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