Thief at Large in the Harrisia Area
As reported by the Johnsons, Edward and
his wife Lucy, of Harrisia:
"Turns out we were spending the weekend
at the cabin on the small beaver pond up
north of Martha, when we heard rustling
in the cabin, followed by a neigh and a
horse galloping off.
As I rushed into the cabin, Lucy immediately
noticed some of her possessions missing,
including her wedding ring that had been
passed down from her great-grandmother.
I was quick to mount up and give chase up
the hill, just barely getting a glimpse of
the red-headed, red-bearded rider as he
disappeared up the road.
As I began to close the distance on my
quarry, the thief bounded into a small
grove of old growth pines off the left side
of the road, went past a twin pine, then
headed northwest into the woods.
I followed, where about ten yards or so in,
my horse misstepped into a hole and came
up lame. Fortunately, Lucy rode up behind
me, and we chased off following the sounds
of the thief crashing thru the pinelands.
We came out back on the road, past were
it forks for the pond and the shortcut
over to Shamong Road. We galloped out
towards Martha Road, following the fresh
hoof prints in the sand, and caught sight
of him up ahead as we joined Martha Road.
I began to wonder who he was. The Refugees
hadn't been a problem for half a century or
more, before I was born, and besides, I could
tell by the look of his tack and clothing
that he was not from around here.
We rode on in pursuit, across the wooden
bridge spanning Buck Run, then down thru
Martha, past the smell of the furnace and
the big oak tree at the Jesse Evans mansion.
I yelled "Stop Thief!" to the few people
loitering at the crossroads, but either
they didn't hear, or didn't care, or, most
likely, had no ride handy.
As we rode into Harrisia, past the paper
plant, the garden, then down main street
towards Bodine's Tavern, a small posse
joined in pursuit. Unfortunately, as we got
to the tavern, with no place for him to
go, he dismounted, ran upstream along the
Wading River a little ways, and jumped into
a red skiff tied to a post at the base
of the northernmost pier.
He rowed across the river, where he tied the
boat to a small oak tree and disappeared into
the pines. No other boats were available, and
the horses weren't up to it. The oddest thing
was that I saw his horse trot about 100 yards
up the road back towards Harrisia, to a dead oak
tree and into the woods -- what became of it I
haven't a clue, but from the way he acted, it
was as if he had done this before.
All and all, we figured to have rode four miles
This is the second such reported incident of
the "Red Bearded Thief". A bounty of five
dollars for any information that leads to his
capture has been offered. Post any information
you have to the sheriff's office in Tuckerton.
Devil Takes Man's Life
The Jersey Devil once again was seen wreaking
havoc, this time somewhere out in the area
between Speedwell and Apple Pie Hill.
We are sad to report this time, that there was
a human victim, one Charles Wills, may he Rest
in Peace, who was interred in the recently
consecrated cemetery by the side of the road
near where he was victimized.
Mulliner's Ghost Seen in Washington
Joe Mulliner, the infamous "Robin Hood of
the Pines", was hanged fifty eight years ago,
from the low limb of a buttonwood tree among
the scrub cedars along the Mullica River.
This fact, however, doesn't stop people
from reporting his wraith from time to time,
searching the places he haunted during his
lifetime of woeful deeds for the pile of
gold he buried long ago.
One such place was the tavern at Washington,
where, so the story goes, Joe was headed
to for an evening of ale, dancing, and
merriment, when he spied a young, pretty
girl in her wedding gown, lying on the lawn
sobbing. When he asked her what was wrong,
she simply looked towards the front of the inn
where the figure of a large, burly man was
silhouetted in the bar window.
That night, Joe hung around for the wedding,
where he suddenly appeared on the staircase
overlooking the ceremony. When he looked
upon the couple, he recognized the burly
groom -- an enemy from the past who had been
pursuing him for bounty. It was not Joe's
style to sneak out the back; he simply looked
on as the wedding continued.
As the girl replied "I do", with a discernible
quiver in her voice, some recalled later, the
sanctity of the moment was shattered by a
gunshot from the stairs. To this day, the
bullet hole can still be seen in the roof, a
few feet to the southwest of the chandelier.
Joe looked the groom in the eye and bade him
farewell, and as the stunned crowd looked on,
the groom disappeared out the back door of the
inn. Mulliner then strode across the room and
took the bride by the hand.
They danced into the night, or so the tale goes.
Joe was overheard whispering some directions
to her to meet later -- "100 yards out the back
door of the tavern thru the woods to the field,
then on to the far side of the field behind
the large pine."
Several people have since dug back there for the
gold, assuming that's what his directions meant, as
Joe certainly must have been afraid of being caught
that night. But neither the gold, the girl, nor
the groom have ever been seen since that night.
Joe, of course, was caught by Captain Baylin a
short time thereafter, and hanged by the river.
His ghost, just as it was last Saturday night,
is still occasionally seen on that staircase and
in that field behind the tavern.
Today's recipe for Pinelands
Cranberry Pear pie comes from Marjorie Cramer,
who sells them to the passing stage riders
from the front porch of her Mount Hotel at
the Quaker Bridge Washington, Mount Sandy Ridge
Pastry for a twin-crust pie
2 cups fresh Pinelands cranberries, cleaned
3 ounces of water
9 teaspoons tapioca
8 ounces sugar
3 cups diced, fresh Jersey pears
6 teaspoons butter
Pinch of salt
Fire the oven or baking kettle to high baking
temperature. Line the bottom of the pie pan
with half of the pasty.
Place the cranberries and water in a saucepan.
Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, until the
skins pop. Add the sugar, salt, tapioca, and
pears, and mix well. Let cool, then mix into
the pie pan and dot with butter.
Cut the remaining pastry into strips and make
a lattice top for the pie. Trim and turn under
the edge of the pie pan.
Bake the pie for 10 minutes. Then reduce the
heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional
30-35 minutes, until brown.
Be sure to poke deep into the pie to make sure
it is done.
If you would like your recipe to appear
in a future issue, let us know.