Atsion: Part 3 – To the Modern Day

RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
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Great read Ben. It has been an interesting series.

I am attaching a map that I still occassionally use in work today for surveying purposes entitled The Town Of Waterford. It was prepared by the Raleigh Land and Improvement Company for land sales here in Waterford. It was recorded in 1885 and in theory, you can still obtain a copy from the Camden County Register of Deeds.

It is a poor copy but it still contains interesting pieces of historic information. A lot of the road names are still in use around Pestletown and other sections. The left bottom indicates that Atsion hosted a sales office along with Philadelphia and Waterford. Interestingly Walter Raleigh was a contact person.
Chuton is a small settlement located at the intersection of Sandy Causeway and Chew Road. some maps show it as Chewtown.

Back in the mid-90's I grew my own Burley chewing tobacco along with a couple of friends and we were going to call it Chewtown Chew. It didn't quite work out and we ended up with a moldy, insect riddled mess at the end of the season. The drying process was harder than we thought. I tried some but it was like chewing mulch.

Enjoy the map.

Scott
 

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Don Catts

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[quote="RednekF350,

Interestingly Walter Raleigh was a contact person.



Walter Raleigh was the son of Maurice Raleigh. He was secretary of the "Raleigh Land and Improvement Company" and he was appointed the agent of the company to superintend and make land sales. He lived at Atsion.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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[quote="RednekF350,

Interestingly Walter Raleigh was a contact person.



Walter Raleigh was the son of Maurice Raleigh. He was secretary of the "Raleigh Land and Improvement Company" and he was appointed the agent of the company to superintend and make land sales. He lived at Atsion.
Thanks Don.
I always like reading the marketing information on the old subdivision maps. Like this one ..."high ground, good water, unexcelled railroad facilities. Yearly commutation tickets to Philadelphia 6 cents a day."
We used to have one in the office that proclaimed ..."good water, free of malaria."

Recorded subdivision maps today are bland in comparison, containing only geometry, road names and signatures.
 

Don Catts

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Hey Scott,
I don't know if you have this ad for your 1885 Town of Waterford map. Also here is the marketing info on the Town of Raleigh (Atsion) map same time period, same company "Raleigh Land and Improvement Co."
Do you know if they sold any lots from the Town of Waterford at the time. The Town of Raleigh sold a few not many.

Don


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RednekF350

Piney
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Do you know if they sold any lots from the Town of Waterford at the time. The Town of Raleigh sold a few not many.

Don
I haven't had to chase any deeds back to Raleigh as a grantor in Waterford proper but I can tell you the lot configuration and road network remained as you see it today, as far as the all intersecting roads off of Chew and in many other places.
Lot lines for the larger farm tracts off of Pestletown Road and Chew Road are identical to the lines seen today.
If I am not dead when I retire that would be a neat thing to investigate.

My guess is Raleigh may have lasted into the the early part of the 1900's and then may have off -loaded all the unsold properties in a lump or they may have lost them to a bank.

"Absolute freedom from malaria !" An important marketing statement for the times.

Scott
 

Teegate

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Don Catts

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Yea Guy, you're right. After Maurice Raleigh died in1882 the heirs had a large mortgage on the Atsion property and were in danger of losing it. So they partnered with three New York lawyers to form the "Raleigh Land and Improvement Company". The lawyers paying the mortgage and backed the company financially. They sold any land outside of their sub-divisions (Raleigh and Waterford) that they could. Although the Woolman bogs you pointed to on the map were within the subdivision of the Atsion property they were not build-able lots so they were sold to the Woolman brothers, Albert and Levi. A friend of mine is the Great Grandson of Albert. The brothers also operated a saw mill on the Sawmill Pond in Indian Mills at the location of the original Indian's saw mill from the Brotherton Indian Reservation of 1758.

On the Raleigh sub-division Three Bridge Road is called Freeman Road, same road same location.

William H. Richards built a large mansion house on the other side of Atsion Road across from the Indian Mills Deer Club, it was larger than the Atsion Mansion and was not part of the Raleigh Subdivision.

Don
 

RednekF350

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William H. Richards built a large mansion house on the other side of Atsion Road across from the Indian Mills Deer Club, it was larger than the Atsion Mansion and was not part of the Raleigh Subdivision.

Don
Ironic, now that same property is occupied by a mansion owned by the great Swammi Rabbitima.
 

Don Catts

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Yea RednekF350,
it is a Buddhist Temple and they are pretty nice folks that live there. They buy all of there vegetables at a friend of mine's road stand down the road a piece. I know them just well enough to say hello. (not much English).

They own the entire 150 acre farm with 5 acres tax exempt for a Buddhist Temple and the remainder is farm assessed. The farmer across the road farms the ground. Year before last he hit a foundation when digging carrots. It was a foundation for sure. Usually he does not go down that deep but with carrots you need to dig a little deeper.

I have a description of this mansion and property some where, if anyone want to hear it I will dig it out. I friend of mine, no longer with us, played in the abandon mansion when he was young, maybe in the 1920s. It was falling down at that time. There was a gun club in one of the old barns (also falling down) of the mansion. It was known as Sykes' Gun Club after the guy that owner the farm at the time. The farmer across the road gave them a small lot to build a new club house. They moved across the road and called it the Indian Mills Gun Club and it is still active today.

The Wm Richards mansion property as well as the large farm across Atsion Road was part of Goshen Neck (James Inskeep).
I was always interested in Goshen Neck but could find very little about it. I don't know how big it was, if it had a boundary or just a general area. I do know that all of Goshen Neck in Burlington County was included in the Raleigh sub-division of the Atsion Property. Except the mansion property and the 100acre farm across the road of coarse.

It would be nice to find a picture of this mansion. Don
 

Ben Ruset

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I had not heard that William Richards built a mansion on his property. From what I understood he just had a farm up there. Apparently he was quite a strange guy.
 

Don Catts

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I had not heard that William Richards built a mansion on his property. From what I understood he just had a farm up there. Apparently he was quite a strange guy.


Ben, I believe Pierce and most other authors simply say he moved to a farm on Atsion Road. However, I think it was a little more than a farm on Atsion Road. Also the local old times, years ago, called it the mansion in the field. I think you are right though, for a Richards he was a strange guy.

Here is an article I got out of a newspaper some time ago. The black print I added from another article.
By virtue of the last will and testament of Wm. H. Richards, late of Burlington County, dec'd., will be sold at public vendue, on TUESDAY, the First of September, on the premises, on the road leading from Medford to Atsion, within three miles of the latter place, and 2 miles of the Raritan & Delaware Bay Railroad, all that FARM, containing 150 Acres of Land, Well fenced with good cedar rails, and along the road with cedar pickets. The Improvements are a Large Three-story Frame MANSION HOUSE, [the four large rooms on the frist floor were called the west room, the east room and so on] formerly the residence of said deceased, divided into 20 rooms, some of which are large and all well finished; with a green house, [about 100 hot house plants, consisting of orange, lemon and fig tree, monthly and yearly rose] ice house, 3(digit is blurred and may be a "2") large barns, crib and carriage house, &c., all in good order. Also, 2 Tenant Houses, about 20 by 30 feet, each two stories high, and in good repair. The House being large and pleasantly located near railroad communication, would make a first-rate Boarding House for persons from New York and Philadelphia, seeking health and pleasure in the summer season, being 1 hour's ride from the latter and about 3 from the former place. Persons wishing to view the property will call on the widow, Mrs. Mary Richards, residing thereon, or the subscriber, who will show the premises, and give any information relative thereto. Sale to take place between 2 and 5 o'clock, P. M. Conditions at sale by JOHN S. IRICK, Sole Executor. July 29, 1863
Just think, if he had built it out of bog iron it may have still been there.

Don
 

Ben Ruset

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Interesting that his widow moved back in, because they apparently were either never married or got divorced and she moved to Vincentown. In his will he refers to her as his "alleged wife" and his daughter as his "alleged daughter."
 

Don Catts

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Thanks Ben,
I remember that in the will now that you mention it.

I don't think she ever left the place (not sure) until it was sold to George Taylor and wife. Some of the ads said she would show the estate to anyone that stopped in. My wording may be off but I got the idea she was living there. His one and only wife was Mary Bozarth who first married George W. Thorn, so when she married William Henry Richards April 29, 1850 the Atsion book list her as Mary Thorne.

I found this information doing genealogy for one of the local boys some time ago. His wife was related to the Richards family.

Don