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BATSTO

Burlington Co.

NEW JERSEY

INTRODUCTION

Batsto is a class C/F (restored‑State Historic Site).

 

This iron-forge village is located along the Batsto River in Wharton State Forest, on SSH 542, nine miles east of Hammonton, deep in the heart of New Jerseys famed Pine Barrens.

 

IN THE BEGINNING

This major bog iron forge village was founded in 1766 by Charles Read. In addition to supplying needed iron products to local citizens, the furnaces also supplied war material to the colonists in their battles with the British during the Revolutionary War. The charcoal that fueled the furnaces was produced from locally felled trees.

 

After the war ended, brickyards, glassworks, gristmill, iron forge and sawmill all contributed to the local economy, and the town grew to a population of about 1000.

 

Coal-powered furnaces were more efficient, and as they grew in popularity, locations with charcoal-powered furnaces declined. Batsto's charcoal-powered forges soon became unprofitable, and by 1848 they shut down. The town followed suit, and in 1874 a fire destroyed half of the nearly abandoned town. Joseph Wharton purchased the site in 1876, and operated a sawmill and did some farming for a number of years.

 

BATSTO TODAY

In 1954 the town site was purchased by the state of New Jersey, and Wharton State Forest was established. Batsto was partially restored, and is now a designated State Historic Site. Some of the 40 or so buildings and town sites that have been rebuilt include the ironmaster's mansion, the furnace, the gristmill, and the sawmill. A minimal fee is required to visit this site.

 

In addition to being a state historic site, Batsto Village is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

For more information about the Batsto Village Historic Site visit their website.

 

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

 

This was our January 2006

GHOST TOWN OF THE MONTH

 

 

LOCATION:

        Latitude: 39.6434510 / 39 38 36 N

        Longitude: -74.6504351 / 74 39 02 W

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED: January 07, 2006

LAST UPDATED: February 17, 2006

 

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