Wharton State Forest-Pinelands National ReserveThe imposing, classically-inspired Atsion mansion was the height of fashion when Samuel Richards built it in 1826. Sited on a rise, it overlooked both the ironworks and lake that served as a mill pond to provide water power to the village. The Richards family had a home in Philadelphia and used the mansion as a summer retreat.
The porch columns, made of cast iron water pipes, were likely made at Weymouth Furnace, another iron furnace owned by Richards. Inside, a large center hall connects the north door, the carriage entrance, and the south porch.
Off the hallway are large rooms with marble fireplaces. Each of the 14 rooms in the mansion has its own fireplace. Cooking and food preparation were done in the cellar where there is an eight-food open hearth fireplace. The cool cellar also included a meat room and milk room to help keep provisions fresh.
In 1954 the State of New Jersey purchased the mansion as part of what is now Wharton State Forest.
(Inscription under the photos in the upper center) Samuel Richards (1769-1842) and wife, Anna Marie Richards (1763-1860). Miniatures by George Hewitt Cushman (Courtesy of the late Harriet Richards Jeter Robeson and the Frick Art Reference Library)
(Inscriptions under the photos in the lower part) The mansion was in dire disrepair before the State of New Jersey took ownership.——Look for the date 1826 on the downspouts.—-Note the cast iron fireplace liner this both decorative and improves heating efficiency.——Floor plan part of the Insurance Company of North America's 1870 policy. (Courtesy ACE Group).—-Louvered doors and panels provided both privacy and ventilation.——Below the elegant rooms of the first floor, the cellar was bustling with activity—servants preparing meals and seeing to all the household needs of family and guests.—Photographs courtesy of NJ Division of Parks & Forestry.
The New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry, the Pinelands Commission, and the National Park Service are working together to "enhance public understanding, awareness, and appreciation of natural and cultural resources" of the Pinelands National Reserve.
|Placed By||National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior, State of New Jersey Division of Parks & Foresty, State of New Jersey Pinelands Commission|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 5:06pm PST -08:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 523510 N 4399147|
|Decimal Degrees||39.74190000, -74.72560000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 44.514', W 74° 43.536'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 44' 30.84" N, 74° 43' 32.16" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 744 US-206, Shamong NJ 08088, US|
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