Burrs Mill

johnnyb

Explorer
Feb 22, 2013
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Since we're now living quite close, we use/cross Burrs Mill Road often. Recently we walked a bit of the little Burrs Mill run paralleling Rte 70 and the questions arose: where was Burrs Mill? What is the history of Burrs Mill? When did Burrs Mill disappear? Is it named for a member of the same family that Burrs Road in Springfield Twp is named for? Are either of those families related to the infamous Aaron Burr?
 

jokerman

Explorer
May 29, 2003
336
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Manasquan
The former location of the mill is just south of Route 70. There's a newer house on the property with a cranberry bog or similar operation beyond the house. It's pretty much all private property and as adventurous as I am, you'd have to bypass a locked gate and that's where I draw the line. I don't think the mill was beyond the gate either, so no reason to get mauled by a dog to see nothing. I went there to snoop around and left feeling very unfulfilled. You just have to accept that it was once there, and now it is obliterated.
 

johnnyb

Explorer
Feb 22, 2013
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Howdy Jokerman: From what I could learn that's what I guessed, so thanks for confirming my suspicions.
johnny b
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,878
70
1,028
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
The former location of the mill is just south of Route 70. There's a newer house on the property with a cranberry bog or similar operation beyond the house. It's pretty much all private property and as adventurous as I am, you'd have to bypass a locked gate and that's where I draw the line. I don't think the mill was beyond the gate either, so no reason to get mauled by a dog to see nothing. I went there to snoop around and left feeling very unfulfilled. You just have to accept that it was once there, and now it is obliterated.
I made the same trip, for the same reasons, and felt the same way :).
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,612
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Pines; Bamber area
Johnny, you can easily see the location on the topo maps on this site. It is east of you. If you can't find it, let me know.

Ask Ted Gordon about Burr's Mill. He probably has the history in his head. It was a saw mill.
 
ohnnyb:

Joseph Burr established a sawmill in what then was Northampton Township in circa 1750. It was certainly there in 1753 when surveyors drafted a return for a road between “Vincent Leeds sawmill to Joseph Burr’s mill, Northampton.” In 1765, armed and disguised men entered a Joseph Burr’s house to rob it. It could have been Joseph the sawmill owner or it could be a Joseph Burr who resided on Route 541 between Burlington and Mount Holly. Here is a notice that appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette:

PA Gazette, 25 July 1765.jpg



The law captured these men, as reported on 1 August 1765:

PA Gazette, 1 August 1765.jpg

And the court meted out harsh penalties to these career criminals, per the 22 August 1765 edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette:

PA Gazette, 22 August 1765.jpg



Burr remained tenured in the mill and adjoining property until his death, which occurred sometime prior to between October 1780 and March 1781. In his Last Will and Testament, he indicates he is the son of John Burr and then enumerates his properties and their final disposal. Joseph owned mills and lands along the Maurice River in Cumberland County in conjunction with Henry Drinker (of Atsion fame); James Verree ( a shipbuilder from Burlington) and Joseph Smith. Burr also held meadow lands along the Mullica within Burlington County. Joseph devised the sawmill—called Oak Mill—an adjacent house, and the mill dam to his daughter, Keziah Burr Howell, wife of Governor Richard Howell, who served New Jersey from 1793 to 1801. The 1849 Otley and Keily map of Burlington County indicates the Howell family still owned the mill seat:

1849 Burrs Mill detail.jpg


The 1859 county map carries the label of “Burr Tract” and provides an indicator of the mill's location:

1859 Burrs Mill detail.jpg


Richard and Keziah Burr Howell were the grandparents of Vincentown resident Varina Howell, who married Jefferson Davis of Virginia during 1845. Of course, Davis later became the president of the Confederate States of America.

It is unclear when the sawmill ceased operations, but the Burr family owned large tracts of timber and cedar swamps, so it likely operated into at least the early nineteenth century.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

johnnyb

Explorer
Feb 22, 2013
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Thank you very much, Jerseyman, for the detailed information about Burrs Mill. Especially interesting were the results in Colonial days of conviction of what we call grand theft, and the people associated with the mill who were with the famous. Driving by that area will now mean much more.....
 

jokerman

Explorer
May 29, 2003
336
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Manasquan
Yes, very interesting and def breathes some life into the locale. That map places the mill east of the main road that was used at that time. It may or not be the same road as it is laid today. An inquiring mind can have some fun comparing historic data.