In today's installment we will be visiting Dennis Township, at the northern end of the map
The first stop is the Mount Pleasant tile. I thought the name was a bit out of place for an area which is one of the flattest and lowest parts of New Jersey, so I did some research. When the glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age, it left behind a 160 foot high ridge of sand and gravel east of where the town of Woodbine now stands. While hardly a mountain by any stretch of the imagination, to the first settlers it must have seemed an impressive summit, considering most of the surrounding countryside is less than 30 feet above sea level. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, much of the sand and gravel was carted away to make the concrete that built the roads and cities of the northeastern US. It still remains one of the places with the highest elevation in Cape May County, standing some 50 or so feet above sea level. South of the ridge are the headwaters of Dennis Creek (lower left ) . North of the ridge is the Great Cedar Swamp. Cedar Swamp Creek (upper right) flows northward to the Tuckahoe River ( off map, five miles north) and thence into Great Egg Harbor Bay.
Next we visit the South Dennis tile. The village of South Dennis lies south and east of Dennis Creek. Two roads cross this tile : State highway NJ 83 ( southenmost east-west road) and County Road 628 ( Dennisville Road, which becomes Corsons Tavern Road in South Seaville. A majortiy of this tile is a Federal Wildlife Refuge, and is off limits to development.
The heavily wooded terrain along NJ 83 in South Dennis is typical of most of Dennis Township.
Increased development is causing a higher demand for the county's limited fresh water supplies. As fresh water is pumped from the ground, it is replaced with salt water from the surrounding waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. The salt line ( the point where a fresh water creek obtains a high enough salinity to be considered brackish) has been steadily advancing upstream in recent decades. One result is the killing off of trees along once fresh water creeks. Acres of dead forest line the banks of many of Cape May County's creeks.
We now trek eastward across the county to the Stites Sound tile. The Avalon Causeway threads its way between Stites Sound and Deep Creek, connecting Seven Mile Beach Island to the mainland in Swainton.
NOTE : the Swainton, Beaver Swamp, Clermont, and South Seaville tiles lack sufficient terrain features to warrant showing in the terraforming section of the journal. I will show them later when they are developed.
A few miles northeast is the Ocean View tile ( another misnomer, as one cannot see the ocean from here) . A dam was placed across Mill Creek at Shore Road ( US Highway 9), creating Magnolia Lake. At this point I'd like to correct a mistake I made when I stated that Johnson's and Ludlam's Ponds ( in Dennisville) were naturally occuring lakes. In fact, they were formed when the first settlers dammed two of the branches of Dennis Creek to create a supply of fresh water.
Finally, we come to the Seaville tile, on the western shore of Ludlam Bay. A pair of causeways cross the marshes at the southern end. The southernmost is the Sea Isle City causeway, linking Ludlam's Beach Island to the mainland. The one north of it is the abandoned West Jersey Railroad causeway, which once linked Sea Isle City , Avalon and Stone Harbor to the mainland at the beginning of the 20th century.
Well that's all I have for this installment. I'll be working on the FINAL terraforming update ( Ludlam's Beach Island) shortly and then I can get down to business. Thanks for sticking with me this long!
Soer_II Thank you for stopping by! Feel free to go back and check out some of the earlier updates. A lot of them have closer shots than the region view.
escilnavia Thanks ! I'll be happy enough re-creating the farms and small fishing towns that are here . Eventually, I plan on doing a "Look Ahead" section of the journal that involves trying to urbanize the region without compromising its natural beauty. I tried that once before seven or eight years ago, (before purchasing the Rush Hour expansion) but overambitious growth and my inexperience in region play doomed the project. Slow, planned growth , I think, will give me a better shot this time around.
Zulu2065 Well since you asked, I will most likely include a "How the heck did I do this?" tutorial later in the journal or as a stand-alone entry in the proper area.