Cemetery Searching

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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All,

We decided today to visit cemeteries and search out a few gravestones I have been wanting to photograph. Our first stop would be Greenmount in Hammonton. To get there we decided to take the AC Expressway and during our ride one car passed us and nothing was in front of us the complete way.... except the car that passed us.

There were a few runners and walkers at the cemetery but other than that we had the place to ourselves. We had three graves to look for and Jessica found them all.

Here is Clyde Birdsall. As mentioned before he was the ranger at Atsion when I first visited, and he also owned a store near Sweetwater. He had a tumultuous time in his later years as a ranger, and I believe I have posted and mentioned a few stories here before.

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Next, is Willis Buzby. It is interesting to read about him in old newspaper articles, especially when he saved Beck's ass at least once. And it would have been interesting to talk with him as he seemed to know quite a bit about the goings on in the pines. He directed Beck to quite a few people that we all read about in his books.

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And lastly, we wanted to find all the Kell graves that are related to David Kell who worked at Hampton. In Greenmount is David Kell's brother Charles M. Kell and his wife Maude.

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From there we headed up 206 to the Atsion Cemetery which is still accessible. We noticed on the way there many of the main dirt roads along 206 had tape across them. The road by Dutchtown and Cherry Hill Road to name a few.

You can get to the cemetery but right after it there is a barrel blocking Quaker Bridge Road.

Here is Theodore Kell and his wife Anna. Ed, take notice someone has knocked over the two gravestones of the parents.

IMG_4444a.jpg


From there we headed into Tabernacle to visit the Junior Mechanics Cemetery. On the way there we passed through downtown Chatsworth and a helicopter was flying right above the electric wires and we drove right underneath it. Jessica checked online and it was Atlantic City Electric inspecting the wires. It was really odd hearing that right above the car.

Here is my dash cam video.

https://youtu.be/YZDADYytoMc

At the Jr. Mechanics Cemetery we still could see and hear the chopper. I will post video of it later from there. Anyway, Jessica again was able to find the grave before me of David Kell who worked at Hampton Park and was photographed by Beck and his crew holding the weight forged at Hampton Furnace.

This needs cleaning!

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And I forget to mention we did see a juvenile Bald Eagle along the road just outside of Tabernacele. Always interesting to see them.

Guy
 

Teegate

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Guy, what transpired in his later years as ranger?
In nutshell.

Clyde was the chief forest ranger in the 70s and either was stationed at Atsion or spent quite a bit of time there, as that is where I met him when I went in to get a map. In 1975 he cleared a two-by-three foot strip of land next to one of the homes nearby. He claimed he cleared the spot in anticipation of the Atsion fair; however, Alfred Guido the director of the state parks said he left the house exposed and charged Birdsall with misconduct and suspended him. Birdsall filed suit for $250,000 and was reinstated by a judge until the case was heard. It was not settled until mid November two years later (1977) when Birdsall prevailed. And even though he was reinstated, he was paid and did not work for two years.

It turns out there was a little more to the story than that. It was alleged that he cut the path to the bedroom window of Prickett and Florence Russell to spy on them. They owned the Pic-A-Lilli, and when reporters visited Prickett took them back to his house to show them what occurred. He parked just north of Atsion lake on 206 and the reporters could see the path directly to his window from the ranger station. Prickett's comment was quite funny. "For the life of me, I don't know to this day why he did it, me and my wife are both pretty old, so there's not much to see."

Birdsall was elated when interviewed in the back room of the family general store as his 87 year old mother served candy to the neighborhood kids. Birdsall said the cut was simply a "demarcation line" so workers could expand a clearing used once a year as a flea market parking area. "I wasn't spying and I don't have a thing against them," Birdsall said. "I don't even know these people." And as the interview continued, Birdsall mentioned that he had met John Kennedy (Lt. Jack Kennedy) when he was working on PT boats during the war, played the guitar in a private audience for FDR, and he sold war bonds with Kate Smith.


Birdsall scoffed at testimony that detailed a history of hostility between himself and the Russell family, and charges that he used binoculars to observe their house. He said he wanted to forget and incident one night at Atsion Lake when he charged their son-in-law with trying to run him over with a truck.

A local woodsman, apparently at the Pic, advised a visitor not to ask too many questions. "You'll never get the real story behind that cut, people will just tell you what they want you to know."
 
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"he cleared a two-by-three foot strip of land next to one of the homes nearby."

Is there a typo here?

I asked my grandmother about Clyde. She said that his general store was up and running in 1942 when my great grandfather bought the cabin on the Mullica. My great grandfather called Clyde, who sported a long ponytail, "nature boy."
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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In nutshell.

Clyde was the chief forest ranger in the 70s and either was stationed at Atsion or spent quite a bit of time there, as that is where I met him when I went in to get a map. In 1975 he cleared a two-by-three foot strip of land next to one of the homes nearby. He claimed he cleared the spot in anticipation of the Atsion fair; however, Alfred Guido the director of the state parks said he left the house exposed and charged Birdsall with misconduct and suspended him. Birdsall filed suit for $250,000 and was reinstated by a judge until the case was heard. It was not settled until mid November two years later (1977) when Birdsall prevailed. And even though he was reinstated, he was paid and did not work for two years.

It turns out there was a little more to the story than that. It was alleged that he cut the path to the bedroom window of Prickett and Florence Russell to spy on them. They owned the Pic-A-Lilli, and when reporters visited Prickett took them back to his house to show them what occurred. He parked just north of Atsion lake on 206 and the reporters could see the path directly to his window from the ranger station. Prickett's comment was quite funny. "For the life of me, I don't know to this day why he did it, me and my wife are both pretty old, so there's not much to see."

Birdsall was elated when interviewed in the back room of the family general store as his 87 year old mother served candy to the neighborhood kids. Birdsall said the cut was simply a "demarcation line" so workers could expand a clearing used once a year as a flea market parking area. "I wasn't spying and I don't have a thing against them," Birdsall said. "I don't even know these people." And as the interview continued, Birdsall mentioned that he had met John Kennedy (Lt. Jack Kennedy) when he was working on PT boats during the war, played the guitar in a private audience for FDR, and he sold war bonds with Kate Smith.


Birdsall scoffed at testimony that detailed a history of hostility between himself and the Russell family, and charges that he used binoculars to observe their house. He said he wanted to forget and incident one night at Atsion Lake when he charged their son-in-law with trying to run him over with a truck.

A local woodsman, apparently at the Pic, advised a visitor not to ask too many questions. "You'll never get the real story behind that cut, people will just tell you what they want you to know."
This part of the story defies geometrics and practicality. 6700' between the Ranger Station and Pickett's home and the line passing through a huge stretch of swamp. Unless Birdsall had a pair of Swarovski binos, he wasn't seeing Pic and Lilli in their unmentionables. :D
See path below
 

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Teegate

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Scott,

They lived in the house across the street from the ranger station on Atsion Road.
 
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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Scott,

They lived in the house across the street from the ranger station on Atsion Road.
Well now that explains it !
I also looked at Historic Aerials and there was another possibility in my mind. I saw a group of small structures just north of Hampton Road in the 1940 shot. There was a reasonable line of sight from the Station to those structures. But if they lived across the street, then that makes sense.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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I should have a sit down with my Aunt Norm sometime.
Herself and my Uncle Mike had become close Friends with Birdsall as they had a lot close to his, maybe one or two over.
Admittedly I am a little hazy on that one, because I also remember hanging in a small gazebo or something, between the two properties, always in the company of old Hugh Cheatham who I assumed owned it as my uncle did not.
As a young child I spent a good deal of time there and recall a plethora of equipment of a very eclectic nature.
 
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