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
Fish Factory
Reach #41

In the fall of 1958, a group of observers left Leroy Webb's dock at Matt's Landing, traveling on the "Betty Jane," and sailed south to Maurice River Cove "in sight of Egg Island Point" and then northward as far as Menhaden, just south of Leesburg.  The group was shown "where the dyke might blow with the next northwest blow." An untitled newspaper account of this outing, dated October 3, 1958, stated that the purpose of the Maurice River tour was to  "determine if there is an urgent need to dyke the banks of the river and stop the encroachment on the village of Heislerville."

According to the report, "The dyke committee desires to tackle one portion of the problem first and to start with the real trouble area from Menhaden south to just below Matt's Landing." The concern was that the village of Heislerville would be surrounded and eventually covered by water, as was happening at the time to the village of Maurice River. Cape Island Clam Co. had pulled out of the village and American Clam Co. was considering their departure from the shores of the river  because flooding in the village was a continual problem, causing the roads to close. The group who were making this tour included representatives of officials from the federal, state and local jurisdictions, as well as a few local citizens.

The tiny enclaves along that stretch of the Maurice River were tied to each other. The river dictated the tide of history as each of these locales fought to survive the forces of the river and retain the industries affected by those forces.

The fish factory that  once stood in Menhaden, NJ no longer exists. In fact, the village of Menhaden has been swallowed up by the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. Details of the operation are very general. The factory processed the fish, producing oils that were used as preservatives. The fish carcasses were ground for fertilizer. The name of the village comes from the term "menhaden", which refers to fish ("junk fish," some say) that are not worth bringing to other markets.

The establishment of the village of Menhaden and its factory are not easily traced and more time is needed to seek out these details. It is unclear how long the fish factory even existed. The stories of Menhaden's residents remain hidden. The remnants of the factory are long gone, too.

Local resident Everett Turner knows where the site of the factory is, too. "For years, the old steel stack stood there. Finally it fell down - or someone took it down," Turner said.

Turner's father worked at the fish factory before Everett was born in 1926. But an interesting note is that Turner's father was 59 years old when Turner was born. His father was born on Aug. 27, 1866, right after the Civil War. What years the elder Mr. Turner worked at the fish factory is unknown, but could have been well before the turn of the 20th century.

Fish Factory
Everett Turner