Notes on Paisley

by Rick Franzen

The story of Paisley’s existence, a land fraud scheme in then Woodland Township and now Tabernacle Township, begins about 1888 and ends within a few years. However, its legacy continues to intrigue history buffs till this day. Just last year one of the last remaining buildings was unceremoniously destroyed as it sat decaying on Route 563 in Chatsworth. We will begin in 1888 and in multiple installments, tell the story as we have discovered it. The easiest way for us to relate this tale is to present our research notes, relevant documents, available illustrations and comments. First the purchase of the lands.

  1. Notes on Paisley Part 1
  2. Notes on Paisley Part 2
  3. Notes on Paisley Part 3
  4. Notes on Paisley Part 4

Notes on Paisley Part 1

The H. A. Freeman Era ©

1888 19 June: (deed B V11 p 257) Victor Ritzendollar sells 83.62 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $209.00. Goes along the road near “200 yards from Old White Horse formerly stood”

1888 24 June: (ad from The World, NY) retyped by person unknown.

1888 4 July: (deed B V11 p 482) Victor Ritzendollar sells 162.48 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $406.26. “Where the Old White Horse Tavern formerly stood.”

1888 12 July: (deed B V11 p 451) Victor Ritzendollar sells 81.75 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $203.88. “Where the old White Horse Tavern formerly stood.”

1888 13 July: (deed B W11 p 571) Victor Ritzendollar sells 173 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $441.00.

A typical Freeman purchase deed looks like this.

Start of deed – Book 11 Page 257

And here is the signature at the end of the deed. Note that only the seller signs, and in this case his “mark” is presented because he does not know how to write.

End of deed – Book 11 Page 259

We have not located each and every deed in which Freeman purchased land, but we have documented well over 800 acres. Later on, we will show that this particular land scheme total much beyond 1200 acres. We have also noted that this project was one of at least four, with the possibility of many others. Freeman began by selling swamp land in Ocala, Florida and moved on to land on Long Island, New York and Hawley, Pennsylvania.

In order to keep information in a chronological order, the following 1888 newspaper article is illustrated.

1888 30 July: (The Evening World, New York) News article – Fire and theft at the Freeman office in New York. “Excelsior used as accelerant.” See Henry Beck story 29 September 1941.

1888 30 July The Evening World, New York

And yet another land purchase.

1888 3 Aug: (deed B W11 p 577) Victor Ritzendollar sells 323.2 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $808.30. “Goes along the road from the Old White Horse Place to Sooy Place.”

Many of these deeds reference “White Horse.” White Horse was Inn and Tavern which by 1888 no longer stood. It is not the same as the White Horse Inn in Chatsworth, which was probably constructed about this time. We are currently putting together a report on Tabernacle’s early inns and taverns, and it will be published after our Paisley report is complete.

1888 4 September: (deed Z11 P 525) Earliest located deed of a land sale at Paisley. Pauline Freeman (relative?) purchased lots 18 and 19 in block 71. The deed is a preformatted “fill in the blank” form. H Alfred Freeman and his wife Vespers have both signed it.

1888 deed H Freeman to P Freeman Book Z Page 525

Another sale of land by Ritzendollar to Freeman.

1888 6 September: (deed B W11 p 331) Victor Ritzendollar sells 114.82 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $286.56.

And now a receipt for the purchase of a few lots.

1888 11 September: (NJ State Archives Lee Collection) Receipt for purchase of land by Henry Cortelyou. He paid $21.00 for two lots. This is the first of three purchases he made.

1888 11 September property receipt

1888 19 September: (Book 276 page 161) The deed is registered for sale of two lots to Henry Cortelyou.

1888 19 September Henry Cortelyou deed

And another land purchase by Freeman.

1888 10 October: (deed B W11 p 394) Victor Ritzendollar sells 107.09 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $1000.00. “Old Sooy Place to White Horse.”

And another lot purchase.

1888 23 October: (deed B 276 P183) Another early land sale, Francis Sinclair purchases lots 8, 9, 10, 21, 22, and 23 in block 52. This deed is also in the “preprinted” format. No need to post it.

1888 25 October: Train excursion to Paisley. Description of the land and its high value.

New Jersey State Archives Alvin Lee Collection

And here is a first-hand account written about that excursion in 1938.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1888 31 October: Building and Loan Prospectus is issued. A great investment!!

Pages 1 and 4 New Jersey State Archives Alvin Lee Collection

Pages 2 and 3 New Jersey State Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1888 2 November: (deed B W11 p442) Victor Ritzendollar sells 97.04 acres of land in Woodland Twp. to H. Alfred  Freeman, of Queens NY. Price is $500.00.

1888: H L Freeman bought at least 815 acres and paid about $4.50 for each acre. A summary by Dr. Alvin Lee suggests he purchased in total some 1400 acres at an average cost of $3.67.

1889 6 January: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper ad – Hotel to open first week in February. Mr. Sturgon and others make a miraculous recover, after three months, from lead poisoning and many other ailments. (Note: A Mr. Sturgon resold his land back to Freeman in September of 1888 after a June of 1888 purchase) (sale: B Z11 P 28) (purchase: B Z11 P 367)

6 January 1889 The Sun

Sale of two lots (22 and 23) by Freeman in Block 27 to James Sturgeon on July 10, 1888.

Book Z11 Page 28

Sale of two lots (22 and 23) by Sturgeon in Block 27 to Freeman on September 24, 1888.

Book W11 Page 367

1889 21 January: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper clipping – “It is announced that over 7,000 lots have been sold in the new town of Paisley, NJ., and that interesting town improvements are now underway.” (Last paragraph in story)

21 January 1889 The Sun

1889 4 February: (Burlington County Postmaster appointments) J Brooks is appointed the postmaster at Paisley. (Last name on page)

1889 5 May: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper article extolling virtues of Paisley.

“High and well drained land, pure drinking water, no typhoid or diphtheria, a sea breeze sweeps over it, the soil is fertile, 40 miles of streets and a mattress manufacturing company.”

5 May 1889 The Sun

1889 24 May: (New York Times) Newspaper story – “Whitings, N. J., May 23. Edward Rowe, a farmer living at Shamong, was found dead this morning on te road that leads from Paisley to the former place. He went to Paisley yesterday, and on his return was kicked to death by his horse. He was about 55 years of age.”

24 May 1889 New York Times

1889 26 May: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad – “Mr. Constant LeDuc came into our office of Thursday three weeks ago, a pitiable case of threatened suffocation from that frightful malady. He went to Paisley that day. The following Tuesday he came bounding up the stairway to our office like a schoolboy, two steps at a time, and stood before us cured.”

26 May 1889 transcript from The World

1889 4 June: (The Times, Philadelphia) Large ad for “Paisley the Magic City.”

4 June 1889 The Times, Philadelphia

1889 22 June: (The Times, Philadelphia) In the real estate section, H. A. Freeman says he will be in his new 1015 Arch Street office to sell corner lots at one-half the New York City price. One can also call for or send for the “beautifully illustrated newspaper, The Paisley Gazette.”

22 June 1889 The Times, Philadelphia

1889 4 July: (The Sun, New York) An interesting advertisement in the classified section. “A first-class upright piano by a leading maker taken in exchange for Paisley lots: having no use for it will sell for best offer at once: entirely new, very handsome; see it today (4th July) between 9 and 6 PM Paisley Improvement Co., 100 Duane St.”

4 July 1889 The Sun, New York

1889 14 July: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper ad, “Open up a new division in Paisley. A hotel, factory and residence are built and occupied.” A limit of five lots to one person is imposed.

14 July 1889 The Sun, New York

1889 28 July: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection) Newspaper ad – “Lots which we sold a year ago are now worth from eight to fifteen times as much as we sold them for.”

28 July 1889 unknown newspaper

1889 5 October: (The Standard Union, Brooklyn, NY) Newspaper ad, “First ad in the Standard Union, so we will sell you one lot for $5.00 or four together for $20.00.” In addition, a year’s subscription to the Paisley Gazette is included!

5 October 1889, The Standard Union, Brooklyn, New York

1889 4 December: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper ad for a stock subscription to “The Paisley Hotel Company.” Only 100 shares at $1000 each will be sold. This implies it will help bring a railroad spur from Shamong Station to Paisley and, that it will make Paisley “as fashionable as Lakewood.”

4 December 1889, The Sun, New York

1889: (The Standard Union, Brooklyn, NY) Newspaper ad selling “$35.00 lots in Paisley for $5.00 each. “Trees, grass, flowers, fruit health and a fortune.”

1889 The Standard Union, Brooklyn, NY

1889: (The Paisley Gazette, volume 1 number10) A lot of “fluff articles,” some pictures of alleged buildings and a history of Paisley. All images come from the Alvin Lee Collection at the NJ State Archives

Page 1

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Page 5
Page 6

Page 7
Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

1890 26 January: (The Philadelphia Inquirer) Newspaper ad advertising lots for sale in Ocala, Florida. One can call at 1015 Arch Street for all particulars. Lots are $2.00 each and this is just to cover the cost of “plotting and transfer.” Mr. Freeman has expanded his land empire!

26 January 1890 Philadelphia Inquirer

1890 23 March: (The Brooklyn Citizen) Newspaper story describing how Mr. Freeman has expanded his sale of land to Ocala, Florida. Lots are selling for $3.00 to $5.00 each. “Mr. Freeman founded the well-known health resort of Paisley.”

23 March 1890 Brooklyn Citizen

1890 23 March: (The Brooklyn Citizen) Newspaper ad in the real estate section touting “Ocala, the Magnificent.”

23 March 1890 Brooklyn Citizen

1890 18 June: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad for lots at Paisley, $5.00 each. One can write to C. Leduc at Paisley for more information. On 1 November 1888 Constant LeDuc had purchased 7.9 acres from H. Freeman for $1070. This land was probably subdivided and sold directly by Mr. LeDuc.

18 June 1890 The World

1890 29 June: (New York Times) Newspaper ad for Paisley the Magic City. You can buy a “villa plot for $50.00 in a fashionable health resort.” “There are now 3000 enthusiastic lot owners.”

29 June 1890 New York Times

1890 15 July (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Deed acknowledgement for F. Sinclair’s purchase of ten lots in block 66. Look at that seal! Is that the Pope?

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1890 12 August: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad for $5.00 lots. “Railroad depot will be on my property.” Address; C Leduc, Paisley, NJ.

12 August 1890 The World

1890 Sep 7: (The Sun, New York) Newspaper ad “lots that could have been bought for $1.00 three years ago, I sold this month for $75.00 to $100.00 each.” H. A. Freeman, 100 Duane Street, NY. Branch at 565 West Taylor Street, Chicago.

“Subscribe for stock in the $50,000.00 hotel which will pay 10 per cent profit annually, can do so this week at my office.”

7 September 1890 The Sun

1890 9 September: (The World, New York) Newspaper story – Fruits of the Magic

City. Get your tasty watermelon!!     

9 September 1890 The World

1890 21 September: (New York Herald) News article – A five column, top to bottom almost full-page expo on H. A. Freeman and the Paisley development. A long read. It is this article which burst the dam of Freeman and LeDuc’s land fraud. Note the hand drawn illustrations drawn by the author’s companion, an artist.

Column 1a
Column 1b

Column 2a
Column 2b
Column 3a
Column 3b

Column 4a
Column 4b
Column 5a
Column 5b

1890 24 September: (The World, New York) Letter to the editor attacks the Herald for a story it published about Paisley. Apparently, the story was unkind to H. A. Freeman and his Paisley enterprise.

24 September 1890 The World
24 September 1890 The World

1890 24 September:­­ (New York Herald) News article – The New York Herald responds to criticism (via a “certificate of character”) of Freeman and his Paisley land scheme.

24 September 1890 New York Herald

1890 October 1: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Tax bill – H. P. Cortelyou is assessed $0.67 for lots 24 and 25, as well as lots 1 and 2 of blocks 322 and 86.

Front of post card – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Back of postcard – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1890 20 December: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Tax bill – H. P. Cortelyou is assessed $1.79 for lots 16-20 of block four. Net assessed value for the five lots is $40.00. Victor Ritzendollar is the tax collector.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1891 2 March: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad – Selling lots valued at $35.00 for $10.00 each. You can also get a credit of $10.00 on a lot in Hempstead, Long Island, which sell for $75.00 to $100.00. H. A. Freeman – “I never break a promise. I have never gained an unworthy dollar.”

2 March 1891 The World 2

1891 7 March: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad – H. A. is selling other real estate from his 100 Duane Street address. They are in Mt Holly, Monmouth County and Bergen County.

7 March 1891 The World

1891 7 March: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad – “Today and tonight closes the great offer this week only to sell two Paisley lots so that they cost you absolutely nothing at last and give you a suburban home one hour from New York City at $1.00 per week.”

7 March 1891 The World

1891 Mar 8: (The World, New York) Newspaper ad – Buy two Paisley lots worth for $70.00 and one Hempstead lot valued at $150.00 by paying $75.00 in once weekly payments.

8 March 1891 The World

1891 15 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Land survey – H Cortelyou pays N. P. Todd to survey lots 24 and 25 of block 332. The cost is $2.00. One cannot wonder if markers were set as property boundaries.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1891 14 July: (The Morning Post, Camden, NJ) Newspaper article – “How people from the city are gulled.”  The Freeman bubble has burst, and many “truths” are debunked.”

14 July 1891 The Morning Post, Camden part 1
14 July 1891 The Morning Post, Camden part 2
14 July 1891 The Morning Post, Camden part 3

1892 6 February: (Lakewood Times and Journal) Newspaper ad – Constant LeDuc advertises land sales of lots and 2-acre plots at South Park and West End. His address is Paisley, NJ.

6 February 1892 Lakewood Times and Journal

1892 3 March: (New Jersey Courier) Newspaper article – Postmaster General changes post office name form Paisley to South Park.

3 March 1892 New Jersey Courier

1892 17 May: (Camden Daily Telegram) Newspaper article – The house of Constant LeDuc and the post office at Paisley were destroyed by fire caused by a defective flue.”

17 May 1892 New Jersey Courier

1892 7 August: (New York Herald) Newspaper article – Lengthy story in which Freeman blames LeDuc for all his troubles. Freeman is also described as “amplitudinous.”

7 August 1892 New York Herald p1
7 August 1892 New York Herald p2
7 August 1892 New York Herald p3

7 August 1892 New York Herald p4

1892 8 August: (New York Herald) Newspaper article – The Paisley Building and Loan Association is in liquidation.

7 August 1892 New York Herald

1892 11 August: (New York Herald) Newspaper article – Story about Freeman’s many land schemes in Ocala, Florida, The Palisades, Brookwood and Blooming Grove in Pennsylvania.

11 August 1892 New York World part 1
11 August 1892 New York World part 2

1892 1 September (New Jersey Courier) Newspaper article – “Paisley is said to have died a natural death.”

1 September 1892 New Jersey Courier

1892 8 September: (New Jersey Courier) Newspaper article on General Clinton treasure located at Paisley.

8 September 1892 New Jersey Courier

1893 25 July: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – Paisley building lots sold at Public Auction.

25 July 1893 Mount Holly News

1893 1 August: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – “Constant LeDuc, one of the Paisley magnates, has gone to France to endeavor to get a colony of Frenchmen to come and settle on the sandy lands of Paisley, or South Park, as it is now called.”

1 August 1893 Mount Holly News

1893 7 December: (New York Herald) Newspaper article – Freeman has had Paisley’s name changed to South Park and is now selling farm size lots for $1.00 each (minimum of 20) and get a five-acre plot for free! It’s a one day only offer. The writer also uses the word “sesquipedalian” (long winded) when describing Freeman’s sentence writings.

7 December 1893 New York Herald p1
7 December 1893 New York Herald p2

1894 12 January: (The World, New York) Newspaper clipping – Fine lots in Paisley for sale, close to stores, hotel, church and post office. Looks like Freeman is still at it.

12 January 1894 The World

1895 24 March: (The World, New York) Newspaper clipping – Lots at Paisley for sale, $5.00 and up.

24 March 1895 The World

1896 21 June: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Receipt for taxes paid on lots 16-20, block 109 by H Cortelyou. Amount is $4.25.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1896 15 September (Woodland Township Committee minutes) – Motion to lease township owned Paisley lots to Mrs. Marie LeDuc for $25.00 a year.

15 September 1896 Woodland Township Committee minutes New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1896 17 November (Woodland Township Committee minutes) Several references to Paisley lots.

17 November 1896 Woodland Township Committee minutes New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1897 3 January: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from South Park resident H. S. Gamblin to “My dear husband,” concerning the executor of her will.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1898 21 February: (Woodland Township Committee minutes) Committee agrees to drop all delinquent taxes (at Paisley) and not assess the properties.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1899 9 February: (Philadelphia Inquirer) News article re water supply canal to be built from Atsion to the Delaware River.

9 February 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer part 1
9 February 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer part 2
9 February 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer part 3
9 February 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer part 4

1899 14 March: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Receipt for taxes paid on lots 16-20, block 109 by H. Cortelyou. Amount is $2.80.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1899 14 March: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from Constant Leduc to H. Cortelyou regarding tax payment and mention of a canal from Philadelphia as well as a bicycle road to “join the Philadelphia stone road.”

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1900 30 January: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – South Park post office closed with resignation of Constant LeDuc.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1900 8 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Receipt for taxes paid on lots 16-20, block 409 by H Cortelyou. Amount is $0.80.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1900 14 July: (Benjamin Freeman family tree on Ancestry.com) Henry Alfred Freeman passes away in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1900 15 July: (Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC) News clipping about the death of Mr. H. A. Freeman, “traveling man from Chicago, died at St. Peters Hospital.”

15 July 1900 Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC

1900 16 July: (Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC) Newspaper story about Mr. H. A. Freeman, of Jamacia, NY. His wife and personal physician, Dr Wilcox, have arrived in town.

16 July 1900 Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC

1900 17 July: (Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC) News clipping – Son Mr. Edward Freeman has arrived in Charlotte.

17 July 1900 Charlotte Observer Sun, Charlotte, NC

Paisley was not the only land fraud Mr. Freeman initiated. In addition to the previously mentioned Ocala, Florida, there were at least three others. They were in Hempstead, Long Island; Brookwood, Pennsylvania: and Palisades, New Jersey. Ads for each of these are shown below and no further notes will be presented about them. You can see from the dates of the newspapers that Mr. Freeman was actually engaged in all five schemes at the same time!!

Hempstead, Long Island

11 May 1891 The Sun
19 July 1891 The Sun

Brookwood, at Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania

10 April 1892 The Sun
17 April 1892 The Sun

Castle Hill at Palisades, New Jersey

5 June 1892 The Sun
31 July 1892 The Sun

This concludes the H. A. Freeman era at Paisley in Tabernacle, New Jersey. Next, we will explore the Constant LeDuc era.

Notes on Paisley Part 2

The Constant Leduc Era ©

1900 31 July: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – Question of Paisley land value. “Paradise Park,” a section of Paisley, valued at $2.00 an acre.

31 July 1900 Mount Holly News

1900 13 September: (Woodland Township Committee minutes) Township Committee gives Ira Gamble a permit to use and improve Lincoln Park at South Park.

13 September 1900 Woodland Township Committee minutes – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

1900 13 November: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – An individual from South Africa asked about lots in Paisley, and a deed was recorded which had Brigham Young’s signature on it.

13 November 1900 Mount Holly News

1901 28 December: (Woodland Township Committee minutes) Tabernacle and Woodland Townships meet to discuss duplicate taxes, presumably at Paisley.

From Barry Foulks we have the following additional information (9 August 2022 Facebook posting)

Two names that stand out in this meeting are Victor Ritzendollar , who sold lots for Paisley in the first place to H. Alfred Freeman, as being on the Woodland Township Committee, and W. J. Buzby, “The King of the Pineys”, owner of Buzby’s General Store in what became Chatsworth, as an assessor. Several Haines mentioned here, and I wonder if the “C. Haines” Committee member is Carleton Haines (1869-1935) of Tabernacle, who also became the tax collector there? Woodland Township minutes for other meetings on this page show “Chatsworth Club House” tax was reduced from $13,000 to $7,500, and a Jonathan Godfrey to purchase, mostly at his own expense, a new road machine for Woodland Township. Jonathan Godfrey became one of the purchasers of that Chatsworth clubhouse property in 1908, see:  https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/tidbit.2986/ , Post #18. It was eventually bought by Anthony DeMarco (his son Garfield was a multimillionaire cranberry grower & the most powerful Republican in Burlington County), whose wife, Gladys Alloway, had ancestry going back to the beginning of our township, and connections to Tabernacle families even now.

28 December 1901 Woodland Township Committee minutes – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee Collection

Constant Leduc is an incorporator of a Terra Cotta Company.

11 June 1901 Mount Holly News

1902 18 March: Constant Leduc named Justice of the Peace.

18 March 1902 Mount Holly Herald

1902 3 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Receipt for taxes paid on lots 16-20, block 409 by H Cortelyou. Amount is $1.60.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1905 15 February: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Receipt for taxes paid on lots 16-20, block 409 by H. Cortelyou. Amount is $1.04.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1906 1 May: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper article – Constant Leduc indicted for selling liquor without a license.

.

1 May 1906 Mount Holly News

1906 May: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper article – Constant Leduc fails to answer complaint and an arrest warrant is issued.

May 1906 Mount Holly News

1907 18 December: (New Jersey Mirror) Newspaper article – A New York will executor came to Mt Holly to determine the value of two inherited Paisley lots. He found they had no value.

“A. D. Rice, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., the executor of a deceased relative’s estate (unable to determine name of decedent), came all the way down into Burlington County the other day to consult the records and ascertain what he could concerning two “building lots” at Paisley, which he found to be among the assets of the estate which he was administering. A few inquiries ventured at Burlington while waiting for a trolley car did not encourage the stranger much, and he looked as though he felt like turning around and starting back without even going over to Mount Holly, when the chance acquaintance whom he questioned said that it would probably have been better for the estate if he and saved the expense of carfare and let the lots go by default. This gloomy view was confirmed when after reaching Mount Holly he entered the County Clerk’s office just as the force was quitting work for the day. When the Poughkeepsie man explained his mission one of those connected with the office said with a smile, “as far as those lots are concerned, I would not stay here five minutes after hours to look up the record if you gave me the lots to pay me for the trouble.” He did stay, however, and the executor from Poughkeepsie concluded that he would not waste any more time or money in looking after the lots, especially as they were in arrears for taxes many years. Possibly there will be others in the Clerk’s office looking up city lots in Paisley, which is situated in the pines in Woodland township, several miles from the railroad station, which is at Chatsworth. Some years ago a good many “building lots” were sold to non-resident investors, it is said, who liked the prospectus and who had never seen the town of Paisley. …

18 December 1907 transcribed from The New Jersey Mirror

1908 13 March: (Woodland Township Committee minutes) Walter Sloan is given permission to move his house over the roads from South Park to Chatsworth. The railing on Union Dam is to be left in the same condition as it was found. This is the first relocation of Paisley buildings. It became a store in Chatsworth. Later a second building was moved all the way to Lumberton, where it remains today as a residence.

Woodland Township Committee Minutes – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1908 5 May Unknown Leduc lawsuit. Perhaps his business partners in an unrecorded venture.

5 May 1908 Mount Holly Herald

1909 3 March: (Mount Holly News) Newspaper clipping – Constant Leduc and others form the Cooperative Cranberry Company.

3 March 1909 Mount Holly News

1909 6 May: (NJ Courier) Newspaper clipping – Constant Leduc sold 3,000 acres (for $15,000) of land at South Park to the Cooperative Cranberry Company of Philadelphia. An Italian colony is proposed there to start cranberry bogs and make improvements.

6 May 1909 New Jersey Courier

1909 1 July: (deed Leduc to Cooperative Cranberry Company B 452 P 42) In this deed Constant Leduc sells 3000 acres for $15,000 to the Cooperative Cranberry Company. The land is known as the “White Horse Meadow” and is on both sides of Main Street in South Park.

1910 13 Sep: (Mount Holly Herald) Newspaper clipping – note that Constant Leduc has collected $506.00 on an insurance policy for which he paid $2.40.

13 September 1910 Mount Holly Herald

1910 20 December: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Blank, generic Tabernacle Township tax form for “South Park, late Paisley.” Carleton Haines, the tax collector, will be at Arthur Haines’ store to collect taxes on the 20th of December.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1910: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Handwritten list of 1910 uncollected taxes for South Park.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1911 2 August: (Mount Holly Herald) Newspaper clipping wherein “Squire” Constant Leduc performs the marriage ceremony, at South Park, for Willis Brewer and Deborah Hart, both of Chatsworth.

2 August 1911 Mount Holly Herald

1912 23 July: Dr. Martin Curran swears out a warrant against Constant Leduc. Leduc allegedly horse whipped Curran over disagreements concerning Pine Crest Sanitarium on Apple Pie Hill.

23 July 1912 Newspaper unknown

1913 10 April: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Tabernacle Township tax sale announcement for several properties, probably includes Paisley lots. Sale to be held at the Mechanics Hall and conducted by Carleton Haines.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1913 29 April: (Mount Holly Herald) News clipping – Constant Leduc sues Ethelbert Haines, for unknown reasons.

29 April 1913 Mount Holly Herald

1913 30 December: (Trenton Evening Times) News clipping – Constant Leduc and nephew Albert, were indited, along with several others, for not filing required expense statements.

30 December 1913 Trenton Evening Times

1914 9 June: (Mount Holly Herald) Newspaper clipping which reports Constant Leduc earning $21.00 for “fox bounty.”

9 June 1914 Mount Holly Herald

1914 30 June: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) – Newspaper letter from Dr. Curran defending his actions and attacking the newspaper’s “disapproved of the sense which your reporter intended to report.”

30 June 1914 Unknown newspaper letter – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1914 29 December: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) – Newspaper story of “shrewd investigators” visiting Tabernacle, South Park and Chatsworth in connection with postal frauds.

29 December 1914 Unknown newspaper – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1918 31 December: (Mount Holly News) News clipping – Constant Leduc vs Ethelbert M. Haines lawsuit, notice only.

31 December 1918 Mount Holly News

1924 19 July: (Courier Post) Obit of Constant Leduc.

19 July 1924 Camden Courier Post

14 November 1925: (Newark Evening News) Newspaper story – “a journey through the pine wilderness” includes a short recollection of a meeting with a Paisley resident.

Notes on Paisley Part 3

The Albert Leduc Era ©

Albert Leduc is the nephew of Constant Leduc.

1929 12 April: (Courier Post) Newspaper story – Albert Leduc leases land to the National Guard for an outdoor pistol range.

12 April 1929 Courier Post

1929 2 July: (Morning Post) Newspaper story – Section Fire Warden Leduc catches camper with open fire and Judge imposes fine.

22 July 1929 Morning Post

1931 5 May: (Trenton Evening Times) Newspaper story – Albert Leduc has been hospitalized in a near fatal accident on Eayerstown-Vincentown Road. His injury is probably “fatal.”

5 May 1931 Trenton Evening Times

1934 25 January: (Courier Post) Newspaper article – Henry Beck provides a history of Paisley. Mrs. Constant LeDuc interviewed.

25 January 1934 Courier Post part 1
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 2
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 3
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 4
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 5
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 6
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 7
25 January 1934 Courier Post part 8
1934 ruins of the Music Hall – Courier Post
Leduc homestead in 1934 – Courier Post
1934 Hotel ruins – Courier Post

1935 27 February: (The Record) Newspaper article – Fire Warden Albert Leduc investigates fatal oil stove fire.

27 February 1935 The Record

1936 2 July: (Home News) Newspaper article – Fire Warden Albert Leduc heavily criticized method to extinguish forest fire in which five were killed.

2 July 1936 Home News

1937 24 September: (Mount Holly Herald) Obituary of Marie Leduc.

24 September 1937 Mount Holly Herald

1938 20 August: (The Morning Post) Newspaper article – Albert Leduc was elected Commander of Mount Holly Post #11 of the American Legion.

20 August 1938 The Morning Post

1944 24 July: (Courier Post) Newspaper article – Albert LeDuc retires from Forest Fire Service after 21 years.

24 July 1944 Courier Post

1950 15 January: (Trenton Evening Times) Newspaper article – Albert Leduc’s wife Maude retires as missionary at Johnson Place after 32 years.

15 January 1950 Trenton Evening Times

1951 20 September: (Courier Post) Obituary for Albert LeDuc. He was an organizer of the Carranza Memorial ceremony.

20 September 1951 Courier Post

Notes on Paisley Part 4

Dr. Alvin Lee Study of Paisley and other articles ©

1937 28 November: (Asbury Park Press) Newspaper article – Dr. Alvin Lee is interviewed on his study of land schemes in the pines. The pines are a “haven for people who promote various types of unsound land development schemes.”

28 November 1937 Asbury Park Press

1938: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Questionnaire page 1 – Dr Lee sent out a few hundred of these to current and former owners at Paisley.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Questionnaire page 2 – Dr Lee sent out a few hundred of these to current and former owners at Paisley.

Page 2 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Questionnaire page 3 – Dr Lee sent out a few hundred of these to current and former owners at Paisley.

Page 3 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 26 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Page 1 of questionnaire response from Benjamin Liffler.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 26 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Page 2 of questionnaire response from Benjamin Liffler.

Page 2 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 26 May: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from Dr. Lee to Philip Tischler regarding taxes paid on a Paisley lot.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 2 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 7 June: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from Dr. Lee to Mrs. Hosea Moore, tax collector regarding an address.

New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 August 25: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from Tabernacle tax collector Belle Moore to Alvin Lee regarding tax collections.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 14 September: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) letter and firsthand account of 1888 excursion to Paisley. See 1888 date.

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 2 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1938 11 October: (The Daily Journal) Newspaper article describing “paper towns” in the Pine Barrens.

11 October 1938 The Daily Journal

1938 November: (New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection) Letter from Francis Sinclair describing his family’s summer vacations in Paisley. He also notes he has deeds from some “Florida lots, mostly underwater.”

Page 1 New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

Dr Alvin Lee report

In July of 1939 Dr. Alvin T. M. Lee released his 50-page report entitled “Land Utilization in New Jersey: A Land Development Scheme in the New Jersey Pine Area.” The landmark report analyzed sales promotion, land development, purchasers, tax base impact and presented solution concerning future growth in the forest. The entire report is presented below. It is a long read but it fully captures the extent and impact of the actions that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Leduc acted upon some 140 years ago. It its entirety, the report appears next.

Page 1 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 2 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 3 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 4 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 5 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 6 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 7 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 8 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
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Page 12 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
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Page 14 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 15 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 16 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 17 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 18 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
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Page 30 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
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Page 48 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 49 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection
Page 50 – New Jersey Archives Alvin Lee collection

1940 15 February: (Ridgewood Herald) Newspaper article about “Paisley promotion scheme.”

15 February 1940 Ridgewood Herald
15 February 1940 Ridgewood Herald

1940 29 February: (Daily Home News) Newspaper article on property tax delinquencies mentions Paisley.

29 February 1940 Daily Home News

1940 May (American Society of Planning Officials) Land speculation story drawing from the Dr. Alvin Lee report.

May 1940 American Society of Planning Officials

1941 29 September: (Courier Post) Newspaper article by Henry Beck discusses Paisley and mentions “excelsior” lying about the mattress factory area. See 30 July 1888 article. “Excelsior” was used as an accelerant for an arson fire at H. A. Freeman’s office building.

29 September 1941 Courier Post p1
29 September 1941 Courier Post p2
29 September 1941 Courier Post p3
29 September 1941 Courier Post p4

1950 16 March: (Mount Holly Herald) Newspaper article – Nat Ewan writes about Paisley and displays “Paisley Gazette” owned by Albert Leduc.

16 March 1950 Mount Holly Herald

1982 27 May: (Courier Post) Newspaper article – About the Higgenbothem family and their connection to Paisley.

27 May 1982 Courier Post p1

27 May 1982 Courier Post p2

1996: (Batsto Citizen’s Gazette) Newspaper article – discusses Paisley as a land scheme.

1996 Batsto Citizens gazette

Dr. Alvin Lee has outlined the fate of the Paisley buildings in a chart on page 22 of his report. Two of the buildings were noted as “moved.”

One, a store and dwelling was moved to Main Street in Chatsworth. According to the minutes of the March 13, 1908, Woodland Township Committee, one Walter Sloan was given permission “to move his house on our roads in Woodland Township from South Park to Chatsworth.” “The railing on Union Dam to be left in same condition as found.”

The building was used as a store for many years and was ultimately purchased by a property developer in recent times. Due to a series of legal events his ambitions were never fulfilled. And in an act of “thoughtful” desperation, it was demolished in 2021.

We can look at census data and deeds to show us a little more info on the store’s new location. Dr. Lee cites 1890 as the year of construction and 1904 as the year the house last existed at Paisley. It was known then as the Todd Store and was used as a residence and a store.

Walter Sloan seems to have moved it in 1908 and in 1910 it was operated by a John Applegate. Also living with him was a son in law Fred Dunfee as well as his daughter Bertha and grandson Fred. In the 1920 census its location is noted as Main Street and the store is still operated by John Applegate (now 62 years old). By 1930 we see that Walter Sloan is a merchant for the Main Street store. And in 1940, the Pemberton Road store is occupied by both Sloan and his son in law Elmer Dunfee. No occupation is given for either. Elmer’s wife is Florence, and in 1950 she is the head of household for the location and works as a matron in the local school. Walter is now 83 years of age.

Deed research does reveal a few things for us, but the deed research is a bit complicated after we try to go further back and forward in time. In 1925 Walter buys the property from a Jonathan Godfrey, for the sum of $90.00. The deed mentions the bordering streets of Peacock, North Giles and Main. Two lots are actually purchased. They are numbered 294 and 295. In later years, after the lots were split apart, there was still much confusion about the property lines between the two.

In 1945 Walter sold off lot number 294 to Roxanna Lemmon for “$1.00 and other valuable consideration.” There is opportunity to further research in this area and that may be a future endeavor.

Todd Store in 1939 Alvin Lee Collection
Todd store (Franzen photo)
Todd Store closeup (Franzen photo)

The second property moved, according to Dr. Lee, was the Daly House. It was built in 1890 and last existed in Paisley during 1911. According to a newspaper report we have seen (but cannot relocate), the house was moved to Lumberton (Ross Street) about 1922 and still is existent today.

Deed research reveals the following. In 1923 a J Harvey Crain of Lumberton, purchased several lots on Ross Street in Lumberton. This was after his 1922 purchase of 4 lots in Paisley. The speculation is that he bought the house in Paisley in 1922 and later moved it to the Ross Street address in 1923 or so. Much more research can be explored on Crain’s ownership.

The 1930 census does show J Harvey Crain on Ross Street with his family. He is a mailman. Nothing changes in the 1940 census. In 1920 he works for the Post Office and lives on Brian Street in Lumberton.

Probable Daly House (Franzen photo)

The last building to mention is the Hay House. When Dr Lee wrote about Paisley in 1939 it was still standing and known as the Hay House. Most likely this was the home of the Leduc family.

DeMarco picture collection
Hay House 1934 Courier Post
Alvin Lee Collection – NJ State Archives

And finally, the last picture from Dr Lee’s chart we will briefly discuss, is the Moore House. It’s date of build is listed as 1890 and at some point, it became the home of the South Park Deer Club. Dr Lee does not mention this, and one could speculate that the deer club did not take it over until after 1939. However, our belief is that they had it long before then. An upcoming history of the club is awaiting completion and perhaps that will clarify when it was first and last used.

Alvin Lee Collection – NJ State Archives

This concludes our notes on Paisley. From time to time there may be some additions, we’ll try to let everyone know.

The Taverns of Tabernacle

At least eight 18th and 19th century taverns or inns have been identified as within the current township’s political borders. Here is what we know about each of them.