Amatol reports and mapping

Bill Lloyd

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Is any part of this area not private? I was back there over 10 years ago and most was open. I have overlaid aerial shots with the map as well. Never been to where the actual town was, only the munitions part. Would love to go backand explore the town area. That is if it is accessible. Thanks for any info.
 

Boyd

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My free "Core Pines" map shows public open space. It can be installed on your Garmin GPS, or if you don't have one you can just use it on your computer with Garmin's free Basecamp program (for Windows and Macintosh). Download the map here. The package includes installation instructions.

http://boydsmaps.com/download/core_pines.zip

Basecamp is available here:

http://www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp

Here's a screenshot. Areas with forest cover are shown in light green. The dark green areas are public openspace. As you can see, the Hammonton Creek Wildlife Management Area includes a fair portion of Amatol.

amatol.jpg
 

Bill Lloyd

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Thanks for the info. I see the racetrack portion inside the WMA. Is that where the town itself was? Thats the place im most interested in exploring.
 

Boyd

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Thanks for the info. I see the racetrack portion inside the WMA. Is that where the town itself was? Thats the place im most interested in exploring.
First, see the map that pinelandpaddler linked to on the first page of this thread and note the location of the town Northeast of the factory: http://amatol.atlantic.edu/p-013_The_Development.html

I just threw this together quickly. It's big, but I wanted to include full detail - click to see the whole image then right-click if you want to download). If you compare the Amatol map to what this LIDAR image shows, it's pretty easy to see the current location of everything. I added green shading to show public openspace.

If I read this right, you can see where Rt658 cuts through the old town. Looks like the main portion of the town was East of 658 however, and that appears to be private land. The racetrack appears to have been built over the old factory location.

amatol.jpg
 
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Boyd

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something must have gone wrong when it was compiled?
Looks like Garmin's software thinks I am using metric elevations and has converted these to feet (328 feet would be about 100 meters, for example). Not sure why this happened, will have to check that out if I ever update the map. At this point, not sure if I will make any more Garmin maps, am spending my time working on maps for smartphones now. :)
 

Boyd

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I'm working on a new topo map and spending some time with historical topo's. So I had an "aha!" moment when I looked at this 1942 USGS topo. It clearly shows the town of Amatol, and it wasn't where I thought it was. I wondered what this place was before but didn't connect it to Amatol.

Look at the map in the link that @pinelandpaddler posted earlier in this thread: https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/amatol-reports-and-mapping.6426/#post-117205

That map is confusing, because North isn't at the top. I have rotated it to (roughly) the correct orientation here - it's even more confusing because the compass rose on that map doesn't appear to show North in the right orientation either.

amatol_map.jpg



Now have a look at the 1942 USGS topo.... it's obvious where the plant and the town were. :)

amotol_1942.jpg



This also raises another issue I've mentioned before. The old map clearly identifies the town as Amatol (with an "a") but the topo map shows Amotol (with an "o") so apparently both spellings have been used at different times.

Now you can just see some hint of what used to be there on my LIDAR imagery overlaid with existing dirt roads.

amatol_lidar.jpg


And here it is on my new topo map. The roads are still there but it is private property

amatol_2017.jpg


And finally, here it is on my "Parcels in the Pines" map. Have not taken the time to overlay the other maps on this, but it seems clear that the land is mostly owned by Wharton Properties, Inc, with portions of the town of Amatol in Block 7501 Lot 1 and Lot 6.

amatol_parcels.jpg


You can download the historical topo here: the_pines_in_the_1940s.zip

It's a .kmz file for use in Google Earth or other compatible software. When I get a chance, I will be re-issuing this in my new MOBAC format to make it easy to use on phones and gps devices.

[edit] Also note that the location is very clear on the 1930 aerials: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.594207772742344&lng=-74.68154925506593&z=16&type=nj1930&gpx=
 
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Boyd

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Also, while I'm thinking of it, have a look at page 275 of Barbara Solem-Stull's book Ghost Towns and other quirky places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. There is a high resolution map of the town of Amatol that shows every building. Sorry, can't post it here as it is a copyrighted work. The legend on the map is amusing :)

AMATOL, NEW JERSEY
An example of the art of town planning. With an undeveloped piece of land it was possible to apply the principles of artistic town design and create units in correct and convenient relation to each other.
 
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RednekF350

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Also, while I'm thinking of it, have a look at page 275 of Barbara Solem-Stull's book Ghost Towns and othe quirky places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. There is a high resolution map of the town of Amatol that shows every building. Sorry, can't post it here as it is a copyrighted work. The legend on the map is amusing :)

AMATOL, NEW JERSEY
An example of the art of town planning. With an undeveloped piece of land it was possible to apply the principles of artistic town design and create units in correct and convenient relation to each other.
I work in the civil engineering field in land use and am licensed in land surveying and professional planning. When I look at an endeavor like Amatol or going further back, something like Harrisville, my mind wonders if these places would have ever been built if they had to deal with the layers of review and permitting that we wade through today.
The answer is no by the way.
:)
 
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Boyd

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Well also imagine "what if" Amatol, Belco, Paisley, New City and all the other plans succeeded? There wouldn't be any pine barrens today, it would have been completely developed before the turn of the millenium - as McPhee predicted. :)
 
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Boyd

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For some reason, this topic has really captured my interest. So I scanned and georeferenced the map from Barbara Solem-Stull's book, then traced the buildings. Got off to a false start and that wasted some time, but when I corrected the problem I was surprised that the hundred year old map exactly matched the 1930 aerials. Here's the aerial image by itself.

1930_aerial.jpg


And here is my overlay of the buildings and roads

amatol_1930.jpg



This is what it looks like overlaid on the 2012 orthoimagery

amatol_2012.jpg


And here's a wider view overlaid on my topo map so you can get a better idea of the location.

amatol_topo.jpg


Just amazes me that they tore this whole town down (unlike Belcoville, which still exists). Wouldn't it be nice if the state bought that property to preserve whatever is left? I suspect it has been thoroughly picked over by now, since there are a lot of houses nearby.

The whole story of Amatol is pretty remarkable, according to Solem-Stull, construction began exactly 99 years ago on March 5, 1918. By the end of July the factories were producing shells. With the war ending, they started to tear it all down in March 1919. She goes on to explain that the town was not intended to be permanent and was built in a way to facilitate demolition.

Now she also states the town plan included 465 structures intended to serve a population of 25,000. However at its peak there were only 5,500 residents and only about 1/3 of the town was completed when the plant closed down. Now my map includes 428 buildings. Just looking at the 1930 aerial, it's clear that some were never built so I left them out. But I have obviously included many buildings on the map that never really existed (1/3 of 465 would imply 153 completed buldings). Would be interesting to know what was actually built.
 
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Piney4life

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For some reason, this topic has really captured my interest. So I scanned and georeferenced the map from Barbara Solem-Stull's book, then traced the buildings. Got off to a false start and that wasted some time, but when I corrected the problem I was surprised that the hundred year old map exactly matched the 1930 aerials. Here's the aerial image by itself.

View attachment 8778

And here is my overlay of the buildings and roads

View attachment 8779


This is what it looks like overlaid on the 2012 orthoimagery

View attachment 8780

And here's a wider view overlaid on my topo map so you can get a better idea of the location.

View attachment 8781

Just amazes me that they tore this whole town down (unlike Belcoville, which still exists). Wouldn't it be nice if the state bought that property to preserve whatever is left? I suspect it has been thoroughly picked over by now, since there are a lot of houses nearby.

The whole story of Amatol is pretty remarkable, according to Solem-Stull, construction began exactly 99 years ago on March 5, 1918. By the end of July the factories were producing shells. With the war ending, they started to tear it all down in March 1919. She goes on to explain that the town was not intended to be permanent and was built in a way to facilitate demolition.

Now she also states the town plan included 465 structures intended to serve a population of 25,000. However at its peak there were only 5,500 residents and only about 1/3 of the town was completed when the plant closed down. Now my map includes 428 buildings. Just looking at the 1930 aerial, it's clear that some were never built so I left them out. But I have obviously included many buildings on the map that never really existed (1/3 of 465 would imply 153 completed buldings). Would be interesting to know what was actually built.
That was a great place to explore in the mid 80s you could still drive the old race track circle.many footings of old buildings and a few what we thought to be ammo bunkers.if I'm not mistaken it is all private property now.
 

Boyd

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Did you actually drive around the track?:) Read through this whole thread, I posted a map showing that about 75% of the racetrack area is part of the Hammonton Creek WMA: https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/amatol-reports-and-mapping.6426/page-2#post-141988

However that is not the subject of my recent posts, I am talking about the town of Amatol which is nowhere near the racetrack. Here you can see the track on the left with the town 2.5 miles to the East. It is completely on private property.

track.jpg
 

Piney4life

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The track is now on private property yes, but back then it was not a single lane went around a large loop. you could drive down most of the roads around the plant and clearly see the foundations
 

Boyd

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Just couldn't call this done without plotting the location of the munitions plant. This is not as accurate as my map of the town because I don't have a high resolution scan of the factory area, just the low res version from the link I posted earlier. However the 1930 aerial and LIDAR imagery helped. Quite a bit of the plant was inside the speedway oval but I am not showing that here - it gets too cluttered andI assume most of it was destroyed by constructing the speedway.

So here's the munitions plant overlaid on the 1930 aerial imagery

amatol_plant.jpg


And this is the entire site of the plant and the town overlaid on the 2012 aerial

amatol_aerial.jpg



And the whole site overlaid on my topo. Unfortunately most of the plant and all of the town are on private land.

amatol_topo.jpg