I got a Canon A620 digital camera in late 2006. Since then, I have found myself photographing places that were visited by Henry Charlton Beck on a regular basis. Beck is best known for his series of books about New Jersey history and folklore that are currently published by Rutgers University Press; some of the pieces in the earlier books originally appeared in the Camden Courier-Post. Although Beck is revered by aficionados of roadside Jerseyana, he was not highly thought of by the historians of his own time (nor the folklorists that came after). At times, he was of the “never let the facts stand in the way of a good story” school. However, he documented places that in some cases no longer exist, and did pioneering work in what we would call “oral history” today. This blog is an attempt to get to grips with Beck’s legacy.

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