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A Guide To Its Present And Past
Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey
American Guide Series

Originally published in 1939
Some of this information may no longer be current and in that case is presented for historical interest only.

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Tour 6
South from the Northwest Corner – Indian Mills

INDIAN MILLS, 120.4 miles (70 alt., 78 POP.), is the site of the first Indian reservation on the continent, established in 1758. Most of the old buildings are gone, and only a rusted wheel shows where a mill once stood. On the site of an old one-room SCHOOLHOUSE, today used for cranberry sorting, stood a church where the Indians worshiped; it burned in 1802. Behind it was the Indians' burying ground. Indian Mills today is a small settlement of cranberry pickers and a few farmers. The land is perhaps even more barren than when it was set aside for the survivors of the South Jersey or Turkey brotherhood of Indians, at a time when the Colonial government was striving to end the costly Indian war on its borders.

In August, 1758, an Indian delegation presented a formal request to the Colonial assembly for the allocation of this area. In three days the legislature complied, buying a 3,000-acre tract called Edge Pillock, or Edge-Pe-Lick, on which were built several cabins and a log meeting house. Friends of the Indians renamed the place Brotherton. Here the last tribes- join kinsmen in the Lake Oneida Reservation, N. Y. A small remnant moved later to Wisconsin and then to Oklahoma and to Ontario, where men lived but did not prosper; in 1801 they sold their land and left to their descendants still live (see ARCHEOLOGY and INDIANS).

Several residents here remember Indian Ann, member of a half-breed family that remained when the others moved away. She had three husbands in turn, a Negro, an Irishman, and a mulatto, and sold Indian trinkets in many villages. Ann lived to be more than l00 years old, dying in 1890.

Between Indian Mills and Atsion the highway passes through a heavy wooded section, on nearly level ground.

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