Pine Barren History Shorts

Teegate

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I will try and come up with little bits of pine barren history and add them to this page as I have time.



Iona Gun Club (I Own A Gun Club)

In 1947 the Iona Gun Club was looking to find ways to pay for construction of a hunting cabin in the Chatsworth area and decided one way was to have a contest to win a bicycle. In the 9/9/1947 Vineland Daily Journal this was mentioned.


Porchtown Man Awarded Bicycle.

Ellis Porter, of Porchtown, was the winner of a new bicycle in a contest designed to raise funds for the Iona Gun Club. Proceeds will go toward the construction of a hunting lodge near Chatsworth for the Iona members.



And as the photo below shows, by 1951 that dream was a reality.


iona.jpg
.


The Iona Gun club today is on private property owned by Bill Haines.


http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.73436136082661&lng=-74.51075830297913&z=20&type=hybrid&gpx=
 
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Pinesbucks

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Guy,

Any idea if the club is still operating. I have hunted the pines many years and never heard of them before this post.
 

Teegate

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It may be down in more southern NJ but I really don't know.
 

Teegate

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7/13/1922

Fine For Refusal To Combat Fire

Trenton- Adjudged guilty of refusing to assist a fire warden in combating a forest fire in Chatsworth, Burlington County, the State Board of Conservation and Development imposed penalties of $5 each upon Andrew and Bert Anderson and George Emmons of Woodmansie, Complaint had been made by Joseph Abbot of Toms River, fire warden, that the three young men refused to assist him in fighting a fire April 30.

The men testified they had not refused to come to the warden's aid, but insisted upon being permitted to travel to the scene in their own automobile after partaking of breakfast. In imposing the penalties the board announced the offense is a serious one and referred to the right of the board to summon able-bodied citizens to assist in fire-fighting.
 
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Teegate

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I have been away on vacation but while away I worked on a personal short that really is long. As soon as I can get it up I will.

Guy
 

Teegate

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All,

This post is somewhat personal and a little longer. I have changed names and edited the newspaper reports.



When traveling on vacation my daughters download podcasts to keep us interested and awake while driving, and the theme for this trip turned out to be murder mysteries and missing individuals. When the podcasts were not playing my mind began to wander back 40 years to an incident and my personal involvement with an individual that this subject matter is related to. While I can't give you the exact date or even the exact year, I will do my best to jog my memory and narrow it down. I unfortunately did not take photos that day or I would have been able to do just that.


In April 1975 I purchased my first Land Cruiser so the year of my incident would have been between 1976 and 1978. If it was 1978 it should have been somewhat concerning to me as you will read later. It has been 40 years so time has erased the concerns I may have had.

I believed then and still do that I most likely was the first person in my moms development to own a 4X4 that actually was used to explore the pines. However, sometime in the time frame mentioned above an International Scout 4x4 was cruising around the neighborhood. Since my friend Tom was much more in tune to the goings on in the area as he was much more of a social butterfly than I was, he informed me that it was "Billy." (I have changed the name) Billy it turns out was older than me and had lived in the development for quite a while. And Tom also informed me he had spoken with Billy in regards to me and Billy expressed his desire to to do some offroading. Sometime after this Billy and I ran into each other even though I currently don't remember how that exactly happened. In any event, I believe later that day I waited for him in the driveway to arrive. Soon we were heading to the pines with me having no idea where he was going. Our travels eventually took us to Atsion and eventually we arrived at Salter's Ditch at I believe to be this location.



http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.73605482422198&lng=-74.76053494613649&z=17&type=hybrid&gpx=


Now remember, this was the 70's and the road there was primitive if at all. He stopped at the ditch as I pulled up behind him and he then proceeded to plow across it. I realized then his vehicle was a beast as he crossed the ditch and the hill in seconds. I believe he purchased the vehicle "as is" because I never remember seeing it as stock. Someone had done some serious work on it. Anyway, he soon disappeared and I sat there deciding what to do. I was not a big fan of doing this but I also did not want to turn around. So I proceeded forward and soon found myself sitting in the ditch not moving. Still no sign of him at all as I hooked up my winch to try and turn my vehicle around and return the same way I came. Ten more minutes and I was just about out when he returned the same way we had come in. He obviously traveled back across the ditch at some other location and made his way back to me. I was not happy about all of this and told him our day was over. We returned home and I never spoke with him again.



On August 22, 1978 I was at home reading the newspaper when my adventure above came flooding back into my head.

Marlton man held in death

A 30 year old Marlton man was arrested Monday for the stabbing death of his 10 month old son. "Billy" of Marlton was arrested when the body of his son was found in a secluded section of Washington Township. His son was found in the trunk. Park Rangers in the early PM found "Billy" wandering along Penn_Swamp-Quaker Bridge Road in Wharton. "Billy" was rambling about leaving his son in the car. After searching the forest the vehicle was discovered and the 10 month old had been stabbed in the chest. Another article also stated that his eyes were missing.


The following day edited.

"Billy" of Marlton was transferred from the Burlington County jail to the Vroom Building for the criminally insane after being arraigned for murder. "Billy" was violent in his cell and was screaming that his son was in there with him. He was also uttering gutteral sounds and had wild rolling eyeballs. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the crime and allegedly was going to be taken to the mental unit of a Camden hospital on the day of the murder. However, the hospital denied that.


Fast forward almost a year to 5/26/1979

A Superior Judge has ruled "Billy" was insane when the crime occurred and he was transferred to Ancora for up to 60 days so he can be evaluated. He will then return for a sanity hearing. He admitted to the crime and it was reported that he was a schizophrenic who believed his son was insane and able to pass that on to other individuals by hypnotizing them with his eyes. "Hence, the eye removal." Two doctors testified that "Billy" said God had told him to do this, and "Billy" thought he was doing the right thing by saving the baby from a lifetime of misery in a mental institution.



In a photo from the first article he was disheveled with longer hair and beard which was not as he looked when I knew him. However, in this recent article about his arraignment it was mentioned he was looking well ... neatly dressed and alert.



According to a 1982 article, less than two years after the crime, "Billy" was released to live with his family. Anyone can have mental illness and it does not make me think any more or any less of "Billy". I was hoping that all would be well with him. Unfortunately, that would not be the way it ended.


An article from 8/8/1982.

Ex-Mental Patient killed in car crash

A Marlton man acquitted in the stabbing death of his son was killed in a vehicle crash on Route 40. "Billy" was pronounced dead Friday at the Emergency room of an Atlantic City hospital. His passenger, a 40 year old female from Florida and the female driver of a second car were hospitalized.
 
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bobpbx

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Very interesting Guy.

My senses are very attuned to people who have issues. Some of those people are like flashing beacons.
 

Jon Holcombe

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Scary and sad story Guy. Unfortunately, health care for people with psychiatric issues is hit or miss now. 40 years ago it was a lot worse.
 

Teegate

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The Oswego Gun Club property located in Bass River Township dates back to the early 1800s and maybe even further. Commonly known at "Micks Place" or "Mick Property" on old maps, it was part of the Martha Furnace Tract and is a very likely location of the "Bucks" Tavern mentioned in the Martha Diary. This story will concentrate on a death that occurred on the property in much more recent times.


Friday February 14, 1958 might have seemed like a good day for the members of the Oswego Gun Club to assemble at their cabin in the remote woods of Bass River Township; however, the weather barreling down on them had other ideas. With below freezing temperatures for many days and a snow storm with possible massive precipitation on it's way, they might have been better off staying home. On Saturday other members arrived for dinner so apparently the road in was still open. At that dinner a few of the individuals were, 72 year old Edgar Old Sr, of 2788 Lyndon Street Camden, a retired house painter and Camden County deputy game warden, his son Edgar Old Jr., approximately 40 of Lyndon Ave Riverton who had been or was a manger of a chain store, Harold Gerkens, of Garfield Ave Palmyra, Michael Labosky, of Waldrich, and William Biederbach, 6843 Woodland Ave Pennsauken.

It is interesting to note that I am pretty certain I went to school with Edgar Old Jr's son.


So Saturday nights dinner apparently went well, and some of those attending left for home leaving the 5 members mentioned above still there. Unfortunately, right after dinner Edgar Old Sr. mentioned to his son that he was not feeling well. Even though Mr. Old had previous heart troubles, they spent the night there. On Sunday morning Mr. Old was felling better and they apparently did not have any more major concerns. However, the snow was coming down to the point there was no chance of them leaving in their cars. By Monday morning a massive snowfall had accumulated causing gridlock all over the state. Even though Mr. Old was feeling well, it was decided that his son Edgar Old Jr. and Harold Gerkens would walk the 5 miles to contact a fire warden by telephone.

Keep in mind that Allen's Road at Oswego Lake across the dam was still in public domain and the road was legally drivable unlike today. It was closed when the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders vacated the bridge to Haines & Haines on 5/11/1994. This was the main access road in and out of the Gun Club property.


Later on Monday Edgar Old Jr. and Harold Gerkens finally make it to a telephone and a rescue team headed by William T. Sloan, section fire warden at Chatsworth is sent out but fails to locate the gun club. On Tuesday Irving Mantell, district fire warden and William Sloan headed out again, and this time the rescue team included Edgar Old Jr., Harold Gerkins and three other men. It is always best to have people with you who actually know where the place is you are going to. Using a one ton four wheel drive firetruck they left Chatsworth before noon for the 10 mile trip and finally made it to the gun club after 2PM. Travel was hampered by trees and snow drifts weighed down by ice and blocking the road. After arriving they learned that Edgar Old Sr. had died around 12:30PM the day before (Monday). Obviously, the members at the club spent a full day there with the body of Mr. Old present.

The group returned to Jack Buzby's general store by 5PM while towing one of the members vehicle out apparently to allow the 4 remaining members of the club to go home. They left two of the vehicles at the club as well as the body of Edgar Old Sr. The state troupers and Coroner Stoddard of Burlington County would return on Wednesday and retrieve the body.


Guy
 

Teegate

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The Joseph J. Truncer library at Batsto is in recognition of the many years he served the state in the NJ park system. He was instrumental in the state acquiring Wharton and even was in charge of the Wharton survey team. What I did not know was that he spent 13 years as the head of Parvin State Park until January 13, 1947. During his tenure at Parvin they housed upwards of 900 German prisoners of war in the barracks there. And during that time a German prisoner notified the guards that an escape plan was in motion and a 60 foot tunnel was found underneath one of the barracks.

It is interesting to note the article says that after the war Seabrook Farms now leases the former CCC camp, and the German POW camp, and uses them for housing hillbillies from the South. :D
 

bobpbx

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It is interesting to note the article says that after the war Seabrook Farms now leases the former CCC camp, and the German POW camp, and uses them for housing hillbillies from the South. :D
I just finished reading a book titled "Hillbilly Elegy", which is one man's story of a hillbilly who made it good. I was surprised to learn that there was a huge migration of coal mining Hillbillies from places like Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia to Ohio and other northern states to work at steel mills and similar industries. These industries encouraged people to bring their entire families up, and many did.
 

Teegate

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Glad you both enjoyed them. I will have two more today.
 

Teegate

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It seems like an ordinary cemetery stone in the Chatsworth Cemetery, but the person named on this stone has a small claim to fame.

adams.jpg


In 1952 Caleb Adams began manning the Cedar Bridge fire tower when it was located on Route 72 across from Coyle Field. In 1955 he moved to the Lebanon Tower and spent many years there as a fire observer for the pines. In 1966 when Mr. Adams was 61 a Courier Post article on him described his life in the tower.
 

Teegate

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Most of us know about the jetport that was going to be built in the pines, but the Atom Smasher may have been more troubling. The July 16 1965 Asbury Park Press first mentions that an Ocean-Burlington County pine barren location was urged for this endeavor by the state of NJ. Later reports adds Millville to the list. The sites in the Ocean and Burlington County area were Woodmansie, Warren Grove and Spring Hill. By October of 1965 85 sites across the county were still in the running with a decision on the location reaching a critical stage.

In an article in the October 8, 1965 Asbury Park Press, it is revealed the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) plans to inspect the sites and Warren Grove is the recommended area by the then governor Richard Hughes. On November 4. 1965 the Courier Post reports that on November 10 the AEC will visit NJ and inspect possible sites at Millville and Warren Grove, and if built it would employ 2000 individuals. Later reports say they will visit both sites. Previous articles say this site would be 1 mile in diameter.

On December 22 the Vineland Daily Journal reports that the AEC predicted the money for the Atom Smasher plan would be dropped from the administration's budget.

On January 14 1966 the New Brunswick Home News reports the AEC may scrap plans for the Atom Smasher. However, some alternate idea's would still require picking a suitable site to produce them leaving the chance the pine barrens still may be picked.

And finally on March 22 1966 the government narrowed the list to 5 locations. Ann Arbor Michigan,:Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY., Madison, Wis,: the Sierra foothills near Sacramento, California,: South Barrington or Weston near Chicago, and Denver, Colorado.

The following day Mayor Jack Cervetto and Committeeman Charles Boltner of Stafford Township were relieved by the news that the Aton Smasher was "lopped off". Mayor Cervetto felt that most people in the township were a little happy that is was not taking place there. "We have a resort area with clean water, hunting and fishing and cedar swamps and natural plains," "We would like to see the area stay the way it is."
 
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Teegate

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The Beaver Dam Bog mentioned below is located at the link below. They are now owned by the state of NJ.

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.94981303442119&lng=-74.46482676666261&z=16&type=hybrid&gpx=


As far as I can tell this mention of the bog is at the location of the link above; however, in 1922 it conceivably could have been closer to New Egypt. I suspect it is the same location.


June 2, 1922 in the Freehold Transcript there is a mention of serious fires doing damage to the forests of NJ. The first major fire burned over the "Ivans and Beaver Dam Bog" doing $10,000 damage. The bogs was owned by the heirs at law of the late Howard I. Jameson. Their names are Dr. Leon Jameson of Philadelphia, Earle H. Jameson who recently lived in New Egypt, and May H. Scarborough of Plainfield. The bog was totally destroyed it is reported.



From here on I am quite certain the reports are at the link above.


I don't know what you think but the $10,000 seems a little harsh.

11/26/1935

3 NABBED AT STILL FAIL TO POST BOND

Ocean County Men Are Sent to Jail in Default of $10,000 Each. ( Interesting to note they are not from Ocean County. Very odd. )

ABC agents arrested 3 men and sheriff's deputies raided a still near Whiting a short distance from the Burlington-Ocean county line just off of Route S40 (Route 70 today). The still was being operated in a cranberry house at the Beaver Dam bogs. The defendants, Edward Barsugla, East Vineland, Angelo Furelli, Trenton, and Joseph Burgo, Camden, plead not guilty. Barsugla was caught when he stepped off a truck and was fined $25 for driving without a license and for giving a fictitious address when he applied for a license. They revoked his license for a year. The ABC raiders waited through most of Sunday evening to make the arrest. The confiscated equipment will be destroyed. it included four 10 gallon vats as well as a 30 inch rectifying column. The distillery was an alcohol sugar distillery.


4/17/1939

OCEAN COUNTY CRANBERRY FIRM CLAIMS WORKERS STARTED 1936 BLAZE.

The jury result is soon to be expected in a suit of the Beaver Dam Cranberry company against the Pennsylvania railroad for damage to their property from a forest fire reported to have been started by a railroad employee. The suit claims the fire in May 1936 was started by maintenance workers of the railroad burning brush along the tracks to eliminate the chance of the train starting fires. The fire got out of hand and swept the bogs.

4/28/1939

Cranberry Firm Given $17,495

The jury deliberated for two hour yesterday and returned a verdict for the Beaver Dam Cranberry company. The verdict was returned against the railroad as well as the section foreman Arthur Adams.



10/3/1939

Jury to Hear 2nd Fire Suit

A jury is to hear a second suit by the Beaver Dam Cranberry company after the first suit was set aside when the railroad was granted a second trial. During this trial it is learned that the two railroad crews left the small fire to fight a larger fire near the Paul Douglas bog. It was during this time the small fire spread killing 100,000 young cranberry plants. The rialroad claims no maintenance men were burning grass or brush that day.



10/11/1939

Beaver Dam Cranberry Wins $18,275 Award


Suing for $24,000 the Beaver Dam Cranberry company wins $18.275 after the jury deliberates for one hour and 55 minutes.


10/11/1940

The court affirmed the reduction of the award from $18,275 to $12,000 for damages started by sparks from a locomotive. ?????? Odd!


4/21/1954


William Grossman, 65 who is the president of Beaver Dam Cranberry company has been indicted for violating the migrant labor act. Both the company and him had to put up $500 for bail. He is accused of failing to provide adequate facilities for migratory workers.


6/1/1954

Indictment against the Beaver Dam Cranberry company move forward but charges against Mr. Grossman has been dismissed. Visits to the property in winter and early spring recommended improvements before the company opened for the spring. Again revisited on June 18 conditions were such that on June 22 and 30 two inspectors were assigned there and they found no changes. The toilet space had no doors or seat covers and the bungalow was in disrepair with screens missing. Also, a family was housed in two old trolley cars in violation. Occupants of the trolley car included a white woman with a six week old baby and two girls. The sun made living there intolerable. The manager promised to move them to a larger dwelling which was disallowed because the living conditions there were similar. The building housed 1 white man and 3 non white men and a non white child.

Notice was given to the manager that an informal hearing was set for July 15 in Trenton but he failed to appear.


If you have never been there you may want to one day park along Route 70 at the entrance and walk straight back. There was a little washout when I was there a few years back to be prepared you may have some issues. In the far back there are one or more remans of brick or stone structures.

Park here

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.952296879771&lng=-74.46669358413698&z=16&type=hybrid&gpx=


Walk to here.


http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.947391815246085&lng=-74.46574676435472&z=20&type=hybrid&gpx=
 
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manumuskin

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I just finished reading a book titled "Hillbilly Elegy", which is one man's story of a hillbilly who made it good. I was surprised to learn that there was a huge migration of coal mining Hillbillies from places like Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia to Ohio and other northern states to work at steel mills and similar industries. These industries encouraged people to bring their entire families up, and many did.
Bob my family moved from wv to Cleveland Ohio to work and a bunch came here to work in glass.I have a bunch of cousins in cleveland
 
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bobpbx

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Jeff and I were back there about 10(?) years ago. The rusted metal components back there at the time were a puzzle. We could not figure out what had been going on. In the far eastern reservoir, Jeff saw a gigantic snapper. To this day it's a very lonely, not frequently visited bog system.