Odd

Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.83855011436586&lng=-74.16333138942719&z=19&type=h&gpx=

There were once some reservoirs here (cranberry bogs??) but there is something odd about them.

If you look at this location on historicaerials.com and go to 1940, you can see some odd features in the water, such as crosses and rectangles (sorry, but I can't figure out how to post links to that site.)

A bird's-eye view (bing maps) of the bog shows that these shapes are earthen and have trees/shrubs growing on them.

Any ideas what these were?
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
What's a mullica boy doing poking around Forked River?!!!! Okay, that is odd and a cool find. That bog is, of course, not of the typical cranberry growning variety as it is certainly filled with brackish water from barnegat bay. So, my thought was that it was somehow related to the harvesting of shell fish or fish. Considering that oyster creek is near by, I decided to consider that option.

Taking a brief look into oyster harvesting techniques, I learned that culches were used. A culch is a substrate that oysters will attach themselves to as they mature. Once they reach spat (a level of maturity for human consumption) they are havested from the culch.

A culch apparently doesn't have to be of a particular design to be effective. My best guess is that these were culches that were used to harvest oysters. The different shapes might have been a way of identifying them to a partiuclar oysterman (ie: my culch is an X, yours is a rectangle). This bog might have been used by several independant oystermen.

Over time, the culches were abandoned and organic material collected on top providing oportunity for plant growth and eventually they became earthen.

that's my best theory, my other one involves aliens.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
BTW: if you want to post links to historical aerials here is how I did it. When you are on there click on share, then email and have that photo sent to your email. Then copy the link in your email and paste it in the text of your thread/post.

Ben mentioned another way of doing it, but I already did it that way. You might have to post your thread, go to your email, and then edit your thread to insert it without losing your content.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
If you look at the 1931 view you will see nothing there. That area was originally the Woodmansie Estate and then the state Forked River Game Farm in 1912, and it appears that the specific area had a berm built around it. Not sure if those figures are actually there or something placed on the photograph by the camera that helped in building the berms or doing mosquito control. The CCC was doing mosquito control along the bayshore beginning in the late 30's. My Uncle worked at the Manahawkin CCC camp just before the fire. The objects are very visible as treed areas in the 1963 aerial.

The state razed all the old game farm buildings and pens last year and is developing the site as a WMA with habitat for raptors and Bobwhite Quail.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,068
370
Little Egg Harbor
I have never seen anything like the raised features on the marsh, but my first guess regarding the ponds would be related to mosquito control, as already mentioned. Salt hay harvesting often involved diking the meadows, but I’m not sure they would have created deeper impoundments like those seem to be. A co-worker of mine formerly worked for the OC Mosquito Commission and has intimate knowledge of most of the coastal marshes. I’m off today but I will see if he is familiar with that site the next day we are in the office.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
Some good ideas, fellas.

Jeff, oysters? That's something I would not have thought of! Hmmm....

I'm more skeptical of the idea that these reservoirs were for mosquito control. Are there any other examples of mosquito control reservoirs?

As for the bog being brackish, I'm also skeptical of this. With the berms cutting off the tidal waters that bring in the salt, wouldn't the bog eventually become freshwater?
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
If you look at the 1931 view you will see nothing there. That area was originally the Woodmansie Estate and then the state Forked River Game Farm in 1912, and it appears that the specific area had a berm built around it. Not sure if those figures are actually there or something placed on the photograph by the camera that helped in building the berms or doing mosquito control. The CCC was doing mosquito control along the bayshore beginning in the late 30's. My Uncle worked at the Manahawkin CCC camp just before the fire. The objects are very visible as treed areas in the 1963 aerial.

The state razed all the old game farm buildings and pens last year and is developing the site as a WMA with habitat for raptors and Bobwhite Quail.

Good stuff, 46er.

Be assured that those figures are actually there. Go to historicaerials.com and set up the 1940 and 2007 photos side by side and you will see that some of the features are still there.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
BTW: if you want to post links to historical aerials here is how I did it. When you are on there click on share, then email and have that photo sent to your email. Then copy the link in your email and paste it in the text of your thread/post.

Ben mentioned another way of doing it, but I already did it that way. You might have to post your thread, go to your email, and then edit your thread to insert it without losing your content.

I'm a bit weary of letting the site access my clipboard. But maybe I shouldn't be. I don't quite understand this computer stuff.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
Good stuff, 46er.

Be assured that those figures are actually there. Go to historicaerials.com and set up the 1940 and 2007 photos side by side and you will see that some of the features are still there.

Bad typing on my part. They are very clear in the 1963. What I meant to mean is that the pictures may have had those marks placed on them to assist the folks on the ground putting them in place. Given the pattern they might be platforms for whatever they were using to dig the place out. Then nature took over.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Very interesting. Those features are definitely there. Look on the current satellite map and identify the two roughly N-S running dikes that separated the flooded areas in 1930. In the easternmost of the two there is a weir near the bottom (and there is a similar weir on the westernmost dike). The weir's are clearly visible in the 1940 aerial.

From the center of the easternmost weir take an azimuth out 310 feet on 288 degrees, and you are in the middle of two raised, rectangular areas. They're at odd angles, overgrown, but still clearly visible, and they line up precisely with the two rectangular areas in the same spot in the 1940 aerial. Other features seem to roughly line up as well. I can see two cross-shaped mounds west of the westernmost dike, and I think I see another in the woods north of there. There are some other rectangles as well.

So for whatever reason it seems like whomever flooded those two areas raised those berms to stand up above the water. Could it be for duck shooting or something like that?
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,068
370
Little Egg Harbor
I checked with my source and he was not sure about the small raised landforms, but stated that the dikes and impoundments were built by CCC workers in the 1930s shortly after the game farm property was acquired by the state. They were put at about the same time as the impoundments south of Stafford Ave. in Manahawkin were done (also by the CCC, with the exception of a few that the Mosquito Commission later added). The idea was for the dikes to hold back fairly fresh water on the marsh, creating not only ponds, but different plant habitat, for the purpose improving waterfowl habitat. This was very much the same principal that the USF&W used with the impoundments that the bird watchers driving loop surrounds down in Oceanville. It is possible that the raised features were nesting islands that would have been surrounded by water when the water control structures were still being maintained.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,268
305
Galloway
I checked with my source and he was not sure about the small raised landforms, but stated that the dikes and impoundments were built by CCC workers in the 1930s shortly after the game farm property was acquired by the state. They were put at about the same time as the impoundments south of Stafford Ave. in Manahawkin were done (also by the CCC, with the exception of a few that the Mosquito Commission later added). The idea was for the dikes to hold back fairly fresh water on the marsh, creating not only ponds, but different plant habitat, for the purpose improving waterfowl habitat. This was very much the same principal that the USF&W used with the impoundments that the bird watchers driving loop surrounds down in Oceanville. It is possible that the raised features were nesting islands that would have been surrounded by water when the water control structures were still being maintained.

How bout that? Thanks, German! So the idea was to create freshwater habitat in what used to be brackish marsh?
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
Stafford Twnshp has a small historical center that is supposed to have info on the CCC and the work they did. I have been meaning to get down there and see if they have anything that might help my search, but never find the time. Also NJ F&W might have records of what was done there as the Forked River Game Farm was one of the first such facilities in the country.

133570784.jpg
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
2,128
Coastal NJ
The Game Farm is 100 years old this year. Or what's left of it.

Next year, 2012. There is nothing left of it, all was razed and hauled away, even the pens. I was down there when the work was being done. Restoration has begun on 75 acres. The restoration was supposed to be done by Pheasants forever, but I heard Ducks Unlimited is now involved and it will no longer become a WMA. It has been part of the Forsythe NWR for the past 8 years.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/new_jersey/article_f5931844-0b06-11df-8054-001cc4c002e0.html
 
Sep 2, 2009
47
5
Seaside Park
I had heard that the buildings were going to be razed last year so I made a trip down there to take some pictures. As I was walking in I saw a hawk sitting on one of the telephone poles but I wasn't quick enough to get a picture. Most of the buildings that were still there had collapsed. Still a nice way to have spent a mild January evening. As I was leaving I saw more ducks than I have seen at one time and in one place. I guess they were going to wherever they were going to spend the night.


396036497.jpg



396036498.jpg



396036499.jpg



396036496.jpg
 
Top