Batsto a name derived from the Swedish batstu, bathing place; the first bathers were probably the Lenni-Lenape Indians. Batsto Village is a historic site located in the South Central Pinelands of New Jersey. Batsto has changed and survived through the early history of America and New Jersey. Archeological investigations have discovered evidence of prehistoric life in the Batsto area, dating back several thousand years.
With all the natural resources for making iron Charles Read built the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River in 1766. By the mid 1800’s, iron production declined and Batsto became a glassmaking community known for its window glass. Joseph Wharton, a Philadelphia businessman, purchased Batsto in 1876. After Wharton’s death in 1909 until 1954, the Girard Trust Company in Philadelphia managed the Wharton properties in the Pine Barrens. In 1989 the last house was vacated and today Batsto Village is a New Jersey historic site and listed in the National Registers of Historic Places.
During the iron making and glass making periods hundreds of people were working and living in the village. A gristmill for processing grain and corn, along with a general store, blacksmith, wheelwright, houses and barns were built.
The 32-room Mansion, sits at the heart of Batsto Village, and served as the former residence of generations of ironmasters and reflects the prosperity enjoyed during its industrial years during the 19th century.
The Batsto River passes through multiple historic landmarks along its journey to the Mullica River. These landmarks include Hampton furnace, Lower Forge and Quaker Bridge, each being places of small settlements at one time .
Today there are more than forty sites and structures still standnig, including the Batsto mansion, a sawmill, a 19th century ore boat, a charcoal kiln, ice and milk houses, a carriage house and stable, a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a gristmill and a general store. The Post Office is still in operation, and collectors have stamps hand-cancelled, with no zip code.