Thompson's Beach, Shellpile, and Bivalve


I live in EHT, not far from Morris Beach, aka Job's Point. It started out as a vacation resort for wealthy black professionals from Philadelphia. At that time, Blacks were not welcome in resorts like Ocean City, so a Black business woman, Jennie Morris, who bought the property in 1939 and made a resort of it. These days it is more mixed and many of the kids who vacationed there as kids lost interest. It is a quiet village at the end of Jeffers Landing Rd, I would say quiet peaceful til the Greenheads show up. They can be as thick as pea soup at times. There was recently an article in the AC press just this past week on it. I have also heard that there was a ferry there way back in the revolutionary times that was used to move the salt hay. Salt hay harvesting and ship building was big business back in those times.



Jan 5, 2009
Richland, NJ

Yes, Jobs Point is a place of great antiquity. As I understand, early plans (in Job Somers’ time) were to develop a substantial settlement here at the Long-a-Coming Trail terminus. The route was abandoned after Farmer Hamilton built his bridge across the Great Egg Harbor River in Mays Landing around 1790, about where the one next to the cotton mill now stands. This allowed passage on high ground along the southwest bank and avoided the sandy swampland along the northeast bank. Emmelville and its tavern were established with this realignment. This allowed travelers to avoid the expensive and unreliable ferry by way of Oakville, over London Bridge in old Forgotten Ingersol to ford the Tuckahoe at Head-of-the-River, and continue along the Cape Trails. Hamilton Township bears Farmer Hamilton’s name.

Here’s a couple links to early posts on the matter.

It is eerie to see how the road to Thompsons Beach, like the town itself, has disappeared in my lifetime. It was one of my teen-age haunts. I suppose Jobs Point too was a victim of past sea-level rise, since today it hardly seems a likely place for early land speculation.

I had gone out to Thompson's Beach back around 1999 or 2000 to see what it was like. I do remember the tower and the fireplace, thought at that time, it didn't have all the vegetation it does today. Been wanting to get back there again, maybe this summer.

I was in Job's Point not long ago. There are a couple of homes for sale.
Dragonfly Whisperer:

The Morris Beach development has fascinated me for some years now. About eight or nine years ago, I worked on a project involving the Jobs Point Bridge. As a result, I had to conduct research on Morris Beach. Here is the survey plan for the development from August 1939:


And here is an advertising post card that Morris had printed to sell building lots at Morris Beach:


I have appended the advertising message on the reverse of the post card to the obverse image above.

It is a shame that Morris Beach is losing its identity as a black resort. For those folks who do not own a copy of Wendel White’s Small Towns, Black Lives, here is the URL for Wendel’s webpages for Morris Beach:

Wendel will be in attendance at Lines on the Pines on 11 March at the Frog Rock Country Club in Hammonton and will likely have some of his black community photographs with him. The Noyes Museum will be supplying 50 copies of Wendel’s book for purchase at Lines and he will be happy to sign them for you!

Best regards,
Hey Jerseyman

That is really cool. I love all those old post cards. Was that a pier that is shown here. I don;t recall seeing that tho' I believe the gazebo thing is still there as well as a boat ramp. I will definately be at Lines, I am on vacation that week and having nothing else planned for that day. Looking forward to learning more. when I was on disability this past summer, I did quite a bit of research on Atlantic County, including reading Boardwalk Empire, which I highly recommend. I had developed a superbug infection after the knee surgery and had to go to get an IV daily for 10 days in Somers Point. It was them that I went out there as I drove by Jeffers Landing road. I went to photograph the coastal plants. I had also stoppped at the Atlantic Heritage Center in Somers Point and there was quite a bit of interesting stuff in there.


John Ward

New Member
Jul 15, 2013
I spent many summers at Thompsons Beach since my Aunt owned a cottage there. Of course everything ended with the storm of I believe 1950. Her house floated intact three miles across the meadow and ended up next to the road like nothing ever happened. When you arrived their was a road that ran along the beach to the end which was not long. A little fire house existed with a bell on a post which was the only thing left after the storm. I can still hear the ocean as I lay in bed at night. Wish I could return.
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Feb 20, 2004
Pestletown, N.J.
Thanks for the recollections and welcome aboard.
I love the rustic beauty if the Delaware Bay coastline, it is truly and always has been the working man's shore.
Pardon me for reviving an old thread, but last evening I stumbled upon a short documentary about Shellpile produced by the Bayshore Center in Bivalve. I thought I would post a link in case anyone was interested in watching. I've been crabbing and exploring that area for a long while and it's incredible to see how vibrant some of those hamlets were in the past. The accents of some of the older denizens is reminiscent of the "hoi toider" speak from Down East North Carolina, mixed in with some Baltimore / southern Maryland dialects. The retention of the rhoticity in the accent is also unique. I enjoyed my time living briefly on the Delaware Bay but it is not for the timid, no matter the season.