Confusion at Martha

Status
Not open for further replies.

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,809
4,734
1,093
In 1968 Budd Wilson ran the archeological dig at Martha to get a better idea on how the furnace was built. Unfortunately, there were unsavory individuals who felt that they owned the items and they pilfered as much as they could when nobody was around. Someone even brought in heavy equipment to remove some items. So to protect what was left in the event the money did arrive in the future to completely uncover it and protect it, they did what they had to do and filled it in and put up the fence. It was a good idea and has undoubtable kept the remains intact.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,405
1,270
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
That and it's also typical for archaeologists to fill in their trenches when they're done. Had the ruins been excavated and then left to the elements - let alone people - the site would decay quickly.
 
In 1968 Budd Wilson ran the archeological dig at Martha to get a better idea on how the furnace was built. Unfortunately, there were unsavory individuals who felt that they owned the items and they pilfered as much as they could when nobody was around. Someone even brought in heavy equipment to remove some items. So to protect what was left in the event the money did arrive in the future to completely uncover it and protect it, they did what they had to do and filled it in and put up the fence. It was a good idea and has undoubtable kept the remains intact.
But now there isn't anything to see or appreciate. Some people are just too darn greedy and possessive. I will never see any of these ruins because of the stupid actions of these people. thanks a lot
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,405
1,270
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
But now there isn't anything to see or appreciate. Some people are just too darn greedy and possessive. I will never see any of these ruins because of the stupid actions of these people. thanks a lot

You would have never seen them in the first place. They were buried. And, while they were unburied, people were in there souvenir hunting.

It's standard practice to rebury a dig site after an archaeological investigation happens.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,809
4,734
1,093
But now there isn't anything to see or appreciate. Some people are just too darn greedy and possessive. I will never see any of these ruins because of the stupid actions of these people. thanks a lot


If those who visited the site left it alone you would be able to see it today. However, if they had left it uncovered you still would not see the ruins because they would be gone. Then your "stupid action" comments would be directed at those who took the ruins. It is obvious the correct actions were taken.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,405
1,270
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
who cares if people take from the ruins if its buried anyway? im not trying to be a smartass. I honestly don't get it. they destroyed something to stop others from destroying it?

It wasn't destroyed. It was buried safely. They did an excavation, made a survey of the buildings, conserved some artifacts, and then restored the site back to the way they found it.

Archaeology 101.
 
what buildings? all I saw was a big hill thing that was fenced in. why not restore it so people can learn rather than just grab what they wanted. its listed on a pine barrens brochure thing I got at the country living fair. i don't understand why they would tell us to go there and check it out of people already came, pillaged it, and buried it again?
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,405
1,270
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
what buildings? all I saw was a big hill thing that was fenced in. why not restore it so people can learn rather than just grab what they wanted. its listed on a pine barrens brochure thing I got at the country living fair. i don't understand why they would tell us to go there and check it out of people already came, pillaged it, and buried it again?

So there's two things that happens to buildings when they stop being occupied. The first thing is that the weather takes its toll and they eventually collapse. The other thing is that people come along and start robbing out stones to build other stuff. (This is something that has gone on for thousands of years.) When the buildings collapse and fall down, eventually a layer of soil will build up over them. In time they'll become completely buried, and you'd be surprised how quickly that can happen.

So when the dig at Martha happened in the 60s, they put in some trenches, excavated some parts of the town, and did a survey. During the process, people came to the site and started to loot it. Someone even tried to drag out a huge piece of iron that was part of the furnace with a big truck (and failed.)

After a dig completes, they fill in their trenches and leave the site as undisturbed as they can for future archaeologists. Future advances in archaeology, geophysics, and history that comes to light can mean that in the future we can gain an even more accurate picture of what towns like Martha were like.

Why not restore it? Because New Jersey invests practically nothing towards historic restoration. If you've seen the mansion at Atsion you'll see that the state largely let it rot for 50+ years, and even after investing $1M into a restoration it's falling apart again. Historic preservation and restorations cost a LOT of money, and in the case of Martha, people simply just don't know enough today to make an accurate reconstruction and nobody wants to cough up the money to preserve the site.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VenturestoAnomaly
yes, the atsion mansion does look pretty rough. I guess im just confused why the pinelands preservation alliance suggested I go see it if theres nothing to see. I ended up getting eaten alive by mosquitos and getting back into my car extremely confused. My friends asked "where are these damn ruins." and it turned out we were standing on them. weird experience. has Harrisville been vandalized. the first time I went was early this year. I think they look beautiful, but I wonder if there used to be more to it.
 
Wait until you meet the pine flies, they'll drive you mad in addition to being confused.
I had two horrifying chigger experiences this summer. one was at the Hampton ruins, where I felt a tad itchy and looked very very very closely at my skin and actually saw that I was COVERED in them. They look like freckles, which doesn't help considering im also covered in freckles. We ended up grabbing hand sanitizer and bathing in it. the sanitizer actually helped a bit, but I JUST started to get the skin on my legs to look normal again. since then, mosquitos don't seem so bad. the other time I was at hidden lakes, saw chiggers on my pants and had to drive home almost half nude. strange times. Im not exactly sure I know what a pine fly is? sorta like a horse fly? or smaller like a strawberry gnat?
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,405
1,270
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
Chiggers are the worst. I had a similar experience to you - I had to drive home with no pants once because there was a giant swarm of them on my jeans.

Pine flies are very much like horse flies. They bite - HARD.

As far as why the PPA would tell people to go to the Martha ruins… well, there's more to see at Martha than just whats behind the fence.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.