Old Church located behind the Harding Lakes area of Mays Landing, NJ

EddieD

Scout
Feb 13, 2021
43
30
48
Mays Landing
I've been trying to locate the old "fireworks" factory located somewhere behind the Harding Lakes area, but have yet to find it. I was speaking to someone in passing the other day. He mentioned that there was an old church located there too, buried in the pines. Can anyone give an exact GEO location for either of these two sites? I spent a whole day on bike on the trails back there trying to find them. No luck. I'm not going back (especially not in this heat, LOL) until I have a proper location. Thanks in advance!

As a matter of fact. For those who know this area and could help me. I recorded the area where I was on bicycle before I gave up. So you can direct me if I was close or not.

Latitude: 39°27'37.120"N Longitude: -74°45'49.155"W

That is, if my software was accurate.
 

gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
532
38
54
atlantic county
Which side of the lakes are you talking about? Off Crocus or on the other side with all the smaller homes. There is a lot of homes on the latter but waaay back it was pretty undeveloped and I believe Reading Ave was actually part of the Seashore Lines. I am trying to picture where there could have been a church or a factory but I am not coming up with anything. I will look into it a little this week and see what I can come up with. Are you local?
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,608
2,135
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Your old-fashioned coordinates are too hard to convert, LOL. :D I really don't know anything about that area and this is not at your coordinates, but looking on the LIDAR, something must have been here in the past. It only shows as vague ruins on all the aerials. Could be something completely different from the fireworks factory.

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.458558/-74.767166/midatlidar/0.00/0.00

2007 is about the clearest aerial view, nothing really shows there at all in 1930

https://boydsmaps.com/#20.00/39.458607/-74.767147/njgin2007/0.00/0.00

Pretty big site, with it's own railroad siding

https://boydsmaps.com/#18.00/39.458784/-74.765761/mbx3dmidatl/118.20/69.20

Screen Shot 2022-07-30 at 10.14.01 PM.png
 
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enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
424
244
Atco NJ
Pinelands gardens apartments is right in the middle of it so easy access to poke around.
Appears the RR siding is still a trail to a foundation.
 
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teleflux

New Member
Nov 29, 2020
26
37
37
Mays Landing
matthunsberger.com
I believe these ruins are a WWII-era munitions plant. (I think I read that somewhere on these forums.) It does look similar to Belco in Estell Manor Park. I live nearby and I’ve been meaning to go back there.
 
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Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
@EddieD - A simple Google search actually yields some results, did you try that? For example:


According to the Google Maps link on that site, this is the location of the plant. I guess the site in my previous post was something else? Or maybe it is all part of the same thing but they separated the dangerous part from the rest of the plant?

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.462078/-74.774367/midatlidar/0.00/0.00

It is clearly visible on the 1980 aerials

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.462078/-74.774367/njgin1980/0.00/0.00

Screen Shot 2022-07-31 at 9.43.36 AM.png


There is also a Press of Atlantic City article, but I can't read it without a subscription

 

Boyd

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Looking at this some more, the article in my link states:

"While in operation the plant occupied a parcel of land 4.5 to 5 square miles"

That suggests that both of the sites discussed above were part of the old factory. Using the measuring tool, you can see that the whole area we're discussing is not even one square mile (the blue rectangle below is only about 1/2 mile x 1 mile). So it must have been a really huge site back in the day. There very well could be additional ruins throughout a large area.

Screen Shot 2022-07-31 at 10.30.04 AM.png


@teleflux - great link to the 2008 thread. That was when @Spung-Man first joined the site - a little piece of history! :D
 
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Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
By the way, it should be mentioned that this whole area between Rt 40 and Railroad Blvd is private property. Personally, I would not go there. You can see on my topo that the green-shaded area North of the railroad is part of the Great Egg Harbor River WMA, but not the area South of the railroad.
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
8,608
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Those 1940 aerails also show Belco and Amatol very well. I need to find a source for 1940's, 50's and 60's aerials of the Pines, have spent quite awhile looking and couldn't find anything so far.

Looking at those 50's aerials, I see there was a drive-in movie theater across from Amatol, hadn't noticed that before. It might have been active in the 1980's but is overgrown by the mid 1990's.
 
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