On Saturday, July 11, 2015, Barbara Solem, author of Batsto: Jewel of the Pines, Ghosttowns and other Quirky Places in the NJ Pinebarrens, and The Forks, gives a lecture on Atsion and its relatioship to Batsto.
Atsion Mansion was only recently opened for tours on Saturday and now on Sunday as well, thanks to the efforts of Barbara Solem in cooperation with the Batsto Citizens Committee and the State parks administrators. Barbara has been gathering a group of loyal tour guides to help her, although in the beginning, she did it every Saturday on her own!
With the help of volunteers and photographer Albert Horner, she created a handsome brochure which describes an Atsion walking tour with three or four interesting sites, in addition to the Atsion Mansion, and the Company Store (now a park office). Along Quaker Bridge Road which was once the Tuckerton Stage Road which ran from Cooper's Landing in Camden, to the coastal port of Tuckerton, the third largest port in New Jersey from the Atlantic to Philadelphia, you can see the church, built in 1828 and still in use as a church, the old school built in 1872 by Maurice Raleigh, and the cottage, oldest building in the village, near the ruins of the cotton mill built in 1852.
Not far is the abandoned railroad and the site where the train depot once stood. Ation functioned as an iron forge, and later, as a cotton mill, turning raw cotton into yarn. The firplaces in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia were cast at Atsion.
It is a great place to tour, hike, and if you get there early or during the week, to swim in the lake. There are also cabins to rent for camping. Recently Pinelands preservation acquired a canoe rental property near the lake and cabins for Pinelands Adventures, to help acquaint people with the beauty of our state heritage. For information call 609-561-0024 or 609-268-0444