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
National Park Service Arrowhead


Cover photograph: View of salt-hay harvest, n.d. Gibson's Private Collection.



CHAPTER 1: Introduction

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: Cranberries

CHAPTER 8: Conclusion



Figure 1. Location of wetlands that could be drained for crop production. Economics.

Figure 2. Map of Zuider Zee project, Holland. Land Drainage.

Figure 3. "Map of the Providence of New York," detail of engraving by Claude Joseph Sauthier, 1776. Historic Urban Plans.

Figure 4. Aerial view of marshland that has been reclaimed along the Maurice River. Sebold.

Figure 5. Farms such as the Burcham Farm, seen in an aerial view, were once common along the Maurice River. Sebold.

Figure 6. Map of the Atlantic coastal region of Canada. The Acadians or French settlers of this region reclaimed the marshlands in this area. Acadia.

Figure 7. The salt marsh areas of New Jersey. New Jersey Salt Marsh.

Figure 8. "Daily Tides: Heartbeat of a Marsh" illustrates the different elevations that occur in tidal marshes. National Geographic Society.

Figure 9. Spartina patens is one type of grass cut for salt hay. New Jersey Salt Marsh.

Figure 10. Spartina alterniflora grows closer to the edge of the marsh and helps control coastal erosion. Delaware Estuary.

Figure 11. Juncus gerardi or black grass is another type of grass cut for salt hay. New Jersey Salt Marsh.

Figure 12. Banks were constructed by the New York Iron Dike and Land Reclamation Company on the Newark Meadows between the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers. Pictorial Guide.

Figure 13. Enough men were hired to ensure the bank was stable before the following high tide. Pictorial Guide.

Figure 14. Workers of the New York Iron Dike and Land Reclamation Company drove iron plates into the bank to protect them from muskrats. Pictorial Guide.

Figure 15. Ditches were also dug to allow water to drain off of the reclaimed land. Pictorial Guide.

Figure 16. Drainage ditches, such as this one, take the water off of Edward and Lehma Gibson's salt hay meadows. Sebold.

Figure 17. Details of a concrete automatic sluice gate taken from a 1907 USDA Bulletin. Reclamation of Tide Lands.

Figure 18. Modern example of a clapper valve sluice gate. Sebold.

Figure 19. Example of the supports that surround a modern clapper valve sluice gate. Sebold.

Figure 20. Today, the Greenwich Meadow Company still maintains banks along the Cohansey River. Historical Atlas.

Figure 21. Map of Maurice River Township. Historical Atlas.

Figure 22. Front view of Burcham House with dike in the foreground. Sebold.

Figure 23. Top and side view of the Burcham's dike. Sebold.

Figure 24. Salt hay farming was commercially done along Atlantic Coastal waterways. The land, however, was not reclaimed. Historical and Biographical Atlas.

Figure 25. Until the 1950s, salt hay was loaded onto wagons via pitchfork. Gibson's Private Collection.

Figure 26. Shoes such as these were worn by horses that worked on the meadows. Early Industries.

Figure 27. Hay was unloaded from wagons via a swingboom and grapple hook. Gibson's Private Collection.

Figure 28. Austin Berry raking salt hay in the 1940s. Notice the dual rear tires on the tractor. Gibson's Private Collection.

Figure 29. During the 1950s, balers were introduced to the salt hay industry. Gibson's Private Collection.

Figure 30. Skids are placed underneath modern equipment to prevent them from sinking below their axles if a soft spot is encountered. Sebold.

Figure 31. Chris Angelo, the Gibson's grandson, drives an automatic bale wagon on the marsh to collect the bales of hay. Sebold.

Figure 32. This salt-hay rope factory, operated by Owen J. Carney, Sr., was located on Memorial Avenue in Port Norris, New Jersey. Biggs' Private Collection.

Figure 33. Owen J. Carney, Sr. (left) and Austin Berry (right) discuss Carney's spools of salt-hay rope. Gibson's Private Collection.

Figure 34. Survey maps were one component of the meadow companies that existed in South Jersey. Salem County Historical Society.

Figure 35. The proximity of the Woodnutt, Abbott, and Newell farms to each other, just north of Clayville, is illustrated on this 1876 map of Mannington Township. Combination Atlas.

Figure 36. Woodnutt's neighbor George Abbott built this Federal-style house in 1845.

Figure 37. Abbott's son, George, formed the Abbott Meadow Company in the late nineteenth century. Salem County Historical Society.

Figure 38. Cranberries were so popular that poems were published in local newspapers. Author and paper are unknown. Courtesy of Elizabeth Carpenter.

Figure 39. Cranberry statistics from 1873, 1909-10, 1955, 1988.

Figure 40. Map showing the distribution of New Jersey Cranberry acreage for 1955. Each dot represents ten acres. Based on graph in Blueberry.

Figure 41. Map showing current distribution of New Jersey cranberry acreage. Each dot represents fifty acres. American Cranberry.

Figure 42. This drawing illustrates the layout of the cranberry bogs and reservoir. Cranberry Growing.

Figure 43. Cross-section of a bank or dam. Cranberry Growing.

Figure 44. Illustration of the correct and incorrect method of setting a trunk and receiver. American Cranberry.

Figure 45. This 1877 lithograph depicts migrant workers harvesting cranberries in Ocean County. Pictorial Guide.

Figure 46. Cranberry scoops were used well into the twentieth century to harvest the berries.

Figure 47. Workers harvesting cranberries near Chatsworth. Sebold.

Figure 48. Double Trouble Sorting and Packing House. Delineator Dean Doerfeld, 1992.

Figure 49. Hayden Cranberry Separator. Delineator Dean Doerfeld, 1992.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Sebold, Kimberly R., 1966-
From marsh to farm : the landscape transformation of coastal New Jersey / by Kimberly R. Sebold.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Draing--New Jersey--History. 2. Agriculture--New Jersey--History. 3. Reclamation of land--New Jersey--History. I. Title.
TC977.N5S43 1992


top of page Top

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

National Park Service's ParkNet Home