COUNTRY LIVING FAIR TO BE HELD SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20 AT
BATSTO VILLAGE IN WHARTON STATE FOREST
(19/P085) TRENTON – Celebrating simpler times and the beauty of the Pinelands, the annual Country Living Fair will be held Sunday, Oct. 20, at historic Batsto Village in Burlington County. Visitors will be able to enjoy crafts, music, food, antiques, pony rides, farm equipment and much more.
Batsto is located at the southern edge of Wharton State Forest, off Route 542 in Washington Township, about eight miles east of Hammonton. The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
“This fair is one of the most popular events held in the Pinelands each year, celebrating the region’s culture and history through music, crafts and special exhibits including chainsaw art and quilting,” said New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry Director Olivia Glenn. “This event provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Pinelands while taking a step back in time.”
The fair is held each fall in partnership with the Batsto Citizens Committee.
Visitors will notice a number of renovation and maintenance projects that have been completed in Batsto Village. Improvements include new split-rail fencing surrounding the grounds and new back porches on the tenant workers homes in the lower village. In addition, the historic Wharton Mansion, the focal point of the village, received a new cedar-shingle roof.
Batsto preserves more than 40 structures and sites including Wharton Mansion, a sawmill, a charcoal kiln, ice and milk houses, a carriage house and stable, blacksmith and wheelwright shop, grist mill and general store.
Batsto Village was started by a local man, Charles Read, and quickly became an arsenal of democracy, producing munitions for the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
The village served as an industrial center in the Pine Barrens until the late 1860s, with ironmaking giving way to glassmaking.
Both industries relied heavily on the natural resources of the Pinelands. Ironmaking used bog ore found along rivers and streams in the region. Glassmaking relied on the area’s abundant sand. Both industries heavily relied on trees to fuel furnaces.
Wealthy Philadelphia entrepreneur Joseph Wharton purchased Batsto in 1876, introducing cranberry growing and making improvements to the mansion and various buildings. His landholdings in the area, acquired by the state in 1954, would become the core of Wharton State Forest, the largest single tract in the state park system.
For information from the Batsto Citizens Committee, visit https://batstovillage.org/
For information about Wharton State Forest and Batsto, visit www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/wharton.html.
To learn more about New Jersey’s state parks and forests, visit www.njparksandforests.org.
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