Any info on Swain's Stopping Place

Discussion in 'Ghost Towns and Forgotten Places' started by Brandon Yachere, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Brandon Yachere

    Brandon Yachere New Member

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    Hi I'm a new member here but have been coming to here for a while. I've been searching all over for any info on the old "Swain's Stopping Off Place" along the old cape May stage road. Only place I've seen anything about it is on the Hartman survey. On Hartman Survey 8 it says it was there in 1750. I've searched all over for info on this place and came up with nothing. I went to the spot where it would be and found a modern foundation but nothing from 1700s era. Any info would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Spung-Man

    Spung-Man Explorer

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    Howdy Brandon,

    You might start with:

    Swain, R., 1792: Journal of Rev. Richard Swain While on the Salem Circuit, N.J. (transcribed and edited by Steelman, R.B., Old First United Methodist Church, West Long Branch, NJ, January 12, 1977).
    S-M
     
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  3. Spung-Man

    Spung-Man Explorer

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    Willy,

    I am not surprised to see a Swain at Fordville, a suburb of Gouldtown. I am under the impression that there was a large Black and small Native population in western Atlantic, eastern Cumberland, and northern Cape May Counties that no one bothered to acknowledge. This was the Great Wilderness and there is a whole lot of forest exploitation going on by an unknown itinerant population.

    The Swain family arrived in New Hampshire in 1636, then soon resettled on Nantucket. They were whaling in Cape May County by 1690. When the whales are “fished out” (poor word, I know), they turn to forest products in support of ship- and boatbuilding—especially naval stores like tar, pitch, and rosin. When Rev. Robert Steelman wrote his introduction to the Swain diary, even he was unsure of where the Old Swain Place was, and vaguely placed it somewhere near Head-of-the River.

    His brother was Jim Steelman, an engineer who was quite active in the Atlantic County Historical Society in the study of the Steelman line. I helped Jim with locating the Long-A-Coming trail and the Indiantown settlement by the Lochs-of-the-Swamp (Mays Landing). There I met Robert and turned him on to the Hartman maps. In review of Robert's hand-written notes it is verified the Old Swain Place of Rev. Richard Swain’s family was indeed on the Old Cape Road.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much of the early eighteenth century busy landscape is all-but-forgotten—roads, taverns, ponds, graveyards… Gone!

    S-M
     
  4. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    I have a Swain uncle (by marriage) from Dividing Creek and I am descended from the Steelmans of Atlantic county.My direct line grandmother Ellen Steelman is buried at head of the River.Chest high tombstone right next to SE corner of church
     
  5. Brandon Yachere

    Brandon Yachere New Member

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    Spung-Man,

    I've looked where I can find the book and seems Stockton has a copy. I'm gonna have to stop by there one day and check it out. Thanks for all the info so far. Seems like a lot of history around south jersey was never recorded or forgotten thru time. I'm gonna hike some more of the Old Cape Road more towards Rt49 and try to find any kind of sign of it. Tough finding old settlements with how fast everything grows. Never heard of Indiantown but i have been exploring the Lochs-of-the-swamp area a bunch lately