Lost Jersey: Welcome to Utopia

Join WBGO’s Andrew Meyer and the WBGO news team as we take you around the state and back in time for glimpses of the New Jersey that’s mostly been forgotten but is not quite gone. The Garden State has a rich history, and the simple fact is that many of these fascinating parts of Jersey’s past still exist in some form or another, often, right in plain sight.

We welcome your involvement in the series. If there’s a nearly forgotten element of Jerseyana you believe deserves to be included in our series, let us know by e-mailing us at lostjersey@wbgo.org

In addition to these new stories, you’ll be able to find past stories here, many, of them previously unavailable since they first aired on the WBGO Journal.

Map of Lost Jersey

Garden State Utopia

Airdate: September 26, 2008. A look at some of New Jersey's experiments with utopian communities including one that's still going strong.

Newark's Synagogues

Airdate: August 29, 2008. Newark once boasted a sizeable Jewish community, and while this community long ago moved out to the suburbs taking their houses of worship along with them, many of the building which once served as their temples still stand in Newark. Andrew Meyer criss-crosses the city to check out the city's Jewish heritage and discovers one long-standing congregation still going strong.

Forgotten Ellis Island

Airdate: August 1, 2008. A trip to Ellis Island is an opportunity to travel back in history, to a time when the 27-and-a-half acre island served as the gateway to America. Since re-opening in 1990, visitors have only been able to explore the immigration museum in the main building. However, progress is being made on restoring the vast hospital complex which occupies the rest of the island. In our latest expedition to Lost Jersey, Andrew Meyer makes a return trip to Ellis Island's forgotten side to check on the progress.

Newark's Fading Art Of The Sale

Airdate: June 27, 2008. We kick off the Summer of 2008 with a look at a changing of the guard in Newark. The last of the big furniture stores in Newark closes at the end of June. Andrew Meyer introduces you to the owner of the store, takes you back in time when Newark was the place to shop and looks at the new life that's coming out of these old stores.

The Art of Wooden Boat Building

Airdate: November 16, 2007. Not all that long ago, New Jersey had hundreds of wooden boat builders... a tradition dating back to the founding of the country. These days, there are just three professional boat yards which still specialize in wooden boats. In the next installment of his Lost Jersey series, Andrew Meyer introduces you to the craftsmen who build and maintain these boats and takes a look book at Jersey's rich maritime History.

Greystone Park

Airdate: September 21, 2007. As the state proceeds with construction on a replacement for Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Morris County is moving ahead with its own plans to create a new park on a good chunk of the property. In the latest installment in his "Lost Jersey" series, Andrew Meyer decided it was a good time to take a walk through the grounds of Greystone Park before all the vestiges of the old hospital disappear.

The Morris Canal

Airdate: August 24, 2007. It was the canal that climbed a mountain. The Morris Canal, built in the first part of the 19th century, provided an essential means of transportation for coal and iron ore from Pennsylvania to Jersey. While it was decommissioned less than a hundred years ago, only traces of this unique waterway remain today. In this installment of Lost Jersey, Andrew Meyer takes you back in time to the Morris Canal.

The Deserted Village

Airdate: July 27, 2007. There's a preconception held by many that New Jersey is a state of never-ending suburbs, shopping malls and highways. And while the Garden State was transformed during the 20th century into a place of sprawling 'burbs, much of its rich history was not paved over. It's just a matter of knowing where to look. The new series, Lost Jersey, begins with a trip to a place just about 15 miles from the heart of Newark but a world away from the modern world: the Deserted Village.

The Other Side of Ellis Island

Original airdate: July 19, 2002. Only part of Ellis Island is open to the public. Here's a glimpse at a part of the island rarely seen.

Black Tom Island

Original airdate: October 5, 2001. The Jersey City waterfront is highly valued for its dramatic vistas of lower Manhattan, a view forever altered on September 11th. The terrorist attack was the worst on American soil, but not the first.

The Jersey Loews

Original airdate: March 24, 2000. In the early days of cinema, the big movie studios didn't limit their showmanship to the silver screen. It could also be found in the opulent movie houses they built all across the country. While many have disappeared, one still stands in Jersey City.

The Nike Missile

Original airdate: March 26, 1999. In 1998, Congress approved development of a missile defense system to protect against potential threats from rogue nations. The idea of an anti-ballistic missile system has its roots all the way back in the 1950's, but what may surprise a lot of people is the origins weren't too far from many people's back yards.

Waterloo Village

Original airdate: January 15, 1999. In northwestern New Jersey, there exists a town which has stood against the creep of development. It's a place where you can hop in a time machine to view the garden state as it once was.