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August 6, 2013

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Josh Ostrer (609) 984-1795

Part of State Park System’s Continuing Full Post-Sandy Recovery    

(13/P80) TRENTON – Batsto Village, the extensive historic site in Wharton State Forest, will host its Civil War themed Second Saturday program on August 10, featuring educational and interactive activities aimed at providing an authentic look back at an important time in the state’s history.  

This is a fourth in a series of “Second Saturday” events this spring and summer at the largest state park, which is located in Atlantic County, marking its recovery from damages caused by Superstorm Sandy. 

“This is yet another sign of the progress our entire state park system has made since Sandy, from Island Beach State Park to Liberty State Park, and to sites like Batsto, where we have restored programs and offerings to our residents for the summer season,’’ said State Parks Director Mark Texel. “Our State’s parks and forests are a vital resource to the public, and we’re proud of the adversities they’ve overcome.”

Saturday’s planned event will include Civil War programs provided by two interpretive groups. There will be a presentation and encampment by the Colonel Francine organization, which honors the memory of Civil War veteran Col. Louis R. Francine, who commanded the 7th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry.

Also, re-enactors Buzz and Viola Smithcors of Vineland will lead park patrons through a display of an authentic Civil War medicine-field hospital, showcasing a variety of surgical tools, apothecary, and items used to treat injuries during the Civil War.

Following Superstorm Sandy, many state parks in the north and coastal regions, including Wharton State Forest, sustained damage to trail areas and structures due to downed trees. Wharton, and the historic amenities at Batsto, was briefly closed to the public.

However, there is currently a full offering of programs at Wharton State Forest, including swimming, hunting, boating, hiking on the 50-mile Batona Trail, and camping options, allowing visitors many options to fully explore the forest’s 122,880 acres.

The Second Saturday event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free with park admission.

In addition to the Civil War presentations on Saturday, Batsto Village also will offer its usual Saturday activities, including tours of Astion Mansion, demonstrations at the blacksmith shop and working sawmill, tours of the village Post Office and museum, and visits to the Annie M. Carter Nature Center, which gives visitors a look into the history of Batsto, its people, and the wildlife of the Pine Barrens.

To Learn More about Batsto Village and upcoming events, and to get directions please visit:

To Learn More about Wharton State Forest, visit:




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Last Updated: August 6, 2013