Steelman's Tavern (located on other side of "Grigsby's" on the Mays Landing-Summerspoint Road in Mays Landing

EddieD

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Feb 13, 2021
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Mays Landing
Does anyone know the exact location of the tavern today (on the lot) and if anyone has ever explored the location and found any artifacts. Also, any old pics would be cool if anyone can share them. Would like to explore the site for artifacts like old coins, bottles, etc., etc., or take photos of the remaining structures/foundations.
 

gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
532
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atlantic county
It is across from where Gravelly Run Rd comes out onto ML/SP Rd and up towards Babcock Rd. If you are heading to Babcock Rd it will be on your right, you can kind of see a clearing. There used to be one of those green historical signs off the road a bit but I am not sure if it is still there. You can kind of make out the area, but there are no structures or foundations easily visible. And I am not sure if there are any there at all any more. It may be state or county property now, but I am not sure although I can find out when I get a chance.
 
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Boyd

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A little confused by that description.... do you mean it's on the right as you head North on Rt 559? Here perhaps? Green-shaded areas are public openspace on my map, apparently most of that area East of Rt 559 is part of the Hamilton Preserve

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.430081/-74.703614/pines2020/0.00/0.00

Mapbox/Maxar has some nice high-resolution imagery

https://boydsmaps.com/#20.01/39.430081/-74.703614/mbxhybrid/0.00/0.00

Going back to the 1970's, looks like it may have been a farm?

https://boydsmaps.com/#19.00/39.430081/-74.703614/njgin1970/0.00/0.00

[edit]Reading your post again, I'm thinking you meant farther south, near Gravelly Run? Those same maps cover that area too and it's all part of the Hamilton Preserve.
 
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gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
532
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atlantic county
Hey Boyd! Long time!

So here is a screenshot I have of the area where the sign was.... I am pretty sure I even have the coordinates somewhere. The address is right around 5033 SP/ML Rd. I will check for the coordinates and get back to you. What you have is the correct area, but it may have been a little south of that.

Also the text from the sign that was there:

"STEELMAN-TREEN TAVERN
This site was an important stage stop on the route from Somers Point to Cooper's Ferry. The tavern was to James Steelman in June 1770. Steelman, born in 1750, was the son of Frederick and Sarah Somers Steelman and brother of Andrew Steelman killed by the notorious Tory John Bacon in Oct 1782 on Long Beach Island. The inn served as an early meeting place and in 1827 was licensed to William Treen. In 1831, C.B. Treen was manager followed by George Treen in 1834. Until the 1940's the building was occupied as a private residence. Ownership continued in a descendant of the Treen family until the building was finally razed in the summer of 1975."




Screenshot (81).png


A little confused by that description.... do you mean it's on the right as you head North on Rt 559? Here perhaps? Green-shaded areas are public openspace on my map, apparently most of that area East of Rt 559 is part of the Hamilton Preserve

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.430081/-74.703614/pines2020/0.00/0.00

Mapbox/Maxar has some nice high-resolution imagery

https://boydsmaps.com/#20.01/39.430081/-74.703614/mbxhybrid/0.00/0.00

Going back to the 1970's, looks like it may have been a farm?

https://boydsmaps.com/#19.00/39.430081/-74.703614/njgin1970/0.00/0.00

[edit]Reading your post again, I'm thinking you meant farther south, near Gravelly Run? Those same maps cover that area too and it's all part of the Hamilton Preserve.
 
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Boyd

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Hi @gipsie - nice to see you around here again! There's an old saying, "a link is worth a thousand words" (well, it's an old saying of mine at least). :D

https://boydsmaps.com/#17.00/39.429683/-74.703283/pines2020/0.00/0.00

If correct, that location appears to be private property, although the adjacent area is part of the Hamilton Preserve. If you look on my map at the link above, you can see the property lines. @EddieD should research this for himself and if it's private, get the owner's permission before exploring for "artifacts like old coins, bottles, etc."

The LIDAR imagery does appear to show some sort of foundation(s) or ??? there:

https://boydsmaps.com/#18.00/39.429683/-74.703283/lidar2021bw/0.00/0.00
 

gipsie

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Sep 14, 2008
532
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atlantic county
From what I am able to see on the property records, there are two possibilities depending on whether my coordinates are correct or not. If it was in the smaller parcel of land, that was and still is privately owned. If it is in the larger parcel that is a little bit north of my coordinates, it was privately owned until 1991 and is now owned by the New Jersey Land Trust. Sometime between 1991 and the $1 sale of the property to the Land Trust in the 2000s the county took over the property. Oddly enough, I cannot find a record of that transaction so it may have been "bequeathed". That makes it the more likely site in my book. I am interested to find out. The owners of the smaller parcel have one of those last names that have been in the area for many years. I may just reach out and ask them. Or maybe not.
 
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Boyd

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Well, if it's part of the NJ Natural Lands Trust, exploring for "artifacts like old coins, bottles, etc." is not permitted.


PROHIBITED ON TRUST PRESERVES:
[...]
Collection, harassment, or destruction of plants, animals, rocks, cultural artifacts, or fossils
 

gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
532
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atlantic county
PROHIBITED ON TRUST PRESERVES:
[...]
Collection, harassment, or destruction of plants, animals, rocks, cultural artifacts, or fossils
I know the harassment of rocks is always a problem and I wish they would just stop!

All kidding aside though, the more I look at this, the more it seems it is part of the Preserve. I think I have a couple inspections in that area tomorrow and will see if the sign is still there and try to et some better coordinates. I agree that looking for artifacts is not a good idea, I looked right over it when I responded. I only saw the "photographs" portion of the post. Just goes to show that my mind only sees/hears what t wants to. If I find out any more info I will pass it on!
 
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gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
532
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atlantic county
This is after all NJ.Best to assume that nothing is permitted. yep could even get in trouble for picking up old bottle a.k.a. trash
Hey Al!!!

It is crazy how this state is so controlling. I went to Fort Howard in Maryland and they let you climb, explore, crawl under, all the old buildings/bunkers with no restriction. It was wild. I left muddy and completely happy!
 

teleflux

New Member
Nov 29, 2020
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Mays Landing
matthunsberger.com
I've also been meaning to go over there, I drive by almost every day.

The Press has a semi-relevant article about the area, mostly about the house across the street. (From 2011)
https://pressofatlanticcity.com/cla...cle_eb37b576-0fb9-11e1-aeef-001cc4c002e0.html

(direct image link removed by moderator)

Here's their photo of the sign. I'm almost positive it's not there at this point.

Absegami Yesteryear has a few pages and some photos about the tavern, as well.
 
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Boyd

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That is very cool! Unfortunately, we don't allow direct links to pictures unless they are your own or if you have the copyright holder's permission. There was a problem a few years back with copyrighted content posted by another member and Ben ended up needing to hire a lawyer to deal with it.

Anyway, the picture of the sign can be found by clicking through the "slideshow" in the Press article at the link above.
 

Boyd

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All kidding aside though, the more I look at this, the more it seems it is part of the Preserve.

Will be interested to hear what you discover. Thanks to @matthunsberger 's post, we now know that that sign says, this part seems like the clue:

"Until the 1940's the building was occupied as a private residence. Ownership continued in a descendant of the Treen family until the building was finally razed in the summer of 1975."

This looks like the existing house on the West side of the road:

https://boydsmaps.com/#20.93/39.429667/-74.703967/mbxhybrid/0.00/0.00

And something shows across the street here on the 1970's aerials (shot during 1971, 1972 and 1977) although it looks pretty small.

https://boydsmaps.com/#19.00/39.429893/-74.703523/njgin1970/0.00/0.00

The coordinates you posted are about 100 feet Southeast of there, and the foliage hides everything below, although there's something West of there, near the road

https://boydsmaps.com/#19.00/39.429683/-74.703283/njgin1970/0.00/0.00

But look at the Mays Landing USGS Topo (dated 1989). It shows the existing house with two ruins on the East side of the road:

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.70/39.429667/-74.703967/pines1999/0.00/0.00

That would basically be where my first guess was in original reply

https://boydsmaps.com/#19.00/39.430081/-74.703614/njgin1970/0.00/0.00

Not sure what to think at this point, LOL. Will have to check that out sometime myself.
 
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teleflux

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Nov 29, 2020
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Mays Landing
matthunsberger.com
Whoops, sorry about the image hotlink!

If you go on Google Street View you can see the sign in the 2008 and 2009 views.

It looks to be right around where gipsie's coordinates placed it, so I would assume it is on that piece of private property.

Those other 2 houses or whatever they were seem to have been there until 2007? It looks like they're on this aerial:
 
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EddieD

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Feb 13, 2021
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Mays Landing
Hey Everyone! Thanks for the plentitude of information and advice. Before I posted my question on here, I had spoken to the owner of Grigsby's (the house/antiques store directly across the road from the Steelman Tavern site. From what he indicated, there is nothing left of the tavern itself. He told me that he does see people from time to time over in that area searching for old coins and some have in fact found some. However, I neglected to inquire from him as to who owns the property today and who to ask for permission to enter the area or retrieve any old items of cultural value or otherwise. Of course, after reading everyone's replies here, I will certainly make sure I have my t's crossed and my i's dotted before I attempt to look for anything and/or retrieve them. It's interesting to note that you cannot disturb any natural or cultural artifacts if it on a Trust preserve. I understand the reasoning behind it, and I support that, but, yeah, sometimes it can go a little bit too extreme in enforcing the sentiment of the law. I mean, as an antique bottle collector, I know that if you do not collect the bottles and preserve them, then they will be gone for good. My intent is different than someone who might have no respect for the cultural significance of the site. Some things need to be gleaned from these sites and properly preserved. I respect and love the pine barrens and our historical sites. Eh, nonetheless, I am not going to overstep my bounds and get into trouble with the Pinelands preservation lands act. Thanks so much for all the info. I just saw all the replies today, sorry for not replying earlier....life gets in the way! LOL!
 
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