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Smithville Inn to Batsto Village
Saturday, May 9, 2015
# in Party
Abandoned & Restored: A motor trip through the Jersey Pinelands
During the colonial era, the New Jersey Pine Barrens was the location of a variety of
industries including the mining and casting of bog iron and glass making. Iron from these early
furnaces was instrumental in supplying the American military with weapons and camp tools during the
American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War. Other industries such as paper mills,
sawmills, and gristmills rose and fell throughout the years catering chiefly to local markets. Smaller industries
such as charcoal-making and glassmaking also were developed, meeting with varying degrees of success. Over
time the forests of the Pine Barrens have reclaimed almost all traces of abandoned villages built around these former
industries (e.g, Quaker Bridge and Atsion). Luckily, the remnants of a few abandoned sites can still be found (e.g., Batsto Village).
This road trip takes us to five commemorative historic sites beginning with Smithville Village and ending at Batsto Village.
Starting Point and Time
Lunch at the Smithville Village Inn (Private Dining Room)
1 North New York Road, Galloway, NJ 08205
Ending Point and Time
4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Batsto Village Visitors Center
31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037
Stop 1: Smithville Village
1 North New York Road (Route 9), Galloway, 08205
James Baremore built what is now the Smithville Inn in 1787, a single room along a well-traveled stagecoach route.
By 1874 the inn had grown to six times its original size and its success was well established; it was eventually
abandoned at the turn of the 1900s. In 1952, a local couple purchased the inn and restored the building,
opening it as a restaurant with 42 seats. The inn was declared a historic landmark in 1964.
Stop 2: Bethlehem Loading Company (Belocoville)
1121 Route 50 (South Boulevard), Mays Landing 08330
The construction of the plant was started on April 3, 1918. By July 1st the first 155 mm shells were loaded and by November
of the same year 56,000 155 mm shells were loaded and delivered to the war effort. At the same time an 8” shell plant
was brought on line and the 75 mm shell plant was 70% complete. The plant had 24 miles of railroad track along with
administration buildings, cafeterias, change houses, police buildings, and military barracks to house 1,100 soldiers to guard the plant.
Stop 3: Estellville Glass Works
109 Route 50, Mays Landing 08330
This complex is an early 19th century glass factory that was in operation from 1825 until 1877. The factory was built by
John H. Scott for the Estell family. Glass production began in 1826 and peaked during the mid-1800s. It was
possibly the first glassworks that had the capability of producing both hollow ware (bottles) and window glass.
The Estell family owned and operated the factory until 1858.
Stop 4: Weymouth Furnace
6969 E Black Horse Pike (Intersection of Route 559 & Route 322), Mays Landing 08330
Opened in 1802, Weymouth was once a successful iron works and then a paper mill community
until 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 remains of this historical landmark.
Stop 5: Batsto Village
31 Route 542 (Batsto Road), Hammonton, 08037
During the iron making and glass making periods (starting in 1777) at Batsto Village, there were hundreds of people
working and living in the village. Today there are more than forty sites and structures, including the Batsto mansion,
a sawmill, a 19th-century ore boat, a charcoal kiln, ice and milk houses, a carriage house and stable, a blacksmith
and wheelwright shop, a gristmill and a general store. The Post Office is still in operation and collectors can have stamps
hand-cancelled with no zip code.