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Log only, pen only
Gave this a 2 only because of a little sugar sand in the area but 2 wheel drive is sufficient if you watch yourself. Saw there were no caches in this area today while driving around in Mudwhore with Muddog so here you go. Muggles may be present especially in summer so beware. Happy hunting.
There used to be a cache here by Gipsie. It was just archived. There is some rich history in the area if anyone is interested this is the write up of the old cache page. Very interesting. Enjoy!
Bodine’s Tavern was built by John Bodine in the early 1790’s on the east side of the Wading River, a stone’s throw from the wooden bridge that crossed where the road from Tuckerton to Philadelphia crossed the Wading River about 7 miles from Tuckerton and 2 ½ miles down steam from the iron town of Martha Furnace with about 400 residents.
John had enlisted as a private in the Revolutionary War and served seven years while rising to the rank of captain. He took advantage of new State regulations which gave tavern licensing preferences to Revolution War veterans. By the mid 1780’s a majority of New Jersey’s taverns were operated by colonels, captains, or widows of former Revolutionary War soldiers.
Bodine was an enterprising individual, as were many of the early tavern owners. He operated a nearby saw mill and ran horse teams hauling store supplies, livestock, salt hay, oyster shells, and bog iron for the operation at Martha Furnace.
In the early 1800’s, all male citizens over 18 years of age were compelled by law to report to a designated place four times a year for military training. Taverns became of their central locations and available refreshments became a popular place to hold these training sessions.
Because of its close location to Martha Furnace, Bodine’s became a frequent hangout for the iron workers at Martha. This would undoubtedly make its clientele considerably less polished than in the average stagestop tavern traveling from Philadelphia to Tuckerton. Martha employed immigrant workers, so it would not be unusual to see Irish and black workers unwinding at Bodine’s after a hard day laboring at the iron furnace town just down the river.
After John Bodine’s death, his widow Anne and their son Jesse kept the tavern until the late 1830’s when it was closed. It’s demise was probably due to a combination of factors:
(1) The decline of Martha Furnace in the 1830’s;
(2) the building of a swing bridge across the Wading River at Bridgeport in 1824 rerouted much of the Batsto-Mullica River town traffic away from Stage Road and Bodine’s Tavern; and
(3) continued improvements on the Tuckerton-Philadelphia road made stage and wagon traffic faster with less need for frequent tavern stops.
Today a shallow cellar hole adjacent to a sandy camping area in Wharton State Forest, appropriately named “Bodine’s Field”, is the only reminder of the once bustling Bodine’s Tavern.
It is interesting to note that, while the Bodine Tavern cellar hole is in Bass River Township today, the tavern never operated within the jurisdiction of Bass River Township. It was located in Little Egg Harbor when it was built, and then became a part of Washington Township in 1802 when that township was formed from Little Egg Harbor Township. Fittingly, the first Washington Township governmental meeting was held in Bodine’s Tavern with John Bodine being elected to the first Township Committee. Finally, in 1864, the Bodine Tavern area became a part of Bass River Township when the boundaries in that area were again realigned.
(No hints available.)