Unique Pinelands Places
There are dozens of ghost towns and ruins scattered across the region. They are the remains and traces of a series of industries – principally bog iron, forestry, charcoal, paper and glass – that arose with the coming of European colonists and faded as richer sources of raw materials were found to the west.
Ghost Towns and Ruins
The following are some of the most easily accessible sites. Please be careful not to remove, move or damage any objects, artifacts or materials you find at these sites!
[+ ZOOM] Atsion Mansion PPA
An important iron works and village in the 18th & 19th C., now with several ruins and preserved buildings. Wharton State Forest (609) 561-3262. Map
Batsto Village is the site of a former bog iron and glass making industrial center (1766 - 1867). This Pine Barrens village consists of thirty-three historic buildings and structures including the Batsto Mansion, gristmill, sawmill, general store, workers' homes and post office. Watch the video "Batsto Stories in the Pines"
[+ ZOOM] Carranza Memorial © Carolyn Saffanna
Deep in Wharton State Forest is this large stone memorial to the memory of Emilio Carranza, an intrepid Mexican aviator who died when his plane crashed here in 1928. Carranza had set out on the return leg of a highly-publicized goodwill flight between Mexico City and New York City. The memorial is surrounded by Pine Barrens forest with walking trails leading to a clearing where the memorial stands. Across Carrnza Road is the access road to Batona Camp, a campsite situated on the Skit Branch, a tributary of the Batsto River. Map
In 1869, Friendship was the heart of a 3,000-acre cranberry farm. Today, foundation ruins of the abandoned cranberry town can be found in the field to the east side of Carranza Road and south side of Friendship-Speedwell Road. This old crossroad provides a lovely view of a meadow, woods and cedar stream. Wharton State Forest, (609) 561-3262. Map
Ruins of a late 18th-19th C. furnace and later cranberry operation along the Batsto River. Wharton State Forest (609) 561-3262. Map
[+ ZOOM] Ruins of Harrisville, a once thriving industrial village and paper mill. © PPA
Isolated deep in the Pinelands, Harrisville is a genuine ghost town from the late 1800’s. Once a flourishing village, it was abandoned in 1891 after the driving force of the community, the great paper mill, went out of business. Today the evocative ruins of the paper mill can be seen but are fenced off for safety and preservation reasons. Wharton State Forest, (609) 561-3262. Map
Site of a late 19th C. glass factory on the Mullica River, several ruins can be found in the forest along the river. Wharton State Forest (609) 561-3262. Map
Today, all that is left of Martha Furnace are the ruins of the bog iron smelting furnace that flourished from 1793-1845. The village once included the furnace, a stamping mill, blacksmith shop, sawmill, gristmill, store, school, hospital, an ironmaster’s house and about 50 additional houses. The furnace remains are buried and fenced to prevent pillaging. Lying along the Batona Trail above the Oswego River, this area is home to a great diversity of Pine Barrens flora and fauna. Wharton State Forest, (609) 561-3262. Map
Pasadena or Brooksbrae
Extensive ruins of brick making factory amidst the encroaching forest. Brendan Byrne State Forest (609) 726-1191
[+ ZOOM] Weymouth Furnace, a former iron works along the Great Egg Harbor River. © Mitch Smith
Once a successful iron works, then a paper mill community, Weymouth Furnace was abandoned in 1887. The Great Egg Harbor River runs by grand stone arches, a towering chimney stack, and moss-covered foundations from the old mill – all that now remain of this historical landmark. It is a popular site for picnicking or for starting your kayak or canoe trip on the Great Egg Harbor River. Atlantic County Park System at (609) 625-1897. Map
The Pinelands That Time Forgot (New York Times article)
Pinelands Villages & Towns: Historic Area Delineations report by the NJ Pinelands Commission (1988)
Ghosts of the Pines(30 minute NJTV documentary)