Today, Yvonne (infinite sameness) and I launched a canoe on Tom's River just upstream from Route 9. Paddling upstream, we passed under the Parkway bridge above which the river forks where its two major tributaries join forces. Our plan was to paddle up the lesser tributary, the Wrangel (or Wrangle) Brook. Our main destination was the confluence of the Davenport Branch and the Wrangel Brook, where it is said that Randolph's sawmill once operated. Incidentally, Captain Bigelow, the legendary privateer, had his house near this location. According to Salter's History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey, Bigelow's "residence is described in a survey made in 1773, as on the North side of Wrangle Brook 30 chains above James Randolph's saw-mill, which was at the junction of Wrangel Brook with Davenport." Included in Salter's book is the advertisement for the sale of Randolph's properties, including the saw mill: "The subscriber has for sale a very good farm, in situation convenient for salt works near Toms River, with near three hundred acres of good salt meadows, which will support one hundred head of cattle, and is exceedingly handy for fish and oysters. Also a good saw mill with a large quantity of cedar swamp to said mill." Aside from running a salt works near Mosquito Cove, James Randolph was better known as perhaps the biggest name in the lumber industry in the Tom's River area during the early years of the Revolution. Eager to find evidence of Randolph's saw mill, we ventured up the shallow Wrangel Brook. Just minutes upstream from the mouth of the Wrangel, we passed by two man-made enbankments on either side of the stream which were either associated with a bridge or a dam, or both. Here is the location as depicted in the 1930 aerials: http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.951529943566634&lng=-74.2137622833252&z=17&type=nj1930&gpx= Here is the South side: And the North: If anyone knows anything about the history of this particular location, please do tell. Immediately upstream, we came across some bridge pilings that I suspect are very old and unrelated to the earthen enbankments just downstream. I see no sign of the bridge or a road in the 1930 photos. Again, if anyone knows anything about this or knows of an old map that depicts the bridge, I'd appreciate your input. We then continued upstream towards the junction of the Davenport and the Wrangel where I was hoping to see the remains of the dam that once stretched across the river just below the confluence. About a mile or so upstream, we came to a spot where dirt roads approached the stream from either side. Was this the site of the dam that powered Randolph's saw mill? At some point in the past, concrete barricades were put up to prevent vehicles from fording the stream at this point, although they have since been circumvented. A bunch of rocks and cinder blocks were laid down on the streambed to (presumably) make it easier for vehicles to cross. Just below the crossing was a timber spanning the width of the river. On the right bank of the creek was another timber of roughly the same length as the other. My first impression was that these were the remnants of some sort of structure with a square base. Just upstream to the left, a small channel met up with the main channel. I initially thought that it was in fact the Davenport Branch, although I discounted this when I saw how narrow and shallow it was and decided it was probably a off-shoot of the Wrangel Brook. Confused, I proceeded upstream. Within minutes, we came to the unmistakeable confluence of the Davenport (to the left) and the Wrangel: We parked the canoe and headed up the shallow Davenport by foot. 'Tis a pretty stream: After a little trek upstream, we turned around and walked back to our canoe. At the meeting of the two streams, I searched intently for any evidence of a dam. I found none. Disappointed, we started paddling back down the Wrangel. When we got back to Yvonne's house, I consulted aerial photographs in order to try to make sense out of my confusion. I realized that the junction of the Davenport and the Wrangel used to be at the location of the crossing where the barricades are. I am now thinking that the crossing was the site of Randolph's dam and that the timber base below the dam was where the saw mill stood. It doesn't appear that there were any raceways in the area, so perhaps the saw mill was right smack in the middle of the stream? Thanks for reading. Hopefully someone here can help shed some light on this.