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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Shamong in Burlington County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Story Of Atsion

 
 
The Story of Atsion Marker image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
1. The Story of Atsion Marker
Inscription.  Atsion’s history begins with iron. In 1765 Charles Read purchased lands at Atsion and established an iron forge. The village’s most prosperous period began in 1824 when Samuel Richards purchased the property. Under his ownership, Atsion consisted of the family’s mansion, a church, three sawmills, numerous worker dwellings, the company store, a furnace, a forge, a grist mill and a workforce of over 120 men. Following Richard’s death in 1842, and the decline of the local iron industry, Atsion’s new owners looked for ways to keep the village alive. A paper mill was built and later converted to a cotton mill. With the completion of a railroad line to Atsion, real estate developments attempts were made but were unsuccessful. Joseph Wharton purchased the Atsion property in 1892, to support his sizable farming and forestry enterprises. After his death in 1909, his heirs continued to farm the land. The Wharton estate was sold to the State of New Jersey in 1954. While the forges, mills, and workers are gone, some buildings remain to tell the story of this once thriving village.
 
Erected by State of new Jersey
The refurbished ironmaster's house. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
2. The refurbished ironmaster's house.
The columns visible along the porch at the right of the photograph are actually iron pipe that had been produced at Atsion for the early sewer lines of Philadelphia.
Pinelands Commission, State of New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, The National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 39° 44.374′ N, 74° 43.49′ W. Marker is in Shamong, New Jersey, in Burlington County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 206 and Quaker Bridge Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vincentown NJ 08088, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Atsion Church & Cemetery (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Atsion Mansion (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pic-A-Lilli Inn (approx. 1˝ miles away); Sawmill (approx. 3.9 miles away); Meeting House (approx. 3.9 miles away); Treaty Tree (approx. 3.9 miles away); Brainerd (approx. 3.9 miles away); Country Store (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shamong.
 
Regarding The Story Of Atsion. Atsion was an early colonial furnace producing iron from the the nearby bog ore deposits that accumulated near the rivers and creeks throughout the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The furnace at Atsion and the nearby forge at Batsto were significant sources of iron for the cannon balls and other utensils used by Washington's
The General Store, now the Atsion Ranger Station, facing East. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
3. The General Store, now the Atsion Ranger Station, facing East.
continental troops and the NJ militia during the American Revolutionary war in New Jersey. Among the visible remnants of this Pine Barrens ghost town are the ironmaster's house, the general store (now the Atsion ranger station), a few worker's houses, a school, a church, a graveyard and the remnants of the furnace and cotton mill. The ironmaster's house sits beside Quaker Bridge Road which is a quintessential unpaved New Jersey Pine Barrens sand road dating from the colonial period and one of an intricate network of bifurcating and intersecting sand roads throughout the pine barrens that are still used today by the local population as shortcuts through the Pine Barrens as well as by adventurous hikers, many of whom get hopelessly lost each year requiring the assistance of the Atsion Rangers to find them.
This area was eloquently described in Henry Charlton Beck's classic "Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey" as well as "Iron in the Pines" by Arthur D. Pierce. A more recent treatment of this area as a whole is contained in Barbara Solem-Stull's "Ghost Towns And Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens". Those adventurous souls desiring to enter the Pine Barrens and explore it's treasures are advised to plan their trip carefully and to include the following essential items:four-wheel drive SUV, maps, gps, a fully charged cell phone, food and water, a buddy, and plenty
Remnants of the furnace and cotton mill chimney, facing East. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
4. Remnants of the furnace and cotton mill chimney, facing East.
of daylight. The pine Barrens can be somewhat intimidating to the uninitiated, but the rewards are great.
 
Additional keywords. New Jersey Pine Barrens, iron furnaces
 
The floor of the furnace/cotton mill ruins, facing West. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
5. The floor of the furnace/cotton mill ruins, facing West.
Quaker Bridge Road leaving US 206 and heading into the Pine Barrens. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
6. Quaker Bridge Road leaving US 206 and heading into the Pine Barrens.
Quaker Bridge road winding through the Pine Barrens. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
7. Quaker Bridge road winding through the Pine Barrens.
Remnants of Wharton-era barn in the forrest. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
8. Remnants of Wharton-era barn in the forrest.
This ruin is miles deep into the forest along Iron Pipe Road. Its coordinates are N39 40.983' W74 34.526'. An experienced guide is highly recommended.
Typical cedar-water Pine Barrens stream. The froth on top contains iron that aggregates to form ore. image. Click for full size.
By John Intile, May 8, 2011
9. Typical cedar-water Pine Barrens stream. The froth on top contains iron that aggregates to form ore.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2011, by John Intile of Toms River, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,086 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on May 12, 2011, by John Intile of Toms River, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 22, 2020