Atsion: Old and Renewed

Don Catts

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Don,
Perhaps I missed it in the thread. Where was the Tumble Inn located ?

Rednek and all,
No, you didn't miss the location of the Tumble Inn, I failed to give it. Sorry, sometimes I am familiar with something and just assume everyone else is also.
The Tumble Inn, originally Small's Hotel & Tavern is today La Campagnalia, located at the intersection of Indian Mills Rd (620) and Oakshade Rd (534) in Shamong Twp. On older maps and all of the historic maps it is called Small's Hotel or just Smalls.
In 1830 Israel Small built a farmhouse on this corner. He later turned it into a hotel called Small's Hotel & Tavern. It operated for years as Small's Hotel, then Small's Inn, until George Baker bought it in1904 and changed the name to Baker's Hotel (also on some maps) the Jennings family bought it in 1930 and changed the name to "Tumble Inn" when Jennings sold it in the 1960s it was renovated and enlarged. (and ruined) After going through a couple more owners and name changes such as "The Countryside Inn", today it is called "La Campagnalia", however, the old timers in the area still call it the Tumble Inn.
Don
 
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Don Catts

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Very tempting. I had trimmed 2 songs from the album, but perhaps I can write two more in their stead. This is a great story and even a great song title.

Don, can you tell us about The Lady on the Dam? That too would make a great title.
Yes, probably not much though, I'll write down what I can remember and post.
 

Teegate

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the Jennings family bought it in 1930 and changed the name to "Tumble Inn" when Jennings sold it in the 1960s it was renovated and enlarged. (and ruined)
Don

Would you know if this was the Jennings family who was an optometrist or eye specialist that had an office on Jennings Road in Medford?
 

Don Catts

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Would you know if this was the Jennings family who was an optometrist or eye specialist that had an office on Jennings Road in Medford?
Yes Guy, same family , I think cousins. I'll ask Sonny Jennings maybe tomorrow. John H. C. Jennings moved from Medford to Shamong in the 1880s. He bought the old Fyatt Tavern property and farm. It was his son Charley Jennings that bought Baker's Hotel and name it Tumble Inn.
 

Don Catts

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Very tempting. I had trimmed 2 songs from the album, but perhaps I can write two more in their stead. This is a great story and even a great song title.

Don, can you tell us about The Lady on the Dam? That too would make a great title.

I don't know the year, but the first one to see THE LADY ON THE DAM was Annie Cavileer. As told to me by Annie, as best I can remember:

I started to cross the dam late one night when I noticed a lady standing in the middle of the dam bridge. She was dressed all in black, but I could see her clearly in the moonlight. As I passed the lady I said hello, the woman just nodded her head. Once by, I turned to look again and she was gone that quick. I hurried home almost running. It wasn't until the next day that it hit me, I had seen a ghost.


Years went by with no more sightings and the incident was forgotten. That is, until they started having dances in a large house across the road over by Atsion Lake. After the dance the folks living on Quaker Bridge Road had to cross the dam on their way home. Late one night a young girl left the dance early and started home alone. Again as told to me by that girl who was in her 70s by this time:

As I approached the dam I saw what I thought was a woman standing on the dam. She was dressed in dark clothes and all I could see clearly was her face and hands. As I got closer she faded away and was gone. I crossed the dam and hurried home as fast as I could.

I would like to point out that this woman told me that she had never heard of Annie's encounter many years earlier.


Sam said, after that THE LADY ON THE DAM was seen many times mostly my folks coming home from the dance. Sometimes more than one person would see her at the same time. (Don't know what they put in the punch at those dances.) No one knew who she was or why she was on the dam, but they thought maybe she was lonely and wished she could join the dances. They said she could be seen clearly on a moonlit night just standing on the dam. Sam said, she was never referred to as a ghost, just the Lady on the Dam. I got the impression they liked seeing her.
They had an outside pavilion on Quaker Bridge Road across from the old school house where the dances were held in the summer. Now folks living on the other side of the Mullica River in the workers houses had to cross the dam in the other direction, sometimes these folks would also see her, still fading as you got closer.

You could not tell those old folks of Atsion there is no such thing as a ghost. Ruth said her aunt Mrs. Rachel Bareford locked her door before dark and did not open it again, for anything, until sunrise. But that was probably a good idea, she was old and living alone. Although I never heard of any stories about trouble back then. Most of the trouble was at the Atsion Hotel, there was a bar room inside and it got so bad the county finally (about 1910) would not renew their liquor license.

One note about Annie Cavileer. Annie and her husband George moved from Atsion to Dutchtown a about two miles farther down on Route 206 (Route 39 at the time) where in 1924 they built the first gas station in New Jersey.

I was just thinking, are these ghost stories coming out just before Halloween a coincidence or is
THE LADY ON THE DAM inviting us to join her Halloween night on the dam.

Dances.jpg
 
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Don, much thanks for these stories that I probably would have never heard otherwise. Living folklore right here on the forum! Did you hear this story from anyone else? I wonder how far back this tradition might go. Any more info you can provide would be more than welcome. I am very tempted to write another song or two now. If you have any other stories to share, please do so. We need to keep this stuff alive!
 
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RednekF350

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Don,

Would I be correct in remembering two gas stations in Dutchtown in the late 1970's ?
I used to fuel my motorcycle at the Wagon Wheel circa 1977. It is currently the little breakfast/lunch restaurant. I believe it was owned by Bill Russel back then and I do remember it being a Sunoco. The owner was very particular about his paving and would greet every motorcycle by handing the rider a kickstand plate, a disk made of wood, so that you didn't leave a mark on the asphalt.

The other one, that I think I remember, was just a few hundred yards south where Dutchtown Auto was. I vaguely remember a little shack close to the road near the gas pumps and an old, smiling woman working there. An even more vague recollection; I think it might have been Texaco branded fuel ??

Am I remembering that second station correctly ?

Scott
 
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Don Catts

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Scott,
You are remembering correctly, you have a good memory, There were two gas stations in Dutchtown. Bill Russell owned the Sunoco as well as most of Dutchtown and Annie Cavileer ran the other one. The little old woman was Annie.
Sam Giberson owned Dutchtown Auto. He worked with the junkyard and Tucker's Auto repair back by the junkyard for his cars.
Years ago, I made three small wooden disk with a dimple in the center and brads just sticking out of the underside to keep them from sliding. I used them to keep the transit from settling into asphalt surfaces.
One note: The Wagon Wheel passed down to Annie, then to Reds Tucker, then to Abrams who owns it today. It is closed right now, but has a FOR RENT sign in the widow for anyone that can flip a burger.
Another Note: Cliff Lane, husband of Rose Lane of the Mill Race House/Lane House fame owned a bar in Dutchtown, not sure what year it closed. Don
 
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Don Catts

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Don, much thanks for these stories that I probably would have never heard otherwise. Living folklore right here on the forum! Did you hear this story from anyone else? I wonder how far back this tradition might go. Any more info you can provide would be more than welcome. I am very tempted to write another song or two now. If you have any other stories to share, please do so. We need to keep this stuff alive!
Pinelandpaddler, you are welcome, I wish I could remember more. We know that Johnny O'Dea went back to about 1885 when he died at the mill, but the dam goes back to 1766. No one I talked to could remember any accident on the dam or who that woman could have been. So she could go as far back as 1766.
George Flemming would be the one to contact. He may have more info. He was with me many times and was always taking notes for his book. I guess he didn't want to put any ghost stories in a history book. George moved to South Carolina to be with his son about four years ago and I haven't heard from him since. He had a lot of information that did not come out in his book. I keep hoping him or his son will send them up to me.
If I come up with anymore information I will post it for sure. Don
 

RednekF350

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Don,

Thank you once again for the Dutchtown details.

Do you remember the house just south of Dutchtown but on the west side of the highway ? I have attached a watermarked Historic Aerials image to this showing the location . I am not sure when it was demolished.

A dear old man I knew named Nelson Phero lived there when he was a kid in the 1930's. Nelson passed away in 2011 and was a wealth of information. He took care of the Chew Cemetery on Chew Road. Nelson told me he had other family around Atsion and Dutchtown area many years ago and I believe some are buried at the Church cemetery on Quaker Bridge Road.

I explored the house location about ten years ago when Nelson first told me he had lived there. There is just rubble there now with no discernible foundation. It was very interesting to me that the house was located in such a wet area, only yards away from the Parkdale bogs. Upon review of the older images though, it looks like the area was more arable many years ago.

Working in civil engineering, I always look at house locations like that and ponder why such a wet location was chosen and how the owners disposed of their sewage. Cesspools and outhouses had to be only marginally effective in areas such as this where you could dig a hole and hit water within a foot.

Scott
 

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Don Catts

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Don,

Thank you once again for the Dutchtown details.

Do you remember the house just south of Dutchtown but on the west side of the highway ? I have attached a watermarked Historic Aerials image to this showing the location . I am not sure when it was demolished.

A dear old man I knew named Nelson Phero lived there when he was a kid in the 1930's. Nelson passed away in 2011 and was a wealth of information. He took care of the Chew Cemetery on Chew Road. Nelson told me he had other family around Atsion and Dutchtown area many years ago and I believe some are buried at the Church cemetery on Quaker Bridge Road.

I explored the house location about ten years ago when Nelson first told me he had lived there. There is just rubble there now with no discernible foundation. It was very interesting to me that the house was located in such a wet area, only yards away from the Parkdale bogs. Upon review of the older images though, it looks like the area was more arable many years ago.

Working in civil engineering, I always look at house locations like that and ponder why such a wet location was chosen and how the owners disposed of their sewage. Cesspools and outhouses had to be only marginally effective in areas such as this where you could dig a hole and hit water within a foot.

Scott
You are welcome Scott, yes I remember that house, but don't know anything about it. . There was not much left when I was there. I don't know if it was demolished, or just fell down and faded away. But I do remember the old boys from the junkyard across the road telling me they had a bait pile behind the house where they shot deer from the kitchen window, many years ago. I think someone was living there at the time, but not really sure about that. One thing you should know, these guys were not sportsman, they were meat hunters.

Nelson Phero is an interesting story, I was told that all the folks at Dutchtown were buried in that Chew Cemetery.

Phero's buried at the Church cemetery on QBR:
Agusta C. Phero ? - 2/12/1885 age 15yrs 7mos 19days Sweet rest in heaven
Caroline C. Phero ? - 3/9/1869 age 4yrs 4mos 15days Safe in the arms of Jesus
Mrs Hanna Phero 8/31/1829 - 9/25/1889 A precious one from us has gone/a voice we loved is still/ a place is vacant in our hearts which can never be filled


I don't remember the name Phero. My problem, there is no ones left to ask, they are all gone. Gabe was asking for more info on the ghost at Atsion and I had the same problem, no one left to ask.

I don't know who was the last person to live in that old house across the road but I'm pretty sure he was there when they shot deer from the kitchen. I'm friends with one of the sons down Dutchtown. The next time I see him I'll find out what he knows.
Like you, when I was back there I though this was not a very good place to build a house. Although, as I remember, behind the house looked like it was a well used area. It must have been higher or at least dryer at one time. Don't ask me how. Maybe they controlled the water level with bog dams back then? But what happened when they flooded the bogs, the house was so close ?

Don
 

Teegate

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Look at Dave Amato's house. That is flooded all the time now.