Halloween at Maurice River Bluffs Preserve

M1 Abrams

Explorer
May 4, 2023
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Burlington County
On Tuesday, I had to go to Vineland on business. After that was out of the way, though, I gave myself a Halloween treat (almost surely my first-ever low-calorie Halloween treat). Instead of returning home, I continued going south until reaching Maurice River Bluffs Preserve.

(Note: The river is pronounced Moor-iss with the first syllable accented rather than Moor-eese with the second syllable accented. I have a friend living nearby to the preserve who gets disturbed when the incorrect pronunciation is used. Of course, yours truly finds it difficult to imagine getting riled by having a local landmark mispronounced! :D Strangely enough, I happened to have an Uncle Maurice who pronounced his name the same as the river!)

Although there are not much more than five miles of trails here, there was plenty of variety and a lot of ups and downs by stairs and hills. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it's an hour away from my house, or otherwise I would plan to spend a lot of time here.

About twenty minutes along, I got my first view of the Maurice River:

20231031_1415_Maurice River.png

This view would have made the trip worthwhile all by itself, but there was much more left to see.

These are the ruins of a house dating back from the late 1700s known as the Wheaton Mansion.
20231031_1434_Wheaton Mansion ruins.png



Riparian vegetation in the shallow water.
20231031_1440_Plants along river bank.png



It looked as if this piece of wood was being roped back into shore by the vines and trees.
20231031_1449_Wood tangled by bank.png



A venerable old tree:
20231031_1502_Large tree.png



Trail curving down toward the marsh.
20231031_1529_Trail toward marsh.png



Plants adjacent to the marsh.
20231031_1532_Berries and plants by marsh.png



Post and pilings:
20231031_1549_Post and piling.png



As mentioned, lots of ups and downs. There was sand mining done here in the past, leaving the hills and low areas seen today.
20231031_1617_Stairway curling down.png



Someone told me that he has drank from this artesian spring since he was five years old...just about the time Neil Armstrong was taking his first steps on the moon.
20231031_1620_Artesian spring.png


For more information, here is a link to The Nature Conservancy's page on the preserve: Maurice River Bluffs Preserve
 

manumuskin

Piney
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The big oak five pics down has a piece of small Gage RR track imbedded in it seven ft off the ground.It would be visible in the pic I believe but it's taken from too far back.
The pilings three pics from bottom I used to dive and do flips off of as a kid and early twenties.I could pull two off of it easy.
The spring at bottom I"ve been drinking out of since age five.It is excellent with barely any iron taste and no sulphur stink. The wharf reamins next to it are the old Wheaton Wharf remains.His boats can be seen in the old aerials from the forties and fifties.We used to fish off it (Dad,Mom and I. back in the early 70,s then someone burnt it down.You could drive down to the wharf and spring back then.
 

M1 Abrams

Explorer
May 4, 2023
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Burlington County
Thanks for sharing these. I've been meaning to visit this preserve.

My pleasure! It's certainly worth visiting. You can tell it's a picturesque preserve when even my shots look good! :)

I'll be sure to pronounce it Morris.

I'm pleased to hear it. Manumuskin is very happy to hear it. "Moor-eese" is to Al what "At-see-on" is to me.

By the way, today is my six-month anniversary of joining NJPB. Thanks to Ben, Boyd, Guy, Bob, and all of my fellow members for making this such a special place.
 
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teleflux

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Really interesting place. I started going fairly often this past year, and I'm struck by how different the landscape is only a few miles from where I live in Atlantic County.

There are also these giant concrete pillar things. Does anyone know what they were part of?

_DSC0710.jpg


_DSC0709.jpg


_DSC0694.jpg
 
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manumuskin

Piney
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Yes these supported Rails that were used to haul sand out on rail cars to the river from the pits closer to the road and the sand/gravel was hauled out by boat.This is what I"ve been told by folks older then ,e.Don't know where they got that info from though.

I have wondered if they were mining sand or clay though.Some nice layers of clay along the river.Red,pink,white and green in various places.
 
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66C10

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Aug 4, 2023
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South Vineland
I was born and raised a few miles from here in the southern most part of Vineland and I’ve always known it to be pronounced “Mar-iss” although when it comes out of my mouth maybe it sounds more like “Morris”. I’ve also been asked by people where I’m from when they think I talk like I’m from down south but I guess that’s what I get from not paying attention in school enough because I also can’t spell worth a….
 

66C10

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Aug 4, 2023
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South Vineland
Yes these supported Rails that were used to haul sand out on rail cars to the river from the pits closer to the road and the sand/gravel was hauled out by boat.This is what I"ve been told by folks older then ,e.Don't know where they got that info from though.

I have wondered if they were mining sand or clay though.Some nice layers of clay along the river.Red,pink,white and green in various places.
What was the name of the sand company that mined it I forget. Started with a P I think? Also last time I was out there I found some furnace slag on the northern end of the preserve fairly close to silver run rd…may have been on the vehicle road that’s gated off that leads straight from silver run rd. Maybe the main drag when the sand plant was operational? I also found some bricks in the same area on an incline on the side of one of the foot trails or maybe that was in the same road
 

M1 Abrams

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May 4, 2023
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Burlington County
I was born and raised a few miles from here in the southern most part of Vineland and I’ve always known it to be pronounced “Mar-iss” although when it comes out of my mouth maybe it sounds more like “Morris”.

I'd certain go with whatever version you and Al would use. It sounds a little like the discussion about Atsion. Folks can say At-sign or At-zine or At-si-on or At-zi-on. If it has the long i, none of those versions would make me turn up my nose. (I've reached the age where it's hard for me to notice subtle variations anyway.) At-see-on will never pass muster from someone whose family has lived in the area for generations, though, and I get the impression that the same is true for Moor-eese with the 2nd syllable accented..
 
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manumuskin

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What was the name of the sand company that mined it I forget. Started with a P I think? Also last time I was out there I found some furnace slag on the northern end of the preserve fairly close to silver run rd…may have been on the vehicle road that’s gated off that leads straight from silver run rd. Maybe the main drag when the sand plant was operational? I also found some bricks in the same area on an incline on the side of one of the foot trails or maybe that was in the same road
I don't know the name of the sand operation but I think what your thinking of with the letter P might be Pettinos? Pettinos used to own the land and I heard he was from Philly.If you look on the old topos there is a Benchmark there down by the river named Pettinos.It is still there and in good shape just downstream from the floating dock and at the base of a long skinny peninsula that juts out into the river.Right behind what used to be an old shed,I don't know if the shed is still there butit was ten years ago when i found the benchmark.Back then the benchmark was still slightly on private land with signs letting me know this and it belonged to the straubmiller property.That is all Nature Conservancy now so anyone can check out the benchmark without fear of an aggravated land owner.It has a Bronze disc in top of the monument with Pettinos and USGS inscribed in it.
 
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manumuskin

Piney
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I was born and raised a few miles from here in the southern most part of Vineland and I’ve always known it to be pronounced “Mar-iss” although when it comes out of my mouth maybe it sounds more like “Morris”. I’ve also been asked by people where I’m from when they think I talk like I’m from down south but I guess that’s what I get from not paying attention in school enough because I also can’t spell worth a….
Now I really suck and Penmanship,punctuation and just general paragraph structure but I was always the best speller in class.If you see a mistake here it's like a typing error which I also suck at.I never paid much mind in English glass thinking I can read a write and speak english why do I need to know all this preposition,adverb nonsense.Well now I know because sometimes when I go back and read what I wrote all I can do is shake my head.The one thing I wish I took in school besides paying more attention in English was typing.We had the old clickety clack typewriters back then with the electric ones starting to replace them.Why didn't anyone tell me the internet was coming! I was outside shooting squirrels for a living when I shoulda been learning how to type so I could order my grub off of Amazon and have it brought to me with no cash visible anywhere!Well with one eye out squirrel shooting is out of the picture for me.I hope Amazon never goes under or I just might starve.In any case I can always fish for a living,at least I can soon as i figure out how to work this fishing app on my iphone.
 

Boyd

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I don't know the name of the sand operation but I think what your thinking of with the letter P might be Pettinos?

There are a number of Pettino's in the NJDEP extractive mining dataset


Here's an excerpt from the data I have used in my own maps

list.png


You will find these on my 2020 topo, but you have to zoom to level 17 to see the names, here's one for example:

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#17/39.377352/-75.043219/pines2020/0/0/

map.png


Here are few more, but this is just a partial list

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#17/39.364828/-75.039078/pines2020/0/0/
https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#17/39.362066/-75.049925/pines2020/0/0/
https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#17/39.352883/-75.034636/pines2020/0/0/
 

66C10

Scout
Aug 4, 2023
91
182
South Vineland
I don't know the name of the sand operation but I think what your thinking of with the letter P might be Pettinos? Pettinos used to own the land and I heard he was from Philly.If you look on the old topos there is a Benchmark there down by the river named Pettinos.It is still there and in good shape just downstream from the floating dock and at the base of a long skinny peninsula that juts out into the river.Right behind what used to be an old shed,I don't know if the shed is still there butit was ten years ago when i found the benchmark.Back then the benchmark was still slightly on private land with signs letting me know this and it belonged to the straubmiller property.That is all Nature Conservancy now so anyone can check out the benchmark without fear of an aggravated land owner.It has a Bronze disc in top of the monument with Pettinos and USGS inscribed in it.
That’s the name I was thinking of. I would bet they were mining clay and gravel and not sand because sand seems typically to be dredged. I got to look for the shed next time I’m out there
 

Boyd

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I learned to type on old, manual office typewriters in 7th grade (?) around 1962. The keys were all covered with blank aluminum caps so you couldn't peek at the letters when typing. But there was a big keyboard chart on the wall you could check if you got really confused! It was sort of a workout typing fast on those big Smith-Corona office machines, but I got up to over 100 words per minute eventually.
 

manumuskin

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I learned to type on old, manual office typewriters in 7th grade (?) around 1962. The keys were all covered with blank aluminum caps so you couldn't peek at the letters when typing. But there was a big keyboard chart on the wall you could check if you got really confused! It was sort of a workout typing fast on those big Smith-Corona office machines, but I got up to over 100 words per minute eventually.
7th grade in 62! I wasn't even to make my debut for another two years! Suddenly I feel like a youngun agin!
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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That’s the name I was thinking of. I would bet they were mining clay and gravel and not sand because sand seems typically to be dredged. I got to look for the shed next time I’m out there
Walk from the parking lot through the gate and stay on the road past the mansion and when it comes time to bear left for the floating dock don't bu continue straight down the hill to the river and then bend with the road to the right and just as you round the bend there should be or used to be a shed there with posted signs as you approached it.When you see the shed you will notice a peninsula that looks like it may have been a dyke at one time.There were many in the area for at one time the meadows along the Maurice were all dyked and dried out into farmland,this was probably one of them..Walk out onto the peninsula and immediately look down and along the right side(south) and you should see the Pettinos monument.
 
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