On-line Book




Chapter 1

Chapter 2
The Biology of Salt Marshes

Chapter 3
Banking/Diking Procedures

Chapter 4
Economics of Land Reclamation

Chapter 5
Salt-Hay Farming

Chapter 6
Meadow Companies

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Sources Consulted

The Landscape Transformation of Coastal New Jersey
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1Harry B. Weiss and Grace M. Weiss, Early Industries of New Jersey (Trenton: New Jersey Agricultural Society, 1965), 49.

2Weiss and Weiss, 49.

3Weiss and Weiss, 49.

4The amount of land reclamation done along New Jersey's Atlantic Coast was minuscule. In fact, neither state nor federal report, mention reclamation projects on the Atlantic side. P. M. Nesbit of the U.S.D.A. stated that "the marshes (in Ocean County) being, as a rule, at or near the level of mean high water, are not at a sufficient elevation to admit of thorough drainage through sluices, and can be perfectly reclaimed only by the use of pumping machinery.

5Geology of The County of Cape May, State of New Jersey (Trenton: Office of the True American, 1857), 91, 94.

6Geology of Cape May, 92.

7Annual Report of the state Geologist for the Year 1866 (Trenton: Office of the State Gazette, 1867), 17-18.

8One linear rod is equal to 5-1/2 yards or 16-1/2'.

9Annual Report for the Year 1866, 17.

10Annual Report for the Year 1866, 17-18.

11Annual Report for the Year 1866, 18.

12Annual Report for the Year 1866, 18.

13Annual Report for the Year 1866, 19.

14Annual Report for the Year 1866, 20-21.

15Upland crops could not be grown on improved marshes immediately after diking because of the saline content of the marshes. As a result, farmers allowed the marshes to mellow for several years, which meant allowing the soil to rid itself of all salt content.

16Annual Report for the Year 1866, 21.

17Annual Report for the Year 1866, 20-21.

18Annual Report for the Year 1866, 21-22.

19Documents of the Ninety-Second Legislature of the State of New Jersey (Jersey City: John H. Lyon, 1868), 11.

20Annual Report of the State Geologist for the year 1882 (Trenton: John L. Murphy, 1883), 94.

21Annual Report for the Year 1892, 17.

22Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule, Report on Water-Supply, Water-Power, the Flow of Streams and Attendant Phenomena (Trenton: John L. Murphy, 1894), 260-261.

23Vermeule, 271.

24C.C. Engle, L.L. Lee, and H. Miller, Soil Survey of the Millville Area, New Jersey, USDA Bulletin 22 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1921), 43.

25Engle et at., 43.

26Engle et at., 13; Annual Report for the Year 1892, 17-19.

27Only four of the rooms from the frame house still exist: the storeroom from which Burcham operated a neighborhood store, the adjacent living room, the bedroom above, and the cellar below. The rest were either destroyed or damaged by strong winds and storms. Rooms not harmed by the storms were torn down in the 1960s. The following description of these rooms were given by Janice and Jeanette Burcham. Since they are based on childhood memories and family history, there may be some discrepancies.

Janice and Jeanette Burcham remember some of the rooms in the older frame portion of the house including four bedrooms, two living rooms, a cellar kitchen, spring cellar, storage cellar, conservatory, two storage or bicycle rooms and the store. The two living rooms were adjacent to one another in the north end of the house with bedrooms directly over them. A third bedroom was in the northeast corner of the house with its access in a shed or bicycle room that was adjacent to the northernmost living room. The fourth bedroom faced east over a second shed or bicycle room, but could only be accessed from the adjacent pantry. The entrance to the second shed was in the interior living room that still exists. Inside of the shed were three steps that led up to the conservatory. Below the conservatory was a spring cellar and a cellar kitchen. The spring cellar as well as the shed in the northeast corner of the house had wells. The well in the spring cellar provided a cool atmosphere for keeping perishable items cool. Burcham also provided water to the cellar kitchen through a makeshift cistern via the conservatory which was over the kitchen. He placed a barrel in the corner of the conservatory with pipes leading from the top of the barrel to the roof and from the bottom of the barrel to the cellar kitchen. The barrel acted as a holding station until the water was needed. The cistern also acted as a source of water for Burcham when he resided in that room.

Evidence of the these rooms can be seen on the exterior walls and in the basement of the present house. The roof line of the conservatory and the addition of the main house to the bicycle room can be seen on the east wall. In addition, the front wall of the conservatory which was tied into the front wall of the cellar still exists. The doors to the spring cellar and the cellar kitchen can be still be seen in the cellar under the main house. These two rooms were filled with dirt and their doors blocked with concrete blocks when the conservatory and bicycle/storage room were destroyed.

28Frank Burcham bought a windcharger from Sears, Roebuck and Company in the early twentieth century and placed it on the roof of barn. The windcharger was moved to the windmill's present location when fire damaged the barn in 1940. The windcharger charged twenty-four batteries that were located in the house's cellar. The voltage produced was too weak to operate major appliances, but enough to operate a radio and lights. In 1950, electricity was installed in the house, eliminating the dependency on the windcharger.

29Heinrich Rica and Henry B. Kummel, The Clays and Clay Industry of New Jersey (Trenton: MacCrellish and Quigley, 1904), 348; Interview with Janice Burcham and Jeanette Burcham, Millville, New Jersey, 26 September 1991.

30According to Janice and Jeanette Burcham, Amaziah Burcham depended primarily on seasonal help from Philadelphia. The men worked from the last frost in the spring to the first frost in the fall. Unmarried men resided with Burcham and his family while married men and their families lived in three tenant homes located on the northeastern end of the property. These tenant homes no longer exist.

31Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

32Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

33Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

34Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

35Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

36Interview with Janice and Jeanette Burcham.

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Last Modified: Mon, Jan 31 2005 10:00:00 pm PDT

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