Friday, April 25, 2014

Mighty Joe

Posted by Stu On September - 26 - 2012

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Anyone driving on Route 206 in Shamong has surely seen the gorilla in the parking lot of Mighty Joe’s, a gas station and convenience store.  Formerly found along the Wildwood boardwalk and more recently serving as a decoration at a go-kart track, the gorilla, now known as Mighty Joe, has since been fixed up and moved to the side of Route 206 as an homage to the owner’s deceased son, also named Joe.

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The sign says it all.

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Popularity: 21% [?]

Futuro House in Franklin Park

Posted by Stu On June - 26 - 2007

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I saw this on the geocaching website and it reminded me of a similar building I saw when I was really little in Seaside. After a little research, I learned several of these were made by the same company. As far as I know, there are only 2 of these buildings left in NJ – the other one is down in Cumberland somewhere, and I intend to go see it soon. This particular one is sitting by itself in Franklin Park, up the road a few miles from the Rancocas Reservation. It’s not well maintained and I’m not sure if it’s currently in use or not.

The Futuro house was designed in the 60’s and was meant to be a portable and economical house, allegedly being able to sleep 8. An estimated 100 were built before the oil crisis in 1973 made them too costly to produce. A bank chain used them for a brief while, which was a pretty dumb idea; would you feel safe banking somewhere a helicopter can easily pick up and take away? I’ve been told the one I saw in Seaside was one of the banks; I was always under the impression it was a tourist welcome center or something.

This one is pretty small and the entrance is more like a traditional house’s rather than the original door with steps that drop down.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Sandy Ridge Sawmill Ruins

Posted by Stu On March - 22 - 2007

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Not a whole lot to say – just some ruins of a sawmill that may have been operational as late as 1920. There is very little left, other than the standard cellar holes and scattered bricks. One cellar hole appears to have been used somewhat recently for dumping. The ruins aren’t far from the ghost town of Friendship; I passed by them quite a few times without knowing they were there.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Bear Swamp Hill

Posted by Stu On February - 22 - 2007

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It’s not really what’s at Bear Swamp Hill, because honestly there isn’t all too much to see – it’s moreso learning what happened there and then finding the remaining bits of evidence.

In January of 1971, a plane coming from the McGuire Air Force Base crashed into the fire tower atop the hill; the pilot did not survive the crash. Wreckage, some of the landing gear in particular, landed a third of a mile away. The tower and much of the plane were quickly cleaned up, but it was impossible to find every little bit of the wreckage. The tower was never replaced.

Today, on the hill itself is the foundation of the old tower. This has become a party spot, littered with cans and bottles. In the middle of the foundation is a fire ring made of brick. Down the path a bit are the remains of a bathroom. The landing gear is a good third of a mile hike down a sometimes nearly non-existent trail. I’m glad we did this in the dead of winter. This is not somewhere you’d want to try in summer; the trail would most likely be overgrown, and I don’t even want to think about the amount of ticks & chiggers.


Foundation of the tower, with a fire ring in the middle


Potties!

Reaching our goal, the woods seemed to almost open up for us; in somewhat of a clearing we found the last known large piece of the plane – some of its landing gear. All around were stumps, with a few younger trees quickly taking their places. I looked around the area a bit to see if I could find any more pieces but came up empty. Also keep in mind much of the ground was covered in snow, so I may have missed something. Allegedly part of the plane is still embedded in a tree trunk nearby. I’ve heard this from a few different sources, but nobody seems to know just where it is.

Popularity: 15% [?]

Mount Laurel Potters Field

Posted by Stu On April - 21 - 2006

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If it weren’t for the markers, you’d have no idea this was a graveyard – just looks like a small patch of woods in between properties. The only indication this is a potters field are 2 corner markers and the lone “grave”. If there ever were any real grave markers here, they were most likely made of wood and rotted or burned away ages ago. Like other out of place graves and cemeteries on the site, the modern world built up and around this potters field. It’s right on the side of Union Mill Road.

We found this bit of concrete behind a tree. We don’t know if it had anything to do with the cemetery. Could’ve been part of an old stone or monument…or just trash.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Hampton Furnace after controlled fire

Posted by Stu On January - 5 - 2006

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We decided to go geocaching around Hampton Furnace and Carranza Road. Upon reaching the furnace site, we noticed there had been a fire recently. The ground was black and crunched when we stepped on it. We walked around the area a bit and discovered that there is more than one foundation at the site of the furnace. The fire had cleared out all the undergrowth and revealed several things we never noticed before.

One foundation is filled with water and has reeds growing out of it:

We saw 3 large cylinders. No idea what they were though:

On our way out we noticed some of the fire was still going:

Popularity: 12% [?]

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