Our country’s first national reserve, the Pine Barrens, harbors a wonderful secret unknown to most outsiders. This 1.1-million-acre treasure trove of pitch pine and sugar sand is home to many rare species and almost 17 trillion gallons of the purest water on earth. It was in this forest that men like Leland Champion logged trees and built sawmills. It was along these waterways that craftsmen like Gary Giberson made prized decoys. And it was in these woods that Stanley Switlik built a tower from which Amelia Earhart jumped, testing his parachute so it could be used in World War II. These woods yielded inventors whose products we enjoy today: cultivated blueberries, cranberry sauce, and Welch’s grape juice. It was here that Bob Buchanan reached for the mooring lines as the Hindenburg ended its final, fated voyage. And it was here in Buzby’s General Store that John McPhee penned his classic book, The Pine Barrens, setting into motion legislation to preserve this area for future generations.
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About the Author
Andrew Gioulis and Karen F. Riley own KFR Communications, a custom graphic and website design company located near the Coastal Divide, which separates the headwaters of the Pine Barrens. It was from this prime location that the desire to capture the stories and images of this amazing place began. Peter H. Stemmer is a member of the Tuckerton Historical Society, a retired history teacher, and favored Pinelands speaker who maintains a local history website.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Early Legends and Visionaries 11
Chapter 2 Stewards of the Land 27
Chapter 3 Piney Traditions 47
Chapter 4 Artisans 61
Chapter 5 Commerce 79
Chapter 6 Protecting Our Land 91
Chapter 7 Digging Up and Preserving Our History 107