Friday, January 24, 2020


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.

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Sandy Hook 2006

Posted by Stu On February - 6 - 2006

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2002 Trip / 2004 Trip

Friendly reminder – decent amount of pictures. For you folks with dialup… get broadband already. Seriously. It’s 2006, man.

This trip easily destroyed the 2 previous trips I took to Sandy Hook. This time around we met up with a few forum members, along with some of the fine folks from What’s in the Forest.
We first explored Batteries Mills and Kingman. We then checked out the Nike missile base, followed by a mortar battery.

Batteries Mills and Kingman

Semi-disclaimer – Neither of these are very safe. The floors have several holes, and some of the stuff on the ceiling is barely attached anymore and could come crashing down at any time.

These 2 batteries were almost exactly alike, so I just grouped their photos together.

Can’t get out this way…

One of the many holes. Some are quite deep.

Wasn’t kidding about stuff coming down from the ceiling.

Skeletons of 2……somethings.

Nike Missile Base

One building had a grim surprise for us…..2 dead raccoons that apparently got stuck.

Mortar Battery

Another semi-disclaimer – Lots of asbestos.

Fun with asbestos!

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Sandy Hook 2004

Posted by Stu On February - 6 - 2004

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2002 Trip / 2006 Trip

I’m glad I came back here; we found a lot that I missed on the previous trips. First thing we came across was a battery I didn’t see on my first trip.

Nude beach! w00t!

The Beach Bunkers

We had to hike down the road a bit to get to these. They’re out on their own little peninsula. I don’t know how I overlooked them the last few times.

Those are remains of a dock in the water. Just the posts are left.

Roadside Memorial

This was difficult to read. Some members of the Royal Navy were buried here in 1783.

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Concrete Shipwreck S.S. Atlantus

Posted by Stu On November - 20 - 2003

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I was a bit disappointed. There’s not much of it left above water.
The ship, S.S. Atlantus, was an experiment from WWI. After a few trips across the Atlantic to bring soldiers back home, the concrete ship proved to be near-useless (it was concrete, afterall). The ship was eventually sold to a man who had hoped to make it into a ferry between DE & NJ. During a storm in ’26 the Atlantus got loose and became stuck just off Sunset Beach. They tried freeing her, but once again we’re talking about concrete here. So she’s been there ever since. What you’re looking at is actually the ship’s center; over the decades she’s split in 2. I was amazed to see old photos of nearly the entire ship, still intact, above water. Fishermen and curiosity seekers would row or swim out to her often. She briefly had a sign for boat insurance on her as well.
Who knows how much longer she has before she completely disappears beneath the waves.

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Bethlehem Loading Company

Posted by Stu On February - 16 - 2003

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Originally visited 2/03
Reshot photos 3/05

Bethlehem was quite active during World War I; different types of shells were produced here. Many ruins still remain, and you are free to walk among them as long as you take nothing. There are signs among the ruins giving information about what they were. Bethlehem is within Atlantic County Park, as is the Estellville Glassworks. Among the things here are a water tower foundation, horse stables, police barracks, and shell plants.

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Sandy Hook 2002

Posted by Stu On July - 6 - 2002

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2004 Trip / 2006 Trip

Sandy Hook is an odd lil’ place. The north end is where the interesting stuff is. The area was used in the 1800’s & early 1900’s for military training and weapons testing. An interesting site to see is the Nine Gun Battery. This building went further down the beach than I could see! It’s obvious it hasn’t been used in years from its condition. There were also a few signs on it saying it was hazardous to enter. Well, if it wasn’t a busy beach and if the Coast Guard wasn’t just down the beach, I’d go in and look around.

If you’re an army & war buff (I’m not), Sandy Hook has a lot of stuff for you to check out.

Nine Gun Battery

I tried getting a shot of the battery to show just how big it is. This is nowhere near its full size though:

The Battery goes a long way down the beach

The Proving Grounds

On the way to the northern beach, right next to the battery, are even more ruins. A few signs are posted, stating that this was the Proving Grounds. This is where they tested new types of guns, bombs, etc.

There are a lot of steps like these at the Grounds

There are a lot of steps like these at the Grounds
The base of an old watch tower

There are a lot of steps like these at the Grounds
Raised railroad tracks?

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