First post from a newbie

Dec 22, 2009
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Mods: If this is in the wrong place please feel free to move it.

Ladies & Gents,

I wish I had discovered this board years ago. Although home is the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, I've been in and around the Pine Barrens for many years and to some extent consider it my true homeland. I'm new longer pushing 60 -- I'm now pulling it :) . Back in 1950 a hunting club to which my father belonged bought a cabin in Warren Grove. Members were allowed to use the place for vacations, and we spent most of our summer vacations there. Money was always too tight to take a "fancy" vacation. When the club folded about 20 years ago our family bought the cabin, which we still own. We still vacation there often but spend most of our time running back and forth to LBI.

Back in the day when I was a kid we found plenty to do very near by. We went swimming in Lake Oswego or at the western end of Sim's Pond -- a little pool we called Coffee Beach for the color of the water when we stirred up the clay bottom. We launched expeditions to pick wild huckleberries, went fishing in little streams, and caught lizards and turtles (All released again, of course). We gawked at navy blimps loitering overhead and were occasionally thrilled by the sight of navy aircraft -- of WWII vintage when I was very young -- making bombing runs on the Warren Grove range.

Many years later I became a photographer in the NJ Air National Guard, occasionally doing some official photo assignments at Warren Grove range.

As a young man with a jeep I spent days wandering sand roads through the woods in every direction, compass and topo maps at my side. Later, canoeing on the Wading River.

At any rate, here I am, willing to learn from all of you, and willing to share what I know.

Regards
Stolzfus
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Stolzfus,

Welcome to the site. Feel free to post anything you know about the pines back in the 1950s. I can say with confidence that everyone would be interested in hearing from you.

Guy
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
You definitely sound like kin to us. If you ever want me to check up on that cabin to ensure all is well let me know. You can trust me. I'll take any excuse to go down to the Plains.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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Pestletown
Your screen name had me a bit wary at first but your background intrigues me as does your introduction. Please do share your collected wares of years gone by and a kind Christmas welcome aboard to you. My addition to other's statements here...
You've found your way home old son. Share in and share out. Good folk here both willing to listen and tell.

g.
 
Dec 22, 2009
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Folks,

Thanks for the warm welcome. I'll have to look and see what I can come up with by way of photos. Doubtless there were many in the possesion of the club; who knows where they ended up when the club folded.

Needless to say there have been so many changes, most of them not for the betterment of the area, over the years.

Some right off-the-cuff recollections:

Route 539 was unpaved from Route 72 to Tuckerton, or somewhere thereabouts.

Electricity was relatively new to the area. It was brought in to Warren Grove for the FAA Radio Tower, which was manned 24 hours a day.

There was one telephone common-ring party line in town.

A Polish fella named Papzyski or something like that had a gas station on Rt 539, on the east side of the road between Lucille's and the Methodist Church. The building, minus the front, still stands there.

There was a rutted, washed-out sand road that led from Rt 72 in Manahawkin or a bit west of it, through to Warren Grove. You could access it via the road that runs next to Lucille's restaurant. You needed a REAL good 4WD vehicle to get through there, and only if it hadn't rained recently. I think the road is now called Recovery Road from the Rt 72 side, and leads to a dump or recycling facility.

More to come. I don't want to exhaust the supply all at once.

If you've read John McPhee's The Pine Barrens, written about 40 years ago now, the land he described is much closer to the Pines I grew up with; it was easy to read the book and feel part of the story.

Be back again. Happy New Year to all.

Stolzfus
 
Dec 22, 2009
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For Glowordz

Like most USAF photographers, I was a "general practitioner" of the art. We did official portraits, industrial-type work such as incident report photos, defective parts, proposed modifications, etc etc. In addition, group photos, grip-and-grins, souveniers for VIP visitors and so forth. Aerial work (there were no longer specialty aerial photographers) including air to air, air to ground, ground surveys. There were some travel opportunities and civilian clothes assignments. Some of the stuff, obviously, was classified.

Photographers, graphic artists and video people were all in one shop and we all did a bit of everything. It was a fun job and I regretted retiring from the guard when I did.

170th Photo
170th Air Refueling Group, SAC, NJANG (Now inactivated)
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Stolzfus,

Anything you can provide will be great. Just work your way one at a time through what you want to tell us, and that will make it easier on you. We then can discuss each aspect of your posts.

Thanks for posting!


Guy
 
Dec 22, 2009
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Time to revisit the forum

First, to Nowashburn -- what kind of music? :)A few more reminisces.The FAA tower in Warren Grove had an immense array of rhombic antenna wires or ground plane wires that stretched for what seemed like miles in every direction around the tower itself. There are little roads and fire lanes created for the wires, which ran along telephone poles erected for that purpose. Some of the poles were numbered -- I guess to identify which part of the antenna they carried. The numbered poles served as good landmarks for us as we hunted or hiked in the many acres surrounding the tower. They were good reference points, too. Of course during hunting season if we were hunting alone or in a small group we'd talk at dinner about how the day went. If you said you were sitting at Pole 9 or saw two does near Pole 21, everyone knew exactly where you had been. There were still the remains of a few buildings at Warren Grove Range. I think the only thing left now is a concrete floor of what had probably been a garage. There was a short railroad in the range. I think it was used in Navy days to bring ammunition up to the airstrip from an ammo dump, but don't hold me to that. I was also told that the then-dirt airstrip was for emergency landings only. The runway is now paved, but it's short and intended for helicopter operations. The railroad roadbed was still there a few years ago. It's now inside the restricted area. Up 'til 9-11 the range was open and the public was welcomed to drive out and watch operations, after signing in at HQ. Aerial operations were suspended during deer season since so many guys hunted in there anyhow, and letters were left on the front doors of most clubs warning hunters not to collect unexploded ordnance. The operational area is now fenced in.A neighbor used to take me for long walks through and around his property -- 80 acres or so. Much of it was swampy so getting around was kind of adventurous, especially to a kid. At one place he pointed out what he said was quicksand. I never walked back in there by myself. He also hunted deer at will. He'd set out corn and apples in his backyard. When he wanted venison he'd take a potshot with a .22 rifle from his bathroom window. He built his own smokehouse...More to come. Watch this space.:beerspill:Stolzfus
ps -- I wrote this in paragraphs but apparently the board strips out extra carriage returns. :-(
 
Dec 22, 2009
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Thanks, TeeGate. I now wonder if that was the same building, which I really don't remember. Doesn't mean anything -- I'm getting forgetfull anyhow. The foundation or floor is on the left side of the road on the way up to the range -- on the last rise before you get to the range itself. There is an area of extreme pygmy plains on the right side of the road, where the trees rarely exceed 3 feet in height. The plains extend nearly back to Warren Grove itself. There is a cedar swamp in between. If you walk down one of the several paths heading toward Warren Grove, you eventually come to an area of dead trees. I don't know if they were pines that were flooded out or something else. I called the area "the Enchanted Forest" and it provided many artistic photos.Back when there were about half a dozen large silver-coloured "darts" for want of a better term, probably about 20 feet long, on the Warren Grove side of the road. The range guys told me that they were towed targets used by the 177th Fighter Interceptor Group in Atlantic City. They were towed out over the ocean so the 177th guys could practice air-to-air gunnery. They'd bring them over to the range and cut them loose. When they hit the ground the range folks would count the bullet holes in them.Also at the range, way back, they periodically brought in old military aircraft and vehicles to use as practical targets for the fighter pilots. At some point there was an armored personnel carrier left out there someplace, not on the operational area of the range. I explored it: I think I may have removed a periscope prism from it. At least I still have a periscope prism from some armoured vehicle. :) I fired a few .22 rounds at it, with the expected results (they barely marked the paint). Later I went back out there and found that the APC was gone. I asked the range folks about it, and they told me that one of the locals actually swiped it, dragging away from the range. They weren't terribly concerned about its absence. Guess it was one less thing they had to fill out paperwork on.thanx for the photoStolzfus
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,268
1,988
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
There was a rutted, washed-out sand road that led from Rt 72 in Manahawkin or a bit west of it, through to Warren Grove. You could access it via the road that runs next to Lucille's restaurant. You needed a REAL good 4WD vehicle to get through there, and only if it hadn't rained recently. I think the road is now called Recovery Road from the Rt 72 side, and leads to a dump or recycling facility.Stolzfus
I believe they call that Pancoast Road Stolzfus......

Did you know Jack Cervetto?
 
Dec 22, 2009
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Pancoast Road -- yep. That's it. And yes, I knew Jack Cervetto. If anyone knew what was going on in WG, it was Jack. Once we had to replace our well point, so we left all the old pipe we pulled out of the ground laying around behind the house. Didn't take Jack long to show up and ask if he could have it. Mind you, our property isn't really visible from anywhere. :)

Stolzfus