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
Debra A. Barsotti
Research Journalist
Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River
and Its Tributaries, Inc.

The Maurice River Reaches Project - River Recollections
Jean Jones
Images through Words

After she graduated from Millville High School, Jean Jones studied at the Moore Institute of Art in Philadelphia. Her life's journey brought her back to Millville where she married and raised her family. Jones said that art occupied her time "to some extent" during those early years, but most in the area wouldn't have guessed that she had such training. Jones is more readily recognized for her skills with her writing tools. Jones, the artist, found an alternate outlet for her creative talents. Rather than use paint and brushes, she relied on words to illustrate and elucidate the local landscape for her readers.

In 1970, Jones began her career as a journalist, a career that has spanned three decades. Her "on the job training" taught her how to use language to illustrate, to re-create, and to report. Jones started as a part-timer for the Bridgeton Evening News. She moved over to the Millville Daily for awhile, and returned to the Bridgeton paper in 1982. There she still chases down sources, covers meetings, informs the public and makes connections for her readers. In her "beat" she covers the business of the townships Maurice River, Commercial, Downe, and Lawrence. She keeps an ear to the news from the Department of Shellfisheries and tunes in to environmental issues that affect the region.

Jones uses words to paint the pictures of an era, to draw portraits of its people and to give definition to the landscape where they live. True that many of the words Jones chooses are relative to the facts. But Jones also employs the words that are specific and descriptive in their own right. She can name the species of imported oysters that are today being tested against the natural parasite that decimated the local industry in the last century. She knows that "dolphins" are the pilings that are roped together at docks and piers.

Jones would know about these things - and more, because she has delved into the history of the Maurice River. She has studied the history of the oystering business. She is familiar with the legendary captains and their schooners. She knows the unique characters of the river towns. Jones even knows that wortle berries are blueberries. (She discovered this reference on an ancient piece of an invoice that she found when she was scouting around the long-forgotten Jones Mill.) She can speak like an expert about the provenience, or source of artifacts in relationship to what is lying around them. She gained that specialized vocabulary when she worked on several sanctioned archeological excavations in the region.

Jones' experience - and her grasp of the terms and the lingo - has come by way of both her work and her participation in activities and organizations in the area. She has participated in archeological digs with local archeologist Alan Mounier. She did an inventory of significant historic sites for the Manumuskin Study. She has been a long-time member of the Maurice River Historical Society, and was one of the group's co-founders. She has written in-depth feature articles for various publications, including the (now-defunct) magazine New Jersey Outdoor. Jones was even designated "temporary mortician" when she and Everett Turner re-interred the members of the Jones family who were buried near Jones Mill.

Jones' experiences also included recreational outings with her family. They did some water-skiing on the Maurice River, starting at Cargill Granary or "the next narrow neck." Her family often started their adventures on the little beach they knew as Stoney Beach, perhaps named this because there were lots of stones visible at low tide. (This was property once owned by sand mine operator George Pettinos, and is now owned by Jane and Peter Galetto.) Jones was also familiar with the Jawbone. She recalled that "it was a sharp, shallow bend. At low tide, people often got hung up." Jones said when she opened the windows on the family home, they could hear the engines revving up, trying to get free form the clenches of the Jawbone.

Jones didn't go much beyond those middle reaches of the Maurice River on those water-skiing outings, but she has some knowledge of the other places on the river - some from her own observations. Basket Flats is now gone. The spartina, or marsh grass, that grows there is buried at high tide, with the tops just visible on the surface, Jones reported.

Much of her knowledge comes from conversations with others, like the Strauss family who live adjacent to the property where the Old Swedish Cemetery was. Others have enlisted her research skills to complete their family genealogies. She worked side-by-side with descendents of the Shelborn family to learn more about the local Shelborns who once farmed the areas around Haleyville before they relocated to Indiana. Jones also gets a chance to study old documents that haven't yet found their way to local historical societies. Once Jones was asked to decipher some old letters that Frank Wheaton III found in his attic. Jones remembers those forlorn letters, written by someone who was smitten for a local young lady. This young romantic worked at the sand mines that were owned by Hilliards in the 1800's. This kind of research has given Jones a special lens from which to peek back into eras gone by.

Jean Jones is adept at locating the interesting and colorful details, and arranging them into telling narratives. With her words, Jones gives her readers a vivid image of life along the Maurice River throughout the ages - peppered with a little dose of intuition about what the future might hold.