Pieces Of Hampton Park History

Apr 6, 2004
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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.
Turtle and I did some more extensive exploring at the mill site, and I walked away a bit more confident about my understanding of the site. I will recant my previous assertion that there were two mills here. I mistook for a raceway what I now think was simply an overflow channel, as I could find no suitable high ground for a mill. There are still some mysteries to be solved, however, including a pond immediately below the dam that appears to have been dug out, as well as a network of drainage ditches throughout the swamp below the dam. Uncle Budd has agreed to join me soon on another trip to the site.
 

turtle

Explorer
Feb 4, 2009
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a village...in the pines
Gabe,

I went back today (dressed for the weather) and did quite a bit more exploring on the other side, crossing over and going through to the river. Ted's mention of mills in post #64 is interesting. The "diversion" canal I'd originally seen in the past is connected to another that merges with the big one we discussed. There is a spot of "higher" ground where this canal opens at the river channel.....
Overall, almost as puzzling as the channels we saw yesterday. I'm interested to hear what you and Budd come up with.

Terry
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I don't know whether this helps, but since I've got the data handy, here's the full resolution LIDAR image of the general area. The scale on the left is the color code representing elevation.

mill.jpg
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Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
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Galloway
Gabe,

I went back today (dressed for the weather) and did quite a bit more exploring on the other side, crossing over and going through to the river. Ted's mention of mills in post #64 is interesting. The "diversion" canal I'd originally seen in the past is connected to another that merges with the big one we discussed. There is a spot of "higher" ground where this canal opens at the river channel.....
Overall, almost as puzzling as the channels we saw yesterday. I'm interested to hear what you and Budd come up with.

Terry
Eeeeenteresting.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
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Galloway
I've pieced some of the puzzle together with regards to the locations of the mills and bridges on the West Branch of the Wading River.

As LostTownHunter previously noted, Braddock-Rogers stated that the Skit Mill was located a 1/4 mile downstream from where the Tumbling Dam was, which would place the Skit Mill here:

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.675368785792095&lng=-74.54262256622314&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx

Enoch Hammel's 1836 map of McCartyville (see pg. 322 of Heart of the Pines) names this site "Smith's Old Mill." A Daniel Smith surveyed the property in 176o and likely established a Saw Mill soon thereafter. But it was supposedly Ive (Evi) Bellangee (Bellanger) Jr. who built the Skit Mill on the West Wading sometime around 1750.

I originally guessed that Bellangee's Skit Mill was located here:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.661824818586396&lng=-74.52960848808289&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

As of now, I think this is the most reasonable guess I can make. The land straddling the river here was owned by Thomas Bellangee in 1793, and there was a road that led between this site and Bellangee's Saw Mill on the Oswego just upstream from the present day dam at Harrisville Lake. Moreover, Arthur Pierce seems to have agreed that this was the site of the Skit Mill, as he describes it as being located not quite 1/2 mile upstream from present confluence of the East and West Branches of the Wading. But I ask myself: Would it have been likely that there were two mills on the same river so close to one another?

Moving along...

This was called the "Sooy-Weeks Bridge" in the 1836 map of McCartyville:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.673634645532346&lng=-74.53575611114502&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

This was where the old road to Martha Furnace crossed the river:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.66934865499569&lng=-74.53707575798035&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

This was called "Burnt Bridge" in the 1836 map:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.66322063059212&lng=-74.52930808067322&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

And this of course is where the Tuckerton State Road crossed the river at Bodine's:
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.6545479692621&lng=-74.52508091926575&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

I'm going to do some more extensive exploring around these sites this summer, especially underwater. Maybe I'll find some more clues to help piece it all together.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Gabe,,

Nice sleuthing!

Is there a link problem with the first two links after "Moving Along?" They are the same location.

Guy
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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On my way home this evening from exploring the Skit Branch, I was walking back to my truck from Hampton Park to Carranza Road via Hampton Road. I was tired and day dreaming, thinking about the history of the area and tripped over a wire in the woods. Teegate had mentioned, in one of his posts, that the cranberry operations had a phone and electricity. Could the lines have been run as simple as hanging them from the trees?

The pine is one of the largest standing and the eyelet is about twelve feet off the ground.
hamptonwireboltsm.jpg



This section of wire went to a large bolt buried in the pine needles. It is also attached to the eyelet anchored in the tree.

Hamptonwiresm.jpg
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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That is an interesting find. I can ask Daryl if he knows anything about it.

Guy
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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Teegate, you have driven past this spot many times. I was surprised to find it where I did. It is hard to see from the road unless you know where to look. I deleted my track by mistake but I'll plan on returning sometime this week and will PM you when I do with the coordinates.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Thanks!

In any event, I wrote Daryl and maybe we can learn something else from him.

Guy
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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This is the cable that was lying on the ground. Attached to its end, is an anchor bolt of some sort.

anchorsm.jpg
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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I received this today.

One phone line came to the two houses and the packing house from the Carranza road on regular telephone poles along the Hampton road put in the 1940s after the war. There was no electricity.