Burlington County, NJ


The town of pleasant Mills is located just across the Mullica River from Batsto, on the Nescochague Creek and Lake, on Rte. 542, Mullica Twp.  


In 1645 Eric Mullica, a Swede, sailed up the Mullica River (named for him). He established the first white settlement in the area at or near Lower Bank. Eight miles farther up the river, at Pleasant Mills, the Lenni Lenape had a "summer village." (Pierce 1957:176)

In 1707 Scottish exiles came to Pleasant Mills. The not-far-away neighborhood known as "The Forks" developed as a trading center. There were sawmills here involved in lumber business (Jersey pine and cedar being in great industrial demand).

The first stagecoach arrived here in 1773 (at Thomas Clark's Mill). In 1779 Elijah Clark sold his plantation to Richard Wescoat. There was a lot of privateering, especially at "The Forks." It had become a more secure haven for privateers of lighter draft. Ships unloaded sugar, coffee, tea, and rum that were hauled overland to Philadelphia, usually along the old Pine Barrens trails to Atsion, Long-a-Coming and Haddonfield. Richard Wescoat organized this trade that was very helpful to the Americans in the Revolutionary War.

In 1787 the town became associated with Joseph Ball when he purchased Batsto. (Ball also was one of the four partners who operated the Weymouth Iron Works.) Ball sold Pleasant Mills to Samuel Richards and Clayton Earl in 1796.

There is a small church on the dirt road to the parking area at Pleasant Mills.  It was built in 1808.  Its roots extend back to a log cabin church built and donated by Colonel Elijah Clark in 1758. Clark was a member of the Provincial Congress.  In the log meeting house such circuit-riding preachers as Philip Vickers Fithian of Greenwich and David Brainerd, missionary to the Lenni Lenape Indians, held services. Among the unusual tombstones are slab casts of bog iron. (Pepper 1965:128)

A cotton factory was established here. Later a paper factory (destroyed by fire in 1878; then rebuilt).

The present-day church was dedicated April 21, 1890 by Francis Asbury, first Methodist bishop in America.

Pleasant Mills

Pleasant Mill was once known as Sweetwater. It is still lapped by the waters of Lake Nescochague.

1645 -- the Reverend John Camanius, a Lutheran minister from Stockholm, arrives as a sort of missionary to the Leni Lenapes. 135

before 1685 -- when the Stuart kings made war upon the Scottish Kirk. 133

1685 -- George Scott leads a group of men and women tiring of being Covenanters to see the welcome of New Jersey's Quakers. 133-134

1707 -- The Baxters, MacGillams, Pecks and Campbells in an exiled company form a village near what was the Indian town, Nescochague. They built a rude chapel of logs.

1750s -- Jack Mullin builds a sawmill at Nescochague and founds a business. He built a saw mill. Near the site of his mill is an inscribed marker telling the reader how Mullin during the Revolutionary war dismantled his mill so that his saw could be forged in broadswords for American cavalrymen. 134

1762 -- a British gentleman arrives and erects a stately mansion beside the lake. It bestowed its name, Sweetwater, to the town clustered around it. 134-135

David Brainerd came as minister. Then John Brainerd replaced David. He was pastor at Cold Spring in 1769.

1774 -- John Brainerd visits Clark's meeting house at Sweetwater. He mentions the large cedar beams in the church in his diary.

David Brainerd worked as a missionary among the Indians from Kinderhook, NY, deep down the Delaware Valley and then to Nescochague Lake. At the last, he worked from his little church at Crossweeksung, now Crosswicks (The Place of Women). Brainerd's health failed. He returned home to New England. 136

1747 -- David Brainerd dies at the age of only 29.

Reid was the founder of the town.

1782 - Mullin's daughter, Honoria Reid, marries an American officer.

A larger place of worship built by Presbyterian Captain Elijah Clark, a veteran of the French and Indian War.

1808 -- the old churches burnt down in forest fires and the present church built this year by the Methodists. It served the interest of the people of both Batsto and Pleasant Mills.

1809 -- the church formally dedicated by Francis Asbury, first Methodist Bishop in America.

One of the first pastors was Rev. Simon Lucas. Later many Methodist conferences were held in this church.

Enclosed by a small picket fence is the plot of the Richards family. Here is the grave of Jesse Richards.

1821 -- a cotton mill containing three thousand spindles built by William Lippincott, a brother in law of Jesse Richards. It was named "The Pleasant Mills of Sweetwater" from which title the town's modern name has since been derived. It operated for 35 years. 14

1856 -- a fire destroys the cotton mill.

1861 -- a paper mill spring s up from the ruins of the cotton mill, built by Irving and MacNeil and later, John Farrell. Farrell becomes sole owner. His son William continued the business as the Nescochague Manufacturing Company.

1878 -- the paper mill destroyed by fire.

1880 -- Pleasant Mills Paper Company built (now in disuse) organized by the younger Farrell and Herman Hoopes. 142

1893 -- Farrell dies.

1917 -- A. J. McKeone buys the mill and resides in the mansion, "Sweetwater."

At one time an owner of the place was the Norristown Magnesia and Asbestos Company. 142

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1983. 1936 original Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


Karl Anderson

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine )
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus falcata (Spanish red oak)
Quercus marilandica (blackjack oak)
Quercus stellata (post oak)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Thuja occidentalis (Atlantic white cedar)

Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Gaylussacia frondosa (dangleberry)
Hypericum stragulum (St. Andrews cross)
Ilex glabra (inkberry)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Opuntia humifusa (prickly pear cactus)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rubus cuneifolius (sand blackberry)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Stylisma pickeringii (Pickering's morning glory)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Agalinis purpurea (purple gerardia)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Arenaria caroliniana (pine barrens sandwort)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Aster linarifolius (stiff aster)
Aster paternus (white-topped aster)
Chrysopsis falcata (golden aster)
Cirsium horridulum (yellow thistle)
Diodia teres (buttonweed)
Drosera filiformis (thread-leaf sundew)
Drosera intermedia (spatulate leaved sundew)
Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaf sundew)
Eriocaulon decangulare (ten-angled pipewort)
Eupatorium dubium (eastern Joe-Pye-weed)
Eupatorium hyssopifolium (hyssop-leafed thoroughwort )
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Eupatorium rotundifolium (rough-leaf boneset) and v. saundersii or pilosum
Eupatorium spp. (Joe-Pye-weed)
Euphorbia ipecacuanhae (ipecac spurge)
Galium asprellum? (rough bedstraw?)
Gentiana autumnalis (pine barrens gentian)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (cudweed)
Helianthemum (frostweed)
Helianthus angustifolius (narrow-leaf sunflower)
Heterotheca subaxillaris (camphorweed)
Hudsonia ericoides (golden heather)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)
Hypochoeris radicata (cat's ear)
Lachnanthes caroliniana (red root)
Lechea racemulosa (oblong-fruited pinweed)
Leiophyllum buxifolium (sand myrtle)
Lespedeza cuneata (Japanese bushclover)
Liatris graminifolius (grassleaf gayfeather)
Lobelia nuttallii (Nuttall's lobelia)
Lophiola aurea (goldcrest)
Ludwigia alternifolia (seedbox)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles)
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat)
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Plantago aristata (bracted plantain)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Pogonia ophioglossoides (rose pogonia orchid)
Polygala brevifolia (short-leaved milkwort)
Polygala cruciata (cross-leaved milkwort )
Polygala lutea (orange milkwort)
Polygala sp. (polygala)
Polygonella articulata (jointweed)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Rhexia mariana (Maryland meadowbeauty)
Rhexia virginiana (meadow beauty)
Sabatia difformis (lance-leaved sabatia)
Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher plant)
Solidago stricta (wand goldenrod)
Solidago tenuifolia (slender goldenrod)
Spiranthes cernua (nodding ladies' tresses)
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Trifolium arvense (rabbit foot clover)
Utricularia fibrosa (fibrous bladderwort)
Utricularia subulata (zigzag bladderwort)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Xyris caroliniana (yellow-eyed grass)
Xyris difformis (yellow-eyed grass)

Juncus biflorus (grass-leaved rush)
Juncus dichotomus
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus militaris (bayonet rush)
Juncus scirpioides

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Cladium mariscoides (twig-rush)
Cyperus dentatus (toothed flatsedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush)
Rhynchospora alba (beak rush)
Rhynchospora capitellata (clustered beak rush
Rhynchospora fusca (beaked rush
Scirpus (three-square)
Scirpus subterminalis (water club-rush)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy brome grass)
Danthonia sericea (downy oatgrass)
Holcus lanatus (velvet grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut-grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Vulpia myuros (rat's tail fescue)
Vulpia octoflora (six-weeks fescue grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium carolinianum (Carolina clubmoss)
Lycopodium alopecuroides (fox-tail clubmoss)
Lycopodium appressum (bog clubmoss)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Schizaea pusilla (curlygrass fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)
Woodwardia areolata (netted chain fern)
Woodwardia virginica (Virginia chain fern)

Cladonia cristatella (British soldiers)
Cladonia subtenuis (false lichen reindeer)
Clidonia sp. (coastal plain reindeer lichen)
earth stars
Flavocarmella parvirata (lichen)
Lecidea uliginosa (tar lichen)
Punctalia rudbeka (lichen)
Punctalia subrudbeckia

near Pleasant Mills
September 25, 1982

We began by observing dry, open Pine Barrens vegetation at Atsion. We saw many flowers, most notably a large colony of Gentiana autumnalis in full flower.

We next stopped at a wooded swamp to see Woodwardia virginica and W. areolata and other plants.

We then drove to Batsto State park for lunch.

Lastly we drove to Forge Pond near Pleasant Mills to see open bog plants, notably Schizaea pusilla and bog Lycopodiums. We observed the following flowers and ferns:

Aster linariifolius (stiff aster)
Chrysopsis falcata (golden aster)
Eupatorium spp. (thoroughworts)
Gentiana autumnalis (pine barrens gentian)
Gerardia racemulosa (purple gerardia)
Helianthus angustifolius (narrow-leaf sunflower)
Heterotheca subaxillaris (camphorweed)
Liatris graminifolia (grassleaf gayfeather)
Lobelia nuttallii (Nuttall's lobelia)
Lycopodium alopecuroides (bog clubmoss)
Lycopodium appressum (bog club moss)
Lycopodium carolinianum (bog clubmoss)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat)
Polygala brevifolia (short-leaf milkwort)
Polygala cruciata (cross-leaf milkwort)
Polygala lutea (orange milkwort)
Polygonella articulata (jointweed)
Schizaea pusilla (curlygrass fern)
Solidago tenuifolia (slender goldenrod)
Solidago stricta (wand goldenrod)
Spiranthes cernua (ladies tresses)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Woodwardia areolata (netted chain fern)
Woodwardia virginica (Virginia chain fern)
We broke up at 3 p.m.

Attendance was 13. Leader was Donald Huttleson.