Thick Hole

manumuskin

Piney
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I Just received an email from a botanist friend of mine and the file below was included.He was asking if I knew of a place called Thick Hole which I do not.It seems to be a hold out for the rare Fringetree.We have both encountered the tree along the Manumuskin upstream from Cumberland Pond and would be interesting in locating another location but a Google search mostly just turns up sites that are irrelevant and quite unpostable.Thick Hole sounds like a few places I"ve wandered through down here but I"m not sure which is the right one.Can anyone help with this? Another Cumberland County mystery.
 

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Spung-Man

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Manumuskin,

That is Vanaman's Thick n' Hole tract in Vineland's New Italy. Look at the Hartman maps. It is an eighteenth century livery center for naval store and charcoal production associated with a couple hundred spungs. Pine-tar cordial, a medicine for dyspepsia, was made here. Multiple Indian trails converged at the Oasis (South River, Blue Anchor, Hance Bridge), which specifically is private property. There is a scattering of American Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)—some pretty big—along the upper Manumuskin and its tributaries like Ingersol Branch. There used to be brook trout in the tributaries too.

S-M
 

manumuskin

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Okay Spung Man, I found it on the Hartmans Map and I have been all over that area and never knew i was in a Thick Hole.Most of that area is state land now,of course I was in there before it was. When I was there much of it had been cut over recently.If I remember right late 80's maybe early 90"s??? Thanks.Where we found the Fringetree was quite a bit south of there.Been meaning to get back up that area anyway.Found some Allegheny Ant mounds up in there whilst stone hunting before.
 

manumuskin

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Looks like some potential stones on those corners.If I could find one there is enough info on there to find more.Looks like the whole area is now state.Kinda takes the fun out of it,well maybe not.Too old to run and too big to sneak now,nice to stay legal when i can:)
 
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46er

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Mar 24, 2004
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Were they stocked? never knew that to be a native species???
Brookies are the only native trout species here and is the state fish. No idea why we need a state fish, but the Brookie got the votes :) And its not really a trout, but a Char. Rainbows were introduced from the Pacific NW and Browns were imported. Perhaps the Brookies mentioned were Salters.

This is where I found the reference to S Jersey Brook trout, next to last paragraph.

http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2008/08_0017.htm
 
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manumuskin

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Now I would have made the state fish the Chain Pickerel.Always pictured trout as more of a fast water mountain fish excepting lake trout but I believe even they like cold water and our deepest lakes aren't very deep at all so cold water in August is hard to find in South Jersey. Maybe I"ll take up fishing to see if I can find out what lurks in the Manumuskin headwaters.
 
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46er

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I'll have to see what I can, but I have my doubts they remain after 14 years with all the development around it.
Well, as of 2015, it appears someone stepped in to help the Brookies.

For those interested, the link below will download a PDF of restoration work and some history for Mason's Run. Its current state is in section 2.4 and it location is on the Trump National Golf Course.

https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/h702qc08c

An adult Brookie from Mason's Run in 2003. I'm goin' fishin, catch & release :D

upload_2018-3-17_8-10-1.png
 

manumuskin

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Most all of it is now state.has been since I think the early 90"s.The woods/swamp on both sides of Union between Dante and the next road nort I think Piacenzia? are all state.You can also head south on Union and turn on the 45 degree left where the speed limit drops and that will turn into a dirt road and you can go in there.Road used to be kinda shady but don't know what condition it's in now.I didn't explore the area more then a couple times.It was clear cut to the ground mostly then and a waste land.Might be some nice open oak woods now?
 

Spung-Man

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To know the area is to love it. I’m slowly putting together a log of the many forgotten Pinelands places in western Atlantic, northern Cape May, and eastern Cumberland Counties, hamlets in or around Vineland like Osborne Village, Parsonstowne, Canute Neck, North Newark, Punch Bowl, Buckhorn, Pine Knot, Thick n’ Hole, Cassaboontown, Nuova Napoli, Rattletrap, Gardenville, and so much more! Let me know your favorite! Before the railroad-era, this region—in my opinion—were more desolate than the Burlington County Core Area. The region was thinly settled in the eighteenth century by French, Finnish, Swedish, Scots, Dutch, and English foresters in the most unexpected places.

S-M
 
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Zach McGarvey

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Feb 11, 2018
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Manumuskin, I have only been down the gas line ROW east of Union. You can enter near the intersection of Ascher and Union and go all the way to Ingersoll Ave in Milmay. It does get really overgrown in places with that reedgrass that lacerates your skin! This sounds crazy, but I got lost once with two friends in the woods between Panther/ Hance Bridge/ Mays Landing Rd./ the Menantico Colony and couldn't orient myself to get out for hours. The sun was going down and we were contemplating making camp for the night. This was in the era before cell phones and we hadn't brought water! We finally found the gas line and walked out to Panther Road just as it was getting totally dark. I remember being covered in leaches and cuts from that grass, which grows on the ROW on that side, as well. It taught me that in the absence of landmarks, and in swampy, broken terrain, it's possible to get lost in as little as a square mile! As a kid we frequently had parties at a place called "The Rattletrap", a gravel pit near Union and Panther that you used to be able to access from the intersection with Ascher Rd. I believe the entrance has been blocked to vehicles for at least a decade now.
 

manumuskin

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Manumuskin, I have only been down the gas line ROW east of Union. You can enter near the intersection of Ascher and Union and go all the way to Ingersoll Ave in Milmay. It does get really overgrown in places with that reedgrass that lacerates your skin! This sounds crazy, but I got lost once with two friends in the woods between Panther/ Hance Bridge/ Mays Landing Rd./ the Menantico Colony and couldn't orient myself to get out for hours. The sun was going down and we were contemplating making camp for the night. This was in the era before cell phones and we hadn't brought water! We finally found the gas line and walked out to Panther Road just as it was getting totally dark. I remember being covered in leaches and cuts from that grass, which grows on the ROW on that side, as well. It taught me that in the absence of landmarks, and in swampy, broken terrain, it's possible to get lost in as little as a square mile! As a kid we frequently had parties at a place called "The Rattletrap", a gravel pit near Union and Panther that you used to be able to access from the intersection with Ascher Rd. I believe the entrance has been blocked to vehicles for at least a decade now.
Spung I used to virtually live in those woods! My uncle used to live in the last house on Sherman heading away from mays landing rd on the right.My aunt still lives there but he's gone now.I used to head to the Colony from his house.Got caught in the screen house climbing around in the rafters with my cousin.I was about 14.We seen the old man caretaker coming across the field on a golf cart for all he was worth.Apparently someone saw us from a house in the distance and here He came.back then I could actually out run a golf cart with an old man on it! Now I"m the old man on the golf cart yelling at the little heathens to get out of my yard! In any case we beat it south into the swamp and he was so afraid of us that he declined to follow,or at least thats how we congratulated our selves.I also know about the grass.Me and Whipoorbill took it upon ourselves about the late 80's to make an expedition down Tulpehawken Creek from Carranza rd to Hawkins bridge and we did it in shorts since it was hot. Big mistake.That grass lined both sides of the creek and much of the creek bottom was actually too soft to wade so we waded through this grass.It made our legs look like concertina wire had been strung across our path.We were bloody from our shorts line down. I also know the Rattletrap.Never partied there but ran into a bunch of older kids back there once with a small fire going drinking beer. Those were my woods in the late 70's real early 80's!
 

Zach McGarvey

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I too got chased at Menantico colony, they actually caught us and took down our names and addresses but declined to press charges so long as we promised not to come back. We were cornered by several people in pickup trucks and had no way to escape. I have several pictures from inside those buildings, but I won't post them due to the illegality. This was around 2003. I now try to avoid situations like that, if you have even a minor criminal record you normally have to disclose it on job applications and such. Very creepy in there, and most of the buildings are wide open, if not from the front doors then through the fire escapes.. I'm surprised they haven't been demolished just to eliminate the safety hazard. Locally, there was a good deal of interest in the site when WeirdNJ published an article on it, around that same time frame.

Those woods to the northeast of the colony, and near the broken dam, are full of dirtbike trails but extremely hard to navigate. You often can see a clearing, or hear cars, but there's an impenetrable swamp blocking the way, and you have to go around it, all the while losing your bearings. The time we got lost, we entered near Panther and Trento, making for the broken dam, but never made it. We were in there for a good six hours, it was May, so the sun stayed up pretty late, but we realized we had a real problem and may not make it out before complete darkness. We could hear cars and thought we could even see the edge of the woods but each time we tried to bypass some deep water, it seemed like it got us no closer. We discussed stopping for the night and making some kind of shelter in case it got cold. We decided to walk until it became too dark to continue and by chance wound up at the gas line. I was maybe 15 years old, this was around 2001 or so. I know it sounds rediculous but to this day, that tiny parcel of woods had me the most lost I have ever been.

The rattletrap was a big dirtbike/atv spot in those days, and we used to play paintball back there. The boundaries of the game were the entrance road in the north, and the deer fence in the south.
 
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manumuskin

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When i used to hang out there roughly 78 to 82 the dam was not broken,there was a lake there though i see by the aerials the dam is out now.They apparently upped their equipment when i out ran their golf cart,they went to pickup trucks.Sorry about that Zach.probably my earlier shenanigans that got you caught. I never considered the swamp impenetrable but the old man apparently did.
One time I walked my dad out there from Sherman ave and there was a menatlly handicapped man out there on a bicycle with a walkie talkie pretending he was a cop.he looked to be about 30.I was 14.He wheeled up to us and started a conversation if you could call it that.We were obviously in different worlds from the start.I was a stall as Him but he was obviously much stronger then me being a kid and all.He started slapping me on the shoulder and telling me what a good boy i was.This preceeded to punching me in the chest,the whole time smiling and telling me how cool i was.He was scaring the crap out of me.My Dad tried to talk him off of me but this didn't work.next time he swaung my dad caught his arm and told him to get back on his bike and go home before he showed Him how hard he could punch.This did it.Still smiling he called for back up on his walkie talkine and rode off toward hance bridge rd.We got out of there before the Force showed. up.