Grist and Saw Mill in Almonesson

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.Encore-Presentation-detWhen 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.

Encore-Presentation-det-2Jerseyman wrote:

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:

Encore-PresentationBelow is a gallery of the two shots! Enjoy a little South Jersey history!

About The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

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

This entry was posted in The Capewell Glass Negative Collection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Grist and Saw Mill in Almonesson

  1. Old NFO says:

    Interesting piece of history there! 🙂 And some stubborn folks…LOL

  2. Tina says:

    There’s a catering business there now!

  3. Bob Philbin says:

    DEFINITELY NOT Almonesson. The Almonesson Inn (now Filomena’s Restaurant, formerly the Lakeview Inn – “Delaware Valley’s Home of Country and Weastern Music”) should be visible to the left/west of the mill…it’s not there; there is a residence. The wider shots show no Almonessonj center at Almonesson Road and Cooper Street, which should be on the left of the photo. I’ve lived in Almonesson since 1950. These photos are not of Almonesson, Deptford Township, Gloucester County New Jersey.

    The topography DOES possibly suggest Grenloch and Grenloch Lake in Gloucester Township, on the border between Gloucester and Camden Counties. This would be about one mile north of Turnerville.The Black Horse Like would be crossing the two sections of Grenloch Lake.(Note the other lake on the far side of the bridge…look under the bridge….not a dam). The view is looking to the southwest from what is now College Drive into the eastern section of the lake.

    Or possibly somewhere else…

  4. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks for commenting. I have no way of verifying any of this so I’m leaving this up to the readers to debate.

  5. Joe_Williams says:

    Jerseyman was going to respond here, but he was unable to attach an image so check out his comments on the New Jersey Pine Barrens forum here:
    Capewell Glass Negative Collection

  6. Andy says:

    The building directly behind the grist mill is, in fact, the old Lakeview in. Take a close look at the building….the building in the picture has a barn style roof, dormers across the front and a porch on the side of the building just behind the mill. Source…Images of America “Deptford Township”.

  7. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks for the info!

  8. Stephen Sim says:

    That’s definitely Almonesson Lake that guy Bob Philbin doesn’t know what he’s talking about.. I grew up in Almonesson on Cooper Street…

  9. Joe says:

    Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.