Abandoned racetracks.

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
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Haddonfield, NJ
Looks like there were a couple tracks in or around Mt. Holly. The one I was speaking of is close to Arney's Mount, not the fairgrounds. When I was looking at that area with Google Earth I too notice how many horsetracks there were. Pretty cool. I heard New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky, is that true?
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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Pestletown
A Story Of "atco" Speedway

For Trailhead and All,
Best to go to the horses mouth when you still can. I took the time yesterday to go see Angie Coia about the speedway. I will wander a little to hit a couple fun notes. I know I go on at times. Aside from being Friends with my one Aunt, Coias live next door in Hammonton to another aunt and uncle of mine. ( I come from two large families and am sick with aunts & uncles ) Ironically they(Coias) live a short throw from Amotol. While as soon as I was of age I have always wanted to plant my roots in the Waterford/Pestletown area I am originally from Hammonton/Elm. Here's a fact by the way you can take to your grave. If you are from Hammonton you are related by blood or marriage to EVERYONE else in Hammonton as far as the old families go. This is why I never dated in Hammonton for fear I would already be related to the girl! As it would be, My father's sister is married to Angie's cousin, their neighbors.

Country Farm Market owned by Coia is one of fond memory I will share. I hope many of you had little joints like this around. It wasn't the farm market proper that was any big deal. pretty plain actually. My Dad in fact used to sell them some produce he grew, hot peppers and such. It was the Custard stand. And for a short time the mini golf course ( cheesy as all get out but fun just the same ). From the stops with mom and dad in youth to that first BIG time I was able to ride on my bike there and then on to drives, dates and eventually to bring my own kids there, what memories. Getting your Twist or scoop with all the trimmins! They closed the custard stand part before Jason was born so Angie never saw my little one and of course before we went on to the track the usual "how's the family" and picture swapping and tail telling had to take place. She is a very sweet woman.

Sorry 'bout that. Now. The track.
I kept my Pic in the car at first so as not to take up the conversation too far along too soon. Ed Coia actually knows less of course because the Track was Angie's father's property. Her Maiden name was DiNatale, well known in the region. So, her dad.. Jimmy "The Brute" Dinatale is who the story is built around. Now, depending on who you know and who you hear it from regarding his family, the tales of Jimmy The Brute, as everyone called him may have been a little I don't know how to say it, rough maybe. But his daughter's version is pleasant and colorful. From Trenton originally, he ran away from home at age 11 ( No need to tell reasons for this story ) to head West and he did so on the rails, in the company of Hobo's and such. Learning to fend,care,cook, and support himself on the rails themselves! He did make his way back to Jersey and settled on Pine road in Hammonton near an Aunt & Uncle. He had a produce company and had a route and had a big old truck called the Brute. The story is simple. One day while changing the motor obviously laborious and heavy he had asked for help from a number of people and got none. He wrangled this heavy old thing together his self and to him and the truck from then on was coined the name "The Brute".
Jimmy also in the course of his life had 9 Bars/tap rooms & such. Knew how to make them go but in the end Angie tells me he died not very well off because of generosities to others. ( sounds nice on paper anyway ). based on her age and when she was born and her respective accounts to me, I can give you the facts within one year safely of the following ( I of course will not be rude enough to repeat lady's age ) Jimmy purchased the property in 1949 or 1950 and originally had it as a Horse racetrack. The property had a fine house on it that was converted to the Bar/Hotel. ( while being a sweet grandmother and proper type, she had no problem telling me that the "hotel" was a little more of a, well I'll not use her word. We will say meeting place for men and ladies O' the 'eve.) She began to describe the property to me when I stopped her. Went to my car and brought back the Panoramic. It is actually a 3 sectional job done on the bend in front of the entrance and even though the years have revealed the seams, the work especially for that time rivals today's best. The seems that overlap do not give away at all the blend of the house, it's grounds, even tree details. The pic is 7 x 28 in a 12 x 30 fragile wooden & glass frame sort of Sepia toned. I do not even dare wipe the dust from the frame of backing. So I say, " does this look a little familiar?".
Well, the tears she barely kept back but the light in her eyes was invaluable as she looked at her youth there before her. You see, even though she was Friend and even relative to my Uncle she not only did not know he had this pic but never knew nor believed anyone in her family would know that this ever existed! This particular uncle you see was a collector of things, not because of their value but due to what they may be used for and might mean to someone else one day. Here his efforts paid of from beyond the grave. The bar you see was named "The Evergreen" literally shown painted on the horse paddocks building. My pic is PRE-SPEEDWAY. She told me many anecdotes but I'll give some really good ones. She showed me the porch where they had a doorbell and a little pony trained to step up on a washtub and ring the bell at someone's arrival ( and later he used this knowledge to summon up someone for food or drink ). During the Horse track period they also trained Boxers and Wrestlers in the paddock buildings. They would hang heavy bags and other training gear. On weekends, she showed me the area of the courtyard where fancy chairs and umbrellas would be set and a boxing/wrestling ring was put for people to come from all around to spectate and have a family day. She recanted as a little girl the memory of a Black man of immense size with Diamond rings on every finger that came down from New York to play piano at the bar. She used to be allowed to sit with him and play at the piano! Around 1955 the horse track was finished and Jimmy The Brute shifted the track back a little toward Hendricks Ave, elongated it and began to run a car track. Suffice to say it thrived till it's end. So it was the Atco Speedway and the Bar was the Evergreen Tavern. Side note, my Dad can not remember ever seeing a race but did go to the Bar near it's end as a youth. Eddie has an arial pic at the Country Farm Market of the track the day of the memorial gathering. I intend to get a copy of that. He told me of so many old track participants that came back to relive the track and of so many artifacts of their time there. Sounds awesome. Sadly enough, the day they held it, Angie was not able to attend. Angie did not even hint at wanting the pic and demanded I keep it in thanks that I had even shared it with her. She wants to pay me for professional reproductions for her children. I would not take money but my real trouble is I do not want to "F" with this thing. Any of you photog experts here got any ideas who could be trusted with this task? This thing is "FRAGILE" I also want to share it with the site.
Talk about a "GUY" type before and after. There is nothing at all today that would give you the image that the place in this pic ever existed.

So Trailhead, There's the story of one of your tracks and You and I have passed it on many occasion never being aware of it's colorful past and stories. This account is not from someone who knew someone but from a little girl who lived it herself. A thread that reaches out and gets me to embark on a mission as many here have is thrilling enough, but we reached out and touched someone else this time. Thanks once again to Ben and NJPB. Sorry guys, I did it again. Hope it weren't too long.
Just another little piece of the puzzle even if on the frayed edges of the Pinebarrens. Good day all.

G.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Largo,

I was reading your post the day you posted it, and was interupted. Just realized I never finished it.

Thanks for all the info.

Guy
 

Teegate

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Can you still get to that track witout being thrown in jail?

Guy
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,264
1,740
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Pestletown, N.J.
Can you still get to that track witout being thrown in jail?

Guy
My guess is no.
The access is an overgrown road off the old White Horse Pike and it is private property. The adjoining owner keeps a pretty close watch on things.
I accessed the track by walking over from the HRF MC property while at a few of their parties.
You wouldn't want to do that without permission either.
Scott
 

xtimgx

New Member
Jan 5, 2007
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Hey there. I'm new here but there was another race track I'd thought you'd be interested to hear about. Not as much of a racetrack, but more of a place where they gathered illegally and raced. In Manahawkin, NJ, there once was the remains of a paved less than 1/4 mile approx oval behind the Kmart. Unfortunately, it was all cleared out and built up with homes but I thought I would just give you an idea of another. One more thing would be an old dirt road where cars used to race down in Manahawkin, NJ as well which is now a wildlife reserve.
 

BEHR655

Piney
Feb 19, 2003
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Merchantville, NJ
www.behr655.smugmug.com
One more thing would be an old dirt road where cars used to race down in Manahawkin, NJ as well which is now a wildlife reserve.
Is the the road to the "Bridge to Nowhere"? That road rattles your brain now. That is a nice straight stretch though. We had Wyndam Rd. in Pennsauken when I was a kid. Long and straight with no houses. Now it's a full blown development.

Steve
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,027
280
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
I've found another dirt oval in the woods in Little Egg Harbor which I'm trying to learn more about. A few locals ahve told me that it was a racetrack, but coyuldn't say much more. It is located just behind the Mitchell School on Rt. 539, and can be seen from Google earth. The powerline ROW runs right through it. I'm also curious about the many obviously man-made berms oriented roughly East to West in the woods there as well. I'm hoping to speak to someone from the Tuckerton Historical society about it when I get a chance.
 

Y-BUC-BILL

Explorer
Mar 9, 2007
129
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More on Race Tracks

We raced our stock car at the Manahawkin Speedway in 1950.It was an old gravel pit.Worked on a new house being built on the Helis Stock Farm,It was in 1960.They named it Acorn Farm.I remember the race track for training the horse's.It was completely enclosed.Quite impressive.They could run the horse's no matter what the weather.The old Alcyon Speedway was another great dirt track.That was in Pitman.Video tapes or dvd's are available of Alcyon and Vineland Speedway's.
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I was just browsing around the area near my home on Google Earth, and this old thread came to mind. This looks like it might have been some sort of racetrack (for training horses?) once upon a time:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=39.413844,-74.828326&ie=UTF8&ll=39.413846,-74.828321&spn=0.0024,0.004479&t=h&z=18&om=1

Or how about this one? I wonder what happened to the area just north of it? Or is this some sort of industrial/mining/landfill site?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=39.423015,-74.853394&ie=UTF8&ll=39.423017,-74.853394&spn=0.00259,0.004839&t=h&z=18&om=1
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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That first link is interesting. It appears that the property it is on was once much bigger, and the lots next to it were cut out of it. Notice the bottom left corner of the track is cut off at what must be the neighbors property line.


Guy
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Interesting! I love browsing the woods on google earth. I found, what I guess to be, a motocross track in a very, very remote area of the state forest. It is recent as I tracked back on arial photos from 10 years before and it was not present. It is in a nearly impassable area that I only know only of myself having crawled through (although maybe Bob has been back in there). The only logical access is from the back of someones house. I guess they just brought some land moving equipement back there and built a track.

It is illegal but I won't disclose the location because it really isn't hurting anybody or anything. I thought it was real amusing that someone would do that.

Jeff
 
Oct 25, 2006
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Amatol I presume? :)

(from the 1930 i-MapNJ)
That is Amatol, 75% of it going west to east on Moss Mill Road is in a WMA area, the other 25% is owned by a private gun club with some huge no trespassing signs, also saying full prosecution.

Look on Google Earth or Terraserver to see what it looks like today, you can still make out the track, but it is really overgrown.
 

Ray Thomas

New Member
Dec 4, 2007
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Northern Maine
Hi, This is my first time, so I don't know what I'm doing. I do remember going to Arney's Mount Speedway as a boy with my father and a driver named Sherman Flynn. It was near the Vincenttown Diner. The road that comes out onto Rt. 206 from Mt. Holly and crosses 206...I don't remember the Rt. number, But the track wasn't very far down that road, on the right. It was a small track, not even 3/8ths of a mile. I heard that after they stopped racing cars there, they raced flat track motorcycles. Is that Juliustown Rd?
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Hi, This is my first time, so I don't know what I'm doing. I do remember going to Arney's Mount Speedway as a boy with my father and a driver named Sherman Flynn. It was near the Vincenttown Diner. The road that comes out onto Rt. 206 from Mt. Holly and crosses 206...I don't remember the Rt. number, But the track wasn't very far down that road, on the right. It was a small track, not even 3/8ths of a mile. I heard that after they stopped racing cars there, they raced flat track motorcycles. Is that Juliustown Rd?
The road crossing 206 was route 38 Ray. Even though you went as a boy, you must be nearing 60 years old or better, right? I don't remember that track when I was growing up.

Whoops, wait, I found it. Mount Holly Speedway. I said 38 cause you mentioned the Vincentown Diner. No, it was North of there. The road crosses 206 and heads to Arney's Mount. Like you said, its on the right at the base of the hills. Here's the link:

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=40.00731&lon=-74.71235&datum=nad27&u=4&layer=DRG&size=l&s=25
 

Ray Thomas

New Member
Dec 4, 2007
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Northern Maine
The road crossing 206 was route 38 Ray. Even though you went as a boy, you must be nearing 60 years old or better, right? I don't remember that track when I was growing up.

Whoops, wait, I found it. Mount Holly Speedway. I said 38 cause you mentioned the Vincentown Diner. No, it was North of there. The road crosses 206 and heads to Arney's Mount. Like you said, its on the right at the base of the hills. Here's the link:

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=40.00731&lon=-74.71235&datum=nad27&u=4&layer=DRG&size=l&s=25
Thanks! That's it. It has been several years since I've been in that area, although the memories (somewhat foggy, in my middle sixties) are still there. This is fun! I'm looking forward to reading about the barrens and all the places I went as a kid.