1949 to 1961 The Wanigan
The Wanigan was our summer place. My parents, Allen and Eleanor Searls, bought 1.5 acres on the edge of the New Jersey pine barrens in 1949 for $150, and then bought an old box of a small building, which they brought in on a flat-bed truck and dropped in a clearing. It had no electricity, running water or plumbing. Mom and Pop drove a well by hand, put a hand-pump on top, and that was our water source. Pop and Uncle Archie Apgar built a privy out back and a kitchen to one side, and that sufficed for several years. Electricity came along eventually, as did an indoor toilet (draining to a septic tank that Pop and Archie also installed) and a bedroom. We swam at the beach almost every day and grazed on blueberries, which comprised the whole forest floor. It was the best part of my childhood.
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