NJ Pinelands National Reserve: Batsto Village


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The NJ Pinelands encompasses a large portion of southern New Jersey and was the nation’s first National Reserve, declared by Congress in 1978. The Pinelands are an affiliated unit of the National Park Service and so the protected areas within are administered by other agencies.


Historic Batsto Village is managed by Wharton State Forest. There is a visitor center in the village with souvenirs, NPS literature and information. We signed up here for a $3 guided tour of Batsto Mansion with a docent.


The village grew up around an iron works in the 1760s and provided artillery for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. As the need for iron wares diminished, the village turned to glass-making.


The State of NJ started buying the historic structures in the 1950s and the last residents were gone by the late eighties. Today, Batsto is a museum village with about 40 restored buildings, including the central mansion. Entrance to the mansion is by guided tour only.


The mansion was renovated by Joseph Wharton in the late 1800s to its current design. It has 32 rooms and many of the furnishings are intact. We were not allowed to take photos inside. We did enjoy the tour of the mansion, but it was too cold to explore any of the other buildings in the village.

Location: Batsto Rd, Batsto, NJ 08037

Designation: National Reserve, State Park, NRHP

Date designated or established: 1978

Date of my visit: 1/31/2016