Dennis Township Old School House Museum & History Center
Belleplain, Clermont, Dennisville, South Dennis, North West Dennis, Eldora, South Seaville, Ocean View
Belleplain - Tom Champion DT Museum Logo Belleplain - Hands Mill

Dennis Township Old School House Museum & History Center
Accent image Village of Belleplain - Page 1 Accent image


Accent Image  Village Boundaries  Accent Image

There are no specific set boundary lines for any of the eight villages of Dennis Township!



Accent Image  Village of Belleplain Page 1  Accent Image

Descendants of many early settlers still reside in the village. With the building of the railroad came settlers from eastern and southern Europe who found a haven in the village. Rails were set, going south from Millville, Belleplain, Woodbine and on to Cape May. At the completion of the Belleplain Depot, Jeremiah Van Renseller, Superintendent of the West Jersey Railroad named the village "Belleplain" in honor of Annabelle Wilson Townsend Lee, the beautiful daughter of William S. Townsend of Dennisville. early industry flourished and included Ice Houses with ice being cut from the Cranberry bogs in the winter and the manufacturing of Hickory Canes by Henderson Biggs. John Goff conducted a gravel and mining operation and shipped this material by rail for use in the manufacturing of steel. John later sold the business to Roland Mason and entered into the patent business in Camden, NJ. Local deposits of clay provided the raw material for the manufacturing of bricks. The brick factory had the capacity of forming 2,500 bricks per day and had the capacity to fire 100,000 bricks in their kiln at a time. Some other major businesses were Champion's Saw Mill and Lumbering operation, the cord wood business and Mason's Basket Factory. Thee also was a bulk oil station. The town had a number of general stores as well as a Blacksmith and Wheelright shop which was owned and operated by Joseph Lord. Large quantities of cranberries, strawberries and blueberries grown on the Tarkiln Farm were shipped by rail to the cities. Ice which had been harvested in the winter and stored in the ice houses was used in the rial cars to maintain cool temperature during transport. When growing season ended, many of the local men found employment in setting lathe for plaster.. The village of Belleplain at the time of World War II had a population of only 200 including women and children. Fifty eight men went forth into the service of our country of which four brave souls did not return. The Dennis Township Museum has on display a picture of these loyal sons of Belleplain. The residents of the village erected the Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257 in honor of the men that gave their lives.
You can visit the VFW page on the Dennis Township web site by clicking this link Belleplain VFW Post 6257, for The VFW Story, Post 6257 History & much more.


Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257, Belleplain, NJ
Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257 Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257 Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257 Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257

Accent Image  Points of Interest  Accent Image

  • Belleplain State Forest - Belleplain State Forest consists of over 21,000 acres of Pine, Oak, and Atlantic White Cedar Forest spanning over Cape May and Cumberland Counties in Southern New Jersey. The State Forest was established in 1928 for public recreation. During the Depression, The Civilian Conservation Corps, or C.C.C dug out the existing cranberry bog into a 26 acre recreational lake for the community. Lake Nummy is now the center of activities for the Forest, where one can canoe, swim, or hike along the lake. Picnic tables with charcoal grills are located lake side, along with horseshoe pits, canoe rental and a concession stand. Belleplain has over 50 miles of hiking, horseback riding, and biking trails. Visitors may stop at the office and pick up a map to explore the natural habitat including the Atlantic white cedar swamps, hardwood and pine forests, lakes and streams. The Forest is a great stop for birder's during the spring and fall migrations. Hikes are set up by the Cape May Bird Observatory and the schedule and fees can be found on their website. http://www.cmbo.org

  • Belleplain Fire Tower - Constructed on the Belleplain State Forest in 1921 as a 60' tower, Belleplain Fire Tower was soon overtaken by surrounding trees. In the 1930s, an additional 40' section was added. The 100' Aermotor steel tower with 7' x 7' metal cab is in active service.

  • Champions Saw Mill - Thomas Champion

  • R. B. Mason's Basket Factory

  • Hand's Mill (bordering the Dennis Township line)

  • Belleplain Supply Co. Gun Center - A large selection of hunting and shooting supplies.

  • Joeseph Petrella, Thomas Caprioni, Frank Repici, Leland Champion V.F.W. Post 6257

  • Lake Nummy - This forest was the site of the village of King Nummy, chief of the Lenni Lanape Indians. The beautiful Lake Nummy, located within the forest was named for the Indian Chief. It was originally a large cranberry bog but was transformed into a lake during the time of Franklin Roosevelt as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Project. One of the earliest stage route ran through the village of Belleplain. The route extended from Bridgeton in Cumberland County to Millville and through Belleplain to Dennis Creek. This early road was the only way to cross the Great Cedar Swamp by land for many years. The Tarkiln Tavern, referred to many times in the diary of Aaron Leaming reveals that Aaron stayed at the Inn on many occasions.


accent image  Lake Nummy - Belleplain State Forest  accent image

Lake Nummy Bog

Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015
Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015
Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015
Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015 Lake Nummy Belleplain State Forest 11-01-2015