Signs along Highways

Teegate

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In years past the state placed signs along major highways denoting the names of the creeks, streams, and rivers that the highways passed over. Some of those signs still exist, and I have been wanting for the longest time to photograph as many as I could that I came upon. I pass two in particular all the time on Route 70, and this morning Jessica and I were quite a bit early for what we had planned to do in the pines, so I stopped and took a few quick shots of them. If you have the booklet put out by the Batsto Citizens Committee title “A Journey Through Atsion” that is for sale at Atsion and Batsto, you can view the one that was at Atsion Lake.

There most likely was one on each side of the road, and at one location there is. So the two photo’s with the same name on the sign are on opposite sides of the road. There was one along 70 near the Red Lion Circle that said “Bear Swamp”, but that unfortunately disappeared about a year or so ago. I am a little late getting started on this. If you know of any other locations, and want to pass that info on, I will try to stop in and get a photo. Or, post one of your own if you so desire.

Sorry about the odd lighting, but it was a little after 7AM this morning when I took the photo's. The sun was not at a very good angle.


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Guy
 

YETI

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Mar 11, 2007
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Guy, I never really noticed these signs either. Do they all look like the signs in these pictures? I will now be on the look out.

Paul
 

Pine Baron

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Thread Resurrection

I remember when Guy started this thread a year and a half ago. Spending my youth in Medford, I saw the Haynes/Little Creek signs frequently. I thought they were the only ones like it... until this thread. Been on the lookout ever since. Haven't seen one in all that time. Found four on a motorcycle ride I took last Thursday!

These two are about a 1/2 mile apart on Rte#47



Alfie's favorite...Rte#47 heading north near Port Elizabeth



Didn't expect to find this new one on Rte#49E in downtown Bridgeton


John-
 

Teegate

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Nice finds John! Have you noticed they replaced the one at Atsion Lake that has been missing for years. There is a photo of it in one of the little booklets they sell at Atsion and Batsto.

Thanks for keeping this thread in mind.

Guy
 

Pine Baron

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Have you noticed they replaced the one at Atsion Lake that has been missing for years.

I have noticed new sign by the dam, Guy. Mike(Mts83) took a pic and posted it after the mansion tour.

Sometimes, finding things on the highway is as difficult as finding them in the woods. :)

John-
 

Teegate

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Guy, you have a picture of the Cooper River Branch one on Brace Road in Cherry Hill one, right (I seem to remember you taking a picture on that outing that Jerseyman led)? If not, I can send you a picture...

Thanks for reminding me. I will look for that photo.

Guy
 

Mts83

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I always enjoy looking for these signs too, although it's almost always a wintertime activity. These signs can be found along state highways after being erected by the State Highway department back in the 1930s mostly. At one time there were signs of this nature at every water-crossing or state built/maintained bridge. Now of course, thanks to vandals and bridge replacement projects these signs are being rarer and rarer. Within the last 10 years there used to be a "Great Egg Harbor River" sign on US 40 and NJ-50 in Mays Landing, however one day, like many others it disappeared. Same with the old CR-559 white shield, and arrow that used to stand on a post in the center of downtown Mays Landing. The old arrow can be seen at the bottom of the page here: http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/nj/nj_50/

That said, they aren't all gone yet (originals)... The one for the Salem River on US-40 is still there, then there are several in Central and North Jersey too along route 12, and 29. Some up there are even the rare county border signs, showing either a line, or arrows. US-206 used to have a nice one at the Atlantic/Burlington line mounted parallel to the road, but nowadays even the replacement green signs can't seem to stay put without being stolen.
 

Teegate

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Guy, you have a picture of the Cooper River Branch one on Brace Road in Cherry Hill one, right (I seem to remember you taking a picture on that outing that Jerseyman led)? If not, I can send you a picture...

Mike,

I found it.

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Guy
 

turtle

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Feb 4, 2009
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Here is another one for the collection...... Rt. 40 in Elmer. I apologize for the angle, but there really is no spot to get out and take the photo..... "NO STOPPING-NO STANDING"......blah, blah, blah.

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turtle
 

Teegate

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Scott,

That sign was there recently and may still be there. I go by there all the time but right now I don't seem to remember seeing it lately. There is another one right up the road about half way to the Deptford Mall. I just never have my camera with me when there.

Guy
 

Pine Baron

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Found another one of these signs the other day in Runnemede. The one pictured in Scott's link is not there, but this one is on Clements Bridge Rd heading east, between Big Timber Creek and the Black Horse Pike.

BTC.JPG


What is interesting is that the cornerstone on this bridge looked similar to one I had seen before. Borrowing one of Guy's photos, I made a side-by-side comparison. The left one is on the Sandy Causeway bridge below Goshen. The one on the right is the Runnemede bridge.

Cornerstone.jpg


Note the proximity of the dates and the common names. Those guys covered a lot of territory.

John-
 

Teegate

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I go by there all the time and saw the sign. I never really noticed the stone and how the names are similar. Good find!

Guy
 
Found another one of these signs the other day in Runnemede. The one pictured in Scott's link is not there, but this one is on Clements Bridge Rd heading east, between Big Timber Creek and the Black Horse Pike.

BTC.JPG


What is interesting is that the cornerstone on this bridge looked similar to one I had seen before. Borrowing one of Guy's photos, I made a side-by-side comparison. The left one is on the Sandy Causeway bridge below Goshen. The one on the right is the Runnemede bridge.

Cornerstone.jpg


Note the proximity of the dates and the common names. Those guys covered a lot of territory.

John-

Very nice work, John!

The names found on both of the bridge dedication plaques you photographed indicate that the Camden County Board of Chose Freeholders funded the construction of these two bridges. Camden County Engineer John Jarrett Albertson became widely known for his roadway and bridge design and construction. Here is some biographical information on Mr. Albertson:

In 1858, John Jarrett Albertson, youngest son of Chalkley and Annie Stokes Albertson, was born in the old homestead built in 1743. He received his education in the city of Philadelphia. He began his active career by teaching public school for a year in the neighborhood of his home. In 1879, when the Atlantic City railroad was built, he was assistant to the engineer in charge, and in this way acquired considerable practical information that has proven valuable to him in his engineering work. He afterward associated himself with the late Judge John Clement, who was the leading surveyor of South Jersey. In 1892 he was elected county engineer for Camden county. This exacting position he has held continuously to the present time (1913), a fact which proves clearly his capability and efficiency. In 1893 he went abroad to study road building in the old world, and gained a vast amount of valuable information which he freely imparted to others just launching in the field of highway improvement, which proved that he was of a generous disposition. He engineered all the State roads built in Gloucester county previous to 1898, when he again went abroad for further research. He was also engineer for Atlantic county for many years. His crowning effort there is the famous Meadow Boulevard, with its numerous bridges. The idea of hydraulic road building, that was used in constructing this highway, originated with Mr. Albertson; he used large steam dredges to pump the sand necessary to make the fill over the treacherous salt marsh from the adjacent Egg Harbor Bay. He was also chief engineer on the great automobile highway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. He is untiring in his experiments with road materials, and has read several progressive papers before the New Jersey County Engineers Society, of which he was president for several years; many of his papers are published in the road commissioners' reports of New Jersey. He was associated with the Camden County Court House Commission, which built the magnificent county building in 1904. This building was constructed without the least criticism as to the honesty or capability of those in charge. He was the engineer for the lift bridge over Cooper river, built in 1907; he also had charge of many less important bridges in Camden and Atlantic counties. He is engineer for the boroughs of Haddon Heights, Oaklyn, Collingswood and Audubon, and at the last named place he is building a sanitary sewage disposal plant with thirteen miles of sewers.

Mr. Albertson’s interests are varied and numerous. He is the owner and manager of many horticultural and agricultural enterprises, including three farms in New Jersey and one in Florida. He is president of the Defiance Fruit Company and of the Atlantic Cranberry Company, the latter being one of the largest in the State. He is also an authority on fruit and nut culture. He is an enthusiastic believer in cooperative building and loan associations, and has served as secretary of the Mutual Building & Loan Association of Magnolia, New Jersey, for twenty-four years. He is a director of the Woodbury Trust Company, also of the First National Bank of Camden, and has been and still is executor and trustee for many estates. He is an active member of the Society of Friends, and a birthright member of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting. Owing to his inherited Quaker principles he has never used tobacco nor alcohol in any form.

In 1886, Mr. Albertson married Elizabeth S. Wills, of Poughkeepsie, New York, daughter of Daniel J. and Elizabeth Swift Wills, the former named being a lineal descendant of Dr. Daniel Wills, one of the first English settlers of Burlington county, New Jersey. They have one child, Anna M., who married Lester Collins, son of John S. and Rachel A. Rogers Collins, in 1912; they reside at Moorestown, New Jersey. At the time of his marriage, Mr. Albertson erected a house on part of the original Otter branch tract, and has since resided there; it is now part of the town of Magnolia, New Jersey. With the death of Mr. Albertson will end an unbroken chain of title in the Albertson name of a large tract of land owned and occupied by them continuously for two hundred and twenty-five years.
(William Nelson, Nelson’s Biographical Cyclopedia of New Jersey, Volume II, pp. 511-513)

Here is a portrait of J.J. Albertson:

J_J_Albertson.jpg


He lived in Magnolia in this house:

J_J_Albertson_House.jpg


until his death on 24 November 1928, when he succumbed to a paralytic stroke at Lakeland Hospital. The provisions of his will included devising a plot of ground in Magnolia, at the corner of Albertson and Evesham avenues, as a park and recreation facility. The land comprised about 10 acres. This land was reportedly a portion of property the Albertson family had owned since 1689 and its title had never passed from the family’s possession.

Now, John, if you want to find an even more obscure bridge dedication plaque, PM me for directions to one in Chews Landing (if the plaque is still there!).

Regarding the placement of cast-iron markers at the many stream crossings in New Jersey, such as the one shown here at Clements Bridge:

Runnemede_Card.jpg


the League of American Pen Women, a national arts organization, first conceived the idea in 1923.
http://www.americanpenwomen.org/home/index.cfm

A February 1924 newspaper article noted:

“What river is this?” is often a matter of wonder to the motorist, who passes over several branches of the same stream, alongside a lake or over a bridge without knowing what body of water it is which he crosses or passes.
The League of Pen Women is asking the various state highway commissions to place suitable markers hear famous streams to inform the traveling public. It is a laudable work, but why, the traveler wants to know, stop at famous streams? Why not mark all bodies of water at or near any and all roads, so that the traveler may get better acquainted with the country through which he passes?


The New Jersey State Highway Department finally heeded this call in 1930, when the state announced, in a 1 June 1930 newspaper article, such action:

Markers Placed at State Streams
Highway Dept. Makes Plans for Further Road Beautification
Five hundred markers designating the rivers and streams along State routes have been placed by the State Highway Department. It is planned to erect a thousand such markers.
Beautification of completed routes by the planting of trees and shrubbery is another matter to which the department is giving attention. Several thousand trees have been set out in various parts of the State and in some sections dwarf greens have been used. The Brunswick Pike from Trenton to New Brunswick is schedule to receive special attention as a demonstration of the results to be achieved by systematic landscaping.
The markers being erected are of cast iron, 15 by 20 inches, and are supported by concrete posts. The metal and concrete work was done at the Rahway Reformatory. A marker is being placed on each side of the streams, facing traffic.


And here is the watercourse marker depicted among the different Official Highway Signs placed by the New Jersey State Highway Department:

State_Signage.jpg


(State of New Jersey 1932 Official Highway Map)

It is a joy to know that a smattering of these now historic highway markers have survived into the Twenty-First Century, considering they are now 80 years old! Keep looking for these pieces of history!!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

Teegate

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Jerseyman,

A nice bit of info. Thanks! I lived a three blocks away in Magnolia for a few years, and that park was in bad shape. I believe they have fixed it up but I will have to ride by soon and see. They must have changed the names of the streets because Magnolia and Albertson Ave are not near each other today.

Here is the park.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...495,-75.039722&spn=0.006079,0.013068&t=h&z=17


It is interesting to note that there is an Albertson Ave in Barrington not far away. The names of the streets in that development are named after local residents and possibly landowners or former landowners in that area, so that street may have been named for him. Just a guess at this point.

I have viewed quite a few of those signs in the past year but I never have my camera with me unless I head to the pines. My camera is almost used exclusively for my hobby so I don't always have it.


Guy
 
Jerseyman,

A nice bit of info. Thanks!

It is interesting to note that there is an Albertson Ave in Barrington not far away. The names of the streets in that development are named after local residents and possibly landowners or former landowners in that area, so that street may have been named for him. Just a guess at this point.

I have viewed quite a few of those signs in the past year but I never have my camera with me unless I head to the pines. My camera is almost used exclusively for my hobby so I don't always have it.


Guy

Guy:

The Albertson family, of Dutch ancestry, predated the Irish Quakers coming to settle the Newton Colony (1681) and Arawames, now Gloucester City (1682). Even noted local historians of the past—including John Clement—could not establish a firm date for the family’s arrival here in what would become West New Jersey. There are several early deeds for large tracts of land sold to the original Albertsons by the Proprietors and they maintained tenure in these parcels for many generations. So, having a street in Barrington named for an early founding family like the Albertsons is not at all surprising!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
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