Television networks use the euphemistic term Encore Presentation to describe reruns, and that may seem to be the case with today’s post, but it’s not.When I was reviewing these digital prints from John Capewell’s glass negatives, I thought that I had shot multiples of the negative that I published a couple weeks ago. Upon closer examination, I noticed that the scratches and dust marks were different. Capewell shot two negatives from the same position.
When I decided to run with the negative of this place, I doubted whether anybody could identify the place definitively so I put it out to my readers. The incomparable Jerseyman proved me wrong.
This is an incredible photograph of the grist and saw mill in Almonesson, Deptford Township, Gloucester County. I have seen very few images of this mill and even the post card view in my collection is poor when compared with this photo!
Almonesson was originally known as Lambtown, named for Daniel Lamb, who constructed a cotton factory powered by a lake he created by damming the Almonesson Creek. He also constructed a one-story brick store at the site. During a spring freshet in March 1845, the dam burst and the ensuing torrent washed the mill away. Subsequent to this occurrence, Joseph Carrow purchased the mill seat and constructed a gristmill, but, this mill, like the cotton factory, was washed away by another freshet and dam failure in 1866. The partnership of G.D. Carman and Chalkley Ambler bought the mill seat and built the gristmill shown in Willceau’s photograph. The town changed its name to Almonesson when the United States Post Office Department opened the Almonesson Post Office in June 1872.
Sometime during 1900, L.D. Bozorth purchased the mill, the lake and the surrounding land and opened it as a resort in 1901. In the grove he constructed a dance pavilion, a merry-g0-round, swings, toboggan slide, etc., and the lake provided a wonderful experience for bathers and anglers. Bozorth did not permit adult beverages, so the grove made a wonderful site for Sunday School picnics. He also established an inn for those who wished to stay for a longer time than a day trip permitted. He operated the gristmill and a sawmill for a time, but by 1910, the mill was idled.
Thank you so very much for this incredible information, Jerseyman! I made the pictures a little larger this week so if you click on them, you’ll be able to take in the detail!
Here is the entire negative:
The Capewell Glass Negative Collection is a series of about 200 5-inch by 7-inch glass negatives shot early in the 20th Century by John Batt Capewell (1878-1951) of Westville, New Jersey. John passed the negatives down to his son Henry who left them in his wife’s possession upon his passing. Henry’s widow didn’t know what to do with them and didn’t particularly want them so she offered them to my Dad who couldn’t turn down anything. Ultimately I wound up with them and thought I would one day have photographic prints struck from them. That didn’t happen, but I came up with the digital workaround of placing the negatives on a lightbox and rephotographing them with a digital camera. The “processing” was then done on a computer with image editing software. They came out better than I thought they would so I thought I would show them off to the world on this site. Many of these pictures have not been seen in a century, and I’m proud to be presenting them today.
At first, I did not know who the people were in the photographs. I have a box of ephemera that accompanied the negatives and snagged a few clues from that as far as the Capewell name. I did some research on the internet and had a few false starts and wrong turns, but the readers of these posts have provided a remarkable amount of research and detail. I’m amazed at what people have turned up sifting through public records and such!
Last Week: I’m Leaving it All Up to You