Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mason-Dixon Line in South Jersey?

Posted by Stu On October - 27 - 2008

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This is more of a writeup than an actual place. Mostly because it doesn’t exist.

For years I’ve been hearing there are, or at least were, markers indicating where the Mason-Dixon Line runs through South Jersey. And like most of my good hunts, people have heard about them but nobody has actually ever seen one. This idea seems to be an older one; most younger people have not heard of it. A bar on Long Beach Island used to advertise being “south of the Mason-Dixon” back in the 60’s, and that’s about the time period where this whole “Mason-Dixon Line in Jersey” seemed to have some life.

My best lead took me to Long Beach Island. I was told there was a marker out in front of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. Along the roadway is a marker, but it’s nothing more than a survey disk. There is nothing anywhere on the sign or benchmark indicating it’s marking The Line. I even went inside the building and inquired about it. The woman working there said she had lived on the island her whole life and never heard of such a thing. She then telephoned LBI’s Chamber of Commerce to ask about it. The woman who answered said when she was growing up, she heard a M-D marker was in Beach Haven Terrace but didn’t know exactly where.
The problem with that is that Beach Haven Terrace and Loveladies are over 10 miles apart. So already we have conflicting ideas of just where this line is. I’ve been told that markers were also found in Tuckerton and Barnegat, again more conflict. Barnegat somewhat lines up with Loveladies, and Tuckerton is closer to Terrace.
Another “lead” I got said there was a marker near Exit 4 on the NJ Turnpike. This would put the line up around Toms River, meaning I grew up in the South. A call to the Turnpike Commission squashed this idea when they said there isn’t and never was a Mason-Dixon marker. They said some of the old East/West Jersey boundary stones are in the area, so maybe that’s what the marker in question was.

So we have false leads. Nobody actually ever seeing a marker. Officials saying such things don’t and never did exist. And let’s not forget the biggest story-killer – The Mason-Dixon never touched NJ. It’s the border between Maryland & Pennsylvania. It then turns south, forming the border between MD & Delaware. So right there, it’s impossible to have markers in South Jersey. But what if you extended the line straight across?
I think that’s what happened here. Some people back whenever decided that if the line continued eastward, a good section of New Jersey would be south of it. Well by that logic, most of Europe was in the Union and India was Confederate.

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1 Response

  1. Nick Pisano Said,

    I lived on Long Beach Island from September 1974 to March 1975. There was a general store on the main road near Beach Haven, not far from the old Lifesaving Station. In front of the general store were two signs: one stating that the store was the oldest building on the island (dating to the early 19th century) and a marker stating that it stood in the original Mason-Dixon Line. I was struck by the incongruity of the “south” beginning in South Jersey so the memory stuck. It does make sense though. South Jersey has a different history and was aligned in its early period with the slave owning culture. It flat lands put it in line geographically with Delaware and Eastern Shore Maryland.

    I’ve only been back twice since 1975. The little old general store was gone as was the old Lifesaving Station as best as I could tell. The historic hotel that was renowned as having the best restaurant on the island also seems to be gone. Unlike New England, Jersey has been contaminated with Philly, New York and northern Jersey greed and corruption. It’s beaches are trash bins and its historic landmarks long gone. No wonder this bit of history is also gone.

    Jersey is a nice place to be from.
    Ciao.

    Posted on March 24th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

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