Monday, March 30, 2020

Joe Mulliner’s Gravesite

Posted by Stu On March - 22 - 2007

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Just about every Piney knows the name Joe Mulliner – the “Robin Hood of the Pines” – who robbed from the rich and, in theory, gave to the poor. He would also rob taverns and, according to some stories, would dance with the women before he escaped. One story that always stuck out in my mind was that his band pillaged a rich widow’s house without his knowledge. They burned down her house and tied her to a tree. Joe soon found out and paid for the reconstruction of her house and, according to some accounts, returned all of her possessions.

Joe’s reign occurred during the time of the Revolution, and he was a Tory. So not only was he a thief, he was a British supporter. Because of this, people really, really wanted to catch him.
It took a while, but one day he was caught in a tavern. He was quickly hanged.

Interestingly, there are 2 grave sites for Joe Mulliner; nobody’s sure which is the true one, if either is. This is the only one I’ve found. Nobody seems to know where the other is, if it even exists anymore.
This stone is in between 2 houses and is just feet from someone’s driveway. It looks like construction was started behind the stone as well. There is somewhat of a path leading up to it, but there are thorns along the way.

Popularity: 8% [?]


Posted by Stu On December - 21 - 2006

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New pics 12/07

We visited Amatol in the spring, but for whatever reason I never got around to posting it.

There are 2 points of interest to the area’s history.

The first is the munitions plant similar to Belcoville. Amatol served the very brief purpose of supplying the army with munitions during the tail end of World War I. The town was built in a matter of months and was abandoned not too long afterward. Like Belco, once the war was over, there was no need to keep it running.

There isn’t much left of the town or plant; we did manage to find some noteworthy ruins, but there are rumors that more can be found deeper in the woods. I hope to head back someday and see if this is true; I’m sure it is.

The second note of niftiness is that the area served as a race track less than a decade after the town went kaput. For only 2 years, the 1.5 mile, wooden oval track, called the Atlantic City Speedway, was the area’s claim to fame. It managed to become more popular than the Indy 500, if only for a short time.
Today, nothing but the outline remains of the track. Walking down the path, you would just think it’s an unmaintained trail. But an aerial view shows differently. I took a screen capture from Google Earth:

You can walk the entire track, but parts of it are very overgrown. There are also lots of chiggers and ticks in the woods, so I recommend going when it’s cold. Also, watch where you go, because some of the woods are privately owned. The part where the town is, as far as I’m aware, fair game. And keep in mind this is a wildlife management area, so don’t get shot.

For more information or photos of either Amatol or the racetrack, check out this website.

Update – 12/07

These are photos I shot in November. I was right; there was a lot more to see than my initial trip. Sad part was I was only a few hundred feet away from it and somehow I missed it.

Popularity: 8% [?]

“Hidden” Cemetery in Estell Manor Park

Posted by Stu On November - 21 - 2006

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Quite some time ago, I received an email about a cemetery hidden somewhere in the same park as the Bethlehem Loading Company and Estellville Glassworks ruins – it was supposed to be much older than Bethlehem. I lost the email after getting a new computer and forgot about the cemetery until it came up on a message board I read. I was given some vague directions and managed to find it. It’s not all that hidden, honestly, especially with a big green fence around it. Still a nice find though.

The way to the cemetery is surrounded with round concrete holes. Not really sure what they were.

As with many cemeteries I find, this one isn’t in great shape. Many stones are either worn down or now unreadable. The ground within the fence is spongy, and some stones are actually sinking into it.
We were able to confirm that the graveyard is significantly older than the munitions town of Bethlehem – the oldest date I saw was 1810 and Belco wasn’t built until World War I. Keep in mind the glassworks were around before Belco as well.

This footstone is sinking into the ground.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Sewage Treatment Facility Ruins in Great Egg Harbor WMA

Posted by Stu On November - 21 - 2006

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Another find due to geocaching. This is not far from the main road at all. At first I was iffy about going to ruins of someplace dealing with sewage, but it turned out to be quite safe and non-stinky. Just your run-of-the-mill concrete ruins really.
Not a very big place, but it’s something easily accessible that I’ve driven by many times and never noticed.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Head of the River’s “Forgotten” Cemetery

Posted by Stu On August - 21 - 2005

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Thanks to NJ Pines & Down Jersey for helping with some of the info.

I’ve passed Head of the River Church many times going to other places, 2 being the Abandoned Cranberry Mill and Aetna Furnace. I never really thought much about the church until I read about it in Beck’s More Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey. It mentioned graves across the road that were apparently forgotten and overgrown. I read a few other articles that had also mentioned a tiny graveyard separate from the one around the church. A few forum members also said they knew about the “hidden cemetery”, so I decided to look for it next time I was down that way.

What I found were five graves, across the road from the church and cemetery (as the book had said). They’ve been rescued from the woods, so to speak, and appear to be maintained. We briefly looked around to see if any other stones were in the woods, but we couldn’t see any. Near the 5 graves were 2 stubs, which looked like they could have been foot stones. Since the cemetery here is 200+ years old, it’s possible there are other graves and the stones have since crumbled or otherwise vanished.

The graves are those of Baptists. Head of the River and its surrounding graveyard were for Methodists. These Baptists were buried across the way because they weren’t allowed to be buried in a Methodist cemetery. One of the buried Baptists is Reverend Grooms, who lost out because of his beliefs not once, but twice. First his fellow Baptists shunned him for wanting to preach at a Methodist church, and he became an outcast because of this decision. Then, despite trying to unite with the Methodists and even being allowed to preach at their church, he still wasn’t permitted to be buried among them. He wanted to join both groups but ultimately was never completely accepted by either. Poor guy.
Also buried here are Mrs. Grooms, the Grooms’ 2 children, and another Reverend, Isaac Bonnell.

The stones are in surprisingly good shape.

…oh yeah. Here’s a big ol’ spider we saw in the big cemetery:

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Aetna Furnace

Posted by Stu On April - 20 - 2005

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Virtually nothing is left of Aetna, or Etna, Furnace. This place, once a furnace, forge, and mill, is now nothing more than a hill with crumbling bricks on it. The dirt road leading to the furnace site is 1/4 mile in length and takes you right to the Tuckahoe River. Other than a nice short hike, there isn’t much to see here. I read in Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey that a 60′ tall smokestack was once part of the ruins, but it no longer exists. The furnace shut down in 1832.

Popularity: 5% [?]

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