The New Jersey pinelands, with the Pine Barrens as its core, is one of the most fascinating places on the eastern seaboard of the United States. It doesn’t have gorgeous mountain vistas or expanses of ocean stretching out to the sunrise, but it is enchanting nevertheless.
Deep within the “barrens” are dark swamps, sand roads that have been traversed since the early days of settlement and some even before that, little rivers that would be called creeks anywhere else that flow with the dark and silky tannin-stained waters of the lowland swamps. In night’s obscurity, the camper and hiker finds a taste of the fear with which early Europeans faced the endless forests of this new world. Coyotes and black bears roam the woods, though, thankfully, the cougar has not been reintroduced.
Long-abandoned village sites are found throughout the pines, and cellar holes of homes that no longer ring with the laughter of children are the only remains of the vibrant human life which once called the Pine Barrens home. Women took care of their homes and toiled in gardens which have returned to forest. Sand roads are prolific, but many don’t go anywhere anymore. Their destinations are only clearings now. Once there were grist mills and lumber mills, furnaces, forges, and paper mills. Men worked in cedar mining, charcoal making, ship building, glass making, and other local industries that made the land throb with life. Today, there is silence. (John Pearce in Voices in the Pines)
This is the New Jersey Pine Barrens…
Pine Barrens Press, now owned by KFR Communications, has been producing books about this fascinating area for many years. Author R. Marilyn Schmidt, an “adopted Piney” calls this land home. For many years, she owned Buzby’s Chatsworth General Store, which she painstakingly and lovingly restored to as close to its original condition as possible. Schmidt, in addition to being an author, is also an accomplished chef. Please check out her cookbooks and cookbooklets for sale.
KFR Communications is owned by Karen F. Riley, author of three books on the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and Andrew Gioulis, illustrator and cover designer of two of those books. KFR Communications is a custom graphic and website design firm, which has a self publishing division. Be sure to check out other titles published by KFR Communications – sure to delight!
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