Wharton State Forest & Batsto Village - Your Passport to Adventure - Hammonton, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 38.635 W 074° 38.800
18S E 530316 N 4388296
Quick Description: Welcome to Wharton & Batsto Village, an intact iron works community. Charles Read is credited w/ building the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River in 1766. You can learn more about this NRHP site and collect a park stamp at the visitor center.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 11/14/2010 11:43:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMA47V
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Phleum
Views: 9

Long Description:

Wharton is a huge forest, home to many ghost towns but this waymark and the passport stamp focuses on Batsto Village, a New Jersey historic site located in the South Central Pinelands, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Parks & Forestry. This site is nationally recognized for its historical significance and beauty. Locally, it is a frequent stop of geocachers and waymarkers as well as jeepers and families. The roots of Batsto Village can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop.

There are many authentic structures which make it easy to imagine life in the 18th and 19th century in this bog iron town. The most modern structure is of course the visitor center. When you enter the glass doors, off to the right is a desk with a greeter. Just tell them you want the stamp and you're in business. I would recommend three hours at least to fully explore this village.

Passport Program Information

The NJ Parks and Forests Service came out with a passport book for collecting stamps for visiting a select sampling of our states parks, forests and historic sites. Many fine places did not make the list but many beautiful and culturally important sites did make the list so I suppose it all evens out in the end. The passport book is divided into 3 sections, north, central and south Jersey. This stamp and Batsto Village page represent the twelfth and final listing for the Southern N.J. section. If it was not for the release of a puzzle cache a few years ago and my obsession at the time for first to finds, I would never have visited all 24 sites of central and southern NJ. The puzzle cache is called Passport To Adventure (South Jersey Challenge) and can be found HERE. The stamp and the passport books are free. To find out more about our fabulous passport program please visit HERE. The stamp for this park features a restored Batsto mansion, with trees in the foreground. The mansion here as well as the mansion in Atsion are the jewels of Wharton.

The coordinates are for the welcome center. This is where one would get the stamp for the Passport to Adventure booklet. The welcome center acts as a gateway for the entire Batsto experience. The left page, opposite the stamp reads "Wharton State Forest, located in the heart of the Pine Barrens, also is the site of Batsto Village, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center. Travel back in time to the 19th-century with the visit to the Batsto Mansion, general store, post office, workers' cottages ors sawmill. The forest also hosts more than the 155 miles of navigable rivers and streams, and 500 miles of unpaved roads - including a 32-mile stretch of the Botona Trail."

Each page has fast facts beneath the narrative (see accompanying picture). Fast facts for this historic site include -- 1) Wharton is the largest state forest east of the Mississippi. 2) Located in Wharton State Forest, the Caranza Memorial stands tribute to the Mexican aviator who crashed there during a goodwill mission from New York to Mexico City. 3) The forest is named after Philadelphia industrialist Joseph Wharton.

Wharton State Forest & Batsto Village Information

Charles Read is credited with building the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River in 1766. Batsto had the natural resources necessary for making iron. There was bog ore which was "mined" from the banks of the streams and rivers, wood from the forests became the charcoal for fuel, and water became the power for manufacturing. John Cox, a Philadelphia business man, became part owner in 1770 and full owner by 1773. The Iron Works produced household items such as cooking pots and kettles. During the Revolutionary War years, Batsto manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. Manager Joseph Ball became owner of Batsto Iron Works in 1779.

In 1784, William Richards, uncle of Joseph Ball, became a major owner of The Iron Works. This began the Richards’ era at Batsto which would last for 92 years. William was ironmaster until he retired in 1809. Son Jesse was in charge until his death in 1854; and he was followed by his son Thomas H. By the mid 1800’s, iron production declined and Batsto became a glassmaking community known for its window glass. Soon the glass business was also finished, and Batsto was in receivership.

Joseph Wharton, a Philadelphia businessman, purchased Batsto in 1876 at a Masters Sale. Wharton continued to purchase property in the area surrounding Batsto. He made improvements on the mansion, and on many of the village buildings. He was also involved in a variety of forestry and agricultural endeavors. Joseph Wharton died in 1909. From his death until 1954, the Wharton properties in the Pine Barrens were managed by the Girard Trust Company in Philadelphia.

Name of Park, Protected Area, or Cultural Location: Wharton State Forest - Batsto VIllage

Name of System or Passport Program: New Jersey's State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites

Passport Available: Yes, for free

Parking or Entrance Fee: Not listed

Park Website: [Web Link]

Address of Station:
31 Batsto Road
Hammonton, NJ USA

Visit Instructions:
No special instructions, but a picture of yourself or of something unique to that place would be a nice touch.
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