One mother of an ore pond and something else?

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
I had a great adventure in the woods today! I may do this report to two parts because there is so much information to share. I was looking over the MSN bird's eye maps for something when I happened to come across what appeared to be an enormous ore pond . I have seen large iron ore extraction sites along both the Batsto and Mullica but this appeared to be significantly larger. It is located just south of the confluence of the Springers Brook and Deep Run in Wharton...just west of the Batsto.

So this morning I took off on my motorcycle, armed with hip waders, a hydro pack and a camera, and a ton of DEET. To access the Ore pond I would have to park along the Springers Brook and cross it. The ore pond is completely isolated from vehicular traffic as it lies within a narrow strip of land between the Batsto and Springers Brook. After crossing I saw my fist old cord road (picture does not do it justice)



It was located in a narrow maple swamp on the other side of the brook.


Shortly after I arrived at my destination. The ore pond. It was very different than previous mining sites I had seen. Most notably, vegetation had creeped into the bed itself (a very long process), creating hummocks and diminishing the visual shock one experiences when confronted with an old minning site. Also, presence of solid iron ore and sandstone was surprisingly absent. These two factors lead me to believe that this was a very old site, and that it's resources had nearly been exhusted. It was, however, extremely large. More long than wide and went on forever. Notice the cedar stands.











Of course, water levels are extremely low right now and frogs were everywhere trying to find was little water was left in the "pond", puddles like in the photo below were teaming with black banded sunfish (hiding from the camera in this instance)


I suspect that most of the year this entire savanna is submerged.

I was quick to learn that the dryness was misleading. One step into a seemly dry area like below could put you knee deep in orange mud.


I scared up a big buck that gave me an irritated snort at precisely the same time i discovered this cord road crossing the "pond"

A continuation from the first cord road I encountered. This was a very, very old cord road. It is interesting because, while not at all visable from the Batsto, this area is fairly accessable from the Bastso. This would have been the most obvious way to transport the iron,; providing it was headed toward Batsto village.

This concludes Part 1. Stay tunned for part II...where things get even more interesting.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
something got messed up with the photos. Let me try loading a photo up again.

Can you find the frog in this photo?


all right, I know what happened. I'll try to fix it but if I can't I hope Guy can.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,520
57
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Pestletown
Jeff,
Very nice pics and a trek that deserves praise. Seems it was a bit of a task.
While I know they're out there somewhere, it is hard to imagine areas in these lush green pines with deposits so rich that the orange color almost hurts the eyes to look at it. A fantastic find sir.
Isn't a corduroy road a blast to stumble upon? They really are cool and while it seems like crude today, they must have been welcome in their time.
Thanks for sharing. Your pics seemed fine to me.

g.
 
Jeff:

A very interesting find, to be sure! Thank you for your exploration and for sharing the resultant information with the rest of us!!

I cannot be certain from your posting, but I think I infer that the corduroy road led to a landing on the Batsto—am I correct in that inference or am I reading to much into your text?

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Part ii

On my return trip I was crossing the Springer Brook in a slightly different spot when something caught my eye along the river bank.






So I am thinking slag! what is slag doing here? There appears to be charcoal or wood embedded in some of the slag:


There were very large pieces in the water on the river bottom. Is this eroding slag or sandstone in the making?



could this be an old forge site? I am unaware of any documented forge or furnance in this vicinity. I searched around for any other evidence. I could not locate an exact bridge location but I did find this very large cut timber sandwiched between two, possibly, decaying cut timbers. Most of this piece was submerged and measured approx. 16"x12"


I also located this cut timber up on the bank.


I could not locate anymore slag except in that one location but I did find these holes and dry ponds nearby






I plan to return and consult some maps for further investigation.

Just a few extra photos:
This is probably the biggest sweet gum I have ever seen


I may have to go back just to measure that.

This old maple fell right across the river


It was about 6 to 7' above the water line but I knew I could never live with myself if I didn't attempt to walk across it. So I did.



I totally rock, I am such a man!

Found this...vacancy


Maybe PBXBob can help me identify these flowers along the tracks as they cross the Springer?




So that is it. If anybody can shed any light, or share thoughts on this mysterious slag, please do so.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Jeff,
Very nice pics and a trek that deserves praise. Seems it was a bit of a task.
While I know they're out there somewhere, it is hard to imagine areas in these lush green pines with deposits so rich that the orange color almost hurts the eyes to look at it. A fantastic find sir.
Isn't a corduroy road a blast to stumble upon? They really are cool and while it seems like crude today, they must have been welcome in their time.
Thanks for sharing. Your pics seemed fine to me.

g.
Thanks george. Yes the orange really does jump out doesn't it. check out this photo of a mine site that we (PBX) discovered discovered earlier this year


This site was also along the Batsto and was more visually stunning than my discovery today. Not quite as large an area I don't think though.

Cord roads are neat!!

jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Jeff:

A very interesting find, to be sure! Thank you for your exploration and for sharing the resultant information with the rest of us!!

I cannot be certain from your posting, but I think I infer that the corduroy road led to a landing on the Batsto—am I correct in that inference or am I reading to much into your text?

Best regards,
Jerseyman
While I never went east enough to meet the banks of the Batsto, the direction of the corduroy road, and the close proximity of the Batsto, would almost certainly lead one to assume that it did. the cord road did cross the extraction site though and, presumably, extend to the Springer brook.

I suspect that you are thinking that the iron was transported to the batsto via the cord road. this makes sense.

jeff
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
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1,028
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Awesome pics, Jeff. The color is identical to that in a pit near Long Causeway that I was exploring a few weeks back. It really stands out.

I sure think that you're holding there is slag, but where it came from... you wouldn't think they would take the trouble to transport it far from the furnace, unless it was used as road fill or something like that.
 
Oct 25, 2006
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Impressive trip, awesome trip report, great pics, what a great day to be in the woods, looking forward to part 2, real nice Jeff.

Jim
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Excellent find Jeff! Hopefully there will be an answer to your questions. Sounds like a road trip is needed :)

Guy
 

Teegate

Administrator
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The first set of ore mine photos looks strikingly like a spot we came across on "Tip Toe Through the Tulpahockin". We're you on that Jeff? I don't remember.
Steve
Bob and I met Jeff on 12/31/2004 and Tip Toe was 4/3/2004.

Looking over my photo’s there are only two that show ore and I doubt they are the same. But things look different in the winter with water.







http://teegate.njpinebarrens.com/09022008/merge1.gif

Guy
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Gee Jeff, you beat me to it. I always wanted to visit that bog. You were here, right?



That is odd you saw Lobelia cardinalis like German says. It shouldn't be way out there, though we do see it on the Mullica down by Gabes. Was it intensely red color?
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Gee Jeff, you beat me to it. I always wanted to visit that bog. You were here, right?



That is odd you saw Lobelia cardinalis like German says. It shouldn't be way out there, though we do see it on the Mullica down by Gabes. Was it intensely red color?
Yep, exactly. There were alot of blue asters. Those flowers pictured (cardinal) were intensely red. They were right along the springer below the rail bridge. Could the fact that they were so close to the old rail account for their odd location?

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
That slag could have come from Batsto, or Hampton, or even Lower Forge which is in pretty close proximity. It's placement seems odd though, and this deep hole:

would have been an alkward spot to excavate fill to support the bridge. Hard to explain unless you were there.

An examination in the winter will probably be more revealing.

Jeff
 
Apr 6, 2004
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Galloway
Awesome stuff, Jeff. A great mystery indeed. I am eager to get back there when the bugs die off and the foliage clears up. One thing to consider is that the spot along the river where you found the slag could have been sumberged for some time under the lake that once served lower forge. Just to put some perspective on the timeline we are dealing with. How close were the timbers to the slag? How closer were the pits? Also, did you perchance grab a piece of slag as a souvenir?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,216
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Pines; Bamber area
Yep, exactly. There were alot of blue asters. Those flowers pictured (cardinal) were intensely red. They were right along the springer below the rail bridge. Could the fact that they were so close to the old rail account for their odd location?

Jeff
Yes, that would account for it. Fugitives from elsewhere. The aster was most likely Aster nemoralis (bog aster).