Pine Barren History Shorts

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Highlighting a name from the past that you most likely have not heard of who's work still effects us today.

Alfred Gaskill...State Forester

1907

New Jersey has now an expert State Forester of its own, Mr. Alfred Gaskill, or Trenton, who stands ready to assist with advice in all forestry matters.


July 14, 1908

Following the suggestion made by the governors conference, called by President Roosevelt, in the interest of conservation of natural resources of the country, Governor Fort named a commission for New Jersey yesterday.
The members of the commission are Professor E.D. Voorhees, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station; Alfred B. Gaskill, State Forester, etc, etc.


April 16, 1919

Burlington Land Bought By State

Sate Forester Alfred Gaskill announced the purchase of 1,400 acres of timber land in Woodland Township by the Department of Conservation and Development. These additions to the Lebanon State Forest were purchased from the Sarah Black estate, William H. Reeves of New Lisbon and Samuel B. Norcross of Mount Holly. By this acquisition several detached state-owned area's have been joined together into a compact unit capable of more efficient arrangement.

January 9, 1922

State Forester Gaskill Resigns

After service of fifteen years, Alfred Gaskill State forester and director of the State Department of Conservation and Development, tendered his resignation today, effective July 1. Charles P. Wilber of Trenton, State fire warden, will become State forester. Gaskill's retirement is due to ill health.

September 7, 1950

Alfred Gaskill, Jersey Ex-Offical, Ends Life

Leichester, Vermont. Alfred Gaskill, 88, former director of the NJ Department of Conservation, committed suicide at his home at nearby Brandon here yesterday, authorities said. State's Attorney William Burrage said Gaskill fired a bullet into his head. He retired from public life about eight years ago.


 
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bobpbx

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Stimulating my interest in Mr. Gaskill, I found this on a search. He is quoted in this Wiki article about Swarstwood Lake. I didn't know too much about it before, but there is a lot of interesting information in here. Well written. It's really surprising how geologists can put all the early geologic history together regarding the lake's formation.

 

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Alfred Gaskill, 88, retired NJ State forester and director of the Department of Conservation and Development, was found dead of a self inflicted bullet wound in the back yard of his summer home at Lake Dunmore this afternoon.

The body lay under an apple tree with a 38 caliber revolver at the side. He had shot himself through the mouth, the bullet leaving through the back of the head. There were no witnesses, said State's Attorney William S. Burrage of Middlebury who called it a case of suicide

There is no known motive for the suicide, except that Mr. Gaskill had not been in his usual good health of late.

Mr. Gaskill ws born in Philadelphia Nov, 6, 1861, the son of Joshua W. and Caroline Lippincott Gaskill. He pioneered in scientific forestry in the United States. He had studied forestry at Munich, Germany, and at Harvard University. He was state forester in New Jersey from 1907 to 1922 and director of the Department of Conservation and Development from 1915 to 1922. On his retirement in 1922, he came to Vermont, summering at his Lake Dunmore home and wintering at the Brandon Inn in Brandon.

Mrs. Gaskill died in May 1946. His daughter, Miss Margaret Gaskill who gave up teaching remedial reading in the Brandon schools to take care of her father, survives, etc, etc.
 
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Lebanon State Forest consisted of many multiple lots that had to be acquired to expand. One owner was Esther Stokes Hollingshead of Pemberton who owned two lots the state acquired. They were off of 72 across from the pizza place near the circle. On 9/26/1926 the state took ownership making them Acquisition # 14. And this shows the location that consisted of the two lots with monument 49 at the NE corner.

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Twelve years later on March 31, 1938 this article was written.

2 Oldest Residents Mark Natal Days

James B. Hankins, 92, Mrs. Hollingshead 90, Feted; Pemberton Pioneers

Two of Pemberton's three oldest residents mark their birthday anniversaries today. James B. Hankins, oldest active business man of this place, celebrates his 92nd birthday while Esther S. Hollingshead, mother of Dr. Lyman Hollingshead, mayor of Pemberton, will pass her 90th milestone quietly at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Walter C. Hancock, McCallum Manor, Germantown, PA.

And just four months later.


8/1/1938

Mrs. E. S. Hollingshead

Pemberton, July 31 1938.

Mrs. Esther Stokes Hollingshead, 91, of 55 Hanover Street, died at her home today after a short illness. One of the oldest residents of Burlington County, Mrs. Hollingshead, lived here nearly all of her life. Etc, etc.
 

bobpbx

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Pemberton has nice examples of homes of that era. I went to Pemberton High school, and rode through that town for 7 years to school on a bus. A man named Lyman was mentioned above. I picked blueberries as a teen for 4(?) summers, 2 of them for Lyman Simpkins. Do you see anything about him Guy?
 

Boyd

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Am working on a new topo and have just downloaded the newest parcel and openspace data. The openspace is now based on parcels and looks to be much improved from the old version that I've used before. The Batona Trail passes through Mrs. Hollingshead 's property.

lebanon.jpg
 

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It appears that the two lots of hers are one large one divided by Shinns road. It consists of 15 acres.
 

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Pemberton has nice examples of homes of that era. I went to Pemberton High school, and rode through that town for 7 years to school on a bus. A man named Lyman was mentioned above. I picked blueberries as a teen for 4(?) summers, 2 of them for Lyman Simpkins. Do you see anything about him Guy?

4/22/1939

Car Hits School Bus, Both Drivers Arrested

Pemberton...... Fred Norcross, Jr, of Pemberton, former president of the Burlington County Young Republicans, escaped with minor injuries yesterday when his car crashed into the rear of a Pemberton township school bus.

The bus, driven by Lyman Simpkins, stopped to pick up it's first passengers when Norcross crashed into it. He charged Simpkins did not signal that he intended to stop and failed to pull off the road. Simpkins was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Thomas J. Piston, of Browns Mills, charged with parking on the highway and Norcross was arraigned on a careless driving charge. Both were fined $2, which was suspended, and paid court costs.

Norcorss was treated by Dr. William E. Bray for cuts of the nose, forehead and hand. The front of the machine was demolished.

May be the dad????
 
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3/5/1969

3 GOP Victors In Pemberton

All three boro Republican incumbents were returned to office yesterday with sizable vote totals. Lery Ridgeway and F. Lyman Simpkins were re-elected to the township council. Etc, etc.
 
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8/28/1931

Mt. Holly Man Held As Gas Station Robber

Preston Smith of Crosswicks, given a suspended sentence last Thursday, is now charged with robbing the gas station of Lyman Simpkins at the old Mt. Holly fair grounds, Saturday night, when $10 in money and several packs of cigarettes were taken. Officer Robert Smith arrested Smith, and reported that he admitted the theft. A 22 caliber revolver was found in Smith's pocket, but it had no spring in the trigger.
 

bobpbx

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4/22/1939

Car Hits School Bus, Both Drivers Arrested

Pemberton...... Fred Norcross, Jr, of Pemberton, former president of the Burlington County Young Republicans, escaped with minor injuries yesterday when his car crashed into the rear of a Pemberton township school bus.

The bus, driven by Lyman Simpkins, stopped to pick up it's first passengers when Norcross crashed into it. He charged Simpkins did not signal that he intended to stop and failed to pull off the road. Simpkins was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Thomas J. Piston, of Browns Mills, charged with parking on the highway and Norcross was arraigned on a careless driving charge. Both were fined $2, which was suspended, and paid court costs.

Norcorss was treated by Dr. William E. Bray for cuts of the nose, forehead and hand. The front of the machine was demolished.

May be the dad????
Likely him when he was young. When I picked berries for him in 1968 or so, he was in his 60's seems to me.
 

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I have mentioned Carlton Taylor before, the1930s era District Fire Warden from the Medford area. He had a hunting cabin in the woods by Sharps Mountain and I took the PBX crew there on one of our outings.
IMG_2391a.jpg



Some of the first mentions of him are from around 1929 and again in 1931 when he was fighting portions of a 6000 acre fire near Jackson and along the Burlington/Camden County line. That is getting close to his hunting cabin and I am sure he wanted it out.

July 30,1931

"The Speedwell fire was one of the two that gave Burlington County fire fighter difficult work. The other was discovered at 4PM Tuesday in a tract two and.a half miles east of Jackson, where it is near the Burlington Camden County line. Fire Wardein Carlton Taylor, of Medford, kid 18 men into the fire zone, where they battled until 7 o'clock last night before getting control, although the fire was limited to 15 acres. It was finally subdued through the use of water hauled several miles by trucks and sprinkled on the blazing brush through the fire fighters portable knapsack sprayers.

May 18, 1929

Firebug Is Sought After Medford Blaze

Medford, The appearance of strange automobile tire marks on a dirt road near two cranberry houses which were destroyed by mysterious fires here early today prompted fire officials to start an investigation.

The theory that the fire may have been the work of an incendiary was advanced after the tire marks, all different treads, were discovered in the soft earth of a road which passes nearby the cranberry houses. The destroyed buildings were owned by Herbert S. Bowker. The investigation is being conducted under the direction of District Fire Warden Carlton Taylor.


This morning Jessica and I visited the cemetery in Medford where one of my early pine barren exploring friend is resting, and while there in the same cemetery we visited Mr. Taylor.

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I am always on the lookout for anything pine barrens related in old newspaper articles I find. This obituary interested me.

9/16/1937

Albert H. Stackhouse

Atsion, Sept. 16.-Albert H. Stackhouse, 71, retired employee of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, died Tuesday night at the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs Eva Morey, with whom he had lived for a number of years. He had been ill for more than a year. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1:30PM in Atsion Episcopal Church. Burial will be in Atsion cemetery.



I can picture Mr. Stackhouse maybe walking down the woods road to the Atsion station every morning on his way to work, and arriving home each evening and walking back, greeting all of the neighbors as he wandered by. So I decided to visit him this morning at the cemetery and to my surprise he is not there. Either a stone was not placed or it was vandalized sometime over the years. However, I did find what may be his sister-in-law, Eva May Morey who died in 1940.

IMG_3072a.jpg


However, an Eva K. Morey, who is related to the Kell family of Atsion, (remember David Kell who ran Hampton Park) also died in 1940 and is buried in the Atsion Cemetery. I also could not find her stone.
 
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I am always on the lookout for anything pine barrens related in old newspaper articles I find. This obituary interested me.

9/16/1937

Albert H. Stackhouse
Love these.

Stackhouse is/was a common name in Medford and there are a number of folks with the last name buried in the Park View/Odd Fellows cemetery. Walter Stackhouse was an ice deliverer in the downtown and there is a great photo of him, Pemberton Griscom, and Thackara Haines in the S.T. Haines Poultry Dealer shop at 35 S Main Street (Medford) in the Medford Arcadia history book.

There was an Albert that was Walter's brother but it doesn't appear to be the same guy -- cousins perhaps? A lot of intermarriage between the Stackhouse, Haines and Cowperthwaite families from what I can tell.
 
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10/9/1928

Timber Fire Nipped Near Indian Mills

Mount Holly, Oct. 8.- A forest fire near Indian Mills was nipped in the bud yesterday afternoon after it had burned over five acres of timber. The fire was discovered by Towerman F. Carlton Dalton at the Big Hill look-out station at Retreat. He gave fire wardens in the Indian Mills section a call and by quick action the fire was prevented from making any headway. This is the first fire in this section of the pines, known as Division B, since last June.

The large concrete base for that tower is still there today.

Big Hill_a.jpg
 

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4/3/1943

$10,000 FIRE RAZES SAWMILL IN NESCO

Hammonton April 3- Fire of unknown origin last nightt destroyed the sawmill of John L. Abbott on Pleasant mills road, Nesco, causing the loss of $10,000.

The fire was discovered at 9:30 by a daughter-in-law of Abbott, Mrs. Helen Abbott. She saw the flames as she peeped through drawn blackout curtains and informed her husband, Thomas. He went to the home of his father a mile away and an alarm was sent to fire companies here, Nesco, Egg Harbor City and Elwood.

When the firemen reached the scene they said the building was doomed. Two thousand berry crates ready for delivery, were destroyed in the fire.