Townsend clay works Wheatland

18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Hi all,
new member to the forums
been discovering part of the pinelands for 40+ years.
I've become very interested in the Pasadena/Wheatland section and the terra Cotta manufacturing that was going on in that area.
Can anyone shed some light on it?
I'm particularly interested in the Townsend clay works/Wheatland Mtg.
I may have some information on the exact location.
This is a piece of Terra Cotta pipe I unearthed....

Any info will be appreciated.
thanks, Jeff

KIMG0273.jpg
 
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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,190
4,291
Pines; Bamber area
Hi all,
new member to the forums
been discovering part of the pinelands for 40+ years.
I've become very interested in the Pasadena/Wheatland section and the terra Cotta manufacturing that was going on in that area.
Can anyone shed some light on it?
I'm particularly interested in the Townsend clay works/Wheatland Mtg.
I may have some information on the exact location.
This is a piece of Terra Cotta pipe I unearthed....

Any info will be appreciated.
thanks, Jeff
You can do a search in the upper right. Some of us have been here 20 years, and the information amassed along the way can only be gleaned by electronic searching.
 
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18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Bobpbx,
Thanks for the input.
I have searched a bit and found some info,but really nothing about production Did they actually make terra Cotta pipe or was it a factory that was built and not opened for production....like Brooksbae?
The picture I posted is a piece of Terra Cotta pipe I dug up and of you look at the writing, you can make out "send & co." And then NJ. I'm assuming it said Townsend and CO.
I'm looking for information about this and if it's something that I should pursue.
There is also the remains of some type of kiln at this sight also.
Thanks again, Jeff
Picture on kiln...
View attachment KIMG0282.JPG
 
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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,190
4,291
Pines; Bamber area
That's quite an interesting photo. I've never see that. I'm not really the person to ask, I'm more into the natural world, but perhaps someone will chime in and help.
 
Bobpbx,
Thanks for the input.
I have searched a bit and found some info,but really nothing about production Did they actually make terra Cotta pipe or was it a factory that was built and not opened for production....like Brooksbae?
The picture I posted is a piece of Terra Cotta pipe I dug up and of you look at the writing, you can make out "send & co." And then NJ. I'm assuming it said Townsend and CO.
I'm looking for information about this and if it's something that I should pursue.
There is also the remains of some type of kiln at this sight also.
Thanks again, Jeff
Picture on kiln...
View attachment 20791
The location for the Wheatland Manufacturing Company Works (nee Townsend) is different than the Brooksbrae plant. Wheatland was a bit father north along the tracks from Brooksbrae and operate with two downdraft muffle kilns. Only two circular piles of bricks remain in situ from the kilns on very private property and these have been apparently disturbed since I last visited there, based on a recent foray by Teegate. In his writings, Henry Beck conflated the two plants into just being at Brooksbrae and mislabeled it a terra cotta works. I'm still working to convince folks that Beck was confused.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
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18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Hi Jerseyman,
Yes I'm aware that Brooksbae is a different place than The Townsend clay works.
I'm asking specifically about the Townsend Clay Works/Wheatland Mfg.
We have property in the area of where history would point to where the Townsend site would be.
I have recently dug up ALOT of Terra Cotta pipe,fire bricks,and what appears to be a round kiln,also remains of structures.
I would love to pursue all information as to if the is indeed the side of the Townsend/Wheatland site.
Any maps of the area would also be helpful.
Thanks again, Jeff
 

18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Jerseyman,
If we're talking about the same area,just north of Brookesbae ,it is indeed private property,but I am one of the caretakers of that property.
Thanks again, Jeff
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
25,620
8,222
The Wheatland property north of Brooksbre that Jerseyman mentioned, and I visited semi recently, is private property. Unless it has been sold and dug up it is not the property in your photo. I was given permission to explore and talked with the owner and he allowed me to photograph the place. There was nothing visible like in your photo.
 

18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Hi teegate,
Thanks for your response.
The property in question has been private owned since 1947.
I don't believe we are discussing the same private land.
You would of spoke with me

On this site, we have 2 downdraft kiln remains that are visible once on The property
I have unearthed a 3rd kiln as seen in photo in the past month
Originally,we thought if was a pile of dirt from when the property was cleared in the 1940's.
Also on the same property,I was excavating and dug up a bunch of clay pipes. The one I have posted has the name "send" on the broken piece....could be Townsend??
There is also brick structure in the woods directly the clearing. I'm not sure what it was.
I have another picture of the kiln we believed was dirt
You can see the steel bands.
This is a circular structure.
Brick and fire bricks.
I stopped escavation when I realized this was more than a dirt pile.
Private message me and I will provide more information about this site.
Thanks again,Jeff


KIMG0285.jpg



KIMG0281.jpg


KIMG0278.jpg



KIMG0283.jpg
 
Hi teegate,
Thanks for your response.
The property in question has been private owned since 1947.
I don't believe we are discussing the same private land.
You would of spoke with me

On this site, we have 2 downdraft kiln remains that are visible once on The property
I have unearthed a 3rd kiln as seen in photo in the past month
Originally,we thought if was a pile of dirt from when the property was cleared in the 1940's.
Also on the same property,I was excavating and dug up a bunch of clay pipes. The one I have posted has the name "send" on the broken piece....could be Townsend??
There is also brick structure in the woods directly the clearing. I'm not sure what it was.
I have another picture of the kiln we believed was dirt
You can see the steel bands.
This is a circular structure.
Brick and fire bricks.
I stopped escavation when I realized this was more than a dirt pile.
Private message me and I will provide more information about this site.
Thanks again,Jeff
Very interesting photographs, Jeff! I would be very keen in viewing your discoveries in person, but it does appear you have found a site containing some of Townsend's kilns. The only historical map that provides a modicum of information on Townsend/Wheatland and its location is the 1872 Beers, Comstock, & Cline Map of Ocean County, a wonderful cadastral map. Attached herewith is a detail from that map.

Best regards,
Jerseyman

Screenshot_20230919_051204.jpg
 
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18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Jerseyman,teegate,
Yes! That map is in the very close to our property.
I would be more that happy to have you guys come and meet in person and figure out what we have exactly.
On a side note,I just started this excavation of the property two weeks ago, so this information is new.
Message me and I'll be glad to share more in private.
Thanks again, Jeff
Picture of firebrick from kiln

KIMG0284.jpg
 
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Boyd

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Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Very cool @18inchapes - welcome to the site! Just one request however, please reduce the size (pixel dimensions) of your photos before uploading them to the site. They are very large (~4000x5000 pixels and 10MB). We suggest keeping the maximum dimension to about 1000 pixels, that will allow you to insert them into your post so they can be seen without clicking them and also save disk space on the server. Thanks!
 

Scroggy

Scout
Jul 5, 2022
67
85
Delaware
Somewhat apropos: are there any remains of the Townsend clay pits? The location given for them more or less corresponds to the isolated building marked "D. Townsend" on the 1872 map, but aside from one small flooded hole at the edge of a food plot, I don't see any extensive excavations on LIDAR, in stark contrast to the Adams Clay Mining pits at Woodmansie. (I realize that this is in general an area where discretion is particularly important in discussing locations of things.)
 

18inchapes

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
9
10
56
Jackson NJ
Scroggy,
I never knew that there were Townsend clay pits.
I assumed that they got clay from the Adams clay area
I'll make sure I take notes the next time I'm in that area.
Thanks, Jeff
 

Scroggy

Scout
Jul 5, 2022
67
85
Delaware
Jeff,

I should have said it before, but thank you for bringing your discovery here--you're going to wind up connected with the right people to investigate it and preserve it.

My remark was based on an 1878 NJ Geological Survey report on the clay deposits of New Jersey. On p. 256, it states that "A pipe clay is dug by E. N. & J. L. Townsend one and a quarter miles southeast of Wheatland Station, Ocean county, near the boundary line..." and go on to detail strata of clay up to 30 feet deep. ("Pipe clay" seems to be a term of art for very plastic clay used for making tobacco pipes and whitening leather, such as military accoutrements; I'm not sure if the report was using it in this sense or referring to the final article, drainage pipe.) "...most of the clay of these pits is used in the manufacture of pipe and chimney tops at the drain pipe works of the proprietors at Wheatland Station." They also experimented a little with making firebrick from some of the more suitable clay. The 1876 Annual Report (p. 53) is a little more precise as to their location: 200 feet elevation, "at the side of the Wheatland and Cedar Bridge road, and on what is known as the Webb mill tract", owned by a company in Toms River but worked by the Townsends.

The 1904 report of the state geologist states that the pits were "long abandoned" but other details seem to have come from the 1878 report.
 
Jeff,

I should have said it before, but thank you for bringing your discovery here--you're going to wind up connected with the right people to investigate it and preserve it.

My remark was based on an 1878 NJ Geological Survey report on the clay deposits of New Jersey. On p. 256, it states that "A pipe clay is dug by E. N. & J. L. Townsend one and a quarter miles southeast of Wheatland Station, Ocean county, near the boundary line..." and go on to detail strata of clay up to 30 feet deep. ("Pipe clay" seems to be a term of art for very plastic clay used for making tobacco pipes and whitening leather, such as military accoutrements; I'm not sure if the report was using it in this sense or referring to the final article, drainage pipe.) "...most of the clay of these pits is used in the manufacture of pipe and chimney tops at the drain pipe works of the proprietors at Wheatland Station." They also experimented a little with making firebrick from some of the more suitable clay. The 1876 Annual Report (p. 53) is a little more precise as to their location: 200 feet elevation, "at the side of the Wheatland and Cedar Bridge road, and on what is known as the Webb mill tract", owned by a company in Toms River but worked by the Townsends.

The 1904 report of the state geologist states that the pits were "long abandoned" but other details seem to have come from the 1878 report.
Scroggy:

You have certainly consulted the correct sources. Additional information can be gleaned from the State Geologist Annual Reports for the period as well as the 1868 encyclopedic work, Geology of New Jersey by George H. Cook. Some of the clay lens found in this part of Ocean County was semi-refractory and almost stark white in coloration. If not for the fire-clay qualities of the product, it could easily have served as kaolin.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
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Spung-Man

Explorer
Jan 5, 2009
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loki.stockton.edu
Vineland’s Augustus Seeman, the Commissioner of Immigration of the State of New Jersey, attempted to establish a German settlement at Wheatland Manufacturing. The works had had been idle for three years when it was leased, then bought, in 1883 to make all kinds of pottery. Seeman at the time was also busy developing the Jewish agricultural colony of Alliance at Hells Neck, in the Pine Barrens west of Vineland.

S-M
 
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