Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Jersey Devil

I'm not a big fan of "monsters". I don't put them, or UFO's as paranormal. But, because were close to Halloween I'll write about TJD. For one, I live on the border of The Pine Barrens or also know as the Pinelands. The Pinelands is a National Reserve and a UN International Biosphere Reserve. With it's 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer containing the most purest water in the US. And, it's home to the rare pygmy Pitch Pines, sugar sand, rare plants and the Pine Barren Tree Frog. The area can't really grow crops other then cranberries. So, towns grew within the area in the 1700's with iron ore. Making weapons for the Revolution. Paper Mills. The "sand" was used for the original Mason Jars. The glass that was created was always a unique blue/green.
Soldiers during the Revolution (on both side) would runaway into the barrens. Also, pirates would hide.
And, it's also home to a family called the Kallikak's. A book was written about them by Henry H. Goddard in 1912. Some people that still live in the region are called "Pineys".
As for the Jersey Devil. It's said that in Leeds Point (near Atlantic City) Deborah Smith Leeds was giving birth to her 13th child in the 1730's. Because of the difficult birth she said, "May it be a devil!" There's so many stories. But, the bottom line the child must have been deformed. So, it's said it flew away into the Barrens. And, for the next 200 years there have been sightings of a huge winged creature that stand on two hoofed legs. Also called a Hoodle-Doodle Bird or Wozzle Bug.
In 1870 a Long Beach Fisherman said he saw the Jersey Devil serenading a mermaid (too much drink). But, the most sightings were in 1909. It's was seen all over South Jersey. And, by some upright and notable citizens. Local newspapers wrote about the sightings that hundreds, if not thousands of people claimed to have seen it. Schools were even closed. There were sighting in Pennsylvania and Delaware too.

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