Welcome to the heart of Salem County, Mannington, New Jersey!
Derived from the Native American word “maneto” which is a mythical legend of an underwater serpent. It also means both “snake” and “spirit.” Maneto in the Native American language refers to a dreadful man-eating creäture that lurks in lakes and rivers, and drowns unwary travelers. The Maneto’s only fear is thunder. You could see why Mannington could be named this. There are many waterways including the Salem and Delaware River nearby.
Mannington was incorporated in 1798. It covers over 38 square miles of mostly farmland. It is a dry town so no alcohol here folks, but there is some history. I mostly love the township because of its natural beauty.
Mannington Meadows (just off of Route 49) is over 6,000 acres of wetlands crucial for the migratory habits of birds. Owned by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation she resides around farmlands. It’s a perfect place to catch a glimpse of waterfowl and many species of birds.
Another special area is the Salem River Wildlife Management Area. It is over 3,230 acres. There are a few areas to explore in this preserve. One is a lookout platform just off of Route 45. It overlooks an exquisite marsh along the Mannington Creek.
There are two other entrances both off of Route 49. One is the Salem River Boat Ramp. The ramp looks pretty new and offers nice views of the river.
There is also a small area about 2 miles south of this site, to where it’s pretty wild, but still quite lovely. I’ve been here a few times and have never met a human.
Now, we’re going to check out some historic homes.
First, is the Jacob Fox house on Nimrod Road. Btw, this road is the epitome of tree-lined gorgeousness! The Fox house was built in 1811 and is a beautiful brick house as I like to say… She’s mighty mighty… Just letting it all hang out. I sing these lyrics a lot in my posts.
Next, is the James Barrett House. built in 1717 and addition in 1795. This home now serves as a bodacious bed & breakfast. It’s a Flemish bond construction typical to old south Jersey architecture. She’s at 203 Old Kings Highway.
The Tide-Mill Farm House, on Tide Mill Road, was built in 1845, by a man named George Abbott. Abbott was a well-known Quaker and dairy farmer. Cows once grazed the land along the river (that resides behind the home). Abbott devised a method of insulating milk so that it would not be spoiled. It devised of wrapping milk cans with insulation jackets made from wool fabric. This method allowed the milk to stay cool from his ice house to travel great distances to Cape May and Philadelphia to be sold. The current home is owned by the great-grandson, which he is restoring this lovely home to its former glory.
There’s a historic structure that has been neglected in Mannington and is listed as the 10 most endangered historic sites in New Jersey. It is a schoolhouse in the Marshalltown section of Mannington. Marshalltown was one of a handful of free-black communities in Salem County. It is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad movement due to its close proximity to waterways. Only a handful of buildings remain as evidence of this once thriving little town, including this one-room little schoolhouse.
As you see, this little town offers a smorgasbord of delights for a lot of different interests. Visiting Mannington Township is worth the drive to witness lush back roads. Rolling farmlands will serve as your backdrop. It doesn’t feel like southern Jersey with all the traffic and densely populated areas. It’s like stepping back to 100 years of what it once was and is the epitome of what you consider “the garden” in our nickname, The Garden State.
Until our next adventure, my friends!