Dock ruins on the Mullica

Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
This is one of the reasons I love the river. No matter how well I think I know it, there is always something more to be found, even if its been under my nose the whole time. I must have paddled by this location a couple hundred times, but not until last week did I notice some pilings jutting out of the mud:

http://gallery.njpinebarrens.com/showphoto.php/photo/14673/title/dsc02298/cat/500

All of this time, I thought they were just some of the many stumps to be found in the mud in this area. This time around, there was no mistake about it. I paddled up the shore to take a closer look:

http://gallery.njpinebarrens.com/showphoto.php/photo/14674/title/dsc02290/cat/500

The mud is soft and deep here, and prodding revealed that a good portion of the ruins lie submerged in the muck. They looked to be old, but there were metal components that didn't strike me as old-looking:

http://gallery.njpinebarrens.com/showphoto.php/photo/14671/title/dsc02291/cat/500

Cable clamps:

http://gallery.njpinebarrens.com/showphoto.php/photo/14672/title/dsc02297/cat/500

When I returned home from my paddle, I looked into the history of wire rope. I found that John Roebling started manufacturing wire rope in Trenton by 1850. Just how old could these ruins be?

The dock was situated on the north side of the river (Wharton State Forest), just upstream from a major historic landing. Could this be evidence that the dock was used when the river was a much busier place? As I mentioned, much mud has been deposited since the dock was built, and the channel itself is too shallow today even at high tide for a boat to make it to the dock.

Yet, I'm more inclined to think that the dock isn't so old, perhaps built for recreational purposes by a Winterbottom or another local.
More investigation is necessary!
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,601
644
Nice find Gabe, and a refreshing thread.

It does look newer but from where I think the location is it may be pre NJ State Forest.
We haven't been on the river down that way this year, but when we go I will try to pick low tide.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
23,599
5,515
Very nice find Gabe! That will make for some interesting investigation. Keep us informed and thanks for the post.

Guy
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Nice find, Gabe. While I'm hardly an athority, I would agree that it is fairly modern construction. A terrific find never the less. I can't even imagine how many secrets are buried under the mud of the lower mullica. Imagine what could be found near chestnut neck if someone had some pro underwater excavation equipment.

Jeff
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
I've been pouring over historicaerials.com, and it really looks as though the dock was there in 1957. But not so in 1956. Looks like the dock was built soon after the State purchased the Wharton Tract.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Do you have any insight as to the purpose it served? Is it possible to investigate the bank area for ruins that would be related to the dock?

Jeff
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
Do you have any insight as to the purpose it served? Is it possible to investigate the bank area for ruins that would be related to the dock?

Jeff

No insights, but I'm going to ask someone who most likely has the answer. I suspect that the dock was built for hunting purposes.
 

Kevinhooa

Explorer
Mar 12, 2008
332
25
38
Hammonton, NJ.
www.flickr.com
Cool find Gabe. I'm guessing it could have been an older (30's - 60's maybe) boat winch/dock. Almost like a sort of permanent boat trailer with a hand crank connected to a cable at the end. The low water and thick mud there might have made getting to the shore a little tough in the boat but still walkable. Maybe the guy would come back from fishing and just winch the boat up on the dock. Some slippery cedar logs placed in the mud would have made that even easier, but they could have washed away long ago. Just a guess though.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
Cool find Gabe. I'm guessing it could have been an older (30's - 60's maybe) boat winch/dock. Almost like a sort of permanent boat trailer with a hand crank connected to a cable at the end. The low water and thick mud there might have made getting to the shore a little tough in the boat but still walkable. Maybe the guy would come back from fishing and just winch the boat up on the dock. Some slippery cedar logs placed in the mud would have made that even easier, but they could have washed away long ago. Just a guess though.

Good thoughts, Kevin. The hand crank theory makes good sense.
 
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