Pieces Of Hampton Park History

Apr 6, 2004
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The outstanding historian Arthur Pierce erroneously speculated that there was a formal entrance gate to the furnace tract at the site of Hampton Gate. What was here was a water gate or sluice gate (not a gate blocking the road) that backed up a huge pond or reservoir above the Tuckerton Road that served as an auxiliary, emergency, water supply to power the furnace wheel a substantial distance downstream.
Ted, where exactly was the reservoir and sluice gate?
 
Pinelandpaddler,

You've plotted the approximate location of the site that Braddock-Rogers recognized as the 1750 "Skit Mill." It's been many moons ago that I last studied the terrain here and therefore am unable to add much more without revisiting the site. Let me know what you find on your canoe trip to the site.

As for the canal much further downstream that shows on the 1930 aerial, I must remind you that numerous activities took place during the past 250 years along the Wading River in the segment below old Evans Bridge and the town of Wading River.
I suspect, that the canal may have been constructed to enhance the water supply of the cranberry bogs a considerable distance downstream. When I have more time, I'll check my cranberry records.

Lost Town Hunter
 
Pinelandpaddler,

Regarding Hampton Gate, if you stood on the bridge that carries the Old Tuckerton Stage Road over the Batsto River back in 1960 and even in 1970 you would have been able to see the old reservoir just upstream of the road. Today advanced succession obstructs your view. The elevated road bed most likely served as the dam and the sluice gate probably was right at the bridge.

Jerseyman,

As you well know, our friend Watson Buck was a remarkable man. I knew him from my school boy days in Burlington from where I would peddle my bicycle out Salem Road to visit friends in Rancocas. Visits to Watson's yard to see some of his vast collection of artifacts were not uncommon. On one occasion he demonstrated a metal detector that he invented.
Years later he told me he used that detector to find Lower Forge.

Lost Town Hunter
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
1,043
Galloway
As for the canal much further downstream that shows on the 1930 aerial, I must remind you that numerous activities took place during the past 250 years along the Wading River in the segment below old Evans Bridge and the town of Wading River.
I suspect, that the canal may have been constructed to enhance the water supply of the cranberry bogs a considerable distance downstream.
Ted,

The canal I'm referring to feeds back into the river a short distance downstream. It begins here:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.661676150557575&lng=-74.52986598014832&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

And it ends here:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.65620824865418&lng=-74.52806353569031&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

We should visit these sites sometime.

As for the reservoir at Hampton Gate, are you talking about the cranberry bogs between the Batsto River and Moores Meadow Rd?
 
Apr 6, 2004
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176
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Galloway
I was able to get back to the site of the skit mill today. There were clearly at least two mill races, and there might have possibly been a third. The mills existed at these two locations:

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.67587250408877&lng=-74.5423436164856&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.67477422832174&lng=-74.54286932945251&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

It looks then that there were two mills here utilizing two separate mill races on opposite sides of the river. Notice that the mill owner (Ballangee?) made use of an abandoned river channel in order to power the southernmost of the two mills, rather than excavating an entire raceway.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
1,043
Galloway
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
1,043
Galloway
BTW, John Pearce agrees with Jerseyman that the skit mill was constructed and operated under Ive Ballangee Jr. (Heart of the Pines, p. 320), though he sites no source.
 
Gabe,

As I had mentioned earlier, when I first explored the site I had no doubt that this was once a mill site. I don't suppose that you were still able to see a piling or two. Perhaps we can team up later this year to further investigate a couple of sites of mutual interest.

Cheers,
Lost Town Hunter
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
1,043
Galloway
Gabe,

As I had mentioned earlier, when I first explored the site I had no doubt that this was once a mill site. I don't suppose that you were still able to see a piling or two. Perhaps we can team up later this year to further investigate a couple of sites of mutual interest.

Cheers,
Lost Town Hunter
Yes, there are pilings a plenty still to be seen, even with high water levels. Please let me know when you're able to explore some of these sites.
 
Gabe,

I'd like to answer your question (in the absence of a response from Jerseyman) pertaining to the source of the information
that Isaac Potts constructed his Slitting Mill on the East Branch (Oswego) on the site of Evi Balangee's saw mill of ca. 1760. That information occurs on page 1918 of K. Braddock-Rogers' "Fragments of Early Industries in South Jersey."

Lost Town Hunter
 
Gabe,

I'd like to answer your question (in the absence of a response from Jerseyman) pertaining to the source of the information
that Isaac Potts constructed his Slitting Mill on the East Branch (Oswego) on the site of Evi Balangee's saw mill of ca. 1760. That information occurs on page 1918 of K. Braddock-Rogers' "Fragments of Early Industries in South Jersey."

Lost Town Hunter
Lost Town Hunter:

My “absence of a response” was due to looking for a research folder from a documentary project I completed back in the early 1990s. I am well aware of the Braddock-Rogers article, but that article is a secondary source at best and a tertiary source at worse. Braddock-Rogers obviously derived his information from somewhere. The folder for which I am searching contains copies of original primary-source documentation for the skit mill. When I locate the folder, I will post the information as my response.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
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