Where is the OLDEST habited area of the Pinelands?

Fish1952

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Where is the OLDEST habited area of the Pinelands? I have been to Retreat, Chicken Town, Sand Town, Ongs Hat, etc, & a few others there must be many more from years ago long gone.. Charlton Becks Books are a good resource.
 

RednekF350

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I think it depends on what you mean by habited...the Lenni-Lenape go back a long way :)
Let's not forget the Flintstones. Some evidence suggests that Stone Age people predated the American Indian by 10,000 years. I must concede however, that the Flintstones were actually labeled a Modern Stone Age Family by researchers, Hanna and Barbera.

Here is an ad-ridden but informative article for consideration:
 

Ben Ruset

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Are you defining the Pinelands as in the modern boundaries of the Pinelands National Reserve?

I think most of the continuously settled places within that boundary sprung up in the 18th century. There wasn't really much reason for people to stay inside the Pinelands. Even the Lenape didn't really do much in the Pinelands except go through them on their way to the ocean.

The first iron furnace in New Jersey was built in 1674 in Tinton Falls, which is outside the Pinelands, so that'd be your earliest year for furnaces showing up. Batsto was founded in 1766. Atsion was completed in 1768. The Cedar Bridge Tavern was built in 1740. There were settlers at Tuckerton as early as 1698. In 1700 Jacob Ong bought 100 acres of land in Northampton Township, although Ong's Hat doesn't show up on the maps until Thomas Gordon's 1834 Gazetteer.

If you want to step outside the modern boundary of the Reserve, the area around Medford started seeing European Settlers show up in 1670. There's a cabin in Mauricetown that shows up in the 1690s.

Old maps aren't much help. This map from 1685 doesn't show much in the way of settlements in the Pines. A map from 1667 shows a comically empty New Jersey, with just some forts along the Delaware, which most likely were built by the Swedes. Interestingly the "Kleyne Eyer Haven", "Groote Eyer Haven", and "Barnegat" show up along the Atlantic coast.
 

Boyd

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I have a book, "A Geography of New Jersey: The City in the Garden" that has a section on early settlements. There's a little map, but they seem to be around the edges of the Pines and not in the middle. Some that are shown are

Burlington (1678)
Coopers Ferry (1681)
Fort Nassau (1626)
Raccoon (1670's)
Salem (1675)
Greenwich (1675)

But there are others on this forum who know much more on this subject, I'm sure they will come along soon. :)
 
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Boyd

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Boyd

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Over the years I've driven all over Gloucester County on my way to someplace else, but never really knew much about it. Just found this page while looking for more info on that cabin (confirms it is privately-owned, which surprised me). Lots of other interesting info about early settlers here

 
Outside of the pines, but still in South Jersey, was the settlement of Townbank, founded by New England whalers on the Bay side of what is today Cape May County in 1632. Also known as Falmouth, New England Town, and Portsmouth Town, it is now under the waters of the Delaware Bay, just out of reach of today's Townbank section of North Cape May. While not technically Pine Barren country, the imagery of the contorted limbs on numerous wind-swept red cedars lends an equally desolate and eerie atmosphere on the timeworn peninsula.
 

Fish1952

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I would like to thank you all for your educational replies to my post ...I am learning many things reading them about NJ....
I hope there is more to come on this subject.. Take care
 
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