Pinelands Connections IX

What is a Collier?

Here my exploration of Wharton State Forest, Pitch Pine Forest III, branches to the genealogical exploration of this landscape as my sister, Theresa and I, proceed along the humped, pitted sand road Goodwater through the wilderness to emerge in Batsto Village, a recreation of lives that touched my great great grandparents, James and Ann McCambridge among them. Ann saved money earned as a cook for Atsion furnace, the historical site at the start of the road to Quaker Bridge. Her husband James worked as a collier, supplying fuel for the iron furnaces at Atsion and Batsto, among other enterprises. During our Batsto Village visit we found these reproductions of charcoal clamps.

Since earliest times charcoal was used for cooking and heating. It was the best heat source for metal furnaces. Entire deforested regions are attributed to the demand for charcoal. Thomas Jefferson experimented with charcoal clamp designs, modifying air flow from the base.

James and Ann lived on the land that provided a livelihood, enough to support themselves and nine (9) children. From September 7, 1850 is the US Census for this family of my second great grandparents. Great Grandmother Margaret was 11 years. James is listed as a Collier, the value of Real Estate owned was 6,000 (a fortune for the time).

Like is wife Ann, James had a savings account…..

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Pitch Pine Forest III

Road to Batsto

Leaving the jeep on the west side of Quaker Bridge, I walked over to inspect the structure and poke around the other side, carrying a Canon 5d Mark IV (camera body) / EF 70 – 300 mm f/4-5.6 L IMS (lens), shooting as I walked. My sister Theresa and Maxie, a little white dog, lagged behind taking in the surroundings. Here they are, in shadow, on the west side.

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My work on the east side was shared in previous posts, “Pinelands Connections VIII,” I and II “Around Quaker Bridge,” and I and II “Pitch Pine Forest,” work interrupted by the sound of an approaching engine, a Humvee came into view. I waved my arm up and down, a sign to slow down, pulling alongside the driver looked up with dead eyes, no element of recognition of a fellow human, as I explained my sister was on the bridge. A stink of unfamiliar hydrocarbons, diesel fuel?, rose through the heat as they pulled forward with no acknowledgement of my request. Thankfully they slowed down as Theresa, Max in her arms, said, “hi.”

Multiple roads converge from all directions on Quaker Bridge, using GoogleMaps (surprising these unimproved, “jeep” sand roads were listed) I chose Goodwater Road as a route to Batsto Village, on the southern side of Wharton State Forest. The 6.1 mile road follows the east bank of Mullica River at a distance, a very rough passage through ancient Pitch Pine forest. Here are photographs of the enormous capacity of the pines to regrow after fire. Note a thick seeding growth among the mature pine trunks, lower portions fire blackened.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Drombeg Stone Circle I

Path to the late Bronze Age

Path well trodden through the centuries since.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Our Sally V

Last views from Kinsale, County Cork

The view referred to by placard is to the right. The Old Head of Kinsale is the distant landform, looking right to left, is the portion that drops off to the ocean.

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Here is a Google Maps screen capture showing the relationship of our position (the unnamed red drop-pin) on the right, and the Old Head of Kinsale landform, seen below the lable “Ballylane.”

Here are the views looking toward the Celtic Sea, the Old Head of Kinsale and the cliffs at our feet.

This cemetery is unmarked on the maps I use.

Here is a Google Earth view of our walk, the red line. The view is looking east from above the former “de Courcy family parkland.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Our Sally IV

Old and New Forts

As Pam and I past the scenes of bucolic reverie this sign drew us back to the past. The reference to de Courcy is as a family of invading Normans. John de Courcy, without the King’s permission, launched an 1176 AD invasion of northeastern Ireland, what is now County Down, as an ultimately failed land grab. The history is murky, though apparently John de Courcy’s son Miles acquired the land referred to in the placard through the English King Henry II, awarded to Miles’ thieving, murderous Norman father-in-law Milo de Cogan in the 13th Century. Much later, the old (James) and new (Charles) Forts were constructed to defend Kinsale harbor.

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Here is a Google Maps screen capture showing the relationship of our position (the unnamed red drop-pin) on the right, Charles and James Forts and the de Courcy family parklands, the large blank area below the pin named “Dock beach.”

Here are the views looking toward the Celtic Sea, the Old Head of Kinsale and the cliffs at our feet.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Our Sally III

Looking Around

As Pam and I continued down the half mile “Sallyport” footpath, marked in red on the Google Earth view provided at the end of this post, we enjoyed the view across the Celtic Sea toward the distant Old Head of Kinsale and this sailboat headed to port.

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Landward, we enjoyed watching the progress of a farmer rolling hay bales while cows munched fresh green grass.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Our Sally II

Thrifty

We continued down the half mile “Sallyport” footpath, marked in red on the Google Earth view provided at the end of this post, along shoreline cliffs to find these croppings of Sea Pink on jagged rocks.

Oddly, the jags being perfect places for Sea Pink to perch. Scientific name, Armeria maritima, and also known by Thrift or Sea Thrift, a reason these evergreen perennials are found on the obverse of the British Three Pence coin issued 1937 – 1952. Thrifty can mean to buy a lot for a little money — three pence is very little money.

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Another sign informing hikers of the view.

Reference

Armeria maritima” – wikipedia

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Our Sally I

Views of Celtic Sea

A half mile footpath, marked in red on the following Google Earth view, leads from the Charles fort sallyport, along the shoreline cliffs, surmounted by working farmland and looks toward the Celtic Sea.

To “sally” is to suddenly charge out from a besieged place against the enemy. The word is also used as a noun. It can also be used to describe our walk, as a sally to an unusual place.

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Here is a view of the Celtic Sea from the Sallyport

From Wikipedia: “The Celtic Sea receives its name from the Celtic heritage of the bounding lands to the north and east. The name was first proposed by E. W. L. Holt at a 1921 meeting in Dublin of fisheries experts from Great Britain, France, and Ireland. The northern portion of this sea was considered as part of Saint George’s Channel and the southern portion as an undifferentiated part of the “Southwest Approaches” to Great Britain. The desire for a common name came to be felt because of the common marine biology, geology and hydrology of the area. It was adopted in France before being common in the English-speaking countries; in 1957 Édouard Le Danois wrote, “the name Celtic Sea is hardly known even to oceanographers.”[3] It was adopted by marine biologists and oceanographers, and later by petroleum exploration firms. It is named in a 1963 British atlas.. A 1972 article states ‘what British maps call the Western Approaches, and what the oil industry calls the Celtic Sea […] certainly the residents on the western coast [of Great Britain] don’t refer to it as such.'”

Views of the wall from previous photograph. The vines were separated from roots to preserve the walls, leaving interesting patterns.

The distant land to the right, beyond the walls, is the Old Head of Kinsale.

Informational placards along the walk give background to the views enjoyed by hikers.

Here is the above view.

Pam, at start of our walk. Poking above the walls is the Charles Fort Lighthouse. “This lighthouse is a directional light marking the way to safe anchorage close to Kinsale. In 1665 King Charles II granted letters patent to Sir Robert Reading to erect six lighthouses on the coast of Ireland, including one at Barry Oge’s castle, near Kinsale later to become Charles Fort. The original structure would have had a coal fire on its roof. In 1810 powers given to the Commissioners for Barracks and others between 1767 and 1806 were all vested in the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin or the Ballast Board. This board took over the general lighting and marking of the coast when fourteen lighthouses were transferred to it including that at Charles Fort. This lighthouse, built in 1929, is one of the more recent to be found along the coast, with most dating to the nineteenth century. A new mains powered light at Charles Fort Lighthouse was put into operation on the 14 April 2004 marking the end of a long era of gas and oil powered lights in Ireland.” Quote is from the link provided in references.

References

“Celtic Sea” – wikipedia

“Charles Fort Lighthouse” — Charles Fort Lighthouse, FORTHILL, CORK – Buildings of Ireland

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Charles Fort Walls

Dún Chathail

A “dun” is a larger fortification, few and far between on the island of Ireland. We saw one on the Arran Islands, from the Iron Age, Dun Angus, Charles Fort, or Dún Chathail in Irish, is from historical ages.

A cannot tell from my slide show, but the walls are star shaped with many salients, giving more positions to defend the walls.

References

“Charles Fort” – wikipedia

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Charles Fort People II

flower girls

Arriving at Charles Fort, the “new” fort compared to the “old” James Fort across the cove, late in the day after our walking tour of Kinsale and lunch, the gate to the interior was closed. Pam and I made do with exploring the outer battlements where the citizens of Kinsale were enjoying themselves.

The previous post featured a young fellow with a hurley and sliotar. You can see him behind a separate party of young flower girls. The fort is a popular wedding venue.

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A shortcoming of Charles Fort was the high ground you can see behind the figures. The defenses are strong on the seaward side and open to attack from the land.

Two friends conversing.

Old and New

Preparations

The same photographs, as a slideshow. Including previous post photograph.

References

“Hurling and Charles Fort” – wikipedia

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills