August 6, 2012 Monday
Yesterday, Sunday the 5th, Barb Solem (docent at Atsion and author of Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the NJ Pinebarrens) and I visited Mauricetown to take a tour of one of the lovely Victorian houses there. As I understand it, the businessmen in the oyster industry lived in Port Norris, the ship captains lived in Mauricetown, and the builders lived in Dividing Creek, Leesburg and other towns on the Maurice River.
I have been to Mauricetown to look around before. There is a very nice little park on the river with a historic marker and picnic tables if you want to stop at the WAWA (on New Stage Road just after 55 turns into 347 and before you drive over the Mauricetown bypass), you can buy sandwiches and have a nice picnic. Then you can walk around the 6 or 8 small streets lined with venerable old trees and simply beautiful Victorian homes, many of which have historic markers giving the names of the captains who lived in them and the dates. The Compton House is the home of the Mauricetown Hsitorical Society, a warm and welcoming group of people who gave us a fascinating tour of their house and the stack house out back as well.
The Compton House is open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. I especially enjoyed the marine paintings and wish to take up making paintings of ships myself some time soon. The furnishings are lovely and you get a real feel for the house as it must have been. Many rooms have interesting displays featuring photos of residents such as in the school room.
As we left, we were warmly encouraged to "Come back and see us again." And I assured the volunteer docents that I would most certainly be doing that.
History people, in my experience, are generous, knowledgeable, hospitable and kind.