Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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Joseph "Coffee" Jones
b.? - d. ?

Port Norris, originally known as Dallas' Ferry for an early settler who operated a ferry service here, was named for Norris Jones, a son of Joseph "Coffee" Jones of Philadelphia, who bought the land in 1810. The timber industry provided a living for its early settlers, but by 1870, a thriving oyster industry existed. For the next 70 years it was to bring prosperity to the town.

Coffee built a tavern near the ferry landing for John Ogden and Norton Harris. The area was known as Peak of the Moon, as this is the highest ground in the area so the first place to see the moon rise. Coffee had the largest sheep ranch on the east coast, with almost 7,000 in his heard, though most were lost to disease.

During the War of 1812 with England, the British captured one of Coffee’s boats, the “Plowboy”, which was carrying lumber to Philadelphia. They held it the ransom of $1,000 in gold, a small fortune in those days.

On November 16, 2008, Coffee Jones was recognized as a Legend of Port Norris.



Also See

Wood Mansion House
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
OMB No. 1024-0018

Page 17
Wood remained a resident of Philadelphia and around 1814 erected the Mansion House for use as his residence whenever he came to Millville on business to oversee the furnace and the Union saw mill sited a few miles north of the furnace.6 By this time, Millville had begun to grow and was described (perhaps optimistically) in 1815 as “containing from 60 to 70 houses, and is rapidly increasing” with “extensive iron and glass works in full operation” and water of “sufficient depth to launch vessels of 200 tons.”7 That same year, Smith & Wood advertised in the Philadelphia papers that they were selling fireplace backs and jambs, stove plates in four sizes, and 100 tons of pig iron all “made at Millville Furnace, situated in New Jersey.” They were also casting machinery “in the neatest manner.”

Smith sold his half interest to Joseph Jones, also a Philadelphia merchant, in 1816 and Jones sold the one-half interest two days later to Jesse B. Quimby, an “iron master…late from Hartford County, Maryland” living in Philadelphia.9 Quimby—needing money—sold his half-interest in the furnace back to Wood less than one year later. This consolidated the full ownership in Wood’s hands.10 See attached PDF file