Have you ever been obsessed with something, a compulsive feeling deep within one’s psyche, for the want of delving deeper into that very compulsion to find any left-behind, hidden meaning or purpose, yet to be uncovered from days gone past?
Sarobia became a favorite tromping ground of mine around nineteen years ago, when I moved to my present digs on the Delaware River at Andalusia. By happenstance, my son and I discovered it as I brought him for his weekly sojourns from NJ to visit me over the weekends, and then while taking him back home on Sundays. We’d pass by what was clearly marked, “Neshaminy State Park,” which is roughly 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) northeast of my flat, on a road that runs parallel with river.
After the first few times, driving past the park and instantly become fascinated with the grounds, we decided to bring our bikes there to explore, spending quality time together regularly thereafter, traversing the hilly trails, cutting through the vast woodland along the Delaware, throwing rocks as far out as we could into the river whenever low tide had presented itself.
A tremendous multitude of perfect skimming stones glistened in the blazing sunshine like thousands of glittering gems and shining golden nuggets, laden throughout the exposed riverbed, planted there for our close inspection and pickings. My boy found an arrowhead once in that bank of sand.
Our rock-throwing extravaganzas never yielded a stone’s reaching the other side of the waterway from Sarobia and Logan’s Point, as the land was called before becoming state property. Perhaps on a good day, I’d be able to toss one out about 200 feet (61 meters) with the wind, which is only one-tenth the distance across to New Jersey.
In hindsight, it makes me wonder how George Washington tossed that silver dollar all the way across the Delaware River before his historic crossing on Christmas Day in 1776; but that’s another story entirely.
Many years had transpired since those excursions to the park with my son. With his growing up into his teens, we tended not to go anymore. It took my interest in photography for me to return there again frequently, resuming my trips a few years ago.
Just recently, however, I discovered the spot along the river to which I felt so attuned and have taken a myriad of photos was called Logan’s Point. Further investigation yielded information about the park’s past as being the estate of man who was related to one of Pennsylvania’s forefathers: James Logan, secretary and advocate to the colony’s proprietor, William Penn; and one of the early colonial governors of the English province in the early-18th century, before the American Revolution.
The Internet has such a wealth of information, although much of it is the same old, cut-and-pasted, re-hashed mumbo jumbo with identically vague data for facts. Sarobia turned up a lot as being the former name of the state park’s property, bequeathed to Pennsylvania upon the death of its last owner, Robert Restalrig Logan.
The Logans were a respected and high-societal family in Philadelphia culture since forefather James first sailed over here from England with William Penn in 1699. I became interested in the later Logan, Robert, and his Sarobia; quite an exotic name in my estimation, inspiring me to continue my search for truth.
During the course of my initial fact-finding, mysticism and cult-like activities were brought up in a few instances; but again, very vaguely, yet enough to raise my investigative ears like a dog who has just heard the whirring of the electric can opener.
Delving deeper into this, my latest obsession, I dug up concise and conclusive evidence that cited the estate was comprised of 175 acres, with gate posts topped with big black-iron cats. According to a 1937 article found in Time Magazine’s digital archive, “…and ignorant Buck County-ites have sometimes whispered that ‘cat-worshippers’ and ‘heathens’ live on the estate.”
More about Sarobia in the next installment.
A visual of present-day Sarobia: