Atsion: Old and Renewed

Spung-Man

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Oriental. thanks for pointing out the symmetry. What is the oldest reference to Middle Road? I looked back at old posts and see I misread Pinelands Paddler's use of Middle Road, thinking it was contemporary to Shinn. LiDAR images indicate the Beers' Middle Road never extended as improved roadway into to the Great Swamp above Old Forks (Columbia) Road. Instead, roadbuilders (Landis & Byrnes?) took advantage of the old West Mill Tract causeway to cross Great Swamp as a corduroy road to Atsion. Landis did the same with Landis Avenue, extending it eastward to Five Points in 1861, then captured the old Cape Road to continue on towards Mays Landing (Wright 1867 map in Davis Collection, Historical Society of Hamilton Township). Yes, Old Landis Avenue east of Five Points is with some irony the newest segment of that road!

Also, I now think I might have an alternative solution to the Desolation Pond tavern. It might just be the brick (stone?) George Bowers house that is the tavern, as it looks similar to the old Emmelville brick tavern (c.1790s?) still standing below Weymouth on the road to Mays Landing. Old Forks Road may have been realigned to pass north and not south of the Bowers Place. The Shoemakers buildings were likely associated with the tavern, but not the actual public house. Last week Uncle Budd confirmed the Bowers dwelling to be the reputed tavern, not the Shoemakers structures.

S-M
 
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Spung-Man

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This 1860 William Kitchell; Morgan Hopkins map does not indicate any settlement in the area of Dutchtown.

View attachment 6455
Tracker Jim, it would not surprise me that an existing settlement was missed by cartographers, perhaps being too marginal for mention. For example the charcoal settlement of Berrys (New Kuban) is occupied from c.1790–1950 with only a single map citation from 1812, although Clement (Volume 3, Page 69) shows the Scotts living there. These forgotten, out-of-the-way places are intriguing, hamlets like Rattletrap, Walkers Ford, and North Newark that are all but forgotten today.

My gut says Dutchtown is very old.

S-M
 

Don Catts

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After I looked at the Beers map that Don posted, Middle Road seems to be just that. The middle road when Hammonton was mapped out

View attachment 6454

Doesn't look like it ever corresponded to Rt 206.

Oriental, I think you are right, Middle Road was named because it was in the middle of old Hammonton City, but passed Myrtle Road it is just a paper road that never developed. In 1872 the highway commissioner built a road from the end of Middle Road, at Myrtle, to Atsion Mills. They called it a new road , but it was actually the reconstruction of an old and all but impassable road to the bogs and on to Atsion. On your map you can see it baring to the left at Myrtle. The red route on the attached google map is the road rebuilt in 1872. It meets today's Route 206 at point "A" and leaves Route 206 at point "B" and continues straight into the Atsion cotton Mill. I don't think it was ever called Middle Road from Myrtle Road intersection to Atsion, but we are calling it Middle Road for want of a better name. If you look at Tracker Jim's 1860 map, post #221 you will see it as a heavy dashed line. [which usually mean an unimproved road].

Don

xxx.jpg
 
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Don Catts

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This 1860 William Kitchell; Morgan Hopkins map does not indicate any settlement in the area of Dutchtown.

View attachment 6455
Tracker-Jim, no DutchTown, no cranberry bogs either, I'm thinking maybe no Dutchtown, but the bogs must have been there? However, it looks like that heavy dash line may be the road we are calling Middle Road. It would be interesting to see if it goes to Middle Road in Hammonton or it is just a dash line on the map for some other reason?
 

Tracker Jim

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Tracker-Jim, no DutchTown, no cranberry bogs either, I'm thinking maybe no Dutchtown, but the bogs must have been there? However, it looks like that heavy dash line may be the road we are calling Middle Road. It would be interesting to see if it goes to Middle Road in Hammonton or it is just a dash line on the map for some other reason?
Don,
the dotted line on the 1860 map represents the proposed route of the Raritan and Delaware Bay Railroad.
Here is a link to the Map. It is the 5th map down on the page. Click on it to enlarge.
http://library.princeton.edu/njmaps/state_of_nj.html
 

Oriental

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Oriental

I am also curious about Dutchtown itself. Where exactly was it? When did it come to be and why? Were they Dutch, Were they German?

Don
Apparently it should have been called DeutschTown!

I should note that the cranberry bogs in that part of Atlantic County were built around 1870. These cranberry companies were "stock" companies that were established during the cranberry craze that gripped South Jersey beginning at the end of the Civil War. They included The Hammonton Cranberry Company, The Vineland Cranberry Company and The Park Cranberry Company (later Parkdale). Rockwood's bogs were developed around the same time too though I think he later bought additional land from Wharton.

It was Don's posting of the Beers map that caused me to take a much more critical look at the area. The residents of the Dutchtown area were identified on the map as Gebert (actually means "German"), Michelbach (a town in Germany) and Andrews. When I looked the names up in the 1870 census, all of these folks were employed in the cranberry bogs! And guess what else? They were all from - you got it - Deutschland! The census also mentions other Germans named Andrew Peterson and Christopher Rehmann living there as well as a Frenchman named Domine Bono.

So it appears the Dutchtown was a German settlement of cranberry bog workers that was established in the late 1860s.

Now I need to know if they were actual landowners or merely tenants. I guess a trip to the County Clerk is in order.

Dutchtown Über Alles!
 

Spung-Man

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According to an agricultural survey, Germans were Hammonton's farm labor force until 1877 when they simply didn't show up, and Italians replaced them. It was thought that the Germans had by that time established themselves on their own farms so no longer needed to hire out as laborers. Germans are already living in the wilds of western Atlantic County well before New Hammonton – New Germany (Folsom), Dutch Mill (Cedar Lake), maybe Dutchtown too?

Help me on this. I colored the West Mill survey in Clement (Volume 3, page 83, Historical Society of Pennsylvania). I made waterbodies blue, structures brown, and trails yellow. The digital version is hard to read, but the trail between Evans Swamp and CH Shinn appears to me as someone's crossway (also see https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/locks-bridge.688/page-10#post-130292), which seems to be about where Route 206 is today. Clement recorded the map in 1852 from earlier surveys.

Screen shot 2015-10-14 at 9.35.46 AM.png
S-M
 

Don Catts

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Thanks Tracker-Jim, I see it now.
Apparently it should have been called DeutschTown!

I should note that the cranberry bogs in that part of Atlantic County were built around 1870. These cranberry companies were "stock" companies that were established during the cranberry craze that gripped South Jersey beginning at the end of the Civil War. They included The Hammonton Cranberry Company, The Vineland Cranberry Company and The Park Cranberry Company (later Parkdale). Rockwood's bogs were developed around the same time too though I think he later bought additional land from Wharton.

It was Don's posting of the Beers map that caused me to take a much more critical look at the area. The residents of the Dutchtown area were identified on the map as Gebert (actually means "German"), Michelbach (a town in Germany) and Andrews. When I looked the names up in the 1870 census, all of these folks were employed in the cranberry bogs! And guess what else? They were all from - you got it - Deutschland! The census also mentions other Germans named Andrew Peterson and Christopher Rehmann living there as well as a Frenchman named Domine Bono.

So it appears the Dutchtown was a German settlement of cranberry bog workers that was established in the late 1860s.

Now I need to know if they were actual landowners or merely tenants. I guess a trip to the County Clerk is in order.

Dutchtown Über Alles!
Oriental,
this is a very interesting post, it puts several things into perspective. Your timeline fits perfectly and explains why Tracker-Jim's map of 1860, post #221, doesn't show Dutchtown or the cranberry bogs, they probably weren't there yet. It explains why there was a need for a new road in 1872 to connect not only the cranberry bogs but also the new (1872) cotton industry at Atsion to the new, up and coming town (incorporated in 1866) of Hammonton.

It's interesting, we knew very little about Dutchtown or the area between Atsion and Hammonton, but through forum members sharing information and posting maps and surveys, this area's history has come alive. [In just a couple of week we have constructed a road, surveyed property, visited old structures, bought and sold lots, built cranberry bogs and started a cranberry industry, also started a German settlement (DeutschTown) and we are not done yet, Sprung-Man has opened another section to investigate around the Great Swamp intersection.] COOL!

Attached is an advertisement from the Hammonton newspapers. It ran from 1871 to sometime in 1875. Does anyone have a guess as to what land this is, who owned it and who bought it. I'm not sure it was ever sold, if so 1875 or later. Let me say at this time George F Miller was the Hammonton City Clerk at the time, so the city may have been selling it. He was superintendant of the Hammonton Cranberry Bogs. He was also a surveyor and realtor, so he may have been selling it. He also owned land in this area. He was also one of the Millers from Miller's Bogs of Ancora area. They were not related to the Dutchtown Miller's Bogs.

Scan.jpg
 

Oriental

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Thanks Tracker-Jim, I see it now.


Attached is an advertisement from the Hammonton newspapers. It ran from 1871 to sometime in 1875. Does anyone have a guess as to what land this is, who owned it and who bought it. I'm not sure it was ever sold, if so 1875 or later.

View attachment 6459
I am pretty sure I have some of the title chain for that parcel. Hannah D. Matlack acquired the tract from Lloyd W. Bickley in August 1870. The property contained 1000 acres excepting about 122 acres of cedar lots. She paid $10 per acre. Apparently Ms. Matlack divided the land into 10 lots which she offered for sale presumably with the ad you found. In 1871 she sold several of the lots. The first was 50 acres to Charles G. Rockwood and was likely the lot on which he started growing cranberries. A few other lots were sold to Julia T. Cozens also in 1871. Matlack must have continued to promote the remaining lots of her "cranberry land" with the above advertisement. I think many of the other lots were eventually sold to the Miller family in 1876 which would explain why the ad stopped being run about that time.

The tract straddles both sides of the Mechescatuxen however the cedar lot exceptions are located along that stream. Sycamore Ave. formed the southern border of the tract which extended north beyond Park Ave. It never went as far west as 206. In fact the Rockwood parcel was on the south west corner of the property.

Incidentally, Cozens would sell some of her land to Rockwood in 1888. I think Guy has evidence that Rockwood also got land from Wharton around that time.
 
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Spung-Man

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Here's an old reference to very early German laborers in the Pine Barrens. At the head of Hospitality Branch, near Williamstown there was an early eighteenth century settlement at a series of spungs referred to as the “Hospitality Ponds.” Surveyor John Clement (1888) writes about this place in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography in an article titled “John Brockton.” Its surroundings were described as “wild and weird,” located on what was the original Tuckahoe or Old Cape trail.

Clement (1888: 189) writes,

The few settlers about Hospitality Ponds were Germans and Swedes; but how they came there and what were the inducements for their going so far from the centers of trade and population may always remain a mystery. Some of these were perhaps Redemptioners,[indentured servants] purchased and taken there by Charles Brockden as servants and laborers about his isolated settlement. Judge Bodine also throws light upon this point when he gives the names of some of the old families, such as Hoffsey, Hazelett, Vandegrift, Van Sciver, Imhoff, Taber, Pheiffer, and others, which at once betrays their nationality.
It's amazing what can be found in Google books through internet search.

My guess is that the Hospitality Ponds are clustered around one of these two locations:


Anyone know for sure?
S-M
 
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Don Catts

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I am pretty sure I have some of the title chain for that parcel. Hannah D. Matlack acquired the tract from Lloyd W. Bickley in August 1870. The property contained 1000 acres excepting about 122 acres of cedar lots. She paid $10 per acre. Apparently Ms. Matlack divided the land into 10 lots which she offered for sale presumably with the ad you found. In 1871 she sold several of the lots. The first was 50 acres to Charles G. Rockwood and was likely the lot on which he started growing cranberries. A few other lots were sold to Julia T. Cozens also in 1871. Matlack must have continued to promote the remaining lots of her "cranberry land" with the above advertisement. I think many of the other lots were eventually sold to the Miller family in 1876 which would explain why the ad stopped being run about that time.

The tract straddles both sides of the Mechescatuxen however the cedar lot exceptions are located along that stream. Sycamore Ave. formed the southern border of the tract which extended north beyond Park Ave. It never went as far west as 206. In fact the Rockwood parcel was on the south west corner of the property.

Incidentally, Cozens would sell some of her land to Rockwood in 1888. I think Guy has evidence that Rockwood also got land from Wharton around that time.

Boy, that was fast, you answered all the questions in one post, very nice. Then Geo Miller was the realtor selling the property for Ms. Matlack. He was also a surveyor maybe he laid out the lots also.
 

RednekF350

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Here are the Smilin' Millers from my neck of the woods ! I think one John Jenry Miller may be cracking a little smile. :)
George Miller is in the photo but he may be a younger version than who was discussed in the thread above ?
Photo and annotations posted here and provided by Mr. Jennings from the Winslow Twp. Historical Society
 

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willy

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I have seen an old map (1938 but redrawn from a 1906 map) which identifies that house as the "Hammonton House". Presumably it was associated with the Hammonton Cranberry Company that had the adjacent bogs that straddled both sides of 206. The same map shows only two structures in Dutchtown. One is the D.F. Morrell Farm House and the other is identified as a Pickers House.

I am also very curious about the history of the three or four structures that stood on the south side of Park Avenue right near 206. The ruins can be easily located as they are very near the road. I am guessing they were once associated with one of the nearby bog properties but would love to know for sure.

http://apps.historicaerials.com/api/layers/1940/17/38324/49755?ETag=0
I found this
upload_2015-10-22_12-33-20.png


Hammonton Item Sat., Feb., 1873
 
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Don Catts

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I found this
View attachment 6500

Hammonton Item Sat., Feb., 1873

Willy, WoW! A hotel in DeutschTown, (Dutchtown).

Interesting, I've seen this advertisement, but never connected it to the "Hammonton House" at Dutchtown. For some reason I thought it was in Hammonton by the Train Station, can't remember why. In any event you have me rethinking its location.
John R. Carothers was a farmer who leased the Hammonton House in early 1872 and became its proprietor. This ad ran from March 9, 1872 until April 4, 1874. The article below may explain why the ads stopped.

From the Hammonton Item April 11, 1874:
We did not notice Mr. Carothers abrupt departure from town last week, for, knowing something of his pecuniary trouble, we felt disposed to have some sympathy for him, and so said nothing, but as one of our contemporaries has given it a notice, we are dispensed to say a word for him, notwithstanding his unusual manner of leaving, and tent he owed us a small bill. We believe him to be a well meaning and an honest man, but having got "strapped" he did just what most men would have done under the glreumst moon, saved what he could, with an honest intention of paying his oreiters. Let us see whether we are right. Of course we know "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but in this case we think there are mitigating circum stances, and one should not be consured too adversely for doing just what the censurers would do if similarly situated. If we get what little is owed us, or others do, we shall think we have not inlajudged---if we do not, we shall not change our opinion on that account.

Don
 
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Oriental

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For some reason I thought it was in Hammonton by the Train Station, can't remember why.

Don
I am pretty sure that Hammonton House that is referred to in the ad was not at Dutchtown as other contemporary ads place it on the Camden - Atlantic City R.R. line (presumably in town). It burned down in 1881.
 

Don Catts

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I am pretty sure that Hammonton House that is referred to in the ad was not at Dutchtown as other contemporary ads place it on the Camden - Atlantic City R.R. line (presumably in town). It burned down in 1881.

It seems the Hammonton House burned down between Oct 29, and Dec 3, 1881. The weekly newspapers from the South Jersey Republican are missing from the collection from Nov 7th to Nov 26th, of course.

But, here is an item in the newspaper a week or so before the fire:
The Hammonton House closes today to permanent guests on account of alterations and repairs. Transient guests will be accommodated as usual. Saturday October 29, 1881

And an article a week or so after the fire:
Will the insurance company -- or their detective ----claim the $11,000 said to have been offered for evidence to convict the Hammonton House incendiary. Saturday December 3, 1881.

Move the guest out the week before the fire. Sounds like homemade lighting to me.
 
Apr 6, 2004
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Don and all,

Here is my musical rendition of The Lady on the Dam: https://gabrielcoia.bandcamp.com/track/the-lady-on-the-dam

Don, thanks for telling this story that may have very well been forgotten if you hadn't.

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.
 
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Don Catts

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Don and all,

Here is my musical rendition of The Lady on the Dam: https://gabrielcoia.bandcamp.com/track/the-lady-on-the-dam

Don, thanks for telling this story that may have very well been forgotten if you hadn't.

Just in time for Halloween, nice rendition, the musical is perfect, excellent work. You not only have musical talent but a talent for picking out the perfect cover pictures for your songs as well. I can't see how the cover pictures on all your songs could be any better.
great job, Don
 
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Apr 6, 2004
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Just in time for Halloween, nice rendition, the musical is perfect, excellent work. You not only have musical talent but a talent for picking out the perfect cover pictures for your songs as well. I can't see how the cover pictures on all your songs could be any better.
great job, Don
Thank you, good sir.