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Friday, November 28, 2008

Bass River State Park Stone Mystery


First I would like to say how much I enjoy all the great and useful information on the Bass River history webpage, it has taught me alot and it is so well put together. I have a question about a stone that I came across a few years back near the firemens memorial off of Greenbush rd. The stone is marked WP 1700 and on the back it is marked JM 1742. Could this be a John Mathis property stone? This has been a mystery to me for a long time and I was wondering if maybe you could help me. I can send you pictures if you are interested. Thanks for your time!



I'm familiar with the marker. Attached are two photos, one on each side of the marker. They were taken in 2002. The JM is for John Mathis and the WP is for William Pancoast. It is a marker from an old survey.



The underside of the stone has the initials JM
and the year 1742 carved in the stone.

The top side of the stone has the initials WP
and the year 1700 carved in the stone.

Pete Stemmer (l) and Harry DeVerter
at the stone marker on 4/18/02. A State Park
concrete survey marker stands adjacent to
the old stone.


  1. I found a reference (search for "Bass River") for Fire Fighter Memorials at:

    Is this stone near the GPS coordinates given there?

    ["Fire Fighter Memorial at Bass River State Forest; Memorial location: N39, 40’, 06.3” by W74, 26’, 27.4”. Greenbush Rd. near the intersection of Stage Rd."]

    And are Greenbush and Stage Rd. drivable at that point or do you need to hike to the memorial?


  2. John,

    The William Pancoast-John Mathis survey marker is not at the Fire Fighters Memorial. The Fire Fighters Memorial is located directly adjacent to East Greenbush Road. Plaques are mounted on a Jersey sand stone memorial structure.

    If you would like to go on an adventure some day when the weather is not too bad, we can take a trip to the survey marker, so that you can get an exact GPS coordinate on it. I wouldn't publish it, though, as it could lead someone to the stone who might want it for a souvenir. If anyone would like to join in, drop a line here!

    Pete S.

  3. Pete,

    That sounds fine. I have a do vs. don't dilemma about gathering GPS coordinates and making them available. I like to be able to find things easily and precisely the second time. Particularly when they were very difficult to find the first time. :-) And to easily tell people how to find them. My eyes always begin glaze over when I'm told to turn right at the barn that isn't there any more... ;-)

    But as you say, letting the world have this information could attract vandals. But as the people who do know fade away, the locations of historical sites can be lost.

    Thus the dilemma. So mainly I gather and don't publish them.