Rails At Double Trouble

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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All,

On our most recent PBX hike at Double Trouble Scott posted a photo of a "rail" crossing that spanned a stream at one of the location we visited on the hike. To refresh your memory here is a photo of it that I took.


IMG_5896.JPG



These small or narrow gage rails were used to help individuals move any particular item they wanted across land or in this instance across streams. I would assume at Double Trouble they would have been used for fruit of some kind. The cart could have been as basic as this cart I found on the web.


http://www.mywarrington.me.uk/green_risley_moss_060815_12.JPG


Our PBX find interested me, and I made it a point to make sure I looked into this a little further. I started with historicalaerials.com and worked my way back through the years and finally was rewarded in 1940. Not only was the one we found shown on that years aerial, there were surprisingly at least 6 more of them. We now know the method used to bring their product from the fields.


1940.jpg



This morning I first visited the rail we found on the PBX hike. I brought a poker with me I made at work and kept pushing into the ground to follow the rail from the stream. I was surprised to find that in the photo above that shows Chris standing there, the rail ended right at his feet. And on the side I am taking the photo from the rail ended just past the waters edge. Today the water was flowing over the rails and I had problems digging through the roots of the tree, so I did not get to see what the ends of the rails looked like. I was trying to find if there was some sort of stop on them which would keep the cart from derailing at the end, but the water table would not let me see that. However, it appears to me the rails just end.

Finishing with this location, we decided to try to find some others, hoping the rails would still be there. But in reality I had major doubts I would find anything else. The next one was a little challenge to get to but in no time at all we were there. To my surprise I found evidence of their existence. Still standing in the middle of the stream were cedar posts from a bridge they had built to support the rails. This stream was small and the bridge would have been also.



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You can see them on the incline of the edge of the stream.

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On to the next one and again quite a challange, but soon enough we were there. This stream was quite wide and flowing well, and at this location there was major evidence that the bridge was there. Just wide enough for a rail, this was their way across.



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On our way back we came upon another location where there was some sort of thin bridge, but it does not show on the 1940 aerials. Maybe a foot bridge from another era. BTW, these rail bridges also barely show on the 1931 aerials so we know the one we found has been there for at least 80 years and the cedar posts as well.

The mystery bridge.

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The 1931 aerial from historicalaerial.com barely showing the rails.


1931.jpg



Guy
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,778
2,676
Pestletown, N.J.
Very cool and very interesting Guy. Now we know a lot more about them than we did just a few weeks ago.

I like Historic Aerials even though it is painfully slow and the quality is sometimes a little poor. They really like their watermarks too.
I have used their site for work projects and purchased photo sets from them for preparing Preliminary Site Assessments and they are very responsive.
Another option to view high quality historic aerial photos, if you have some time on your hands, is to go the Bureau of Tidelands on Ewing Street in Trenton to view the real deal under a stereoscope.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Very cool Guy. I guess this was a dry harvest bog from the old days with no dykes to help them get close. Remember those old photo's Ben posted of the pickers at Whitesbog? Maybe they used them too.
 

Teegate

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Glad you enjoyed it! I suspect Bob that many locations used the rails. I do suspect that our location is most likely the only location where the rails still exist at Double Trouble.

Guy
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,837
2,128
Coastal NJ
Glad you enjoyed it! I suspect Bob that many locations used the rails. I do suspect that our location is most likely the only location where the rails still exist at Double Trouble.

Guy

There is/was a large amount of info regarding Double Trouble stored at Island Beach State Park. It is there because the Super also manages DT. A good friend, George Chase, he passed away 2 years ago, was accumulating the material including many hours of video with taped interviews. I think he made a DVD at one time for the 501c(3) over there. The fellow that is in the DT office may have more info regarding this.

Perhaps the rails were used as part of the bog iron forge that was located on Cedar Creek.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,081
392
Little Egg Harbor
One use that many growers had for portable rails was for periodically sanding the bogs. The rails were reset sideways across the bog after sand was dumped or shoveled from miniature rail cars. Sometimes during cold winters sand might be spread evenly on the ice covered bogs, to settle onto the bogs as the ice melted. Other growers used small boats or barges pulled along a rope or wire across the flooded bog to do the sanding. The methods varied, with the rails being just one. The rails just found might have been part of that process, used for moving sand across water channels as well as across the bogs.
 

Teegate

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Thanks German! I would have never thought of that.

Guy
 

turtle

Explorer
Feb 4, 2009
651
204
a village...in the pines
Guy, et al.

Most likely not the reason for the rail placement that you found, but after reading Bob's attachment I had to add this. When we were in Kentucky last year we visited a bourbon distillery that continues to make their own barrels. Guess what they put in in order to move their barrels from building to building (and over a creek?)

100_0777_2_.JPG


interesting stuff!

turtle
 

Hewey

Piney
Mar 10, 2005
1,040
101
Pinewald, NJ
I have a book that was published by the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission about Double Trouble. There is a paragraph in it about the light rails. They used two types of cars, hopper cars for sanding the bogs and flat cars for hauling cedar logs. The hopper cars were also used for heavy crops and hauling sawdust away from the mill.

Chris
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,952
3,221
Pines; Bamber area
I have a book that was published by the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission about Double Trouble. There is a paragraph in it about the light rails. They used two types of cars, hopper cars for sanding the bogs and flat cars for hauling cedar logs. The hopper cars were also used for heavy crops and hauling sawdust away from the mill.

Chris

Well, there you have it!
 

Teegate

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That adds to our knowledge of the rails. Nice!

Guy
 

Blue Comet

New Member
Nov 11, 2010
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I remember seeing the remains of a cart on a small rail at Double Trouble back in 2000. Here is a picture I took of it. I don't recall exactly where it was, but it was close to the buildings.


DCP_1246-1.jpg
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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I remember seeing the remains of a cart on a small rail at Double Trouble back in 2000. Here is a picture I took of it. I don't recall exactly where it was, but it was close to the buildings.

Thank you for posting that. It has to be what was used. I will have to search around and see if it is still there.

Again, Thank You!

Guy
 

piker56

Explorer
Jan 13, 2006
639
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Winslow
Guy,
Years ago my brother and I found metal spikes and I think it we were in that general area (he was driving so I'm not sure exactly where we were), and I said they reminded me of miniature railroad spikes. We didn't see any rails though, just a few scattered rusty spikes. I wonder if they were used to tie down the rails. I may have a picture, I'll post it if I can find it. Interesting stuff!
Greg
 

uh60chick

Scout
Jul 14, 2007
92
3
I remembered reading an article that talked about the rails at Double Trouble, and actually found it. I couldn't find it online, so I'm transcribing a portion of it here. Any typos are mine.


From the March 1991 Crew Caller, a publication of the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society:

Generally speaking, the type of railroading equipment described in the installment on Double Trouble (dinkies running on two-foot portable track) were used solely for sanding in New Jersey. The situation at Double Trouble is atypical for New Jersey as the railroad at Double Trouble was used not only for sanding, but also for harvesting cranberries, hauling cedar logs and removing sawmill wastes.

Of the four major cranberry-growing regions of the United States (New Jersey, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Oregon-Washington), harvesting cranberries by rail is typical of Washington state farming only. The situation with logging and sawmill service is more complicated. At one time lumbering operations were carried out on the premises of almost every bog in New Jersey. Only at Double Trouble was there a continuity between logging and cranberry railroading. This is because only at Double Trouble has there been a continuity of ownership through both logging and cranberry growing periods.

Some of the tracts upon which cranberry railroads ran may have at one time hosted logging railroads, and these were most probably animal powered. But currently existing cranberry farms were created either out of an aggregate of smaller properties, or from the breaking down of large tracts into smaller, sometimes separated plots. In the former case, smaller parcels may have even had their own sawmills, but were too small to necessitate logging railroads. Often railroading was independently reintroduced for sanding cranberry bogs even if at some distant time in the past some owner of that very ground had had a logging railroad. Therefore the presence of flatcars on a cranberry bog does no infer that such equipment was purchased for logging.

...by James S. Morgan
 
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