How to use:
The Maurice River Reaches Map is easy to interact with the simple controls and features provided.
Listed below are the key features and descriptions of how they can be utilized.

Working with the controls
The map is fully draggable. Simply click anywhere on the map and begin dragging your mouse to move the map to specific areas.
move up click to navigate the map "up".
move down click to navigate the map "down".
move left click to navigate the map "left".
move right click to navigate the map "right".
zoom in click to "zoom in" for a closer look.
zoom in click to "zoom out" to back away from the map.
default map setting click to get back to the "default" map setting.
red buoy click to learn more about that reach.
Maurice River Recollections Project
River Reaches

The Maurice River Reaches Project
Lower Leesburg
Reach #40

Just south of the town of Leesburg, the Maurice River swings westward. Local watermen - the fishermen, oysterers, and shipmen of old, would have been aware of the winding thoroughfare that led from this reach and toward the Delaware Bay. Experience taught them how to navigate the twists and turns, but perhaps it was the characteristics of the shoreline that helped them distinguish between the three reaches that align with the town of Leesburg and the two more southern reaches of the fish factory site.

From the 1876 map of Cumberland County published by the NJ Riparian Commission, comes a picture of a changing shoreline along this southern section of the Maurice River. The eastern shores at Upper Leesburg begin to rise in elevation as the town proper and the shipyard come into view. This map shows the landings and wharves that were constructed at Leesburg.

As the Maurice River spills into the Lower Leesburg reach, the river's channel constricts. The shores on the east are not as elevated and the meadow appears to sit quite a distance back from the wharf line indicated on the riparian map.

As the Maurice River curves south and eastward again into Fish Factory Reach, the map shows "Broken Bank Meadow," a large swatch that protrudes inland. The elevation of the shoreline shifts about midway around the reach. The map notations show "Upland" and then "High meadow" as the river curves into Lower Fish Factory. (See Reach #42.)

There are no land structures indicated on this map, but the notations about the geography of the shores give clues about how the boundaries of these reaches might have been determined from boatside.

Port Elizabeth map collector Charles Hartman created a compilation map of early maps and surveys which does show a fish factory on the east side of the Maurice River several reaches below Leesburg. (On the Hartman map, the fish factory is located just north of the Lower Fish Factory reach, but not as far north as the reach known as Fish Factory.)

Hartman indicates that the property surrounding the fish factory was known as Menhaden. (The word menhaden refers to a category of fish used for non-food products like fertilizer and fish oil. The Maurice River factory processed these fish by-products.).

On the eastern banks of the Maurice River at this reach, in Maurice River Township, is a road known today as River Road. In an earlier era, this road ran just to the east of the Menhaden factory site. It may have served as the entrance road to the facility.

Across the Maurice River from this reach, in Commercial Township, was Dallas Ferry Road. The Dallas Ferry crossed the Maurice River at what is known today as Port Norris. On the Hartman map, the ferry crossed to the Maurice River Township landing on the eastern shore and linked with a road that was known at one time as Dallas Road. On the Hartman map, the landing in Commercial Township is approached by Ferry Road. Hartman also indicates that the ferry was the Dallas Ferry.

Editor's note: Along the reach known as Lower Leesburg between River Road and the Maurice River is where then Vice President Al Gore signed the declaration of understanding (October 26, 1994) memorializing the Dec. 1993 signing of the Congressional legislation designating the Maurice River and three of its tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The irony of this location is that the Maurice River as of 2008 has never been designated south of the Mauricetown Bridge.