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Watermills of Camden County - By William Farr - Chapter G









GITHENS’ PLASTER MILL (Haddon Mill; Hinchman’s, Redman’s Gristmill)
This early mill was located near the source of the Main or Middle Branch of Newton Creek (Old Mills, [p. 34] incorrectly refers to it as the North Branch), not far upstream from where the stream crosses under West End Avenue at the Haddon Township border. This stream is the west leg of a fork which occurs just below, on the left side of the road, in Haddon Township.

An 1813 John Clement survey of the Stoy plantation (CCHS, M83.90.6), and an 1861 J. Lewis Rowand map of the division of James Stoy’s land (CCHS, M83.90.260) clearly show the west leg stream, which is now piped underground. The 1813 survey shows a mill and millpond, identified as “Thomas Githens,” a short distance above the fork, on land which the 1861 map shows as Isaac E. Hinchman’s. Clement’s copy of an “old map” shows “Githens Pond” in the same location (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 1, p. 95).

Rambles, p. 35, gives a brief description of this mill, and Old Mills, p. 34, a more elaborate one. The latter source noted, correctly, that the mill was on Hinchman land. However, the authors of Old Mills assumed, from the fact that Jacob Hinchman’s 1741 will (275 H) styled him as a “miller,” that he had a gristmill in this vicinity. Perhaps he did, but no one has offered any evidence of it. There is no doubt that Thomas Githens, a noted blacksmith, operated a plaster mill at this location (the minerals in plaster were used in farming as a soil supplement). Old Mills (p. 34) states that the mill was pictured and referred to as Haddon Mill in 1830 in The Casket, published in Philadelphia. (see also This is Haddonfield, p. 221) It also states that “a plaster mill was merely the adoption of the gristmill to the grinding of limerock for agricultural purposes,” and that it came to Philadelphia as ballast from France. However, Hubert G. Smith in Agriculture in New Jersey (p. 125) writes that land plaster, or plaster of Paris, was calcined gypsum; was imported from Nova Scotia and the Hudson Valley; and since it caked en route it had to be pulverized at a “plaster breaker” at a local mill before it could be used.

Carrie Hartel’s manuscript, “The Smiths of Haddonfield” (HSH, Mss. 11-70), confirms the existence of Githens plaster mill but she indicates a move to a different location: “…and another map of 1828 after it had been moved to Stoy property adjoining the Redman farm. Before Estaugh Avenue was opened there was a short street running north from Euclid Avenue called Grape Street. It ended in the Duck Pond, a nice safe place for children to skate in winter. In 1828 this was a sizable body of water; it was called Haddonfield Pond and had furnished water power for Tommy Githens Plaister [sic] Mill.” Apparently, sometime between 1813 and 1828, the location of the mill was shifted to the south leg of the fork. At page 332 of Volume I of the French Genealogy is the reprinting of an article about the grinding and use of plaster.

An article appearing 11 June 1925 in The Tri-City Sun states “At the extreme head (of the main branch of Newton Creek) was a flour mill, conducted by one of the early Redman family.” Redman land was located just on the Haddonfield side of the tiny stream but it would be more likely that the Stoys, more experienced with mills, operated the flour mill. Old Mills (p.35), in the section on Githens Plaster Mill, refers to Joseph C. Stoy’s “enlarged gristmill,” but the location is not clear.

This is Haddonfield (p. 218) tells us, “REDMAN’S GRIST MILL 1835-1885...was located on a beautiful site amongst the stately trees of Redman’s Woods, just west of West End Avenue at the Borough line and immediately south of the stream which passes under West End Avenue. The mill property dates from about 1835 and was continued in operation until the late 1880’s.” There is also a sketch of the mill. The foregoing are the only references found to a Redman gristmill.

Fulling is the process of cleaning, shrinking and thickening wool cloth, and is but one of the processes for converting wool into the finished product. A detailed explanation of the fulling business can be found in The Early Fulling Mills of New Jersey. Old Gloucester County had 21,805 sheep in 1814, according to Early Woolen Industry (p. 13), but only two fulling mills in 1810 (The Early Fulling Mills, p. 22).

In New Jersey the number of fulling mills peaked about 1830, and by 1850 woolen mills (which involved several processes) were replacing them. Many early fullers enlarged their business to include dying and pressing (Early Fulling Mills, p. 21). The ledger of the Glover Fulling Mill primarily reflects dying and pressing transactions (CCHS, Mss PAUL TO GET CITE) for about the first 20 years of the nineteenth century.

By 24 July 1776, John Glover, a silk weaver (Old Mills, p. 41), had built a fulling mill in Haddon Heights on the north side of the South Branch of Newton Creek (Kings Run), since on that date he advertised in The Pennsylvania Gazette for a journeyman (NJA, 2nd Ser. I, p. 150). He lived on a 326-acre plantation on the south side of the run, which had been devised to him by the will of his father-in-law, John Thorne (will proved 1769 [997 H]), Glover having married Mary Thorne at Haddonfield Friends Meeting in 1751 (Clement, p. 397). Glover and John Thorne had both come to Newton Township from Long Island (ibid., pp. 243, 246). On 28 January 1773 Glover bought from Peter Breach a small tract of 3 Acres, 77 Perches, along the north side of the run (Woodbury Y-429), where he dammed the stream and built the mill between 1773 and 1776. The mill could not have been built earlier unless it was by or for a Breach, and no credible evidence for a Breach Fulling Mill has been found.

The stream not only provided the power to move the mechanical equipment required, but also was used in the cleaning process, then to be returned to the main channel for disposal.

John Glover and his descendants accumulated property along Kings Highway in present Haddon Heights and Audubon. When Glover died in 1807, his will (2644 H) gave to his son John Thorne Glover “the fulling-mill near where he now lives, and two acres of land on which the same is erected, usually considered to belong thereto, together with all the utensils for carrying on the fulling business, with liberty and privilege to raise the necessary head of water in the mill pond for the accommodation of the said mill....” The mill’s value was presumably equivalent to that of each of the plantations he gave to his other sons, Isaac and Joseph.

On 1 August 1776, Samuel Brown bought from Peter Breach’s executor a four acre plus lot on the north side of Kings Run and the fulling mill tail race, and just west of the “fulling mill road” (which eventually became known as “Glover’s Lane”), which lot ran north to the old Salem Road (later Kings Highway) (Woodbury, Y-434). Glover’s son, John Thorne Glover, bought that lot from Brown on 1 June 1782 (Woodbury, Y-436). On 1 August 1776, the same date as the sale by Breach’s executor to Brown, the executor also sold to Thomas Glover, a weaver, a lot of the same size, adjoining the fulling mill road on the east (Woodbury, Y-438), which appears to be the lot just north of the two acres on which the mill was located, as stated in John Glover’s will. Clement (p. 247) says that John Glover had a son Thomas, but he was not mentioned in John’s will. However, he was probably employed in connection with the nearby mill. Thomas died prior to 1781, for on 18 January of that year his widow, Mary, married Peter Thompson at Haddonfield Friends Meeting (Craig’s Gloucester County Marriage Records, p. 240). See deed, Peter Thompson, et al. to John Thorn Glover, 20 May 1801 [Woodbury Y-440], which recites that Thomas died leaving a will, but it has not been located on record. The Thomas lot was eventually incorporated into the Glover homestead.

John Thorne Glover was a fuller. He undoubtedly worked for his father, and by 1797 had taken over the operation of the mill (see assessment references, below). Fire destroyed the “fulling and dressing mill of John T. Glover” (Herald and Gloucester Farmer, 3 April 1822). It was soon rebuilt and reopened (ibid., 7 August 1822).
The mill ledger for about the first sixteen years of the nineteenth century has been preserved and is now in the collections of the Camden County Historical Society. It was not unusual for a fuller to also be involved in the dying and dressing (also “pressing”) business, and there are many entries in the ledger for such transactions, even at times to the exclusion of fulling (Early Fulling Mills, p. 69). On the inside of the back cover is a notation, “It was on the 17th of September 1810 that we went to fulling.”

Sprinkled throughout the above-mentioned account book for the mill were entries for the sale of all kinds of items, many connected with the operation of a farm, giving the appearance of his operating a kind of general story, not so remarkable considering his location near the intersection of two important roads. And the location of his customers is striking, including Burlington, Gloucester and Salem counties. It is apparent that, although the mill was built for fulling, it later did a substantial business of dying and dressing cloth. When John Thorne Glover rebuilt the mill after the 1822 fire, his advertisement of the resumption of business mentioned only the dying and dressing.

Following is a history of the real estate transactions, particularly as they affect the fulling mill. Thomas and Peter Breach inherited by the 1731 will of their father, Simon Breach (131 H), about 75 acres, being the tract between Old Kings Highway (Salem Road) and Kings Run (see BREACH’S GRIST, BOLTING and FULLING MILL). They apparently retained it in undivided ownership until Thomas became of age, when a division was made between them by dropping a line from the road down to Kings Run, which line was the east side of the Thomas Glover lot, and has been lost sight of in the Glover homestead property. To effect the division, Thomas, by a deed dated 4 December 1752 (Colonial Deeds, C-21), quitclaimed the southwestern portion to Peter; presumably, Peter quitclaimed the northeastern 36 acres to Thomas, but that deed has not been located. The next day, 5 December 1752, Thomas Breach sold to John Thorne and John Glover his 36 acres, which had a small frontage on the north side of the run. This was apparently the second acquisition by John Glover of an interest in land on the north side of Kings Run. Although it was not contiguous to the fulling mill lot, subsequent transactions joined the lots.

It is not evident why Thorn and Glover continued to hold their 36 acres in common for 8 years but in 1760 they divided the tract by a line dropped southeast from Salem Road to the neighboring Hinchman Tract, with the northeast part (18 acres, with no frontage on the run) going to Glover (perhaps this was by a toss of the coin). This division into two 18-acre tracts is best shown on an 1820 map of the 36 acres made by James Glover, although it does not fix with exactness the location of the division line (CCHS, M.83.90.185). John Thorne’s will (proved 1769 [997 H]), gave his 18 acres, which bordered on the run, to his daughter Sarah Thorne, by whose will (proved 1775 [1172 H]) it passed to her “cousin” (nephew) John Thorne Glover, son of John Glover, so that when John Glover built the mill about 1773 his sister-in-law, Sarah Thorne, owned the 18 acres immediately upstream on the north side.

There is an old Glover house, still standing and occupied, known as No. 1212 Sylvan Drive, Haddon Heights, which is approximately the same one as is shown on Edward Saunders’ 1856 map of James Glover’s lands (CCHS, M. and is undoubtedly the home in which John Thorn Glover lived, near the mill, as stated in his father’s 1807 will. The 1992 Historic Guide Through Haddon Heights states that the house was built by John Siddons before 1750. If the writer’s research is accurate, the first Glover-owned real estate on the north side of the run was John Glover’s purchasing from Peter Breach the small tract on the run in 1773 (above). The house sat on the Samuel Brown lot mentioned above, extending from Salem Road south to Kings Run. According to the 1776 deeds, between that lot and the Thomas Glover lot (above) ran the “fulling mill road.” The title chain for the lot on which the house sits did not reveal ownership by John Siddons or any other Siddons.

John Thorne Glover died intestate in 1825 (3623 H), leaving two sons, James and John O. Glover. In the division of John Thorne Glover’s lands, John O. quitclaimed to James (also a fuller) the 56-acre homestead and fulling mill, which included the 36 acres (deed dated 18 May 1833, Woodbury G3-349). James advertised on 14 September 1825 that he would continue to “dye and dress cloth” at the “old stand” (Village Herald and Weekly Advertiser). Gordon’s 1834 History of New Jersey shows (gazetteer section, p. 198) one fulling mill in Newton Township, which presumably was the one in question, on Kings Run.

Following James’ death, also intestate, in 1855 (401 D), his three children: Ridgeway, Maria W. and John T., divided his real estate by a tripartite deed dated 24 April 1858 (Camden, 31-583), by which John T. Glover received the homestead tract. The metes and bounds description mentioned the fulling mill and the “old” millpond. The 1907 Hopkins Atlas does not show the millpond.

John T. Glover sold the homestead tract (then 51 acres) to Charles R. Stevenson, 24 May 1897 (Camden, 221-651). A year later, 6 April 1898, Stevenson sold it to James R. Glover (Camden, 228-267), who subsequently sold portions off to Frederick Fries and others; also 3.85 acres along the north side of the mill pond to the Borough of Haddon Heights (the site of the sewage treatment plant, near where part of the mill foundation can still be seen), 31 August l910 (Camden, 349-535). The homestead itself, including the millsite, remained in James R.’s ownership until his estate and his widow, Virginia, sold it and 21 acres to Frank R. Good, 14 January 1926 (Camden, 624-434).

There are Newton Township ratables available on microfilm for some years, essentially the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The first assessment of a fulling mill in Newton Township is a February 1782 assessment against Peter Hannah; then one in April against John Glover. In neither case is any land ownership indicated. These are peculiar circumstances, especially since Peter Hanna (h) had married Glover’s daughter. It is also of interest that in 1786 a fulling mill was assessed against a Peter “Hannay” in Gloucester Township (see the following article on GLOVER’S FULLING MILL [Hannays]).

In April and July 1782, Newton Township assessed John Glover alone, which was repeated for the years 1783 through 1786, and again in 1789. Then in 1790 it was for only one-half a fulling mill (with no assessment against anyone for the other half) That partial assessment was repeated in 1792 and through 1796. The 1797 and 1802 assessments (for half a mill) were against John T. Glover.

Gloucester Township ratables show that a fulling mill in that township was assessed to John Glover for 1797 through 1782. In 1786, it was assessed to Peter Hannay (probably Glover’s son-in-law, Peter Hanna [h]). The following were the succeeding assessments:

1789    John Glover Jr.     1
1790    John Glover Jr.     1
1792    John Glover           1/2
1793    John Glover           1
1794    John Glover Jr.     1
1795    John T. Glover      1
1796    John T. Glover      1/2
1802   John Glover           1/2

The foregoing assessments show no land associated with this mill, nor is there any indication of its specific location in Gloucester Township. An explanation for the assessments could be the leasing by a Glover of a mill in Gloucester Township, or in the case of the half assessment, a partnership in a fulling mill in that township. John Glover’s only son John was John Thorne Glover, and it may be that he is the one identified as “Jr.” The father owned a fulling mill in Newton Township (see GLOVER’S FULLING MILL [Hannah’s]).





GOOD INTENT MILLS (Newkirk, Cooper & Co.; Livermore, Cooper & Co)
The water-powered enterprises which were operated at Blackwood (see WARDS FULLING & GRIST MILLS) were sold to Garrett Newkirk, a Philadelphia merchant, in 1814, and he operated them for some years, on a mill tract of 80 acres, which included land in Gloucester and Deptford townships. He called it Good Intent Woolen Mills, which lent the name Good Intent to the community, primarily located on the Deptford Township side of the creek. Newkirk enlarged the mill pond in the late 1820s by buying small tracts upstream and adjacent to and on both sides of the creek (Woodbury, YY-158, YY-160 and YY-163).

A deed from William Reeves’s executors, 19 March 1829 (Woodbury, YY-166) for an eight-acre piece of land, granted the privilege of overflowing an even greater quantity of land. ’since Newkirk intended to raise the water two feet above where it had been, the deed required him to erect “a permanent monument” at the gristmill. The marker denoted the previous height of water, and two additional feet, and if the latter was exceeded, the right to overflow beyond the eight acres was to be forfeited. It is not known whether the monument was constructed, nor has any subsequent mention of it been found.

In 1830 Jonas Livermore became associated with Newkirk and managed the woolen mill for thirty years (Prowell, p. 464). Newkirk laid out some lots for sale on the Gloucester Township side, and Livermore bought one by deed 12 March 1844 (Woodbury, D4-381). On 1 April 1846, Newkirk having died, his executor sold the whole establishment to James R. Gemmill, John Cooper, Jonas and Lewis Livermore (Woodbury, G4-483), and the business was continued under the name of Livermore, Cooper & Co. The business of manufacturing “sattinett” at Good Intent under that name is listed in Kirkbride’s 1850 New Jersey Business Directory. An account of Jonas Livermore will be found in the Biographical Review (p. 261),. An extensive account of the place as a manufactory appears in The Early Woolen Mills. The woolen mill burned down twice but was rebuilt both times (The Early Woolen Mills, pp. 79-80). On 30 December 1835, Newkirk, Cooper & Co. announced in the Camden Mail that they had enlarged their gristmill, adding an extra pair of stones for scouring the grain before its being ground into flour. An idea of some of the facilities can be gained from the map accompanying Cam RR 5 (1846), which shows the saw and grist mills, and a blacksmith shop on the Camden County side. An 1873 insurance company survey shows various buildings involved in wool working (Hexamer General Surveys, p. 127). An 1878 similar survey shows the operation of a floor oil cloth manufactory (ibid., p. 683). Both show the flourmill.

In September 1859 the bridge over the race and floodgates fell down and the water carried away the bridge (Livermore v. Camden County, 5 Dutcher 245, affirmed 2 Vroom 507).

GOSHEN MILL’S (Inskeep’s Mill)
In 1820, when Atsion was owned and operated by Jacob Downing (Iron in the Pines, p. 35), a road was laid out from the “Atsion Road” near “Richard Clines” (Clines Tavern), northwest of Atsion, in Burlington County, to the Batsto Road, a distance of ten miles (Glo RR B-298). This Atsion Road connected Atsion with Dellet at Route 534. Batsto Road is now known as Burnt Mill Road (see entry for BURNT MILL below Atco ). The 1820 road (now called Jackson Road) was almost straight to its end at present Berlin.

Arthur D. Pierce in Family Empire in Jersey Iron (p. 43) wrote (as of 1964): “As recently as 50 years ago this road was a tree embowered wagon track winding leisurely through wilderness once it passed the village of Jackson. A hundred years earlier not even Jackson was there and the whole trip was a jungle jaunt broken only by a little bridge, a sawmill and a few houses at Goshen….” The road (now Route 534) is hard surfaced from Berlin to Shamong Road, where the wagon track continues straight, but all traffic uses Shamong Road.

The only landmark mentioned in the road return is “Goshen Mill Pond,” where the road crosses the Mullica River, the pond being shown on the accompanying map as below the bridge. The road is called the “road from old Goshen Mill to Longacoming” in a master’s sale advertisement in West Jersey Press, 2 January 1861.

The following information appears in Meet the Families of Inskeep and Garwood. James Inskeep was the son of John Inskeep, by whose will, proved in Burlington County in 1757 (5899 C), James received “my land at Goshen Neck” (p. 19), which consisted of about 350 acres on both sides of Little Egg Harbor (Mullica) River, on which John had erected a saw mill. The damming of the stream and swamp made a road which could be used by travelers, with his house serving as a stopping place. James increased his holdings to 3,134 acres, but his house and the mill burned in 1773. On April 6 of that year he sold out to Abel, James and Henry Drinker, of Philadelphia, owners of Atsion, and migrated to Virginia (pages 16, 17).

A 1750 survey for 1,000 acres of land mentions George Marpole [Marple ] of Goshen Neck (OSG, E-211). Marpole may have predated Inskeep as the sawyer here. On 1 April 1758 George Marple sold to James Inskeep a 50-acre survey on Atsion Creek [Mullica River], including its junction with Wesickaman Creek, in Burlington County. Inskeep, on 19 July 1765, sold it to Charles Read “for the erecting of an iron works only and not to erect a sawmill thereon” (Atsion: A Town of Four Faces, p. 6). Inskeep apparently wanted no competition with his sawmill (“the old Goshen sawmill,” (ibid.). It is said that James built the old Goshen sawmill (Heart of the Pines, p. 30) but apparently his father, John, did.

On the Atsion-Dellet road, a little below the beginning point of the 1820 road, another wagon track heads southwest. A sign states that the campground (to be found where this road reaches the river) is “Goshen Pond Campground.” The road crosses the river and continues on to Bobby’s Causeway. This is Sandy Causeway or Burnt House Road.

The little settlement of Goshen, which existed where the 1820 road crossed the creek, is no longer there. The site has some popularity with horseback riders, jeepers and motor cyclists, because its recently reconstructed bridge is a means of getting across the creek, whose width here is about 35 feet. Canoeists are in evidence. All are apparently unaware of the early existence of mills and a hamlet there. But the foundation of a mill can be seen in the river, just below the bridge, on the Camden County side. Also, on the Burlington County side of the bridge, there is a millrace, parallel to the river, along which is the foundation of a sawmill. Both mills may have straddled the respective waterways.

A large manuscript map of the Richards Family holdings involving the Atsion estate, drafted about the middle of the nineteenth century, includes the most detailed information about Goshen and shows “Old Goshen Pond” not far downstream of the Old Jackson Road bridge (CCHS, M83.90.14). On a visit to the site in the 1990s, a high and long embankment running from the river in Camden County was observed. Undoubtedly, this embankment created the old millpond. But there has long been a break in the dam and the pond has disappeared and is overgrown. At the base of this dam, the remains of yet another sawmill could be seen.

Goshen is shown on a number of maps, sometimes as located only on the Burlington County side; sometimes on both sides, which is more probable. The earliest showing by name is on Watson’s 1812 Map of the State of New Jersey. But there was a “Goshen road” in place at least as early as 1792 (deed, Samuel Harrison, et al. to Benjamin Scattergood, Woodbury, T-435). Reportedly a school house existed at Goshen in the 1830s. “The name [Goshen, a Biblical place name] is found in many parts of the country, applied as a synonym for fruitfulness and fertility.” (Gannett, The Origin of Certain Place Names, p. 140)

There was a tract of land referred to in pre-Revolutionary times as Goshen Neck. Bisbee (Sign Posts, p. 97) located it in Burlington County, but the 1756 will of John Inskeep (above) located it in Gloucester (now Camden) County.

Maps and Drafts, Vol. 2, p. 28, shows a tract near Clementon called Griffiths Mill Tract, and Vol. 2, p. 6, “Aron Davis or the Griffith Mill Tract.”

When John Thorn’s Sawmill Tract was divided among his children in 1811 (Glo Co Surr Div Bk 1, p. 98) (see THORN’S SAWMILL), Lot 2 (100 acres) was assigned and released to his son Isaac, who sold the tract to Wallace Lippincott 21 October 1815 (Woodbury, Z-142). This tract lay along the north side of Thorns Mill Branch, extending north to a little beyond Trout Run, and from the Clementon-Lindenwold boundary on the west to Ashbourne Avenue on the east.

Wallace sold 34.75 acres in the northwest section to William Griffith in January 1824 (Woodbury, NN-77), but Griffith reconveyed them within three years, 14 November 1826 (Woodbury, SS-399). They later were transferred to Aaron Davis by a deed from Thomas Downs, 16 November 1841 (Woodbury Y3-14).

There is nothing mentioned in the deeds which would suggest that Griffith built a mill or intended to do so, and nothing else has been discovered in that regard; nor any information concerning Griffith except that his wife’s name was Mary and he was of Gloucester Township.

John Thorn’s old saw mill was downstream, on Lot 1 (Maps and Drafts, Vol. 4, p. 22).


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