Question

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
I am planning on taking a hike with my father. I was wondering what you folks would suggest. Are there any actual "ghost towns" in the barrens? I mean where the structures are more or less intact that would not require a ten mile walk. Thanks for any help.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,193
6,345
Very little is intact in the pines. Your best bet if you want to visit various places is the drive to each one and explore. Very few are close enough to each other to walk to multiple places.

Guy
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
I always figured fire deserved the most blame for clearing out remains of historic structures.

KCB, I think the allure of the pines (aside from the solitude and natural beauty) for history buffs lies more in the faded fingerprints of past times that are everywhere in the woods. Cellar holes, old bridges, the ghost of an ancient road bearing a name that has changed almost completely, yet hints at its former spelling, dried bogs whose turf walls can still be traced, slag from colonial-era furnaces, bricks, stones, enigmatic pieces of rusty iron.

One walk I can suggest would be to start at old Harrisville, where you can see some real ruins, and if you learn a bit of the tale tell an impressive story as well. That parking lot across from the paper factory used to be one of the most progressive towns in the pines, with squarely laid-out streets and gas lighting. From there walk the Martha Rd. north along the river to Martha Furnace, where you can pick up chunks of glasseous slag left over from bloom iron making in colonial times. It's only about 3 miles round trip.

Start here:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.66408,-74.521015&spn=0.005839,0.007532&t=h&z=17

And end here:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.682156,-74.513054&spn=0.011675,0.015063&t=h&z=16
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,717
3,002
Pines; Bamber area
KCB, I think the allure of the pines (aside from the solitude and natural beauty) for history buffs lies more in the faded fingerprints of past times that are everywhere in the woods. Cellar holes, old bridges, the ghost of an ancient road bearing a name that has changed almost completely, yet hints at its former spelling, dried bogs whose turf walls can still be traced, slag from colonial-era furnaces, bricks, stones, enigmatic pieces of rusty iron.

Well said Mark. Beautiful descriptive writing and so true........bob
 
I always figured fire deserved the most blame for clearing out remains of historic structures.

KCB, I think the allure of the pines (aside from the solitude and natural beauty) for history buffs lies more in the faded fingerprints of past times that are everywhere in the woods. Cellar holes, old bridges, the ghost of an ancient road bearing a name that has changed almost completely, yet hints at its former spelling, dried bogs whose turf walls can still be traced, slag from colonial-era furnaces, bricks, stones, enigmatic pieces of rusty iron.

One walk I can suggest would be to start at old Harrisville, where you can see some real ruins, and if you learn a bit of the tale tell an impressive story as well. That parking lot across from the glass factory used to be one of the most progressive towns in the pines, with squarely laid-out streets and gas lighting. From there walk the Martha Rd. north along the river to Martha Furnace, where you can pick up chunks of glasseous slag left over from bloom iron making in colonial times. It's only about 3 miles round trip.

Start here:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.66408,-74.521015&spn=0.005839,0.007532&t=h&z=17

And end here:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.682156,-74.513054&spn=0.011675,0.015063&t=h&z=16

Mark:

Nice bit of prose there, sir! However, I think you mean paper factory and not glass factory if you are writing about Harrisville.

I agree—the story there at Harrisville is compelling, like many other Pine Barren enterprise centers that lived and died through exploitation of the various natural resources found throughout the area. When the resources failed or fire swept the location or manufacturing centers elsewhere eclipsed the productivity and quality of the Pine Barren communities, the towns often disappeared. In many cases, new owners sought to reinvigorate their hamlets with a change in products, but in the end they all failed. Batsto transitioned from iron to glass; Atsion transitioned from iron to cotton; Weymouth transitioned from iron to paper; and so it goes.

While a few villages have survived with buildings intact—like Atsion, Batsto, and even Chatsworth—other long vanished towns like Lebanon are just place names on historic maps with just a mound at the site to mark the spot. Remnants and ruins can still be found here and there, such as Brooksbrae and Union Clay Works, but for those who have lost every reminder of their one-time existence, simply too much time has elapsed.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

BobNJ1979

Explorer
May 31, 2007
190
0
question..

i never realized this till just now.. i knew the oswego river went from oswego lake to harrissville lake. however, after looking on the map, in one of the back corners of oswego lake, there is a stream coming into it / going out of it (i'm not sure which).. i followed it on the map and it ends up over near warren grove, in what appears to be another body of water.. does anyone know what the stream is called, where it goes, and can it be navigated by kayak ? thanks.. Bob
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Nice bit of prose there, sir! However, I think you mean paper factory and not glass factory if you are writing about Harrisville.

I did indeed! And thanks for the kind words :). You too, Bob.

I happen to be in the thick of "Jersey Genesis" at the moment, and it's a wistful feeling to realize that it was all fading away when Beck wrote about it, back in the 50's. I'm sure many of the tales came from conversations that pre-dated the writing by years as well.
 
KCB,
Allaire Village is close to you, and one excellent town with many structures still standing is Whitesbog. Link: http://www.whitesbog.org/what.html
Tom


Good suggestion, Tom!! You will have to forgive my sometimes myopic and provincial thinking processes. I did not immediately think of Allaire because it is in the more northern extent of the Pine Barrens and it is also—*gasp*—in Monmouth County, EAST JERSEY!! :)

A most excellent choice!!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will do that (harrisville to martha). I have been to allaire village many times that's not what I am looking for. I was thinking ruins and I want to see the natural environment as well. Thanks again.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,542
1,597
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Allaire is not in the Pine Barrens. It's got more maples and oaks than anything.

The Pine Barrens really stop around Toms River. Parts of Jackson MAYBE. We did an outing to Lahaway a few years back and that was pretty non-piney.
 

omega

Explorer
Mark, another round of kudos, that was very nice.

Allaire is fun, its even home to the Pine Creek Railroad, though the steam engine hasn't run in a few years AFAIK.

I'm not a railfan but I worked in TV in Scranton, PA when Steamtown was moved in and was in the early stages a sideshow without a main attraction. We used to use video of one of the engines chugging along for the Weekend news open when I anchored way back in the stone age.

I haven't been there in several years, but was amazed last time I was at the National Historic Site and saw what it has become. I remember standing in the chest high weeds in the old roundtable pit, imagining it moving and engine. Today you don't need to use your imagination.

oops sorry for that ramble down memory lane.
 

jburd641

Explorer
Jan 16, 2008
410
17
Port Charlotte, Fl.
So far, in my limited explorations, Harrisville is my favorite historic site in the pines. A very good choice for an interesting place to see. I don't know where you'd get one without buying a book but I recommend a map of Harrisville so you can really get a feel for what you are looking at.

Mark, I hope to someday write as well as you.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Such appreciation for so small a paragraph. Thanks :). I love to write (or as Ludlum said "I love having written"), but I can assure you all that it's a talent that has put very few beans in the pot. Maybe one or two beans.
 
Such appreciation for so small a paragraph. Thanks :). I love to write (or as Ludlum said "I love having written"), but I can assure you all that it's a talent that has put very few beans in the pot. Maybe one or two beans.


Mark:

As someone who does earn his beans from writing on a daily basis, I have a deep appreciation for others who write well and enjoy it in the process! In creative writing, I enjoy composing poetry and short stories. Although I seldom have the opportunity for writing with a creative flair within the framework of my professional work, I do take advantage when I can.

For example, I try to sneak in a sample or two of my dry and sometimes sick humor in each document I prepare. In a report I wrote a couple years ago involving a major airport, I indicated that following the civilian reopening during the post-World War II years, business for the airport “really took off.” Unfortunately, our sharp-eyed client caught my intentional pun and instructed me to remove it in the next draft. :( Often, though, clients overlook my attempts at being a humorist and the puns remain as a permanent part of my documentation filed with various regulatory agencies. I guess you could consider it my peculiar brand of “worker resistance”!! :) :) :)

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Pretty funny that he caught that, Jerseyman. The fellow has a future as a proofreader if he's ever out of work.

I write some short stories, have written a good number of technical articles on software development, one or two personal memoir-type pieces. I'd love to do a novel, but I find it very difficult.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,275
244
Near Mt. Misery
I always figured fire deserved the most blame for clearing out remains of historic structures.

KCB, I think the allure of the pines (aside from the solitude and natural beauty) for history buffs lies more in the faded fingerprints of past times that are everywhere in the woods. Cellar holes, old bridges, the ghost of an ancient road bearing a name that has changed almost completely, yet hints at its former spelling, dried bogs whose turf walls can still be traced, slag from colonial-era furnaces, bricks, stones, enigmatic pieces of rusty iron.

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Not to jump on the band wagon. But I think you really hit the nail on the head Mark, very nicely stated.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,275
244
Near Mt. Misery
question..

i never realized this till just now.. i knew the oswego river went from oswego lake to harrissville lake. however, after looking on the map, in one of the back corners of oswego lake, there is a stream coming into it / going out of it (i'm not sure which).. i followed it on the map and it ends up over near warren grove, in what appears to be another body of water.. does anyone know what the stream is called, where it goes, and can it be navigated by kayak ? thanks.. Bob

Yes, that is the Oswego. It is possible in a kayak. That is the inflow to Oswego lake.
 
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