Bill Farr on Goshen -
GOSHEN (Goshen Mill, Inskeep’s Mill, Goshen Neck)
In 1820, when Atsion was owned and operated by Jacob Downing (Iron in the Pines, page 35), a road was laid out from the "Atsion Road" near Richard Clines in Burlington County, northwest of Atsion, to the Batsto Road, a distance of ten miles (Gl RR B-298). This Atsion Road connected Atsion with Dellet at Route 534. Batsto Road is now known as Burnt Mill Road (see entry for BURNT MILL). The 1820 road (now called Jackson Road) was almost straight to its end at present Berlin.
Arthur D. Pierce in Family Empire in Jersey Iron (page 43) writes: "As recently as 50 years ago this road was a tree embowered wagon track winding leisurely through wilderness once it passed the village of Jackson. A hundred years earlier not even Jackson was there and the whole trip was a jungle jaunt broken only by a little bridge, a sawmill and a few houses at Goshen...." The road (now Route 534) is hard surfaced from Berlin to Shamong Road, where the wagon track continues straight, but all traffic uses Shamong Road.
The only landmark mentioned in the road return is "Goshen Mill Pond", where the road crosses the MULLICA RIVER, the pond being shown on the accompanying map as below the bridge.
On l April 1758 George Marple sold to James Inskeep a fifty acre survey on Atsion Creek, including its junction with Wesickaman Creek. Inskeep, on 19 July 1765, sold it to Charles Read "for the erecting of an iron works only and not to erect a sawmill thereon" (Atsion: A Town of Four Faces, page 6). Inskeep had a saw mill nearby ("the old Goshen sawmill", ibid..), and apparently wanted no competition. However, on 6 April 1773, "Inskeep’s sawmill and over one thousand acres of woodland became a part of the Atsion Forge property" (ibid.., page 8). A day or two later Elizabeth Drinker rode three miles out from Atsion to Goshen Sawmill to look over what the forge owners had "bought from James Inskeep."
On the Atsion-Dellet road, a little below the beginning point of the 1820 road, another wagon track heads southwest. A sign states that the campground (to be found where this road reaches the river) is "Goshen Pond Campground." The road crosses the river and continues on to Bobby’s Causeway. This is Sandy Causeway or Burnt House Road.
The little settlement of Goshen, which existed where the 1820 road crossed the creek, is no longer there. The site has some popularity with horseback riders, jeepers and motor cyclists, because its recently reconstructed bridge is a means of getting across the creek, whose width here is about 35 feet. Canoeists are in evidence. All are apparently unaware of the early existence of mills and a hamlet there. But the foundation of a mill can be seen in the river, just below the bridge, on the Camden County side. Also, just west of the bridge, there is a mill race, parallel to the river, along which is the foundation of a saw mill. Both mills could well have straddled the waterways.
An enormous map of the Richards Family holdings, about the middle of the nineteenth century, shows "Old Goshen Pond" not far upstream of the bridge. It was created by a high and long embankment running from the river into Camden County. But there has long been a break in the dam and the pond has disappeared and is overgrown. Its purpose is unknown; it was not needed for either of the saw mills thus far found.
Goshen is shown on a number of maps, sometimes as located only on the Burlington County side; sometimes on both sides, which is more probable. The earliest showing by name is on Watson’s 1812 Map of New Jersey. But there was a "Goshen road" in place at least as early as 1792 (deed, Samuel Harrison, et al. to Benjamin Scattergood, rec. Woodbury T-435). Reportedly a school house existed at Goshen in the 1830’s. "The name (Goshen) is found in many parts of the country, applied as a synonum for fruitfulness and fertility." (Gannett’s The Origin of Certain Place Names, page 140)
There was a tract of land referred to in pre-Revolutionary times as Goshen Neck. Bisbee (Sign Posts, page 97) located it in Burlington County, but the 1756 will of John Inskeep located it in Gloucester (now Camden) County (NJA XXXII, page 172). "...John Innskeep, the second was born...in 1701 and...inherited lands and timber tracts from his father. He acquired a large acreage of timber lands....On one of these tracts at Goshen Neck on the Little Egg Harbor River he erected a saw mill....He...died in 1756....His son James continued the business at Goshen Neck until 1774, when the mill was burned." (Verse And Prose, page 95). If that last date is accurate, it cannot have been the mill which James sold to the Atsion people in 1773.