The forgotten Village of East Fruitland

Don Catts

Explorer
Aug 5, 2012
461
258
63
79
Indian Mills
The drawing below is a section of East Fruitland that I put together from old deeds, hope you can read it. This is not the complete village, just the section that I am familiar with, any addition information, corrections or help would be appreciated. The attached topo map gives the location on Quaker Bridge Road.


The short lived and long forgotten village of East Fruitland lies about 1 mile east of US Route 206 down the old Quaker Bridge Road near the Shamong Twp - Washington Twp boundary line, in Burlington County. Although, advertised as a village it never became more than a small farming settlement.

You may ask, why would anyone buy a farm in the middle of the pine barrens, isn't that like buying ocean front property in Kansas City. However, with wild Huckleberries growing as far as the eye could see and cranberries in the bogs, East Fruitland was advertised as berry and small fruit farmland, known for its clean air, pure water and good health.

About 18 farms or lots were sold, all within two years, 1867-68. Lots sold for $15 to $25 an acre. Most sold at top dollar or $25 an acre. One exception was old Jake Claypoole who bought 16 acres for $1800. By the end of 1868 the prices were already dropping. After 1868 all the deeds I could find were re-sales of these same lots.

Several houses were built and some farms were successful for a while. The Woolman brothers were very successful with cranberries in East Fruitland and up on Three Bridge Road at the Wesickaman Creek. I have some Woolman Brand Cranberry Labels. Their packing house was on Burnt House Road (burned down in the 1980s). They also ran a saw/grist mill in Indian Mills at the site of the original Indian reservation sawmill on the Sawmill Pond. Jake Claypoole raised either cranberries or Huckleberries. I don't know how successful he was , but he lived back there for a long time. And of course, there was "Sweet Lucy from Philly", Lucy P. Slocumb the original owner of the Stone Bridge Farm, she was very successful, also. Other folks with homes in East Fruitland that I know of were: A. Spangler the agent for East Fruitland, he lived on the Atsion River; The Widow Mary (Mary's fishing hole), Banjo Jack Owens (Banjo's hole), and Charlie Jones. There were probably more.

Mary' fishing hole and Banjo's hole were popular fishing spots. I am thinking, not for the good fishing, but for the fact that the ground was cleared and it was easy to get to the river. A friend of mine use to play hooky from the Atsion School and go fishing back there.

Don

P. S. In case you haven't noticed, I am having fun with East Fruitland

Section of East Fruitland
IMG_8383.JPG


East Fruitland Location
Final East F.jpg
 

Don Catts

Explorer
Aug 5, 2012
461
258
63
79
Indian Mills
Don:

You have prepared an excellent plan of East Fruitland and all those who have been following this story are in your debt!

If you require any additional deeds, please let me know. I particularly have many of the deeds recorded in Atlantic County.

Best regards,
Jerseyman

Thanks Jerseyman, right now I would like to know if the commissioners division line of 1856 ( M9/34 Mt Holly) comes through this area. If so I am looking for a bearing of around N 77 degrees E or S 77 degrees W. If so I am thinking they used the division line as a baseline or a line to start from, to layout the East Fruitland lots.

You can see that they used the railroad for a baseline to layout the Fruitland Lots for Col Patterson. And Atsion Road for another baseline.

If I need a deeds from Mays Landing I will check with you first.

Don
 

Don Catts

Explorer
Aug 5, 2012
461
258
63
79
Indian Mills
Yes Don, great job. Do you have any idea where Banjo's Hole and Mary's fishing hole were? Maybe where I launch my kayak.
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.734148944503765&lng=-74.71111792724611&z=17&type=nj1995&gpx=

I just noticed that the Fruitland layout is carried forward to the current map. Note the squared off waterways.
http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.73754813903926&lng=-74.70646161239625&z=16&type=terrain&gpx=

Thanks Ed,

No, I don't know exactly where they lived, but there were houses so look for a cellar hole. I don't know Mary's last name and I have not come across John Owens' deed yet. I have Mary's name somewhere. When I get on my feet again I will check the clerk's office, if I have any luck, will post.

Did you see the shape of the Woolman brothers lot. They didn't buy any more the they needed for the bogs.

Don
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,225
1,684
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
Thanks Rednek, that means a lot coming from someone in the business.
As you can imagine Don, I thoroughly enjoy reviewing maps and surveys, especially the older and more artistic ones. Your map reminded me of the older maps by employing the use of color and annotating ownership history.

It is sad to see a lot of the artistic license gone from modern day surveys and construction plans. The advent of CAD in the civil engineering field has sanitized most construction plans that I work with to the point where one really can't tell what is proposed and what is existing without very careful perusal.

If only Ernest Hexamer were still alive !
 
If only Ernest Hexamer were still alive !
Scott:

Your mention of Hexamer warmed the cockles of my heart! Ernest and his firm were amazing daughtsmen who turned out surveys and maps that still excite me every time I view them.

Hexamer had a lock on Philadelphia fire insurance maps and maintained that lock until 1916, when the Sanborn Map Company finally acquired the Hexamer firm. Sanborn then gained an entrée into the city.

I always consider Hexamer's fire insurance maps superior to Sanborn in so many ways. From the quality of the skilled daughtsmen and their fine lines to the clearer and better labeling, a Hexamer Survey or map is hard to beat and second to none!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,225
1,684
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
Sorry for the temporary derailment Don.
I grew up in Gibbsboro and remember Lucas Paint when it was running full bore. (No one called it Sherwin Williams by the way)
The Hexamer mappings of the original operations in the 1800's are amazing. The level of detail on the operations make them invaluable for all types of historic evaluations.
Here are some examples:
http://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/HGSv18.1679-1680
http://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/HGSv28.2745-2746

Back to Fruitland !
 

Don Catts

Explorer
Aug 5, 2012
461
258
63
79
Indian Mills
With the prospective drawing of the buildings, the Hexamer surveys left no question as to what was being insured. I always thought the one of the Atsion Cotton Mills should be hanging in the Ranger Station.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,601
3,584
1,093
We visited the locations of the eastern most corners of lot 79 today and there is nothing there. I also visited the corner on the Locks Bridge side of the river for lot 148 and there is nothing there also. I failed to check the corner that would be between 148 and 149 nearby but I seriously doubt there is anything there.
 
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