The Black Horse Pike, New Jersey (Images of America Series)

The Black Horse Pike, New Jersey (Images of America Series)

by Jill Maser
     
 


The Black Horse Pike, like many roads in southern New Jersey, developed along a route forged by the Leni-Lenape, and its path remains virtually unchanged today. The pike follows the contours of Timber Creek, with towns established at landings and not the usual crossroads, making it unique. Lumber and charcoal were loaded onto flatboats and floated up the creek to…  See more details below

Overview


The Black Horse Pike, like many roads in southern New Jersey, developed along a route forged by the Leni-Lenape, and its path remains virtually unchanged today. The pike follows the contours of Timber Creek, with towns established at landings and not the usual crossroads, making it unique. Lumber and charcoal were loaded onto flatboats and floated up the creek to market. Churches and stores soon joined the mills and taverns clustered along the banks. Over time, trains replaced flatboats, but no mode of transportation could compete with cars and trucks for flexibility and convenience. Progress rapidly established the many towns along the Black Horse Pike, and it just as quickly dimmed their future. While the high-speed roads that bypass the Black Horse Pike towns may have quashed their commercial futures, generations of citizens have worked tirelessly to preserve the essence of these historic towns.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Books provide glimpse of the past via highways

Author: Kristy Davies

Publisher: Courier-Post

Date: 4/8/09

Horse-drawn carriages, long dresses and dirt roads grace the pages of two books showcasing the history of the White Horse and Black Horse pikes.

The books, written by Jill Maser, 50, of the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township, reflect the rich history of the multiple towns along the pikes through a gallery of photos.

A man, sitting tall in a World War I uniform upon a horse along the Black Horse Pike when it was a dirt road, waits for a celebration for returning World War I soldiers.

Women in long dresses holding umbrellas can be seen strolling along the beaches of Atlantic City and trains chugging along tracks pulling into stations that no longer exist are also in the books.

"I've always been curious about what's underneath the surface," Maser said. "I've noticed historical markers around New Jersey and decided there has to be something I'm not seeing in this part of South Jersey. Why did people settle here? Why is this area so old? They had to be more than just roads to the shore."

Maser, a fiction author, worked with Arcadia Publishing as part of its Images of America series to publish the White Horse Pike book in 2005 and the Black Horse Pike book that hit shelves in September.

She began researching the White Horse Pike first.

"I started digging around and found it fascinating," Maser said. "I had no idea the area was so rich."

She searched through files and photos at local historical societies and solicited neighbors, friends and acquaintances to provide photos.

The pike towns were known as stops along the way to the shore and were originally used as trails for the Lenni Lenape Indians and later for covered wagons, horse-drawn carriages and eventually automobiles, which changed the shape of the corridors with gas stations and repair shops.

"Once I knew I was going to write the White Horse Pike book I knew I'd write the Black Horse Pike," she said. "You can't have one without the other."

The Black Horse Pike book took two years to complete because of a lack of sources.

"The Gloucester Township Historical Society was a valuable source for photos and pointing me to other people," Maser said. "I have a lot of generous neighbors who also talked to me and opened their photo albums to me."

An accidental meeting because of a lost cat, led Maser to neighbor Deborah Wood who then offered some of her family photographs for the Black Horse Pike book.

"My father grew up in Blackwood and his family had a farm when it was farmland before all the developments took over," said Wood, 56, of the Chews Landing section of Gloucester Township. "We had a lot of old pictures and stuff from the area. It was hard to recognize where they were because it was all open land. It was good to see the old pictures of my family when I was very, very young."

Wood donated photos of lakes in Blackwood and the Blackwood Orchestra.

A 1910 photo of 11 musicians with solemn faces shows the orchestra, which frequently played at Blackwood Lake to entertain vacationers.

The books also include photos of paper mills, homes, stores, families and the construction of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738556789
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
07/30/2008
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
742,111
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Jill Maser resides in one of the oldest towns along the Black Horse Pike. After 15 years, she is still surprised at the amount of history that can be found nearby. The vintage images in The Black Horse Pike were collected from historical societies and residents' personal collections.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >