It's all in the Name!
Did you ever wonder how Frogbridge got it's name? And how exactly did our Frog, Harry J get his? Well if you have a few moments, we'd be happy to tell you the story of how Frogbridge came to be.
It started many, many years ago, long before the property located at 7 Yellow Meeting House Road was ever called "Frogbridge". It happened years before Harry J Frog ever got his name, or Miss Lily met her future husband.
It all began on Billings Road in the small town of Plymouth, Vermont. This was the home of Hawk Inn and Mountain Resort, a private, 1200 acre resort right in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains. Once at Hawk, guests may select from any number of the mountainside villas and guest homes available throughout the year. The Pugliese family would make an annual trip out to Hawk each winter to enjoy some of the finest scenery, skiing, and snowmobiling available throughout the country.
For those families attending Hawk each year, some of the owners would name their villa, making it easier to remember which guest house you stayed in each year. This way, for many of the homes available, you could simply call each year and ask for the name of the villa you liked most.
The Pugliese's tried many different homes over the years and found one particular villa to be their favorite, it was the house named "Frog Bridge". This place was far different from the rest, it truly set itself apart from all other villas in the mountainside.
The home was named "Frog Bridge" because of it's beautiful entrance. Upon arrival, guests would park their cars and walk on a small footbridge over a stream to get to the home's front door. "This", said Frank to his son, J.R. "is the perfect name we have been looking for. It will provide instant name recognition because it offers a logo and a character that people young and old will remember forever!"
For the remained of their stay, Frank and J.R. marveled at the idea that their dream was that much closer to reality. Their paradise finally had a name!
Their work was not done just yet. They also had to name their new mascot. This was to be a character they dreamed would some day rival Mickey Mouse himself. Pretty big aspirations, huh? For now, however, they needed a character that every child in Central New Jersey would soon come to know and love. With a name like Frogbridge, it had to be a frog, and soon several names were tossed into the hat. Names like "Freddie the Frog", "Frankie the Frog", "Felix the Frog" and even "Kelsie" the new cousin of Kermit, were thought up.
Back at 7 Yellow Meeting House Road, however, time was of the essence. The builders were building, the designers were planning, the landscapers were landscaping, and Frank and J.R. were working feverishly 24 hours each day, hoping to be ready for their projected opening day of June 28, 1999.
One of those people helping to get our new facility ready for it's grand opening was Mr. James Harrison, a wonderful old man that loved to share stories of the past years of 7 Yellow Meeting House Road. You see, he knew all of the tales of this wonderful place because he lived them! For many years prior to meeting Frank and J.R. at Frogbridge, this property had many uses and many names, and Mr. Harrison, the facilities caretaker, was there for all of them. He told us the story of the years when 7 Yellow Meeting House Rd. was a private lakefront swim club. So private in fact, that celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow even visited here during the summer. He even had the pictures to prove it!
Throughout his stay with us, he taught us many things that helped to make Frogbridge the incredible place it is today. To sit and listen to all of his amazing stories was a thing of beauty. We learned so much from Jimmy. From his stories, to his on-site knowledge of the property, his presence was extraordinary. He even taught J.R. to drive a tractor!
And if you were one of the first families to tour our facility back in 1998 or 1999, your tour was given on a hayride, pulled by a tractor. The tractor belonged to Mr. Harrison, the tour guide was Frank, and the driver of the tractor was J.R.!
Sadly, James Harrison passed away just months before our spectacular grand opening in June of 1999. It was then that J.R. came up with a wonderful way to recognize the man that had spent most of his life living, teaching and working at 7 Yellow Meeting House Road. "Our mascot still needs a name", he said. "And what better name than Harrison J. Frog. It will be recognized as a tribute to Jimmy." He will forever be in our hearts!
So there you have it folks, the story of how Frogbridge came to be and how Harry J got his name. Do you have any thoughts on how Tadpole Village, Ribbits Ice Cream Arcade or Frogarita's got there names? I think you can figure it out!