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History of the Pinelands

The history of the Pinelands is the story of people and the land. The ruins of ghost towns tell the stories of the past, and the thriving towns and villages are a testament to the places and traditions that continue. Legends, lore and landmarks abound in the Pinelands...

Today's Pinelands are a result of geological transformations occurring over millenia, with humans beginning to shape the landscape 10,000 years ago.

Image of Whitesbog general store[+ ZOOM] Whitesbog general store Kevin Husta

European settlement brought towns and industries to the Pines, and began to change the landscape in ways previously unseen. The ghostly remains of industrial villages like Martha, where an iron furnace operated in the early 1800s, and Harrisville, where a paper mill flourished in the late 1800s, can still be seen. Company towns like Double Trouble Village, a cranberry farm and packing plant, and Whitesbog Village, where Elizabeth White domesticated the blueberry, are today well-preserved examples of a bygone way of life in the Pines.

Image of Ruins of Harrisville, a once thriving industrial village and paper mill.[+ ZOOM] Ruins of Harrisville, a once thriving industrial village and paper mill. © PPA

Today, several hunderd thousand people inhabit the Pinelands, with many commuting to employment centers on the edge of the Philadelphia metropolitan region. And while the manufacturing industries of previous generations have faded away, large-scale cranberry and blueberry farming continue to provide an economic foundation for the region.

Pinelands Historical Timeline

Walk through the Pinelands historical timeline to understand the past and present.

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