My reasonings are simple:
1. No wasted trips. I like having a (rough) idea where we're going.
2. Not wandering about too long.
Though I personally like the phrase by Tolken, "Not all who wander are lost" I do like to know that this-odd-thing-in-the-woods-that-may-look-interesting is in THAT direction, as opposed to behind you, on the other side of the road, around the corner, or got burned down 3 years ago.
However, with this trip, my research time was almost for naught, having found an ACTUAL address, and not only that... there were actual signs that said DESERTED VILLAGE on them.
So this place in the Watchung Reservation, the 'Deserted Village', once called Feltville, was settled first in the early 1700s by a guy from Long Island who built a saw mill, but that got town down literally hundreds of years ago.
Then comes this guy named David Felt, a businessman from Boston who moves to New York City to build a factory, realizes that he's successful beyond his wildest dreams, and then builds a second one where Feltville now stands.
So, he builds the factory, housing, and employs about 175 of the local residents who refer to him as King David since he obliges them to attend church every Sunday, and effectivly runs their lives while in power. By about 1875, he's out of business and sells the property.
it changed hands a few times before eventually ending up as it is, abandoned (except for one or two families in houses up the road) and part of the Union County Parks Division.
It's pretty cool to go there, but it wasn't just cool... it was COLD when we went, so our trip wasn't as long as we would have liked but it was fun nonetheless.
Gorgeous house. The one on the left of it was even better but it's occupied so I wont put up the pics.