Help ID an old strutcture

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Not sure if anyone is familiar with Allaire State Park. I ride the trails on the south side and will take a walk off the trails when the growth is not too thick to prevent it. I was on a trail I had never been on before and nothiced an area that was different than the rest of the surrounding area. It was fairly clear and I noticed a patch cat tail reeds. Upon further inspection I found a concrete foundation and more wooden posts with some old fence attached (this stuff was 4"x6" mesh). There was some old rusted pipe and one of those metal rings that is used to build wood barrels. There were lots of old bottles and some dishes. Also some large bones that appeared to be sitting there for a long time based on decay. The part of this that I found to be strange was that there were thousands of oyster and clam shells in one area. This place would be difficult to reach on foot so I can't imagine anyone carried them there to dump them. The shells were old and had been laying there for a long time. Would this have been some sort of place where shellfish was processed? Seems like and out of the way place. Any insight would be appreciated.
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Paddler,
I wish I could help you out with that but when I ride I just follow the trails that look most interesting. I don't use a GPS. There are a lot of unmarked trails back there and I would really have to work to find it again. I'll look at a map of the park and see if I can give you an idea of the area.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,540
2,070
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
The part of this that I found to be strange was that there were thousands of oyster and clam shells in one area. This place would be difficult to reach on foot so I can't imagine anyone carried them there to dump them.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but weren't shells somehow used in glass or iron making? Something about building fires or making charcoal I think... or did I imagine that? :confused:
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Boyd,
What you say may be true but to my knowledge I don't recall any shells used in the process. This spot is nowhere near the village where the bog iron was processed. It is a couple miles south thru the woods as the crow flies (estimate). I didn't pay much attention at the time but it was also strange that there were cat tails or some type of reeds growing in this area. This was a dry area on higher ground nowhere near the river.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,338
345
Galloway
boyd said:
I can't quite put my finger on it, but weren't shells somehow used in glass or iron making? Something about building fires or making charcoal charcoal I think... or did I imagine that?

Boyd, you certainly did not imagine that. Oyster and clam shells were often used as flux for any sort of smelting operation. These shells can be found all throughout the pines, and it could drive you crazy trying to figure out how and why they got there, since most locations where they are found are not the sites of past operations.
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Well I guess that mystery is solved. I have read that description of iron production at the village more than once and never noticed the mollusk shell part of the process. Why would they be so far from the production site?
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,338
345
Galloway
KCB said:
Why would they be so far from the production site?

That's a good question and one that might not be answerable. You mentioned that you saw cat tails at the spot. What kind of water was there? A stream of any kind?
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
That's what I found strange, as I stated earlier, I did not see any water. I will go back on wednesday and attempt to locate this area again. I will take a better look at the area where the reeds were growing as well.
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Well, here are some pics of the area. hope they are clear. The first pic shows the concrete foundation(?). Some of this is burried you can see that there is a moss covered wall on the left of the pic. The are other areas that are less visible. Also you can see the shells I was talking about.
 

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KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
another pic of the primary strutcture from a different angle. There is a fair amount of debris in this area. Some are dishes that don't look especially old and some bottles also not looking to be all that old but certainly not recent either.
 

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KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
this is an old metal trough of some sort. almost looks like a long metal window box. Sorry for the poor pic. This was located near the primary structure.
 

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KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
this is a pic of the area. looks like grape vines but I am not sure. you can see the reeds in the background, there was no water there. But I did have quite a few ticks crawling on my pants, lone stars, wood ticks and deer ticks
 

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