Cape May County, NJ Bottle Collectors

Our Bottle Digs

    This Woodbine dump is a little off of the beaten track, but always turns out to be worth the hike. Me and Mark found this dump in the winter of the 2000/2001 season. When we first found it, it seemed as if it was very scattered, and already picked over. There were several mounds of soil about 10 feet wide by over 100 feet long with chunks of bottles popping out . Mark was convinced that these mounds where the trash piles of previous diggers that had formed as they dug through the area possibly over 30 years ago. With a little more survey of the area I came up with a different and much more appealing theory. To the South about 50 yards from where the mounds end, is a large drainage basin dug into the ground. The basin was dug some time in the 1930's as a street run off for a housing development that was never made. It seems that they had dug into the old dump and trucked the soil away to where the mounds are today. The mounds formed as each truck load was dumped and progressively stretched through the woods in straight lines. So this meant that this was basically a virgin bottle dump from about 1890 to 1905. With piles of bottles and dirt dumped on top of the the original dump.

    With this theory in mind we started to dig, and wow has it paid off. We have dug almost every Woodbine blob and hutch bottle known, also some seltzer bottles that where previously unknown. Along with the local bottles we also dug almost every other type of bottle from that era, with a couple of pontiled pieces too. I have talked to 2 different diggers that knew of the dump in the late 1960's, but said that they never dug there because they had saw the mounds and thought that it was dug through already.

    The pictures below where taken on our last Woodbine dig of the 2001/2002 winter season. My brother Mark (in the dark blue hooded sweet shirt) and my brother Joe (in the light blue jacket) wanted to dig Woodbine one more time before the weather was to hot. Sad to say we were there only for about 1½ hours before we had to go. Luckily this was just enough time for one last Woodbine hutch to be recovered. I can not wait to get back there and start off the 2002/2003 season.

Woodbine N.J., Friday, March 4th 2002

Mark and Joe look for a place to start.

With areas picked out, they get down to business.

Mark says he thinks he has found one.

The top of a hutch appears through the soil, only a couple inches down.

A little more digging, and a perfectly intact hutch is revealed.

The proud new owner of a Wm. Pesselnik 1898 hutch.

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Copyright © 2001 by Edward Runyon
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