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Iron in the Pines Paperback – December 15, 1965

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is full of surprises. One is surprised that so much activity could have centered in a region now seemingly so desolate and lonely. . . . A local history . . . told with the pen of an artist".

-- Pennsylvania Magazine of History

From the Back Cover

Deep in the heart of southern New Jersey lies an area of some 96,000 acres of sprawling wilderness. It is the famous Wharton Tract which the state of New Jersey purchased in 1954 for a watershed, game preserve, and park. Many people know and love these wooded acres. Each year, people by the thousands visit Batsto Village, once the center of the iron industry that thrived on the tract more than a century ago.

With warmth and accuracy, Arthur D. Pierce tells the story of the years when iron was king, and around it rose a rustic feudal economy. There were glass factories, paper mills, cotton mills, and brickmaking establishments. Here, too, were men who made those years exciting: Benedict Arnold and his first step toward treason; Chrales Read, who dreamed of an empire and died in exile; Revolutionary heroes and heroines, privateers, and rogues. The author's vivid pictures of day-to-day life in the old iron communities are based upon careful research. This book proves that the human drama of documented history belies any notion that fiction is stranger than truth.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; Reprint edition (December 15, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813505143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813505145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Although superseded by later books in terms of touring forgotten towns in the NJ Pine Barrens, this book is still the best regarding the history behind these towns. It is especially good for providing two important primary sources: the Martha Furnace Diary, kept by the clerk at the furnace, Caleb Earle, of which only copies exist today, presented in full (it ran, on and off, from March 1808 to May 1815); and extracts from the Batsto Store Books, which go from Jan. 1851 to Dec. 1863. Pierce details the major establishments of the Pines, including Batsto, Atsion, Washington, Harrisville, Etna Furnace, and Pleasant Mills and relates their history at length. He has done his research well and, again, his use of primary sources (old books, letters, journals) is commendable. The book has remained in print since first published in 1957, and hopefully it will remain in print for many years to come.
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This is a great book. Since a child, my family has spent a lot of time in the pines--on the Mullica, visits to Batso, canoe trips and hikes all around. I wish I had gotten this book thirty years ago!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live on the northern edge of The Pine Barrens and go South all the time. This book has interesting information about all the towns South of me,.
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