mill after it was destroyed by fire in 1851.

In 1955, Herbert Crane, Asher’s grandson, took over the mill and operated it until his death in 1967. At that time, the mill ceased operation after serving the region for more than two centuries. Besides the milling of lumber, Crane’s Mill was also used to grind feed and flour. Waste wood was sold for cooking and heating. Even the sawdust was used to insulate local ice houses. Many older local buildings have framing timbers cut at the mill from the once-abundant virgin forests of the area.

The old mill wheel now stands silent in Allaire State Park in Monmouth County, where it is slated for restoration.

What are some of your memories of the Caldwell area? We’d love to hear–send us an email by clicking here. We may just share your thoughts in a future post.

Celebrating Earth Day

Today marks the 48th annual celebration of Earth Day!

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lands for a visit to Crane's Mill.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lands for a visit to Crane’s Mill.

It’s hard to believe this “new” holiday is approaching its golden anniversary. Started in 1970, Earth Day began as a day to “honor the Earth and the concept of peace.”

Today, the tradition continues as people gather to pay tribute to the planet, march for environmental causes, and gather for service projects like neighborhood cleanups.

At Crane’s Mill, we have a special place for Earth Day. Our campus is a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and sits alongside an area of protected wetlands. That means two important things: 1., we’re done building, so all the open space you see is there to stay and 2., our residents get to enjoy a world-class, serene, natural location that provides plenty of room for all sorts of activities.

Some of the ways our residents enjoy their outdoor space include trail walking, bird watching, walks around the landscaped grounds, or simply enjoying the benches around the pond on the west side of campus.

In addition to nature, the campus features some man-made outdoor elements like our bocce court, gazebo, and al fresco dining patio.

On this Earth Day, we’re thankful for the natural beauty of our campus, its surrounding protected land, and the wildlife and plants we are blessed to enjoy all year round.

To see the campus for yourself, visit our contact page to schedule a tour. We would love to show you around.

Letter from Family Member Touts Crane’s Mill Service, Attentiveness

Do you have a spare minute to read a letter from a family member? We’ve read it multiple times since receiving, and are excited to share with you:

Dear Crane’s Mill Staff,

I’ve been delayed in dropping you an email to thank you for the responsiveness of the Crane’s Mill staff when my dad’s heating system broke down last Saturday night, right in the midst of this ongoing abnormally frigid early January weather that we’ve been having.

When I called Crane’s Mill Security late last Saturday night, Pete answered my call and said he’d be over soon with electric heaters, so as to keep dad’s apartment safely warm until the system could be repaired on Sunday morning. Upon his prompt arrival, we met “Officer” Pete for the first time…and what a great guy! We quickly learned that he was a retired local police officer and that the overnight Security folks who work at Crane’s Mill are retired or current “first responders.”

While we offered my dad the option to stay at our nearby home that frigid Saturday night, he was very happy to remain safely at home in his own independent living apartment at Crane’s Mill, that was immediately made comfortable by your staff when his heating system failed. We are also very appreciative  of the prompt repair service your staff provided when his heating unit was diagnosed as defective and replaced first thing on Sunday morning!

Learning that Crane’s Mill employs first responders on overnight Security duty gave us great comfort, and then…it suddenly and unexpectedly came into direct play this morning when dad summoned for immediate help whilst in the midst of a medical event that required emergency surgery. When dad activated the Crane’s Mill emergency call system in his apartment, once again, it was our new friend “Officer” Pete who immediately responded and summoned the ambulance that brought him to the local hospital.

Dad and our family are now even more appreciative of the fact he lives independently at Crane’s Mill. Had he still been living alone so many miles away from our family, as he was until recently, we know that his medical event might not have had such a positive outcome as it did thanks to such prompt emergency action by the Crane’s Mill staff.

In closing, our family has so many great things to say about everything and everybody about Crane’s Mill (down to the local college and high school “kids” who serve in the restaurant and cafe) from our experience, so far.

Ongoing thanks, again,
MT

Is it ‘Greenhouse Season’ Already?

The leaves are falling and there’s a nip in the air, but Crane’s Mill is still as colorful as ever!

It really is hard to believe that the warm weather months are gone, the leaves are falling and winter is on its way.

The changing weather brings to mind one of our favorite resident-run programs: the Crane’s Mill greenhouse. Located in Towne Square just across from the library, the Crane’s Mill greenhouse holds a colorful collection of our residents’ plants and flowers so they can stay in top form all year long.

If you would like to come visit us in person, we would love to to see you and show you all our community has to offer, including our glorious greenhouse. You click here to schedule a tour or call us at 973-276-6700.