Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Bethlehem Loading Company

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Historic Site Management Grant
Grant Award: $30,000 (2009)
Grant Recipient: Atlantic County Division of Parks and Recreation
County: Atlantic
Municipality: Estell Manor

The Bethlehem Loading Company (BLC) was constructed from April 3 to July 1, 1918 in order to manufacture and ship munitions for World War I.  Workers at the munitions plant lived in neighboring Belcoville, a town that had been built from the ground up in a six month period of time.  Part of the site’s significance is the rapid capability of US industry during WWI.  Now within the Atlantic County Park system, the BLC District consists of 199 resources, most of them ruins, concrete foundations, and rail beds within 1,700 acres of swamp land.

The grant helped fund the development of an interpretive plan and materials to help visitors locate historic resources and understand the significance of this area during World War I.  Signage incorporates historic images that help orient visitors. Recorded tours provide additional information to hikers who enjoy the paths and boardwalks throughout the park.

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