125 years ago this past month.
It is all about lumber!
Extensive Forest Fires. They visit the lower sections of Burlington County
April 7 1894
The timer lands in the lower end of Burlington County have again been visited by a series of forest fires that resulted in a heavy loss to the owners. The fires were undoubtedly of incendiary origin, but the offenders have not yet been arrested, although there is good reason to believe that they are members of a gang of pine hawkers who were recently evicted for stealing timber.
The fire was first discovered on Wednesday night in the vicinity of Burr's Mill, about eight miles from Vincentown, and spread rapidly over the intervening country to Paisley, which had a narrow escape from destruction. All the residents of that locality turned out to fight the fires, but they would not have been successful had not the wind fortunately changed and carried the flames in another direction. A cranberry bog, belong to General John S. Irick was burned over. In the vicinity of Johnson Place a tract of about fifty acres was burned over.
Another fire was started near Speedwell and traversed the country to the westward as far as Jones Mill, laying waste a tract of country over a mile in width. Most of the timber, however was of smaller growth. The fire finally brought up against an old swamp that had been burned over last year, and, being without material to feed upon, soon died out.
The third fire was started on the timber tract of George B. Upton, of Boston , Mass. This extended from the old iron forge to within a mile of Hanover station, where it was met by a gang of men employed on the tract, under the leadership of Charles H. Pittman (Rattlesnake Ace's dad and one time owner of Mt. Misery and Upton), who by means of backfiring succeeded in saving several hundred cords of wood ranked up along the railroad track ready for shipment. The fire then swept to the eastward as far as Manchester, on the line of the NJ Southern Railroad, where it was finally extinguished. A determined effort will now be made to ferret out the incendiaries and bring them to justice if possible.
When ever I read old stories like this, I am always impressed by the writing style. Very accurate, precise and enjoyable to read. Much better than the writing skills found in most of today’s press. These same skills are often present in old letters written by civil war soldiers who usually ended their education in grammar school!
"Rattlesnake Ace" ??! Who was this guy?