Elktownship History Pages / EWANholly


History of the Settlements (Towns) in Elk Township


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Elk Township founded April 17, 1891




( Ewan`s Mills )

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is the Property of All Elk Township Residents
( Past & Present )"
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EWAN (Ewan`s Mills)

Ewan is another small hamlet with many names: (Ewansville ), Prior to 1861 it was notable for the grist mill located there.

The name was changed to "Ewan" on June 13, 1894. A postoffice was established August 25, 1865 with Richard S.Sutton as postmaster

Only part of Ewan is situated in Elk Township, this being the southwest section which includes Ewan-Mullica Hill Road, Mood`s Road, and part of the Bridgton Pike.

Many new homes are located on these roads; however, situated among these residences is an historic house ( Dated 1788 ).This old house was built by Thomas Iredell in 1788, on a branch of Raccoon Creek. He saw the possibility of water power by damming the creek and then built a grist mill. The house is to be marked with a plaque by the Gloucester County Bicentennial Committee. Following is the account on record at the Gloucester County Historical Library: "Iredell House -1788"

(Copied from the notes made by Miss Sibyl T .Jones of Woodbury in the early 1930`s )

"One of three old houses in the Ewan area, is owned and lived in by Willam Winchel("1930").The house is located approximatly 3 miles from Ewan off the Bridgeton-Pike on Mood`s Road. It is an eight-room brick building, with a 3-room cottage on the grounds.The farm contains 61 1/2 acres.

"The house was built by Thomas Iredell and his wife, Ann. Iredell was a large landholder in the locality, and built the house in 1788. The initials( I-TA-1788 )are built in the gable of the house, standing for ("Iredell"-Thomas,Ann-1788)

"The bricks of the house were made of clay found in the neighborhood. In the cellar are three arches built in the walls where , in other days, open fireplaces were used. Some unusual brick features are to be seen on the outside house walls.The chimney design of the Iredell house is claimed to be one of the three found in the United States.

"Mr Iredell and his wife ,Ann, lived happily in this house for some years, when she died.. In due corurse of time he married a second time , but his new wife positively refused to live in the first wife`s home, with the first wife`s initial`s in the gable.

"Another house was built, but the second wife died within a few years". (This house located in Ewan, at lake-side).

Thomas Iredell married for the third time and again he was obliged to build a new house for his third wife. This house was also in the neighborhood of Ewan, however, no initials were used in the third house.

"Thomas Iredell is said to have come to America with two brothers who settled in this locality. One of the brothers is believed to have lived just off the Bridgeton Pike on what is known as the Robert Folwell property.

Following is a Title search of the Thomas and Ann Iredell House, Ewan 1788, Elk Township, Gloucester County (J.A.E.Zimmerman, Woodbury-1950)
*Rebecca Iredell to Abraham Iredell, et al.{7-1-1802 )----< to>
*Thomas Iredell (by will ) to 4 sons (Joshua U.,Thos.,Robert F.& Samuel)--(10-VIII-1802)--<to>
*Joshua Iredell--(10-1-1855 )--<to.
*Samuel Langley and Irwin C . Ewan--(28-IV-1863)--<to>.
*Peter Scott--(12-X-1864 )--<to> Martha Scott et al--<to>
*John Friant--(12-III-1894)--<to>
*William W.Winchel--(12-XI-1909)--<to>
*George Wood,Jr.,and Margaret Wood as joint tennants and not tennants in common,Willam W.Winchel--(19-XI-1909)--<to>
*Federal Land Bank--(12-1-1938)--<to>
*George A . Foye--(12-XI-1946)

Ewan Mill
In 1888, Daniel Brooks Brown acquired the property of the Ewan Mill and Lake. By 1895, his son, William Henry Brown, was living in the "Iredell House No. 2" in Ewan, and operating the mill. Mila Zane Jones was the Housekeeper. William and Mila married in 1897, and raised their daughters in the "Iredell House No. 2", Ruth Hannah born 1901, and Amanda Mary in 1908. While remodeling the house in 1910, they found a french coin dated 1793, imbedded in the foundation. The Brown girls received their education in the one room school house in Ewan, Ruth graduated from the new Glassboro High School in 1918, and both graduated from Bucknell University.

William and Mila ran the mill together until his death in 1919. Mila carried on a few more years, then sold the property to Philip Cass of Philadelphia, giving possession after the beans had ripened. The original deeds, along with the coin, Ewan Mill memoribilia, photos of the Mill and house, are in the possession of the Harrison Twp. Historical Society.

This is the story of the day the dam went out: as told by Cyndi's Great Aunt Amanda
( Amanda Mary Brown,/ Mrs. Edward Gum, she referred to herself as Amanda Brown Gum)
It had been a very rainy summer. Late July and early August brought one violent thunder shower after another. With all gates up, the water level still kept rising. When it was realized that the situation was critical, the men rallied 'round and tried sand bagging.

Meanwhile, one or two of the close neighborhood women were always with mother, who was expecting her first baby about any time. "Mother" in these stories, was Mila Zane Jones, Mrs. William H. Brown. She grew up in Repaupo, and hired on at the Ewan Mill to be "Mr. Brown's" housekeeper.

If the dam went, no way could the Doctor (old Dr. Ashcraft) get there from Mullica Hill.

The stream which fed the lake originated somewhere about Wright's Mill, a saw mill. It was dammed there, in Ewan, to farm a small pond on the road from Ewan to 322, in Mullica Hill, and Russell's Mill, on what we used to call the back road to Swedesboro. From there it flowed into the Raccoon Creek.

The only time our dam went out, August 1901, it took out all the ones below it.

The flood gates were operated manually, raised or lowered to control level of water. Below the gates were stems, which took four men to raise. When that became necessary, possibly every couple years, my father telephoned ahead to get ready for the rush of water. "He spent many a sleepless night".

The dam went with a noise like a "clap of thunder" and left a 15-20 foot gap in the road.

Fortunately, my sister Ruth did not put in her appearance until almost two weeks later. By that time, the flood had gone down, and a rough plank bridge thrown up over the stream down in the meadow.

Mother was very proud of her Pekin ducks - a flock of about 20 or 30. If left to breed on their own, most of the young were lost to the snappers, muskrats, etc. So- she used to steal the eggs and put them under a broody hen. When they were about three days old, she moved them to a pen she had build, where they immediately headed for the water, swimming and diving.

The first couple days, the poor hen almost had a nervous breakdown, but then she just settled down and accepted this bad fact of life.

Note: The above is how it was written by my great Aunt Amanda. My grandmother/Ruth was born Aug. 28, 1901. Helen Grodotzke, a friend of Amanda's, told me that she grew up with the added story of someone running all the way to Mullica Hill to warn them, beating the water there...]

[As recorded by Helen Grodotzke]
Helen, taught at Glassboro HIgh School for something like 45 years and was involved with the Harrison Twp Historical Society,
"You remember, before the bus, there was the wagon driven by Mr. Schlump. My sister Ruth rode that. They had to leave our place very early, and in winter, it was freezing! I remember, Mother used to heat in the oven some kind of board to put under the feet of Ruth and her friend. And Frieda Schlump used to come down to our house after school and wait for her father to bring the high school students back so that she could ride home with him. Too far to walk. Ruth's class was the first to go as a group on to GHS. Then Miss Clementine Clendinning left Ewan for another school." [Ruth graduated from Glassboro High School in 1918]

So, this has been a fun journey finding & re-living the stories,
that have been passed down for generations and
the Elk Township Site hopes you enjoyed each one.

"It's interesting to see what life was like back then"

If anyone has anything to add please foward your story to the Elk Site.




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