Monday, September 26, 2016

Lehigh University Mountain Hawks Football

Goodman Stadium
150 Goodman Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015

The Matt Ward History Experience traveled to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the second stop on the 2016 College Football History Tour. The Lehigh Mountain Hawks hosted the Princeton Tigers (Princeton, New Jersey) on September 24th.

Lehigh University, a private research university in Bethlehem, was founded in 1865 by Asa Packer. Packer was a businessman and Pennsylvania political figure who amassed a large fortune building up the railroad industry. From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the college to offer education free of charge to students who did well on a competitive exam.

The football program at Lehigh dates back to 1884, with the first official team being organized in 1894. During the 1884 season, Lehigh met their longtime rival Lafayette for the first time in a match up that became known as The Rivalry. Since 1896, the two teams have played each other every year. Lehigh's football team was originally known as the Engineers, a name that would last until the 1990s.

From 1914-1987, Lehigh called Taylor Stadium their home. The stadium held 20,000 people, and was one of the earliest concrete stadiums built in America. From 1929 to 1975, Lehigh competed in the Middle Three Conference, a round-robin type tournament that included Rutgers in New Jersey and Lafayette in Pennsylvania. In 1977, Lehigh captured the Division II National Championship.

Since 1979, Lehigh has competed in the NCAA Division I-AA/NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and has appeared in the playoffs nine times, with their most recent appearance coming in 2011. Lehigh was the Division I-AA runner up in 1979. During the 1986 season, Lehigh joined the Patriot League where they won ten Patriot League titles and has played in 20 post season games, winning 10 of the contests. The Lehigh football program moved from Taylor Stadium to Goodman Stadium in 1988. Goodman Stadium holds 16,000 people. In 1995, Lehigh changed its mascot from the Engineers to the Mountain Hawks.

Below are two links with more information on Lehigh football, along with several photos I took during Saturday's game:


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Zora Folley's Grave

Zora Folley's Grave 
City of Mesa Cemetery 
1212 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(Plot: Section 730, Lot 2, Grave 1)

Zora Folley was an American heavyweight boxer who was born in Dallas, Texas on May 27, 1931. In 1942, he moved with his family to Chandler, Arizona. Folley joined the U.S. Army in 1948 and later served in the Korean War. Soon after being discharged from the Army in 1953, he fought his first professional fight on September 22, 1953 against Jimmy Ingram in Los Angeles.

Folley was undefeated in his next 18 bouts, until he was stopped by Johnny Summerlin on June 23, 1955. Throughout his career, Folley was considered a top contender in the heavyweight division. He faced some of the division's best including Henry Cooper, Eddie Machen, George Chuvalo, Bob Cleroux, Oscar Bonavena, Doug Jones, Karl Mildenberger, Sonny Liston, and Muhammad Ali. Folley was knocked out in the seventh round by Muhammad Ali on March 22, 1967 for the WBA World Heavyweight Title. Folley was the last man to fight Ali before his three year ban from the sport for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces.

Folley fought his final bout on September 29, 1970 against Mac Foster. Folley was defeated via a first round knockout. Folley's boxing career ended with an impressive record of 79 wins, 11 losses and six draws. Folley went on to serve as a member of the Chandler City Council, where he lived with his wife and children.

On July 7, 1972 at the age of 41, Folley died under mysterious circumstances at a hotel in Tucson, Arizona. It was reported that Folley slipped and hit his head in a motel swimming pool while visiting a friend. Folley died within hours of hitting his head at a nearby hospital. Folley's official cause of death was ruled accidental by authorities. However, rumors of foul play continue to circulate in the boxing world today. Folley is interred at the City of Mesa Cemetery. His grave marker lists his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Below are three links with more information on Zora Folley, along with some photos that I took of his grave site:


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Upcoming Event - Korean War Program

Al Savolaine, Commander of American Legion Matawan Post 176, will present the third annual American Legion historical program on “Korea, America’s Forgotten War”. This United Nations Police Action, which cost more than 30,000 American lives, from 1950-1953, was our first “limited war”.  Several US military deployments in later years followed this same frustrating pattern.  The program will be on Sunday, November 13th at 2:00 PM at the Burrowes Mansion. Light refreshments will follow the program. Come and honor our veterans.

Burrowes Mansion 
94 Main St.
Matawan, NJ 07747

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

AncestryDNA Test Results

About a month ago, I submitted a sample of my saliva to AncestryDNA to have my DNA analyzed. This morning, I received my results back. My ethnicity estimate breakdown is below with descriptions of each ethnicity from the AncestyDNA website (

Scandinavia 34%
Primarily located in: Sweden, Norway, Denmark

Also found in: Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic States, Finland

Scandinavia is perched atop northern Europe, its natives referred to throughout history as “North Men.” Separated from the main European continent by the Baltic Sea, the Scandinavians have historically been renowned seafarers. Their adventures brought them into contact with much of the rest of Europe, sometimes as feared raiders and other times as well-traveled merchants and tradesmen.

Great Britain 22%
Primarily located in: England, Scotland, Wales

Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy

The history of Great Britain is often told in terms of the invasions with different groups of invaders displacing the native population. The Romans, Anglo-Saxon, Vikings and Normans have all left their mark on Great Britain both politically and culturally. However, the story of Great Britain is far more complex than the traditional view of invaders displacing existing populations. In fact modern studies of British people tend to suggest the earliest populations continued to exist and adapt and absorb the new arrivals.

Ireland 19%
Primarily located in: Ireland, Wales, Scotland

Also found in: France, England

Ireland is located in the eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean, directly west of Great Britain. A variety of internal and external influences have shaped Ireland as we know it today. Ireland’s modern cultural remains deeply rooted in the Celtic culture that spread across much of Central Europe and into the British Isles. Along with Wales, Scotland, and a handful of other isolated communities within the British Isles, Ireland remains one of the last holdouts of the ancient Celtic languages that were once spoken throughout much of Western Europe. And though closely tied to Great Britain, both geographically and historically, the Irish have fiercely maintained their unique character through the centuries.

Italy/Greece 11%
Primarily located in: Italy, Greece

Also found in: France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Turkey, Slovenia, Algeria, Tunisia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo

Located in the south of Europe, against the Mediterranean Sea, this region gave rise to some of the most iconic and powerful cultures the Western world has known. The Greeks were first, with their pantheon of gods, legendary heroes, philosophers and artists. They subsequently influenced the Romans, whose vast empire spread its ideas and language across Europe.

Europe West 7%
Primarily located in: Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein

Also found in: England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic

The Europe West region is a broad expanse stretching from Amsterdam's sea-level metropolis to the majestic peaks of the Alps. Geographically dominated by France in the west and Germany in the east, it includes several nations with distinct cultural identities. From the boisterous beer gardens of Munich to the sun-soaked vineyards of Bordeaux and the alpine dairy farms of Switzerland, it is a region of charming cultural diversity.

Middle East 3%
Primarily located in: Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lebanon, Israel

Also found in: Iran, Pakistan

Geography and human history have kept this region perpetually in the spotlight. It sits between Eurasia and Africa and is home to some of the world’s earliest civilizations. It is also the birthplace of three of the world’s major religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—with the most holy places of those faiths scattered from Jerusalem to Mecca. Since it was first inhabited, this vital region has been a natural center of learning, trade, culture—and conflict.

Africa North 2%
Primarily located in: Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya

Also found in: Spain, Portugal, The Middle East

The North Africa region includes modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara and Libya. These countries, along with Mauritania and Tunisia, are often referred to as the Maghreb. It's an area of stark contrast, with the hospitable Mediterranean coast to the north and the vast, harsh Sahara to the south. In fact, the majority of the population in this region lives within about 50 miles of the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts.

Europe East 1%
Primarily located in: Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia

Also found in: Germany, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Estonia, Bulgaria

The Europe East region stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north to the borders of Greece in the south. Throughout history, the region has stood at the crossroads—and often in the crosshairs—of Europe and Central Asia. Despite constant invasions and occupations over the centuries, the hardy inhabitants have, nevertheless, managed to persevere.

Asia South < 1%
Primarily located in: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka

Also found in: Myanmar (Burma)

The Asia South region includes the modern-day nations of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan and is home to approximately 20% of the world’s population. The mighty mountain ranges of the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karakoram were formed here around 75 million years ago when the floating Indian tectonic plate smashed into southern Asia, giving birth to the world's tallest mountains peaks. These include Mount Everest, known to the Nepalese as “Sagarmatha.”

I grew up knowing that my maternal grandmother was the daughter of German immigrants, and my maternal grandfather was the son of Italian immigrants. My father's side of the family was always far more of a mystery. I grew up knowing that my last name was English and that I had a number of Scottish, Scots-Irish and German ancestors. As a child, I heard many stories of the possibility of a variety of other ethnic groups fitting into our family, including Native Americans and African Americans. The majority of my paternal ancestors arrived in America years before the American Revolution, and as a result, their ethic identities became mixed or lost over time. This test helped to unravel some of the mysteries of my heritage. However, I am eager to compare my results with my father. I believe that this comparison will help to shed further light on the mystery of my paternal ancestors.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Football

High Point Solutions Stadium
1 Scarlet Knight Way
Piscataway, NJ 08854

The Matt Ward History Experience traveled to Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey for the first stop on the 2016 College Football History Tour. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights hosted the Howard University Bison (Washington, D.C.) on September 10th.

Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, is located in New Brunswick and Piscataway. The university also has campuses in Camden and Newark. The university was founded as Queen's College on November 10, 1766, and is the eight-oldest college in America. The university's name was changed to Rutgers in 1825 in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, a philanthropist, landowner and former military officer, whose donation of $5,000 allowed the school to reopen after years of financial hardship.

The football program at Rutgers University dates back to 1869. Rutgers faced off against their rival Princeton on November 6, 1869 on a patch of land near College Avenue. The Rutgers team referred to themselves as the Queensmen, and donned scarlet kerchiefs to distinguish themselves from their opponent. The Rutgers squad, captained by William J. Leggett, won the contest by a score of six goals to four goals in a contest that closely resembled rugby. This early college football matchup allowed Rutgers to claim the title of the birthplace of college football. A week later the Rutgers team visited Princeton where they were defeated by a score of eight goals to zero. Rutgers claimed their only National Title to date during this season.

Rutgers was associated with a number of athletic conferences and divisions throughout its history. In 1893 and 1894, Rutgers was a member of the Middle States Intercollegiate Football League.

From 1929 to 1975, Rutgers competed in the Middle Three Conference, a round-robin type tournament that included Lehigh University and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. In 1955, the student body voted in favor of Scarlet Knight mascot. The university joined the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) from 1958 to 1961. Rutgers won the MAC in 1958, 1960 and 1961. The 1961 team went 9-0 and was arguably the greatest football team in Rutgers' history. In 1978, Rutgers, then an independent school, participated in the Garden State Bowl. The Scarlet Knights were defeated by the Arizona State Sun Devils by a score of 34-18.

From 1991 to 2012, the Scarlet Knights competed in the Big East Conference. During this time frame, Rutgers played in seven bowl games. These bowl games included a 2005 loss in the Insight Bowl to Arizona State, a 2006 victory in the Texas Bowl against Kansas State, a 2008 International Bowl victory against Ball State, a 2008 victory in the Bowl against North Carolina State, a 2009 victory against Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl, a 2011 victory over Iowa State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, and a 2012 loss in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Virginia Tech. During the 2012 season, Rutgers also brought their only Big East Conference title home to Piscataway.

The Scarlet Knights played the 2013 season in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). The Rutgers was selected that season to participate in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, a game in which they were defeated by Notre Dame.

Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014. During this season, the Scarlet Knights participated in their last bowl game to date against the University of North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Tar Heels by a score of 40-21.

Rutgers has had a number of head football coaches over their long history. These head coaches include:

William A. Reynolds (1869–1894)  
H. W. Ambruster (1895)             
John C. B. Pendleton (1896–1897)
William V. B. Van Dyck (1898–1899)   
Michael F. Daly (1900)
Arthur P. Robinson (1901)   
Henry Van Hoevenberg (1902)  
Oliver D. Mann (1903, 1905)   
Alfred Ellet Hitchner (1904)   
Frank Gorton (1906–1907)  
Joseph T. Smith (1908)  
Herman Pritchard (1909)   
Howard Gargan (1910–1912)   
George Sanford (1913–1923)   
John H. Wallace (1924–1926)   
Harry Rockafeller (1927–1930, 1942–1945)    
J. Wilder Tasker (1931–1937)   
Harvey Harman (1938–1941, 1946–1955)    
John Stiegman (1956–1959)   
John F. Bateman (1960–1972)   
Frank R. Burns (1973–1983)    
Dick Anderson (1984–1989)   
Doug Graber (1990–1995)   
Terry Shea (1996–2000)    
Greg Schiano (2001–2011)   
Kyle Flood (2012–2015)  
Norries Wilson (Interim) (2015)    
Chris Ash (2016–present)

Rutgers has played home games at High Point Solutions Stadium (formerly Rutgers Stadium) since 1994. This stadium is built on the site of the original Rutgers Stadium that was completed in 1938. Prior to the original Rutgers Stadium, Rutgers football used College Field, and later Neilson Field from 1891-1938. High Point Solutions Stadium holds 52,454 people, and the field's surface is made of an artificial turf called FieldTurf.

Below are several photos I took during yesterday's game, along with two links with more information on Rutgers football:


Friday, September 9, 2016

Upcoming Event - 6th Annual Rose Hill Cemetery Tour

6th Annual Rose Hill Cemetery Tour in Matawan, New Jersey 

Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Please join us for our annual walking cemetery tour, this year featuring more ghost stories about what is widely considered to be New Jersey's most haunted cemetery!

As we carefully weave our way around ancient tombs and headstones, you will hear fascinating stories about:
• The great Matawan fire of 1901
• A gruesome murder in 1896
• Prohibition violence
• The lawmen of Matawan
• Trouble at the Mausoleums
• Actual paranormal sightings at Rose Hill Cemetery revealed!

TICKETS: PRICE TBA. Tickets are only available at the event.

YOUR GUIDE: Al Savolaine, Matawan Town Historian, Rose Hill Cemetery Historian, and author of “Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age.” (Books will be available for purchase and signing.)

LOCATION: Matawan’s Rose Hill Cemetery on Ravine Drive, near the intersection of Ravine and Middlesex Road.

PARKING: Limited parking is available at the cemetery. If you park in the cemetery, do not block the roads as it is an active cemetery. Additional parking is available at the Ravine Drive Elementary School, less than 300 yards from Rosehill's entrance.

THIS IS A CHARITY FUNDRAISING EVENT. All proceeds will benefit Rose Hill Cemetery preservation. All participants are volunteers donating their time and efforts.

This event is sponsored by the Matawan Historical Society and Rose Hill Cemetery.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Edward Hatch's Grave

Edward Hatch's Grave 
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
395 Biddle Boulevard
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
(Plot: Section A-Off, Site 2204)

Edward Hatch was a career soldier in the United States Army. Hatch was born in Bangor, Maine on December 22, 1832. He was educated at Norwich Military Academy in Vermont. After completing his studies at Norwich, he moved to Iowa where he became a lumber merchant and at one point a merchant seaman. At the outset of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in the Union Army. He assisted in raising the 2nd Iowa Cavalry, a unit in which he later became a colonel in June 1862. Hatch participated in the 1862 Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. Hatch was wounded in 1863, and commanded a cavalry depot in St. Louis, Missouri while he recovered. He was promoted to Brigadier General in April 1864, and participated in the 1864 Franklin and Nashville campaigns. In March 1865, he was brevetted Major General of U.S. Volunteers for his service during the Civil War. 

Following the Civil War, Hatch accepted a commission as a colonel in the regular army, and was assigned to the 9th U.S. Cavalry. He became commander of the Department of Arizona in 1876. In this position, Hatch negotiated a reservation treaty with the Ute Indians in 1880. He also unsuccessfully pursued the Apache chief Victorio through the Department of Arizona. 

On April 11, 1889, he died while serving at Fort Robinson in Nebraska. Hatch is buried at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. 

Below are two links with more information on Major General Edward Hatch, along with some photos of Hatch and his grave site: