Released by Barbara Solem
On the edge of Wharton State Forest stands an elegant mansion long ago abandoned by its owners. Beautifully restored by the state of New Jersey, this impressive residence, built in 1826, was once the summer home of iron master Samuel Richards. The stately mansion, one of the state’s most interesting examples of rural Greek Revival architecture, is now open for tours on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Visitors to the mansion will learn about the town’s vibrant industrial past when it was a thriving iron community and home to over 600 people. Established over 250 years ago, the ironworks made bog iron mined from the nearby streams and bogs. During the early years, when iron reigned at Atsion, the furnace made pig and bar iron as well as stoves, pots, kettles, water pipes and fire backs. During the American Revolution the forge made products for the Pennsylvania Navy and camp kettles for the Continental Army.
Later industries at Atsion included the establishment of a cotton mill and cranberry farm as well as a planned farming community named Fruitland.
Come and hear the whole story of Atsion’s illustrious past and wander the rooms of the grand mansion with docents trained to interpret the home’s interior. Atsion Village is located at 744 Rt. 206 (eight miles north or Hammonton) in Shamong. Reservations are required for large groups and can be made by calling the Atsion Park Office (609) 268–0444.