Harmony Sand & Gravel’s roots go back to 1946, when my grandfather, Paul W. Hummer started in the trucking business, my father joined the firm in 1952 and they then branched out into the paving and construction materials field. In recent years the paving business was sold off to better concentrate on the construction material operation.
They made the choice to not try to grow the business too fast, but rather to focus on sound growth rooted to customers service. Over the last 50 years our growth has been slow but steady and our customers base has grown substantially.
We continue in the philosophy of providing each and every customer with customized service in terms of materials to meet specific needs and on time deliveries, as well a safe work environment for our employees and customers. Being a good neighbor in the community is also a very important ingredient in having a smooth running organization.
In today’s world of conglomerates and multi-branched operations, we pride ourselves on doing one thing and trying to do it to the very best of our abilities, while being on a first name basis with the accounts that we serve. The small business operators are fast becoming a thing of the past, we like to think that we are small enough to get it done right and big enough to stand the test of time.
I look forward to servicing your account many years to come.
– Richard Hummer, Jr.
“Helping To Build AMERICA, One Load At A Time”
Harmony Sand & Gravel maintains a number of modern delivery trucks adequate to meet the core needs of our customers and in addition we have a number of contracted haulers to in sure that prompt deliveries can be made. Customer service is the foundation that our business is built on. Customer cooperation in getting their orders in early is greatly appreciated and goes along way toward insuring that delivery is made in a timely fashion. All delivery trucks are equipped with small door in the center of the tailgate and are capable of making delivery direct to your conveyor for special applications such as roofing stone.
< How Gravel was Formed and Transported >
The Big Chill
They term it an ice sheet. Some sheet! Twelve thousand years ago, if you stood at its base , somewhere along present-day Route 46, and looked up, you probably couldn’t see the top. And if air temperatures were above freezing, the mists generated from its melting would have shrouded its icy flanks like those of some Himalayan peak. It easily smothered the Jenny Jump and Allamuchy Mountains and no peaks in New Jersey rose above it. Back towards it Canadian birth place, its thickness exceeded a mile, so the geologist say.
The glacier that took up residence in Warren County during the Earth’s last ice age left a lasting impression that is still evident in many ways. This glacier was much more than ice. On it’s southward journey. It operated like a huge bulldozer, digging into boulder-strewn fields. Knocking the rocky tops off mountains, and gouging out valleys as it went. Eventually the ice sheet incorporated these boulders, rock chunks, and other debris into its mass, its leading edge becoming more rock than ice. Thus, the glacier was like a huge piece of very coarse sandpaper, grinding, rounding off, striating everything it passed over.
After the passage of thousands of years, when the glaciers reached these somewhat warmer climes, and when global temperatures rose, the ice gradually melted and left behind these boulders, sand, and earth in huge ridges, marking its southernmost advance.
These ridges are called terminal moraines, and one of these moraines crossed our county like a “Great Wall of China” stretching from Hackettstown to Belvidere. South of this moraine, then, was land untouched by glacial activity; north of it, land that had been ravaged by it.
Warren County is a glaciologist’s dream, a perfect laboratory for studying this last great continental ice sheet. It is called the Wisconsin Glacier after the area where its effects are most notable. The glacier actually began its southward and southwester movement from Labrador in Canada, coming into creation because of global cooling caused, probably, by the earth’s tilting away from the sun.
The Wisconsin Ice Sheet, the last of several glaciers, came further south and had a greater impact on Warren County than any others. It reached it’s peak some 20,000 years ago, at a time when cave dwellers in Europe were painting the walls of their caves with animal they saw, some of which, the elephant-like wooly mammoths, mastadons,, and caribou, also roamed the field and forests of Warren County.
At this time, ice sheet covered over 4.8 million square miles of land in North America to a thickness of many thousands of feet. So much of the earth’s water was frozen into the ice sheet that the ocean levels had dropped considerably. The Bering Strait between the Asian mainland and Alaska was dry because of this, and Asian nomads could and did walk to North America, becoming some of its earliest inhabitants. New Jersey’s shoreline was located about 100 miles east of today’s shore, and trawler men off our coast still pull up mastadon bones and teeth in their nets.
But no area in New Jersey has more reminders of the frigid past than Warren County. After its cataclysmic arrival, the Wisconsin Ice Sheet remained here thousands of years, long enough to have a very significant impact. Route 46 follows the terminal moraine across the county, almost to Belvidere, but the wide ridge is most noticeable on the highway’s south side. Vienna’s Central School is built upon it, and when entering Great Meadows from the east, it is obvious to the left beyond the railroad tracks. Pio Costa’s Sand & Gravel pit is part of it, and a good cross section of it is visible at Neville Plaza west of Great Meadows. Further west past Hot Dog Johnnie’s, an opening in the moraine is visible on the right, and at Bridgeville, a left turn on Route 519 will take the observers through the middle of a large excavated section of it.
Lakes and former lakes are characteristic of glacial topography. The southward movement of the ice sheet bulldozed depressions down to bedrock. Then the ice melted, leaving the moraine as a natural dam; water from the ice melt and other sources filled in the depressions. In are area Budd Lake, Cranberry Lake, Sunfish Pond, Allamuchy Pond, Mountain Lake and the lake that formerly existed in the Great Meadows are all examples of this.
Smaller bodies of water called kettles ponds were formed when chunks of ice, house-sized and larger, broke off the deteriorating glacier and were buried in the moraine. The unmelted ice might have stayed there many years before eventually melting, leaving a large hole in the ground. As water level rose because of the melting ice sheet, the hole or “kettle” filled with water. Several of these kettle ponds can be seen along the Townsbury-Barkers Mill Road; the pond of the “Pond View” development is one. Others can be found off Bilby Road in Independence and at other areas in Mansfields Township.
One kettle pond off Asbury Road in Independence Township is of special significance: it was here in 1844 that farmer Abraham Ayers, while digging in a pond on his property, discovered the skeleton of five mastadons. The most perfect one, almost nine feet tall, was made part of a traveling exhibit which toured the country . Harvard University bought it finally and it can be found today in its Museum of Comparative Anatomy, where it is erroneously known as the Cambridge Mastadon.
Since the Ayers discovery, over 40 sites in the Delaware Valley have produced mastadon remains. So common are they that they no longer excite the scientific community, nor is there a demand for them by museums.
The remains of a large moose-like animal that roamed North America at the same time, Cevalces scotti, are much rarer, the only two complete skeletons having been found in Warren County. Castoroides, a giant beaver weighting several hundred pounds, also roamed the area. Certainly some of these creatures were killed by early inhabitants of the County who moved in as the ice sheet retreated northward but most probably died because of their inability to adapt to the warming environment.
Great Meadows, and the land around it, contain a variety of ice age relics. The muckland itself is the location of a lake carved out by the glacier and then dammed by its moraine at Vienna. One wonders how many mastadon skeletons are buried beneath its surface. Post Island rising out of ehe meadows here is actually a kame made from a huge piece of glacial ice, gravel and rock-fill, left behind on top of the ground when the glacier retreated. The ice melted, leaving this hill of debris several acres in volume.
On Far View Road, near the entrance to Jenny Jump Park, is a glacial remnant called an erratic, an all limestone boulder weighing several tons standing by itself on the south side of the road. This huge memento was carried several hundred feet uphill by glacier and left there when the ice melted. Another erratic, weighing an astounding 2,000 tons, rests in a field near the corner of Hope Road and Marble Hill Road in the same area. It was carried at least a mile uphill. In Jenny Jump Park, itself, there are many erratics, and the exposed rock ledge along the Summit Trail shows the deep striations gouged here 20,000 years ago by the glacier. On Shades of Death Road, on the left side heading northeast, several miles of the hillside are covered with large limestone erratics, many the size of a house.