john mcphees, the pine barrens

strom

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Apr 24, 2004
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barnegat. nj
hi gang, am leading a womans group in a tour of mcphees topics in his book.......any idea where charley browns cabin was, in hog wallow,where mcphee spent most of his book....................i know its now part of the large demarco bogs south of chatsworth...................mcphee said the cabin was on a sand road somewhere on the property............of course,in that area there are several hundred sand roads................many thanks, strom
 

Oriental

Explorer
Apr 21, 2005
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I'm not sure about the exact location, but I want to say it was on Haines' property at Hog Wallow not Demarco's land which was further up the road above Speedwell. When I was a kid we used to go down to Tuckerton every weekend. Sometimes my mom would drive us down early and my dad would come down after work. More than once, my mom would pick him (Fred Brown) up hitchhiking to Waretown for a Friday night. We would drop him off in Tuckerton where he would continue his journey. I want to say he had a guitar with him but I can't be sure. It may be that I'm just confusing memories of him and the music hall in Waretown. We would pick him up right near the bend in the road by Hog Wallow. I always pictured his place on the right as you headed south but that's probably because he would stand on that side of the road waiting for a ride so I can't be sure.
 

Hewey

Piney
Mar 10, 2005
1,040
101
Pinewald, NJ
strom said:
hi gang, am leading a womans group in a tour of mcphees topics in his book.......any idea where charley browns cabin was, in hog wallow,where mcphee spent most of his book....................i know its now part of the large demarco bogs south of chatsworth...................mcphee said the cabin was on a sand road somewhere on the property............of course,in that area there are several hundred sand roads................many thanks, strom
I think at the time the book was wrote maybe 563 was the sand road? I have a april 27, 1969 issue of the sunday today Philadelphia inquirer magazine with fred on the cover in front of his home cutting wood and it looks like the haines bogs in the background
 

Ben Ruset

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Oct 12, 2004
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The Bill Curtsinger edition of McPhee's book has a photo of Brown's cabin. You can't really tell where it was located from it though.

I have attempted to get permission from the Haines' to explore the site but have been unsuccessful.
 

strom

Scout
Apr 24, 2004
86
0
88
barnegat. nj
thanks guys

yep, it was fred brown,not charly.............and haines bogs sounds about right.............many thanks for the help...............how far down are haines bogs and where below the chatsworth coop...........im presuming that the first big open bogs you hit going south are demarcos.............so haines bogs would be any bogs south of there............i note there are bogs around the jenkins canoe place......is that haines....................press on, strom
 

Stu

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Feb 19, 2004
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White Haven, PA
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I finally started reading this book and finished 2/3 of it today at work. There's a good chance I'll have it done tomorrow.
This is probably my favorite pines book so far. I've read the 2 Forgotten Towns and Jersey Genesis, among others. I like Beck a lot, but for some reason this just holds my interest better.
 
Jan 3, 2007
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Cherry Hill
^ I think that is because its not just facts... it is a fun and interesting story too. You need those strong interesting characters involved in order to make books more that just pages and pages of facts.
 

MarkBNJ

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Jun 17, 2007
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Long Valley, NJ
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I have a copy of this that I bought from a used seller on Amazon. Great book. If you like it, you may want to check out some of McPhee's other works. I also own "Looking for a Ship" and "Uncommon Carriers." McPhee is sort of a thinking man's George Plimpton :).
 

Ben Ruset

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Interestingly enough, I've visited the Fred Brown house. I'm friends with Bill "Tug" Haines III and he spent the better part of a day driving me around Hog Wallow and Sim Place.

The Brown cabin is at Hog Wallow, on a road off of 563. It's definitely private property, and you have to pass right by houses that are being used by the Haines family to get there. I would highly suggest not trespassing there.

I was going to have pictures, but I left my memory card at home. I did take back a bunch of chiggers, though. I'll try to see if I can get back this winter.
 

whippoorbill

Explorer
Jul 29, 2003
675
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Bridgeton
Since I enlisted in the forum some four years ago, I've managed to produce a whopping 38 posts (including this one). I've probably mentioned McPhee in a half-dozen of these. That gives the world's best writer something like an, I dunno, .175 batting average?

Anyway, I just received the January '74 Nat'l Geographic magazine mentioned in the Fred Brown thread found somewhere else on the forum (thanks again, Guy), and I've spent part of my Saturday afternoon reading the pb-article penned by ... yup ... Mr. McPhee. A part of one paragraph hits home ...

"Mink live here as well, and otter, deer, raccoons, opossums, the gray fox. Pine snakes. Milk snakes. Corn snakes. Rattlesnakes. Bass. Pickerel. Catfish. Fifty billion mosquitoes. Hyla andersoni, ventriloquist tree frog, is found almost nowhere else but here. He is green, has a purple stripe down his side, looks like a state trooper, and goes WONK WONK in the dead of night."

Wonk! Wonk!

Indeed.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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. He is green, has a purple stripe down his side, looks like a state trooper, and goes WONK WONK in the dead of night."

Wonk! Wonk!

Indeed.

Yea .. you have heard that sound for sure. I can prove it :)


Guy
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
499
194
Arizona
The Bill Curtsinger edition of McPhee's book...

That must be the one with an additional addendum and photos. I only saw it once, when it first came out I think. It must be rare.

On Amazon, under reviews, the first one by "A Customer", from 1999, that's me.

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, November 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pine Barrens (Hardcover)
I live out west now. I just returned to the east for a visit. I drove down to the NJ Pine Barrens and I camped out one night in the Plains (the dwarf forest), no doubt in violation of millions of New Jersey rules and regulations. The benign peacefulness of the place, the smell of the pines, the sound of the wind, all swept over me. I used to live in Manhattan. I'd often make the 2 1/2 or 3 hour drive to hike and canoe and camp in the Barrens. I love that magical forest, the dark bogs, the open plains, the pure rivers, the endless sandy roads. John McPhee's book truly captures the atmosphere of this very special place in the world.
 

Pan

Explorer
Jul 4, 2011
499
194
Arizona
Thanks! It says new paperback, only $5.46. Can it still be in print? That must be a mistake. As I vaguely recall it had an update on the people in the book, including Mr Brown's friend, and someplace online - probably here - I came across some info on him - forgot his name, Wambsgans or something like that I think, and he was still living in the Pines, and maybe he was even posting. Was that here? Like I said the only time I ever saw that edition was in a book store, I think when it first came out.
 

Ben Ruset

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No, it's long out of print. You want the one with the brown cover, not the one with the white. The white cover one is just the John McPhee book minus the photographs.
179790b809a03d42a51f4110.L._AA300_.jpg


I know who you're talking about. Bill W. (too lazy to look up the proper spelling.) He doesn't post, but he lives in Woodmansie as a caretaker for a gun club. It was in an article that was in one of the local newspapers a few years back.
 
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