Pitch Pines, Basto Curch Barry Caselli
April 21, 2009

Here are some views of the 1808 Batsto/Pleasant Mills Church (about 7 miles from here). I took these a few months ago. I've also included a scan of a real-photo postcard I have, that's from 1907 or later. The church is right at the very southern edge of Wharton State Forest. There are some interesting Pine Barrens plants that grow in the cemetery, such as Pine Barrens Sandwort. There's also an extremely rare plant that grows there, but I can't say what it is on a public forum. Anyway, it's a fantastic location, which will be a part of the tour when ENTS comes out here, whenever that will be.

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Today I re-visited the Batsto-Pleasant Mills Methodist church and cemetery.
I can't remember if I've posted about this before or not.
The church dates to 1808 but the oldest marked graves in the cemetery date to 1760. The cemetery also contains gravemarkers made of bog iron, which is what was made at Batsto Ironworks. There are also wooden gravemarkers, probably made of Atlantic White Cedar. The cemetery is also filled with native wildflowers. Today I went there for a couple reasons. One of them was to see if the old Post Oaks were okay (they are). I was worried that last year's gypsy moth caterpiller defoliation had killed or weakened them. But they seem fine. The trees are easily 150 years old. There is also an Eastern Hemlock there which isn't doing well. But I think it has to do with it growing in the shade of other trees. It has some pretty low branches on it, so I was able to check for HWA, and there's no sign of it! I'm very happy about that. The other reason I went today was to see some of the wildflowers, in particular, Pine Barrens sandwort.
Around the church and along the church driveway there are some good-sized pine trees which I always thought were Pitch Pines, but since they have tiny cones I've been told that they are most likely Short-leaf Pine and not Pitch Pine. But anyway the pines seem to be at least 100 years old, probably more than that.
I'm attaching some photos of the church with the pine trees around it. I'm not sure if you've seen these yet. The first one is from April of last year and the other 3 are from