The August 2022 Rotarian of the month, John Fredericks, nominated the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks (FOLPI) as a featured guest and speaker at a recent Rotary Club meeting and to receive a donation.
Hans Niederstrasser, a 38-year West Milford resident and scholar, shared the recent history and challenges associated with the effort of preserving this “nationally significant site of American ironworks” as well as the origination and history of the Long Pond Iron Works in Hewitt.
As a labor of love, Niederstrasser, the current vice-president and chair of the museum and the FOLPI Education Committee, has co-authored with the late Bert Prol, who was for many years the Ringwood Manor curator, a facsimile translation of the biography of the original founder of Long Pond Ironworks, Peter Hasenclever. While researching the book, titled, “Peter Hasenclever, Of Remscheid-Ehringshausen a German Businessman of the 18th Century,” Niederstrasser was searching for the portrait of Peter Hasenclever but found it difficult to ascertain the whereabouts of the original painting, or if it even still existed. After exhaustive research, phone calls, letters written and a stroke of fortuitous luck, Niederstrasser did indeed locate the original painting in Argentina with Wolf Hasenclever, and it will be portrayed as the cover of the book. The book is in the final stages and searching for a potential publisher.
The Long Pond Ironworks relies on donations and dedicated volunteers to raise funds to preserve this historic site. Despite being owned by the New Jersey Parks Department, the state does not fund the preservation of these historic structures. As such, those at FOLPI expressed hope that the donations from both Rotary Club of West Milford and John Fredericks can aid in the preservation of this historically significant site.
FOLPI is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and interpreting the remaining structures and the history behind them. FOLPI is an “Officially Recognized Friends Organization” of Long Pond Ironworks State Park. For more information, visit longpondironworks.org.
The West Milford Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at Jimmy Geez North on Route 23. For more information, to sign-up for their annual fundraiser Beefsteak Comedy Night & Tricky Tray on Saturday, September 24, or to post a message on the community message board, visit westmilfordrotary.org.