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
East Pt. Maurice River Cove
Reach #49

In her book, Man, The Sea and Industry, local writer Margaret Louise Mints, noted that the earliest Maurice River Cove Lighthouse was built in 1810. A second structure was built in 1898 and rebuilt in 1912. Mints described the two-floor building that was "built on pilings seven feet above the ground." She mentioned that the building had a large fireplace made of imported marble and "grained wainscoting" on the walls.

"One of the saddest things was when some young people burned down that lighthouse," said Port Norris resident Lou Capaldi. He was referring to the Maurice River Cove Range Light. As a youngster, he made a trek out to the lighthouse. That was in the late 1930's. The lighthouse had already been abandoned, but Capaldi said that the fine wood crafting in the interior was still evident.

(Editor's Note: Joe Reeves calls plots the last reach of the River before Maurice River Cove as Maurice River Light the south side of Basket Flats.  Today (c 2008) Basket Flats is non existent from erosion and is simply some sunk barges placed in a fruitless effort to prevent the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area's erosion from extending to Matt's Landing.)

The East Point Lighthouse also suffered the ravages of fire. The state was planning to tear it down and erect a tower that would serve as a data point for surveying the oyster beds in the bay. The Maurice River Historical Society, whose members included Jean Jones and Everett Turner at the time, worked to save the lighthouse that had guided the schooners and pleasure boats since 1849.

"We didn’t have any grants, so we raised money the hard way," Turner recalled. "We had bake sales, bazaars; we sold T-shirts and hats. We got quite a sum of money." Turner said that the historical society was able to restore the roof and set about preserving the lighthouse.

The vicinity around the lighthouse had an interesting past. Historical references indicate that it was "somewhat of a resort," with a tavern and hotel near the lighthouse. An artist's rendering in the possession of Drew Tomlin shows a partial view of the structure. On the back is a note about this hotel, situated on Donnelly Island. Tomlin had heard that a portion of high ground in the meadow was called Donnelly Island at one time, and that this may have been a place near the lighthouse.

(Editor's Note: For more information on Donnelly Island, please see this letter from Glenn Bingham.)

Today the lighthouse is one of NJ's historic treasures. The brick two-story structure, with its steel cupola, is open to the public for special events like "Artists' Day at East Point Lighthouse."

A newspaper clipping, source unknown but dated August 19, 1941, reveals another obscure but fascinating event that occurred at East Point. The report indicates that at that time the minesweeper USS Paramount was launched from Leesburg. This "coincided almost precisely with the discovery of some interesting maritime history touching the Maurice River and the War of 1812."

This was a 60-year old account of "a Millville chronicler, who had talked to the celebrated and ancient John Penn." The report mentions that John Penn was a native of Millville who lived a very long life. Penn was in the local militia during the summer of 1814, the account says.  The British had "sent a tender into the mouth of the Maurice River to capture a schooner loaded with corn. On account of the low tide, the raiding party was unable to get her out." The account describes the action of the militia, which included Penn, who boarded the schooner to protect it. Another party, well-armed and coming downriver in a "salt-box," did not realize that the ship was secured, and fired upon her. A battle occurred, and the  "friendly fire" resulted in injuries and the death of a man named Benjamin Brayman.

In this same news clipping are further reminiscences of John Penn. One described the theft of a cow and a calf by a British militiamen. "The British sent a boat ashore at the farm of the elder Andrew Lane, near East Point, at the mouth of the Maurice River. They put a rope around the cow's neck and thus swam her to the boat in the offing, the calf naturally following its mother." As that was transpiring, the locals got word and converged on the banks, with their weapons firing. "The British opened on those on shore with a swivel."

(Editor's Note: Glenn Bingham notes that Andrew "Lane" was actually Andrew "Zane," as the "L" and "Z" often looked similar in old script. The Zane family owned about 600 acres north of the lighthouse for decades, with the property viewable on the 1675 Atlas of the Maurice River.)

Cumberland County's Historical Register describes the East Point Lighthouse, Maurice River Township, NJ - Where the Maurice River Meets the Delaware Bay, just southwest of Heislerville: "The East Point Lighthouse has played an important part in the maritime history of the Maurice River area of Cumberland County, New Jersey. Originally known as the Maurice River Lighthouse, it was erected in 1849 by the United States Lighthouse Establishment. The present name was initiated in 1913."

See these sites for more on the East Point Light House:

Radio Shorts To learn more about the Maurice River, check out CU's podcasts.

East Pt. Maurice River Cove
Lou Capaldi
Jean Jones
Drew Tomlin
Everett Turner