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 Fish Factory
Reach #42

During the period between 1889 and 1932, the Port Norris Ferry made trips across the Maurice River with passengers traveling between Bivalve (Commercial Township) and the village of Maurice River (Maurice River Township). This reach may have been the site of the landing for this ferry service which transported the laborers who worked at the fish factory known as Menhaden or at shucking houses in Maurice River town and Bivalve.

In an article printed in South Jersey Magazine (Summer 1975) writer Don Wentzel described a railroad that served "the bottom of Cumberland County on the east side of the Maurice River." The West Jersey Railroad ran their tracks from the Manumuskin River south to the small community of Maurice River. Wentzel explained that the principle reason for the railroad was to transport oysters harvested in Maurice River Cove, but as Wentzel wrote, "…far more sand has been shipped up the branch than oysters." At the peak of its service, the train made four round trips a day.

In March 1889, a tugboat, the West Jersey, was put into service to ferry passengers between a small station at Hands Wharf on the west bank of the Maurice River and the two oyster shipping houses and the enlarged wharf at the shores of Maurice River town. A new tugboat replaced the West Jersey in 1901.

On March 29, 1907, a blazing fire destroyed the oyster complex that employed workers in Maurice River town. Wentzel noted that "the amount of oyster business at the turn of the century coming out of Maurice River Cove" was comparable to the oyster production on the western banks of the Maurice River. After the fire, the complex on the eastern shores was expanded to include 12 oyster houses, 8 oyster sheds, 10 wharves, 2 platforms and an office for NJ shell fish officials.

Wentzel's article discussed the decreasing usefulness of the Maurice River railroad as "oyster blight" that destroyed the economy of the entire region and automobiles became more popular.

Another chapter of activity at this reach is just whispered about. It is said that rumrunners once took advantage of the ferry's access road built on the "fast lands" the east bank. 6/06

For more information about Menhaden, see Reach #41.