It quickly became obvious to me that the road names and patterns are different today from those at the turn of the century. The road north out of Tuckerton labeled "Straight Road" on the 1872 map is North Green Street, or Rt. 539, today. At the first fork it veers off to the left going toward an area known as Munion Field. Today the road from that fork on to Munion Field is no longer passable. It was abandoned with the construction of Rt. 539 which traveled northward through Warren Grove.
I realized that I would need some help if I were to find Appleby Estates due to the road changes and the difficult and confusing Pine Barrens terrain.
I called my history buddy, Steve Eichinger, and asked him if he were up to a journey from Tuckerton through Munion Field and on to Appleby Estates. Steve worked for the State of New Jersey at Bass River and Wharton State forests for many years surveying and maintaining many of the woods roads in this area and knows the Pine Barrens roads like the back of his hand.
Steve and I set off from Tuckerton last Friday, armed with the Bulletin story of the reporter's journey and a few maps of the area. Our goal was to retrace the reporter's steps as closely as we could, given the fact that some of the roads traveled by the reporter are no longer passable today.
The reporter's article stated that he spoke to the proprietor of the Carlton House Hotel in Tuckerton who loaned him an old buckboard and introduced him to a guide to take him to Appleby Esates. They left from the hotel the next morning at 8 AM.
The following circa 1910 postcard shows the Carlton house in the center of Tuckerton at the south-east corner of present day Rt. 9 and South Green Streets.
The Carlton House Hotel is long gone. Today the Ocean East Buffet, a Chinese restaurant, stands on that corner lot.
After leaving the Carlton House the reporter mentioned passing the Tuckerton Railroad station.
The 1878 Woolman-Rose Atlas map of Tuckerton shows that the Tuckerton Railroad station is just up the street from the Carlton House.
The following postcard shows the Tuckerton Railroad station in 1940. It has since been torn down.
The following section of a 1951 New Jersey DEP Quad map shows the first stage of our journey from the Carlton House to the unpassable sand road leading to Munion Field.
A sand road was across from Stafford Forge Road. We made a left onto the sand road and traveled west toward Munion Field.
Notice on the map below that the unpassable sand road is an old extension of North Green Street before the building of Rt. 539 and that the sand road that Steve and I took eventually meets up with the unpassable sand road before going to Munion Field. Steve was right. There is more than one way to skin a cat!
We traveled slowly down the sand road toward Munion Field.
Suddenly, Steve stopped the truck and announced that we were in Applyby Estates. You could have fooled me! As I looked out the truck window at the endless scrub pine, I tried to imagine how a 1901 Appleby Estate's land purchaser must have felt upon seeing that their dream home with a bay view was actually a scrub pine disaster.
Steve and I got out of the truck to read the signs posted on the barrier.
The signs read:
Restricted Area - Unlawful to enter this area without authorization of the Installation Commander.
. . . on this Installation all personnel and the property under their control are subject to search. Use of deadly force authorized.
After Steve read that last line, he hightailed it back to the truck. For a man with a bad back, he sure could move! Needless to say, we got out of there pronto.
Tune in next week for the last installment of Appleby Estates. Find out what was beyond that concrete and steel barrier and the status of Appleby Estates today.