Established in 2008, Garden State Legacy has been the website where independent historian, author, and speaker Gordon Bond has indulged his passion for New Jersey history through articles, books, videos, projects, and services to the community. If you are a fellow New Jersey history nerd, you are in the right place! So please click around, explore, learn, and enjoy!
- Gordon Bond
NJ History Nerd
Use GSL's interactive map to find history sites, museums, houses, organizations, archives, and more.
Discover New Jersey history related books by some of the state's leading authors on a wide variety of topics.
Whether you are a venue in search of a speaker, or a speaker in search of a venue, GSL can connect you.
Visit the GSL "Treasured Artifacts of the Garden State" online museum and enjoy a variety of objects from our past.
Between 2008 and 2020, GSL published 50 issues of an online quarterly NJ history magazine
Gordon Bond is also a freelance graphic designer, offering discounted services to the history community.
GSL has created original short videos and partnered with other creators, to create NJ history content
Gordon and Stephanie Hoagland, study a little-known American funerary art tradition in New Jersey.
Note: This site is designed to work best with desktop or tablet computers. Smart phones are not recommended...dumb phones either!
If you've learned something here, found a service useful, or just appreciate GSL in general, please consider making a financial donation towards keeping it going. This is part of how I make my living...and keep my buddy Emmett here in cat treats!
Latest Books from GSL!
The second edition of "Man Failure" coming early May with 20 pages of previously unpublished stories and photographs! If you already bought the book but would like to have the new content, I will be publishing the appendix as its own booklet, sold separately. Email me to reserve a copy and receive advance notification of when they are available!
On the drizzly evening of February 6, 1951, the Pennsylvania Railroad commuter train known as “The Broker” derailed in Woodbridge, New Jersey, killing 85 and injuring hundreds in what remains the deadliest railroad accident in the state’s history. Communities all along the Jersey Shore were shaken by the sudden and violent loss of family and friends. Drawn from contemporary accounts, investigation transcripts, and recent interviews with those whose lives were forever changed, Gordon Bond's book MAN FAILURE puts the reader at the center of the story—from the gripping human dramas of survivors, rescuers, and families who lost loved ones, to the controversies surrounding the investigations trying to get to the bottom of a tragedy that still haunts those who experienced it.
On May 30, 1884, citizens of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, pinned a gold medal to Thomas Mundy Peterson’s coat in honor of his having done something that, in another part of the nation, a noose might have been put around his neck for daring. It had been proven that on March 31, 1870 Peterson was the first African American to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment. Ever since, the story of his historic vote has been told in terms of how unusually progressive Perth Amboy’s white community had been, having both encouraged and celebrated his suffrage as a matter of civic pride. Yet, in the process, Peterson himself has become a prop in his own story. The event that lifted his name out of obscurity had ironically obscured him. Gordon Bond's book “To Cast a Freedman’s Vote” rediscovers Thomas Peterson by placing him in a broader historic context that makes his story relevant to modern dialogs on race, suffrage, and citizenship.
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