Tour de Pines 2021, day 2: Historic Whitesbog Village plus Potato the baby pig

A tale of immigrant New Jersey deep in the Pine Barrens.

We aborted this bike ride after nearly 5 miles (I’ll spare you the explanation, but all is fine — we’ll find another day to ride the 52 miles, maybe a bit less, and finally see Chatsworth, the heart of the Pine Barrens).

On the other hand, I had time to explore historic Whitesbog Village, once New Jersey’s largest cranberry farm and a place where they apparently treated their workers better than the rest. It also was home to Elizabeth Coleman White, who developed the blueberry cultivar we eat today.

Workers came 100 years ago for the six-week harvesting season, often from South Philadelphia. So read that as Italian immigrants. One of the things that struck me was how many more women than men were in the photos. But I feel like I only scratched the surface; apparently there were two communities of migrant homes, Rome and Florence, and they were segregated, one for those Italians, one for the African Americans. I only saw photos of white people.

Technology eventually pared the need for workers from something like 600 to 150 and then down to 15. Sounds like what’s happened with everything else!

Here’s some of the Whitesbog history:


This is a fragment of the now-ruined cranberry packing barn.

As for Potato…. this is a baby pig found the day before in the woods by one of today’s Whitesbog workers. The thinking is that this was someone’s pet … until they realized that even a midget pig would still get to at least 100 pounds.

You know I’m not a pet person, but Potato was quite happy to snooze on a rocker outside the general store and get a belly scratch.

Oh, the Tour de Pines? This is the bike ride we had planned to do:

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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