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Elk Township founded April 17, 1891




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(This site is to be recognized by the Gloucester County Bicentennial Committee, as one of the 89 historical sites in Gloucester County, and will be permanently marked during the 1976 Bicentennial year).

"Pine Tavern" is located about four and a half miles below Mullica Hill, just off the Bridgeton pike in Elk Township. Pine Tavern was one of the many old taverns built along the main highways during the seventeenth and 18th century.

Distances that seem short today were then long, tiresome journeys. Roads were not laid out straight, but followed the path of least resistance, winding around the hillsides and fording streams. Often times the ruts were axle deep in mud and sand, therefore the tavern was a great necessity for the traveling public. They were also used as meeting places of the community for the transaction of businesses, and in some instances for court purposes.

Pine Tavern, being situated on the old stage route from Camden to Roadstown (Bridgeton), was one of the stopping places where mail and passengers were discharged and horses changed enroute. It was also the social center of the community, especially during the winter months when the sleighing was good. Horse racing led the sports, with sometimes a few wrestling matches, and during the long winter evenings, fiddlers furnished an endless supply of music such as "Devil's Dream", "Virginia Reel" and "Turkey in the Straw", for those who cared to dance.

Many has been the party on an old bob-sled with two and sometimes four horses pulling the party over the snow-bound roads to spend a merry evening dancing at "Old Pine Tavern".

To be a tavern keeper in the olden days, one had to be of sound moral character and vouched for by the highly respected citizens of the community, and according to an old statute of New Jersey, he had also to be possessed of "two good feather beds more than necessary for the family's use, with house room, stabling and pasturage".

The following was the petition of Robert Whitaker, who desired a license for The Pine Tavern for the year 1776.

"To the Honourable Justice for the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the peace, to bt held on the third Tuesday in June, for the County of Gloucester.

Humbly Sheweth -- That we the subscribers begs leave to recommend to your Honours Robert Whitticer as a suitable person to keep a public house or inn, in the Township of Woodwich and the County above said. And in the house called "Pine Tavern" where he the said Whitticer now lives; and being provided with sufficient Necessaries for man and beast Agreeable to an Act in these cases made and Provided! And that your honours would be pleased to grant him your license for the ensuring year, then we as in Duty bound shall every pray"

Signed on June 10, 1776
Jacob Gosling, John Hutchinson, Robert Taylor, Andrew Richman, Sawtwl Elwell, John Mickesen, Wm. Eldredge, John Cozens, Wm. Zane, Thomas Batten, John Smith, Isaac Zane..

The structure is of frame, with the center section a cabin hewn from logs. There are three fireplaces and a stairway which are original.

The following was taken from "Old Inns and Taverns in West Jersey" by Charles Boyer, written 1962 and authenticated at the Gloucester County Historical Society.

"The noted "Pine Tavern" at Pineville, on the "Cohawking Road", as
that portion of the old Cumberland Road between Oldman's and Raccoon Creek, was known to all travelers from Cumberland County to Cooper's Ferries. The first Person whom we have been able to connect with this house as proprieter is William Lindsey. He was evidently well established by May, 1752, when he announced to the court that he "keeps a publick house of entertainment on a road very much frequented by travellers and there being no publick house in the County of Gloucester within many miles of his House". He was succeeded in 1759 by Jon Pinyard, Jr., who described his house on the "Cohawky Road". Pinyard was here until his death in 1768 when his widow, Martha Rnyard, took the tavern, but soon turned its management over to her son-in-law, John Munyan (Munyon), Jr. He did not last very long and in 1770 Martha Pinyard was back "in the old Accustomed Place".

In June 1776, Robert Whitaker (Whitacar) was located at Pine Tavern, where he remained for one year, and then moved to Salem County. He was early in the Revolution suspected of being in sympathy with the English and, in 1778, was arrested, tried and convicted of high treason and sentenced to be hung. On a petition of sundry inhabitants, the Council advised the Governor to grant him a pardon "on condition of his leaving this State in two months and the United States of America in six months from the date of his pardon". His property, however, was seized and was sold for the benefit of State. Frank H. Stewart states that his personal property amounted to f195.18.19 and his real estate to E1000. Some of this property was sold in 1778 and the balance at thePine Tavern on April 1, 1779.

John Hutchinson was the next landlord and was here in 1778, 1779,
and 1780, and possibly longer. The next tavern keeper who was known to have been there was Daniel Mulford. In his petition for a license in March 1785 he promised the court that he would make improvements to the "old frequfnted Tavern," but it is quite evident that they were not intended to be for the comfort of the guest. Judge Elmer gives us a picture of conditions as they were in 1786, based on the journal of a young lady, who visited Bridgeton at that time. Her party left Cooper's Ferry (Camden) and travelled through Gloucester, Woodbury and to Pine Tavern where they stopped overnight. She says "It was cold and she complained of the scanty clothing on the beds, and that the windows were not glazed and had no shutters only boards nailed up, and these an inch apart".

After keeping this tavern, which was one of the principal state stops for travellers going to Bridgeton and Cape May, for four years, Mulford was succeeded by John Hutchinson again (1789-1797). The latter was followed by John Nelson (1798-1799), Ephraim Carrol (Carrel or Carl) (1800-1802) and Josiah Parvin of Cumberland County in 1803. By 1840, the disreputable manner in which the old tavern had been conducted led to the filing of a protest with the court by the neighbors against the granting it any further licenses. When Richard Moffett, Jr., asked for permission to keep this house a short time later his petition was rejected and the tavern was soon abandoned.

In 1849 "Pine Tavern" was recorded as being a store and post office called "Pineville".

Following is a list of the petitions for licenses for "Pine Tavern" as recorded in the Historical Society Library Woodbury, NJ.
*1752 - William Lindsey
*1759 -John Pinyard, Jr.
*1776-Robert Whitacre
*1778 -1780 -John Hutchinson
*1785-Daniel Mulford
*1789 -1797- John Hutchinson
*1798 -1799 -John Nelson
*1800 -1803 -Joshua Parvin
*1811-Wm. Conklin
*1815-1817-Jacob Iredell
*1818-1820-Wm. Simpins
*1821 - 1825 - Virtue Sweatman
*1826 - Isaac Eacrit
*1829 -1831 - Priscilla Sayres
*1832 - 1835 - Foster Sayre
*1836 -1837 - Priscilla Savres
*1839 - Sarah Stull
*1840 - license rejected

(The following taken from the Gloucester County Co. Historical Bulletin 12/57).

"This old log and frame structure still stands a mute testimony of the earlier days. In 1832 Foster Sayre was the Inn Keeper, and in 1838, Samuel French advertised Pine Tavern for rent on the "Great Road to Bridgeton". In 1848 a post office was established with Joseph H. French as Postmaster.

Here is apre-revolutionary structure that has seen some exciting days and probably was a meeting place for the purpose of transacting business concerning our interior protection during the Revolutionary War. In fact not far from this structure were barracks and training grounds for the Militia located at Pole Tavern, or as we know it today, Pittsgrove."

The property was sold on 7/13/1877 by transfer from J. Eugene Troth to John J. Ridgway & Elizabeth. It was then bought by Charles H. Carr and Anna C. Morgan in 1888 and stayed in his family until 1915. His son, Oscar, conducted a general store here. It was then deeded to Frank Ivins, thence to J. Richard Mood, Sr. who is now the owner.

When Mr. Carr took ownership, he says, "there was a smooth place across the road from the "Tavern" where patrons would roll cannon balls for "drinks" at the Tavern. Strangers who passed by were "expected" to buy rounds for the patrons present, or suffer the consequences".

The original property consisted of 143 acres, but now has been dissolved into the property owned by Richard Mood, Jr. It is located behind the Ivins property on the southern end of Elk Township, just off the Bridgeton Pike....




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