Pine Barren History Shorts

Teegate

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I am happy to see some of you are enjoying them.
 

Teegate

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It is illegal to post the articles so I have to write things up. That takes time or I would post more. I have hundred's of them that are usable.
 

bobpbx

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It is illegal to post the articles so I have to write things up. That takes time or I would post more.
I like the way you do the paraphrasing. It lends a touch of you to the articles. Save them, maybe you can write your own compilation book from them some day.
 

Teegate

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The area around Bullock was owned by William P. Bryan in 1911 as this map I have shows.


bryan.jpg



The farm was originally the Bullock Farm and was then called the Bryan farm when Bryan acquired it. William Bryan's sister was married to A. W. Bullock so without doing research we could pretty much assume Bryan acquired Bullock from his sisters relatives somehow. Bryan eventually sold the property to the Summit Fruit farm. In 1931 this information came forward.

Announcement has been made that an organization known as the Lebanon Sport Club, of which John Philip Sousa, the eminent bandmaster, is vice president, has purchased the former William P. Bryan farm, along the Central Railroad at Woodmansie, and after improvements are made, will use the farm and its woodland, consisting of 478 acres, as a hunting rendezvous. "Babe" Ruth, of baseball fame, is another member of the company, while George N. Harris, of Camden, is the secretary.

The property was originally known as the Bullock farm, and later it was purchased by the Summit Fruit Company, which operated it as a farm and set a portion of it out in cranberry bogs. It is understood that among the improvements contemplated is the erection of a large commodious club house. The vice president, John Philip Sousa, is said to be the active head of the company, and to friends he has expressed the desire of spending his vacations on the place, he being an expert hunter.



You can see the Summit Fruit farm (Bryan and Summit farm also) in the 1931 aerials.


http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.88399943569469&lng=-74.44976348083497&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx=

I am now wondering if the 1940 disturbance at Woodmansie might have been the Lebanon Sport company making rye fields for hunting.

fieldd.jpg
 
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Teegate

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IMG_2034a.jpg




Hidden under vegetation right along 563 in the Chatsworth Cemetery is the final resting place of John Brooms. As with every gravestone there is a story to tell about the person who resides below it. This is the tale of John Brooms 15 minutes of fame.


In the heat of the summer ....1935, John Brooms of Chatsworth was minding his own business picking berries when he was attracted by circling buzzards. Heading over to investigate he discovered a body, head and shoulders out of the ground, about 75 yards off of Chatsworth Barnegat Road (532) and 35 feet off of Hundred Dollar Bridge Road. Mr. Booms would contact the authorities and an investigation would proceed that made headlines for the next few days. The body was of a nude man about 30 weighing 160 pound with curly black hair. He was encased in quicklime and scattered around the body were seven 5-cent coins, a Philadelphia trolley token, a handkerchief and two Philadelphia newspapers peppered with holes dated May 21 and July 31 of that year. It was not known if he was killed in a car on the way there or after arriving. Detectives noted a small smear of dry blood near the body while a larger spot was found between the road and the grave. The newspaper men descended on the location and took a photo of John Brooms standing at the site.

An autopsy revealed the man had been dead at least a week, and a bullet had entered the skull under the left ear, fractured the vertebrae in the back of his neck and made it's exit through the lobe of his ear. The bullet was fired from close range, although no powder marks were near the wound. (Newspapers may have blocked the powder) It was believed the shooting was gang related and the victim had been taken on a "gang ride."



Now ....you may think the above store is interesting, but does it really relate to anything that may be of historical interest to me or anyone else? If you are thinking that then you would be wrong. What if I told you that I am pretty confident that anyone who has read More Forgotten Towns of South Jersey actually had a "teaser" by Beck concerning the above story. I will explain.

Every day at work I spend a little time reading various books and publications and many times reread some of the pine barrens books I own. This week was no exception. On Tuesday as I was heading out the door I realized I did not have any reading material for that day. So I reached for my copy of More Forgotten Towns and headed out. I had just finished reading the above story on the murder and was running a little late. Later in the day I opened Beck book and was reading the chapter titled "Lost in the Woods: One Railroad (page 236 in my book) and I was totally surprised the murder story I had read that morning may have been teasingly there.

Beck mentions in the above mentioned chapter that he planned an outing to New Lisbon with Bill Farrand who Beck had known when he was young. But the first thing they were going to do was make a side trip on the way there to visit the location of a recent gang killing in the barrens. With a quick ride down the Chatsworth Barnegat Road (Route 532) he would have been able to make a visit and then off to new Lisbon, just a few short miles down the road. Beck worked for the Courier Post and the detective in charge of the murder case made a drawing for the reporters showing them the exact location where the body was found. Beck would have surely wanted to visit the site especially since the 1935 year was a big year for his pine barren explorations and newspaper articles. I suspect he would have wanted to let everyone know in the newsroom that he had been there.

Depending on how you read the below paragraph from More Forgotten Towns, I believe they did go there. The man was shot in the head so it sure fits. Read what Beck says and make your own decision.


"Bill proved an amiable companion on many of our journeys after that. That first trip, however, was to New Lisbon and it's vicinity, and it began with an examination of the scene of another in a long series of pine woods murders and the gruesome discovery of a piece of scalp, left in a thicket where a victim had been dumped in the climax of a gang war."



John Brooms 15 minutes of fame continues, 56 years after his death.

Guy
 
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Teegate

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If you have read Beck's books you will remember him mentioning M. Warner Hargrove in quite a few of the chapters, and you especially may remember the photo of him with his dog "Tip" at Hanover Furnace. Even though we have mentioned some of this before I thought you might like to know more.


Warner Hargrove was a former postmaster for Pemberton for thirty years, retiring on March 1, 1924. He also was a justice of the peace where much of his knowledge of the crimes and stories of the era were experienced. He also served on the Pemberton township committee, was township clerk, member of the board of education and filled the office of district clerk. And once he ran for state senator and later ran for the post of freeholder. He was also a naturalist and from all accounts was a very well liked individual. This newspaper description tells volumes about him as well as of the Lost Town books.

There is probably no resident of South Jersey, particularly Burlington county, whose memories of bygone days were more vivid than those of the squire (Hargrove), without whom the Forgotten Towns stories which appeared in the Courier-Post Newspapers would have been lifeless and without whimsical recollections that distinguished them.

And this one.

Hargrove's personal interest in pine folk was amazing. He knew where each one had lived and what had become of them. He knew about Indian Ann, who was buried and reburied to suit her husbands whim. He knew the old timers who have given up a precarious living in the woods to await death in the poorhouse.


Having married twice with one son from his first marriage, he was obviously devastated with the death of his son Lyden from his first marriage at the age of 24 in 1921. Lyden had served in WW1 and had taken over Hargrove's business and recently married before his life ended.Hargrove conducted an insurance and reality business with an office that was a curiosity shop, filled with relics and trinkets from his farm where he was married that was taken from him to build Ft Dix. Included were a cannonball from Hanover Furnace and boxes of newspaper clippings of himself showing his many interests. He also was a snake collector, especially pine snakes even though he kept a real rattlesnake in his office. This clipping was quite interesting.


April 1929. M. Warner Hargrove and other live wires, of Browns Mills, contemplate starting a snake farm in the near future, somewhere in that vicinity. The raising of Jersey pine snakes, the skin of which is regarded as the most adaptable for the making of fashionablesnake-skin articles, is now considered quite the vogue. The promoters have already secured the estimated price of a hundred acres of forest ground. Pine snakes are easily acclaimed to all conditions of soil and weather, and multiply rapidly. In two years they mature.

Hargrove owned many properties in Browns Mills including the Post Office and general store. In September 1927 a mysterious fire consumed both locations as well as a residence next door also owned by Hargrove. The US mail in the post office was burned, but the postmaster was able to save $1100 of cash and postage stamps. The fire chief dislocated his shoulder when he fell from a ladder, but was able to pop it back in and continue the good fight. Kerosene barrels in the store exploded causing massive cuts on a Pemberton fireman.


Warner Hargrove was described as the "index" to Forgotten Towns while Beck took all the credit for writing about them. Hargrove knew everyone and everyone knew him. Willis Busby was a friend of his and many individuals the Lost Town explorers met in the woods recognized him. He wore a heavy winter coat that he claimed was given to him by a Doctor from a polar expedition. And even his walking stick was famous having been given to him by American Indians in New Mexico. One article says:

"So equipped, Warner became the intrepid explorer of the Jersey pines."

Apparently, Hargrove loved to eat, and his taste for ice cream was insatiable. Hargrove would always say "the only thing wrong with Lost Towns is that nobody sold ice cream." His comment reminds me of Jessica who is always waiting for an ice cream vendor to show up around a curve ahead.

His dog Tip who went on each trip to find "towns," is said to have slipped off a slag heap at Martha and was rescued from drowning just in time. The clip states:

The appearance of the Squires stick was sufficient indication that a quest in the jungle was in prospect and with pleasurable barks, the terrier would make ready.

In early summer 1931 Hargrove became ill and was taken to Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury while "Tip" was "quarantined" alone at the house. For almost three months Hargrove fought the battle and was able to return home in late August. While recovering at home he continued his bedside interest in the pine woods by organizing hunters and other individuals to search the pines for two missing airplanes that Hargrove felt they could find. On Monday, November 23, Hargrove who was 58 passed away never finding the plane he so wanted to recover.

One of the reporters who knew him wrote this after his passing.

Let this be Squire Hargrove's epitaph, even if they do no place it on his grave:

"Loyal to his friends,
Happy in his friendships,
Interested in the past,
Amused by the present,
And hopeful of the future,
He marches forward."
 
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bobpbx

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Very interesting Guy! I'll bet he and Elizabeth Morgan would have enjoyed each other. She was famous for her walking stick too, and for her knowledge of the eastern pines.
 

Teegate

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Some Things Never Change


1/22/1934

To the Editor:
Sir-- Why not suggest in your editorials to the C.W.A. or the Reforestation Camps the necessity of filling in the mud holes, particularly in the deer section, for instance Tabernacle to High Crossing, then to Hawkins Lowland, Quaker Bridge.

In fact, the large portion of old roads through the swamps are almost impassable. We gunners pay a fair license and do dislike breaking so many springs on our cars pulling through water holes which could be filled in and elminate the fear of trying to get through these roads.

This in my mind would be quite as important as any forest work that could be done, and I am sure every sportsman or gunner would agree with me.

Emory G. Cramer

Note: I suspect he died two years later and is presently in Pointville cemetery at Ft Dix.
 

RednekF350

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Some Things Never Change


1/22/1934

To the Editor:
Sir-- Why not suggest in your editorials to the C.W.A. or the Reforestation Camps the necessity of filling in the mud holes, particularly in the deer section, for instance Tabernacle to High Crossing, then to Hawkins Lowland, Quaker Bridge.

In fact, the large portion of old roads through the swamps are almost impassable. We gunners pay a fair license and do dislike breaking so many springs on our cars pulling through water holes which could be filled in and elminate the fear of trying to get through these roads.

This in my mind would be quite as important as any forest work that could be done, and I am sure every sportsman or gunner would agree with me.

Emory G. Cramer

Note: I suspect he died two years later and is presently in Pointville cemetery at Ft Dix.
I like this guy. A lot. :)
 

Teegate

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I find the Jemima Mount info interesting.


June 13, 1901.

The highest point in the county is Arney's mount, which is 230 feet high, and Apple Pie Hill, that makes no pretention to being a mountain, is satisfied to be called a hill, with an elevation of 209, even greater than Mt. Holl and Mt. Laurel. Bear Swamp hill, that small boys are taught to shun, goes 165 feet skyward. In the same locality Four Mile hill has 141 and Huckleberry hill, famous for its black snakes and blue berries, has exactly the same height. But Jemima mount, a camp-meeting rendezvous of long ago, raises its verdure-crowned head just 99 feet.
 
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Teegate

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You may remember in "More Forgotten Towns of South Jersey" in the "From Bread and Cheese Run to Apple Pie Hill" chapter, Beck met up with Albert LeDuc at Apple Pie hill and LeDuc mentioned he had the key to the buildings on the promontory of the hill. That would make it seem that he was in charge of the place. Well, there is a story behind that which Beck most likely did not know and it would be interesting to know how and why LeDuc got that key.

BTW, South Park is the area around the Bordontown Gun Club on 532 at the sharp curve.


July 24, 1912.


HORSEWHIP USED ON SOUTH PARK DOCTOR

Mount Holly, NJ July 23----With his face and body badly scarred as evidence that he had been horsewhipped, Dr. Martin W. Curran had a warrant for the arrest of Albert LeDuc, whom he charged with assault and battery.

Justic Herman Heilbron, held LeDuc on $300 bail for his appearance in Court. Dr. Curran alleges that the assault was committed in the Harris Central Railroad station at Pine Crest. Both Curran and LeDuc live at South Park and had an old feud. When Dr White and his sanitarium company opened at Apple Pie Hill, Dr Curran was placed in charge. Since that time efforts have been made to oust him.
(Most likely by LeDuc) Curran's lawyer has secured acquittals for Curran in lawsuits brought against him in the Burlington county and Camden county courts.

Update:

Here is the reason Dr. Curran had lawsuits against him.

6/9/1909

CLAIMS DOCTOR PULLED PISTOL

WOMAN WHO OPERATES SANITARIUM SAYS PHYSICIAN THREATENED HER.

Dr. Martin W. Curran who is a resident of New York and employed at the sanitarium of Mrs. Annie F. De Monttored, located in Winslow, was placed in the county jail last night charged with threatening to kill Mrs. Monttored with a revolver.

She wanted to get rid of the physician, they argued, and a quarrel ensued and it was alleged the doctor whipped out a revolver and threatened to kill her. He was released on $200 bail.

So it looks like many doctors came to the pines to work or own sanatariums and in the process purchased homes and lived here at times such as Dr. Curran did at South Park near LeDuc. Maybe LeDuc saw the doctor for who he was and beat the crap out of him. Curran maybe was either trying to leave town or arriving and LeDuc saw his chance to do some damage.

Update again:

Dr. Curran was from the Chatsworth area and Leduc did know him for years. Curran had a practice in NYC. I suspect he may be the person who told Dr. White about the pines and Apple Pie Hill. In any event:

DR. MARTIN CURRAN FOUND DEAD IN BED

Chatsworth, 4/17/1940

Dr. Martin W. Curran, 73 was found dead in bed by his wife, Anna. He had heart disease.

He lived in the community since 1911 and gave up his practice to move back to Chatsworth for his wife health.
(He should have worried about his own health)

Dr Curran is buried here.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/118266771/martin-w.-curran
 
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