How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Friday, December 7, 2012

Old Tuckerton Water Tower Revisited

The October 20, 2012 Blog entry dealt with the Old Tuckerton Water Tower.  Click on the areal view of the old water tower foundation stones below to view the October 20th Blog entry.

In that entry I mentioned that I did not have any photos of the old water tower. Well, two of my history buddies came to the rescue. Bruce Ellis and John Headley, who are regular visitors to the Tuckerton Historical Society, brought two photos to my attention from the Downshore: From Manahawkin to New Gretna book that show the water tower. Unfortunately, they show the tower in the background, so we don't get a very good look at it; however, they are worth looking at.

Scene looking East from Tuckerton Creek
with water tower in background.

The next photo is interesting in that it shows many buildings, some rather large, that are no longer in existence.

1906 scene looking South-East from Lake Pohatcong with water tower
in background. Buildings: 1- Grist Mill; 2- Fire House; 3- Cowperth-
waite's Wheelwright Shop; 4- Ireland's Blacksmith Shop; and
 5- YMCA. Can anyone identify the building between 1 & 2?

Following are some close up views of some of the buildings in the 1906 scene above from the Tuckerton Historical Society's photo and postcard collections.

Old postcard of Mill on Tuckerton Creek.

Oil painting of the old mill by Burrel Adams. Burrel painted many
old Tuckerton scenes on canvas and on old carpenter's handsaws.

The mill (left) and firehouse.

Rear view of mill and firehouse from Tuckerton Creek.

Old postcard of the firehouse
What happened to the fire bell?

Old postcard of the Y.M.C.A.

I also received the following 1970 aerial photo from Arnold Cramer. It shows the water tower in relation to many buildings in Tuckerton

In the October 20th Water Tower Blog entry I stated that I didn't know when the water tower was dismantled. Paul Schopp, a fellow member of the Burlington County History Roundtable and all around history guru, in a comment estimated that the water tower was torn down "sometime between 1980 and 1982."
I cannot provide you with an exact date, but the old tank came down sometime between 1980 and 1982. The borough completed its new tank in 1980 and aerial photos show it removed by 1982.
Best regards,Paul Schopp

Paul was right on the money, as usual. I just recently came across a newspaper clipping from the Atlantic City Press that confirms that the old water tower was dismantled in October, 1980. A back corner of the Tuckerton Bank can be seen on the right.

Following is an aerial photo of the modern cylinder shaped water tower that was erected in October, 1980 on South Green Street. It is still in operation, today.

Courtesy of Bing Maps

That the latest news I have on the old Tuckerton water tower, but I'm sure that more will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Pete S

Friday, November 30, 2012

John Q. Post Reprised

John Q. Post was an interesting and beloved character in the unfolding history of Bass River Township. Click on the photo below to view the May 10, 2009 Blog entry on John Q.

John Q. Post

John Q's great grandaughter recently submitted the following comment and asked if I had any other information regarding John Q.

I am John Q Post's great granddaughter. My eldest daughter is doing a research project on the family history and we came across your blog. Thank you so much for the story you did on My great grandfather. He was a wonderful man and I miss him very much.
If you have any other pictures or articles about him, we would love to see them.

Thank you

Debbie Bowers Packard

I thought Debbie might be interested in the following poem written by the Herrintown Poet who knew John Q. well. It  was written shortly after John Q. went to meet his maker on May 23, 1995 and deals with his life as a preacher.

“The Scheduled Flight of John Q”


No eye has seen, no ear has heard
No human heart has grasped
The Wondrous things which God himself
Has shown to those who love him.    [I Corinthians 2:9]

• • • • •


John Q
Was his name.
To fame and fortune
He made no claim.

He went through this life
With it’s twists and turns.
And the lamp he carried
Today, still burns.    [Psalm 119:105]

The “Gospel Light”
With it’s strength titanic . . .
He preached it, and
Set his will like granite.   [Isiah 50:7]

To this, like Paul,
He was apprehended,    [Philippians 3:12]
And God’s call on his life
Was never rescinded.   [Hebrews 5:4]

The call came to him
When only a lad.
“Tell my story,
And you’ll be glad.”   [Matthew 28:19]

Publish “THE NEWS”
Throughout the land.    [Matthew 10:27]
Shout it from the housetops
And take your stand.

Just preach my word,
And preach it hot.
Don’t change a thing,
Not even a jot.    [Matthew 5:18]

Call on me.
I’ll show you it’s true.
The God of Jacob
Will go before you.    [Psalm 146:5]

Through mountains and valleys . . .
Through high and through low,
My eye will be on you
Where ever you go.   [Psalm 32:8]

But if you turn away
And stumble about,
And get luke warm
I’ll spew you out.    [Revelations 3:16]

• • • • •


John Q got that message,
And there was no doubt.
At the old camp meetings
He learned how to shout
And keep the fire burning.
And it never went out.    [Joshua 6:5]

For a hundred and eleven years
He poured on the coal.
Preaching the word and
Standing up bold.    [Acts 12:24]

He preached it plain . . .
Just like it’s written
And never once did he
Think of quittin’.

• • • • •


Then came “The Day” -
The Angel said to John Q,
“The God whom you serve
Has sent me to you.    [Acts 27:23]

Because you made Him
The seat of your affection.
That is why I’ve come
To give you direction.    [Psalm 91:14]

To the City of God
That words cannot tell
Built for the faithful
In a mansion you’ll dwell.    [Revelation 3:12]
And drink from the fountain
That gives life to the soul
And be ever renewed
And never grow old.    [Revelation 7:17]

So fold up your tent
Of flesh and bone.
Leave it here and
Come on home.    [II Corintians 5:1]

You’ll get a new body
That will fit you just fine.
Oh! by the way. . . About that gold mine -
Burn the deed. Leave it behind.

Your treasure is laid up
Where rust can’t consume    [Luke 12:33]
At the feet of him
Who opened the tomb.

I’ll show you things
That eye hath not seen,
And you’ll learn a new song
Sung by the redeemed.    [Revelation 5:9]

To the wedding of the lamb,
You’ve got your invitation
To join with the people
From every tongue and nation.    [Revelation 19:9]

Now put on this robe
That’s worn by the blest.
Made of pure linen.
It’s called righteousness.    [Revelation 19:8]

For the clothes you are wearing
Won’t do at all.
You’ll need this new robe
To enter the hall.”    [Isaiah 61:10]

• • • • •


“Hal-le-lu-iah, praise God!
I am glad you’ve been sent.
I’ve been waiting a long time.
I don’t want to miss this event

I’ve believed it and preached it
And taught it for years.
I have believed it through joy,
And I’ve believed it through tears.

I’ve been waiting to talk
With Peter and Paul
And see the inside
Of that beautiful hall.

And find my kin-folks
That got up there first,
And all of the others
That have found the ‘new birth.’”     [John 3:3]

• • • • •


“It’s time we go
Take my hand old friend.
The spirit will take us.
He’s much like the wind.    [John 3:8]

In Abraham’s bosom
We’ll be carried on high.
So now if you’re ready,
We’ll say our good-bye.”    [Luke 16:22]

• • • • •


Fare-Thee-Well John Q.
As you take your flight.
You’ve kept the faith
And you’ve fought the good fight.    [I Timothy 6:12]

By a faith like Moses
You’ve crossed the Red Sea.    [Exodus 14:21]
Now, hear the sweet words:
Come dwell with me . . .
Come dwell with me.    [Revelation 21:3]

The Herrontown Poet
June 7, 1995

I hope those out in the Blog-O-Sphere enjoyed the poem as much as I did. John Q was a remarkable man of the faith!

Pete S

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuckerton Old Home Society

The May 14, 2012 Blog entry dealt with the formation of the Greenwood Cemetery Society in 1928. Click on the photo of Greenwood Cemetery below to read the May 14, 2012 Blog entry.

It concluded with the following paragraph dealing with a transformation to the Tuckerton Old Home Society.

The Greenwood Cemetery Society sometime back morphed into the Tuckerton Old Home Society which maintains Greenwood Cemetery today. I am unaware of when and how this happened. Perhaps someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere, can shed some light on the situation.

The "Old Home Society" was a common area name for local cemetery organizations. It's derivation comes from the nature of the society's origin. Many local family members were buried in the local cemetery but surviving family members had since moved to a different town, county, or state. They still cherished their roots and wanted to be sure that their ancestors burial place was kept in a respectful manner. Since the cemetery was in their old family home, the newly formed organization was named the "Old Home Society". Two prominent examples that still exist today are the New Gretna Old Home Society which maintains Miller and Hillside cemeteries in New Gretna and the Tuckerton Old Home Society which maintains Greenwood cemetery on North Green Street in Tuckerton.

Click on the photo above to read the June 9, 2010 Blog
on the New Gretna Old Home Society.

I knew little about the Tuckerton Old Home Society when I wrote the May 14, 2012 Blog entry on the Greenwood Cemetery Society but have since found a Tuckerton Beacon article dealing with the formation of the Tuckerton Old Home Society. Unfortunately, the article was undated, but I believe it was probably written sometime in the early 1930's. Should anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere have any knowledge of the date of the Tuckerton Old Home Society's founding, I would appreciate hearing from you.

The article is a great snapshot of the local Tuckerton families who were members of the new organization. I'm sure that some of our Blog readers have family members on the membership list.

The article begins with a statement that the Society was formed to provide perpetual and annual care for the cemetery and illustrates the wide reach of it's membership throughout the country.

It continues by showing the effort the new organization made to enroll members. They seemed to have really beaten the bushes for members!

Finally, the article lists those early members of the Society by the following categories: Life members, Annual Care Members, and Perpetual Care members.

It would be interesting to walk through Greenwood Cemetery and look for tombstones of those families on the above list. I wonder how many are resting there.

Pete S

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


It's been a while since I posted here on the Blog. Sorry about that, but with Hurricane Sandy and other personnel issues I just haven't been able to find the time. Hopefully, I'll get back to posting once a week in a few days.


Pete S

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Old Tuckerton Water Tower

The August 30, 2012 Blog featured a 1890's photograph (below) of a horse drawn railroad side car with a barn and windmill in the background.

Click on the above photo to go to the 8/30/12 Blog Entry.

The windmill in the photo was the subject a few comments: 

I was just looking at the 1895 Sanborn fire insurance map for Tuckerton and see a windmill noted behind the bank (now Tuckerton Liquors) and the funeral home. There are still concrete piers there that may have been associated with the windmill. Perhaps this is the windmill in the photo? German Georgieff

Great idea to look at the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Tuckerton; however, I don't think the windmill behind the bank is the same windmill that is in the photo. P Stemmer 

The concrete piers behind the old bank/funeral home are the base of the old TUCKERTON water tower, seen in many old town pictures. Arnold Cramer

My good history buddy, Shirley Whealton, tells me that the concrete foundation at the rear of the old bank, now a liquor store on Rt 9, is from an old water tower, not a windmill. P Stemmer

It is obvious from the comments that the windmill in the photo is not linked to the concrete foundations behind the old Tuckerton Bank Building as suggested by German Georgieff.

The old Tuckerton Bank on Rt 9 is now a liquor store.

Arnold Cramer and Shirley Whealton correctly pointed out the the concrete foundations are remnants of the old Tuckerton Water Company tower. These foundations, which look like a miniature Stonehenge, can be clearly seen in the following aerial photo.

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Seeing the old water tower foundations got me thinking about the origins of the Tuckerton Water Company and when the tower was built. I asked some Tuckerton old timers if they knew when the water tower was built, but no one seemed to know. It's not surprising, as there are no eye witnesses of the tower being built, as I discovered, while reading some Tuckerton Beacon "Out of the Past" news articles, that it was constructed in 1898.

A series of brief Tuckerton Beacon articles chronicles the formation of the Tuckerton Water Company and the building of the tower.

The Tuckerton Water Company was granted a franchise in 1898 with the condition that it would provide 5 free fire hydrants throughout the town.

The 45,670 gallon water tank was completed by the Tippet & Wood of Phillipsburg, N.J. at the end of June, 1898

The water for the tower was obtained from the headwaters of Lake Pohatcong to ensure that the water was pure.

Half price specials were offered to induce new subscribers to hook up to the newly available water service. It sounds a lot like today's advertising.

The Everett House, a popular hotel on Tuckerton's Main Street, was the first to connect to the new water system.

Photo courtesy of the Tuckerton Historical Society.

The services of the new water company were so popular that plumbers were in high demand. Not having air conditioning, it seems a cool bath in the hot summer hit the spot with many residents.

Common stock was issued to raise capital for the start up costs of the water company. The stock certificates list the official name of the company as the Tuckerton Water Works Co.

The total value of the stock issued in 1898 was $12,000.00. Adjusted for inflation, that value would be about $320,000 today. That is a very modest sum to start up a water company today.

Following are a few postcards, from the Tuckerton Historical Society's collection, showing views of Tuckerton taken from the water tower. If you recognize any of the buildings or can estimate when the photos were taken, let's hear from you!

Notice the outhouses lined up like soldiers behind a group of houses and Lake Pohatcong in the background in the following postcard.

Lake Pohatcong can also be seen in the view below.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate a photo of the water tower, nor do I know when it was dismantled. If anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere can help me with these issues, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Pete S

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stage Road and the Starship Enterprise

A few months ago Jackie and I had to go to center city Philadelphia. It's not my favorite trip; however, the drive through Hammonton to catch the Atlantic City Expressway at Williamstown, and over to the Ben Franklin Bridge to Philly only takes about an hour and 15 minutes. All in all, it's not a long trip, but the traffic sure is heavier than in good old New Gretna and finding a parking place can be frustrating.

As I was cruising up the Expressway, my thoughts wandered to one of my all time favorite TV shows - Star Trek. 

The crew of the Starship Enterprise

I got to thinking that Captain Kirk wouldn't have to fight traffic on his way to Philly. A trip to the Enterprise's Transporter room and a simple command to Scottie to beam him to center city, and the good captain would be walking in Philly within a few seconds. It sure beats my hour and 15 minute journey, and Kirk wouldn't have to fight for a parking spot.

This futuristic journey to Philly seems unimaginable to us, today; however, man's quest for progress would tend to prove otherwise. After all, an hour and 15 minute trip from Tuckerton to Philadelphia would have seemed just as preposterous to the Tuckertonians in the 17th century as a 3 second trip to Philadelphia seems to us today.

Back in the early 1800's a trip from Tuckerton to Philadelphia would take a few days by stage coach. 

The main route was Stage Road which ran from Tuckerton on sand roads through the Pine Barrens to Camden where a ferry trip would take the traveler across the Delaware River to Philadelphia. Multiple stops would be made along the way at taverns strategically placed at distances allowing the stage coach to change horses and the travelers to stretch their legs and partake of refreshments. The trip would require a nights lodging in the middle of the Pine Barrens, often in less than desirable circumstances. Heat and high humidity combined with hoards of mosquitoes, pine flies, and green heads in the summer and the freezing cold of winter made the trip a challenge.  It was clearly not a journey for the faint or weak hearted.

Steve Eichinger, my history buddy, wrote about traveling along Stage Road from Tuckerton to Philadelphia, highlighting the many taverns along the way. You can read his Stage Road articles which appeared in the June, 2002 and June, 2003 issues of the Bass River Gazette by clicking on the 1820 Tuckerton Stage newspaper ad below.

The July 18, 1820 newspaper clipping advertises a Monday and Thursday trip a week from Tuckerton to Camden followed by a ferry ride to market Street in Philadelphia. On the return trip passengers could disembark in Tuckerton and take a ferry to the beaches on Long Beach Island where they could procure room and board for $4.00 a week. The stage ride cost $2.00.

Following is an August 27, 1840 ad which hawks stage rides from Philadelpia on Wednesdays and Saturdays to Tuckerton for $1.50 and to Manahawkin for $2.00. It lists the route as ferrying to Camden then traveling through Marlton, Tauton, Atsion, McCarthyville, Bass River, Tuckerton, and Manahawkin. McCartyville was a papermill town which later became Harrisville.

The ads sure put traveling from Tuckerton to Philadelphia in perspective. I guess I can't complain when I'm caught in heavy Expressway traffic. After all, it's better than a day or two's stage travel over bumpy old Stage Road. It seems that I'm Captain Kirk to that 17th century stage coach traveler.  Beam me up, Scotty!

Pete S

PS- A special thanks to Paul Schopp, a history colleague, who provided the Tuckerton Stage ads.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Gretna News- January 14, 1943

It's been a while since I posted here at the Blog. Sorry about that! It's due to a combination of writer's block and computer problems. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back in the grove with weekly Blog posts.

I thought I'd take you on a trip back to New Gretna in the early part of 1943 via a clipping from the January 14, 1943 Tuckerton Beacon. It was the beginning of the year I was born and the middle of the war years. We see mention of a few New Gretna boys who served in the war. There were many young men and women from New Gretna that served in the war.

Rev. Huckaby and family - 1961

Private Harold Gerew

Win Salmons

Ruy and Marietta Allen

Delwin Downs in Clarence Mathis' store

Jack Mathis

Milton and Mildred Kauflin

I hope that the news clipping and added photos bring back some memories for some New Gretna old timers out in the Blog-O-Sphere. If so, let's hear from you.

Pete S