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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

NEW JERSEY

“The Garden State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for New Jersey

New Jersey is loaded with many interesting ghost town, near ghost towns and other historic locations all worth looking into by followers of Ghost Town USA.  Unlike most of the eastern states, New Jersey’s ghost towns are well documented in a series of books.

 

A large number of ghost towns are located in the Pine Barrens, a forested area in the heart of the state.  Many were lumbering centers or bog iron forge communities.  New Jersey’s rich history dates back 350 or more years, and during that time many communities grew up, lived long and productive lives, then faded into the dusty recesses of history.

 

With a history of settlement over 350 years, New Jersey is rich in tiny towns and forgotten communities.  A little research in the archives of the Garden State should reveal a lot of interesting old towns.  I have discovered a number of old iron forge communities that subsisted on Bog Iron.   There were also lumbering communities, and many old taverns lined the roads between New York City and Philadelphia and other cities.

 

My several visits to New Jersey have been very limited, and I have not had the opportunity to explore as much as I’d like. 

 

 

If you know of any ghost towns in the Garden State that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us at GTUSA.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ALLAIRE VILLAGE

 (AKA - Howell Works, Monmouth Furnace, Williamsbridge Forge)

Monmouth Co.

This historic class C/F bog iron forge community is now located within Allaire State Park.  The town began as early as 1793, and quickly grew to a population estimated from 4-500 people living in brick homes.  It peaked between 1834-1837, and by 1850 had faded.  It supplied pipes for use in New York City.  In the early 1900's it was used as a Boy Scout camp, and in 1941, was given to New Jersey for use as a living history museum.

ASBURY PARK

Monmouth Co.

Huh??? A city with 15,000 plus population listed???

YES!  Not the entire town per se, but the seaside resort area.  Asbury Park was a major resort area from the 1890s through the 1920s.  During the 1930s it began to fade, and through the middle and later parts of the 20th Century it left its resort status behind. The 1960s were probably the last years with any semblance to “resortiness.” Today what remains is a sad memory of its boom days.  We visited in July 2007, and there were NO PEOPLE on the beach or walking the formerly busy boardwalk.  The main part of town still has a lot of life, but in the seaside portion, many abandoned/unoccupied buildings still lend a major ghostly air to this former booming seaside resort.

 

·        Latitude: 40.2203907 / 40° 13’ 13” N

·        Longitude: -74.0120817 / 74° 00’ 43” W

ATSION

Burlington Co.

This 1770s era bog iron forge community was located along the Mullica River in the Pine Barrens, along US 206, nine miles north of Hammonton and 26 AIR miles southeast of Camden.

 

·        Latitude: 39.7426177 / 39° 44’ 33” N

·        Longitude: -74.7259920 / 74° 43’ 34” W

BAKER’S TAVERN

(AKA - Hancock House)

Salem Co.

This old tavern/road house is located at the town of Hancock’s Bridge, south of Wilmington, Delaware, and about five miles south of Salem.  Originally built in 1734, the tavern opened in 1761 and was known as the Hancock House. The tavern lasted as late as l 870.  It is a state monument.

BATSTO

Burlington Co.

Located in Wharton State Forest, on SSH 542, nine miles east of Hammonton, this iron forge village was founded in 1766.  After the Revolutionary War ended, brickyards, glassworks, a gristmill, iron forge and sawmill helped Batsto’s population grow to about 1000.  The charcoal-fired forges became unprofitable, closing by 1848.  In 1874 a fire destroyed half of the nearly abandoned town.  In 1954, Wharton State Forest was established, and Batsto was partially restored, and designated a State Historic Site. 

This was our GHOST TOWN OF THE MONTH for Jan 2006.  

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

CORYELL’S FERRY & TAVERN

Hunterdon Co.

The site of this ferry and tavern are located along the Delaware River at Lambertville (NJ) and New Hope (PA), 15 miles northwest of Trenton. Coryell's Ferry Tavern was located where Lambertville is today, and the ferry crossed the river to what is now New Hope, PA. The tavern opened in 1726, and the ferry opened in 1732. They operated until after the Revolutionary War. Both Lambertville and New Hope (PA) are small, but active communities.

Thanks to Ed Margerum for clarifying this via E-mail Aug 2005.

ELLIS ISLAND

 

Hudson Co.*

SEE NOTE in text

In Upper New York Bay at the mouth of the Hudson River, southwest of the southern tip of Manhattan Island.  Access is by Ferry.  Ellis Island is a class C/F location. In 1998, the US Supreme Court split Ellis Island between NJ and NY.  This historic immigration station was an extremely busy, self contained island community that served as one of the busiest immigration stations in the country from 1892-1954.  PHOTO!

This was our Ghost Town of the Month for January/February 2009

FORT MOTT

Salem Co.

Fort Mott is along the Delaware River, in Fort Mott State Park just south of Wilmington, DE, at the westernmost point of NJ.   Built to protect Philadelphia, the fort was built beginning in 1875.  The first permanent troops were quartered here 1897 (Battery I, 4th Artillery. The fort remained active until 1922, when a caretaker detachment was stationed here. It was decommissioned at the start of WWII when the guns were removed.

HANOVER FURNACE

Burlington Co.

Four miles east of Brown Mills, which is on SSH 530 south of Ft. Dix.  In the 1770s this was a busy iron forge community with 200 homes and a population nearing 1000.  Its furnaces produced many cannon balls and cannon barrels used during the Revolutionary War.  The furnaces were powered by site-manufactured charcoal. 

OLD HALF WAY

Burlington Co.

Near Woodmansie Station (which is shown on NJ 1991 map at N/9).  It was dug up by clay miners from the Union Clay Works, which was also a small clay mining town located nearby.

ONG'S HAT

 

Burlington Co.

Four miles east of Burrs Mill, then two miles northwest on Pemberton Road, at the western most point of the Lebanon State Forest, deep in the heart of the Pine Barrens.  A tavern was opened here around 1800.  It is said to have been a wild place during Prohibition, and the town was still operating as late as the 1930s.  Only rubble remains.

PAHQUARRY COPPER MINES

Warren Co.

This early day copper mining community was located in the northwestern part of the county, northeast of Stroudsburg, PA.  These copper mines were the first commercial copper mines in the United States, beginning operation as early as the 1640s by Dutch miners.   The copper was excavated and processed on site, and then shipped to Esopus, (now called Kingston, NY.), for refining. 

POINTVILLE

Burlington Co.

“It is within Ft Dix.  The Army took the land in 1917 and the cemetery is still there within Ft Dix boundaries.  There is an administrator charged with its maintenance and state functions.”

Contributed by ‘CBorsavage’, October 26 & November 30, 2010

QUAKER BRIDGE

Burlington Co.

This old river crossing is located in the center of the Wharton State Forest, four miles from Atsion Furnace, on the old Tuckerton Road.  A tavern was located here from 1809-1849.

SEVEN STARS TAVERN

Salem Co.

A Revolutionary War era tavern and roadhouse located between Swedesboro and Sharptown.

SOOY PLACE

Burlington Co.

Six miles east-southeast of the junction of SH 70 and US 206, at a point 12 miles east of Marlton.       

STERLING HILL ZINC MINE

Sussex Co.

This old zinc mining camp was founded by Dutch miners as early as the 1640s.  The mine was worked off and on until 1913, when the New Jersey Zinc Co. operated the site profitably for 70 years, finally shutting down in early 1983.  During its peak, 500 miners worked this mine, which was the third largest in the country, with shafts 2600 feet deep.  The site is now a mining museum and is located north of Ogdensburg, which is on SSH 517, four miles north of Sparta.

TOPANEMUS

Monmouth Co.

This old town was founded by Scottish Quakers in 1685, and abandoned by the Revolutionary War, with the citizens relocating to Freehold, which is to the southeast of the old site.  The tiny town was clustered around the Quaker’s meetinghouse. Its exact location is not determined. 

UNION FORGE

Burlington Co.

This iron forge community processed the iron ore smelted at the Speedwell Furnace.  It was located on the White Horse Road out of Chatsworth, which is 32 AIR miles east-southeast of Camden.  The exact location is not determined.

YARDLEY’S FERRY & TAVERN

Hunterdon Co.

Near Trenton.  Yardley's Ferry and Tavern began operation in 1729 and in 1794 relocated to the Township of Trenton.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of NEW JERSEY, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in NEW JERSEY above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of NEW JERSEY, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  December 27, 2003

LAST UPDATED: November 17, 2012

 

 

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