Giant vacant lot in Smithville, NJ

buckykattnj

Scout
Feb 22, 2010
39
6
Atlantic County At-Large
Hey guys. I'm back with one of my odd posts that likely don't fit perfectly in the forum. ;-)

I'm sure most of us have visited either Historic Smithville or Leeds Point for some exploration. Well, at the corner of US9 and Alt-561 you have (counterclockwise from NW) Historic Smithville, the CVS, a delightfully old cemetery and a giant blighted field, obviously waiting for some kind of development.

Previously, there was some kind of complex where the field is today, that grew up from the '50s to around 1995 before disappearing. Does anyone know what was there?

Thanks in advance.

BKNJ
 

joc

Explorer
May 27, 2010
187
18
Wall, NJ
If I remember correctly it was a tavern/restaurant .I'm pretty sure it burned down and was then demolished . I stopped in there several years before it caught fire . From what I remember , it was a fairly nice place .Sorry , I can not remember the name .
Joe
PS You probably know this , most of the buildings in /at Smithville were relocated from other areas of Atlantic and or Burlington Cos. The building you are interested in was not old enough to be considered historic ;it was not part of "Smithville ".
 
Last edited:

turtle

Explorer
Feb 4, 2009
648
191
a village...in the pines
If I remember correctly it was a tavern/restaurant .I'm pretty sure it burned down and was then demolished . I stopped in there several years before it caught fire . From what I remember , it was a fairly nice place .Sorry , I can not remember the name .
Joe
PS You probably know this , most of the buildings in /at Smithville were relocated from other areas of Atlantic and or Burlington Cos. The building you are interested in was not old enough to be considered historic ;it was not part of "Smithville ".

It was previously the Quail Hill "Inn" ....then an antique barn....then gone. I don't really recall whether it burned or got bulldozed....I think it was in the mid 80's ? Maybe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joc

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
Yes, owned by Fred & Ethel Noyes & part of the Smithville complex. It disappeared between 3/25/2002 and 12/30/2002 from looks on GE. You might contact the Galloway Historical Society at (609) 652-3049. Also there used to be an old airport on E Moss Mill Rd which is now the clubhouse for a retirement community.

http://www.smithvillenj.com/history/

card00415_fr.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: joc

Arey

Scout
Oct 17, 2007
31
7
Atl. Co. near the ocean
I seem to remember a big red barn like structure where that vacant lot is now. I think they used to have antique shows and decoy shows and the like there. Ethel's idea of preserving old buildings was to clean them up and pretty them up to please the tourists. Leaming run gardens used to have a small area made to look like a colonial period era farmyard. Unfortunately their quest for authenticity got complaints from visitors who didn't feel the animals were being treated property. There were hogs, and mud, dirt and flies, lots of flies The hogs weren't complaining.They probably felt they were living high on the hog. But realistically speaking, a long serpentine planting of scarlet sage, and dozens of hummingbirds is going to get you lots more tourist bucks than a hog wallow and lots of flies any day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd and bobpbx

joc

Explorer
May 27, 2010
187
18
Wall, NJ
46er , Guess that's just a coincidence that the Smithville restaurant "Joe 's Place " became Fred & Ethel's " around the same time ;). Joe 's place had the tree growing in the middle of the restaurant . Are they related to the Noyes Museum ?
Joe

Yes, owned by Fred & Ethel Noyes & part of the Smithville complex. It disappeared between 3/25/2002 and 12/30/2002 from looks on GE. You might contact the Galloway Historical Society at (609) 652-3049. Also there used to be an old airport on E Moss Mill Rd which is now the clubhouse for a retirement community.

http://www.smithvillenj.com/history/

card00415_fr.jpg
 
Last edited:

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
46er , Guess that's just a coincidence that the Smithville restaurant "Joe 's Place " became Fred & Ethel's " around the same time ;). Joe 's place had the tree growing in the middle of the restaurant . Are they related to the Noyes Museum ?
Joe

Every time I pass that restaurant I think of the Luci and Desi show. :D

Yes, it is named for them. Great place to visit. From the museum's web site.

http://noyesmuseum.org/noyes-in-brief2.html

A good read about the Noyes and Smithville.

http://noyesofsmithvillenj.com/
 
  • Like
Reactions: joc

buckykattnj

Scout
Feb 22, 2010
39
6
Atlantic County At-Large
Thanks guys for the input... I think it mostly satisfies my curiosity. So I take it that there have been several "Quails Inn" over the years. The fact that the Inns seem to move around (logically or physically) has kinda confused me.

What bothered me was the disappearance of something I should have remembered... I first visited Smithville in the early '90s looking for Leeds Point... I had been by there all the time for years during my time at Stockton... and yet after it disappeared, I couldn't remember what was there.

As for Smithville, it wasn't clear to me if the building was part of the complex or not... I always liked what Fred and Ethyl put together, I'm just a bit disappointed to see some of it languish in poor repair.

BKNJ
 

Bill Fitzgerald

New Member
May 19, 2016
2
3
60
Wall, NJ
Thanks guys for the input... I think it mostly satisfies my curiosity. So I take it that there have been several "Quails Inn" over the years. The fact that the Inns seem to move around (logically or physically) has kinda confused me.

What bothered me was the disappearance of something I should have remembered... I first visited Smithville in the early '90s looking for Leeds Point... I had been by there all the time for years during my time at Stockton... and yet after it disappeared, I couldn't remember what was there.

As for Smithville, it wasn't clear to me if the building was part of the complex or not... I always liked what Fred and Ethyl put together, I'm just a bit disappointed to see some of it languish in poor repair.

BKNJ
I attended Stockton from 1979 - 1983 & worked at the Quail Hill Inn.
Quail Hill Inn was a banquet house which catered private parties, such as weddings, & also housed an Italian restaurant, Prima's.
The main banquet room, Powhattan hall, (don't recall capacity), but I think it held 200 guests.

There was a cocktail lounge downstairs which served as a reception area for weddings.
Otherwise it stood idle most of the time.
There was a coatroom downstairs next to the lounge.

The Barn, on the main floor, was an actual barn which could hold smaller parties.
You felt like you were in a barn.
It was a very large structure, I am guessing that it was disassembled and reassembled.
It was a long walk from the kitchen, carrying trays of food, to the barn!

There was a commissary prep kitchen, located under the main floor, (basement), which was accessible near the loading dock, at the rear of the building.
There was an elevator on the loading dock which went down 1 floor to the commissary.
Most food was prepared here ahead of time in large mixing vats and stored in walk-in refrigerators.

The main kitchen was also located on the main floor, parking lot level, off the loading dock.
The kitchen was very large and capable of serving 3 parties at once.
There was a pantry area, 2 cooking lines with ovens & warmers, dish washing station, & walk-in refrigerator.

There was an a 2nd story office area which was used by Smithville back office folks, accountants, food buyers, sales people, & managers.
It was located on the Rt9 side of the building.

One of the banquet rooms was converted into an Italian restaurant, Primas.
Staff would great each table with "Buona Sera"& give them complementary fried eggplant with marinara sauce.

The walls were lined with wine racks and Italian wines.
The theme was Italian wines at liquor store prices.
Some of our best sellers were $6 a bottle.

There was a salad bar which lined 1 wall, complete with 2 soups, escarole/pasta fagioli, antipasta salad, marinated vegetables, & fresh breads.
A party of 2 could eat here with a bottle of wine and the check would be $25-30.

There was bar area on the main floor.
It was dual purpose, serving banquets & Primas.

I don't know why the complex was tore down.
I never went hungry or thirsty!

-Bill Fitzgerald
 

Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
853
1,687
Medford
I attended Stockton from 1979 - 1983 & worked at the Quail Hill Inn.
Quail Hill Inn was a banquet house which catered private parties, such as weddings, & also housed an Italian restaurant, Prima's.
The main banquet room, Powhattan hall, (don't recall capacity), but I think it held 200 guests.
-Bill Fitzgerald
Bill, my first job out of college (I also went to Stockton) was working for Austin Bechtold Design in Ocean City. We had the advertising for Smithville and I remember creating a line drawing with a Jersey Devil character holding a beer in an ad for the Jersey Devil Tavern, which I believe was briefly part of the Quail Hill restaurant. Maybe that was the tavern in the basement? This was 1977-78 so it would be right around the time you were working there.
 

Bill Fitzgerald

New Member
May 19, 2016
2
3
60
Wall, NJ
Bill, my first job out of college (I also went to Stockton) was working for Austin Bechtold Design in Ocean City. We had the advertising for Smithville and I remember creating a line drawing with a Jersey Devil character holding a beer in an ad for the Jersey Devil Tavern, which I believe was briefly part of the Quail Hill restaurant. Maybe that was the tavern in the basement? This was 1977-78 so it would be right around the time you were working there.
I don't think there was a tavern downstairs. The downstairs bar was a cocktail reception lounge called the "Shipshold".
It was modeled after the inside of a boat.
The murals on the wall deplicted the ocean & islands, with nautical knick knacks hanging on the walls & ceilings.
I never heard of the Jersey Devil Tavern, must have been before my time.
 
Top