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This here pic is one I spliced together. The B&W shot to the left was taken in 1948, the color shot- this past weekend. I didn't notice either mark until I got home and downloaded my pics and compared them to the older shots, or I would have investigated it close up. It's the same location and the same stone block, right in the middle of nowhere. Kinda spooky- I could see if the fresh marks were in '48, but vice-versa; IDK. Must mean something.

48-3bar.jpg

Gra08-26.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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First - are those striations man made or natural?

If they are natural - based on your New Jersey area - it looks like the rock is a sedimentary sand stone or mud stone or shale stone then such out of place striations are common place in those rock formations. Possibly during deposition (millions of years ago), some sand layers might have been interspersed with smaller clay seams.

If it is human made sign, then it possibly might have been the quarry people who slash multiple lines for the rock that needs to be blasted. Or those old rail roads had mile marker rocks which they put in for different positions.

It is intriguing. Can you zoom it in with even higher resolution?

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Not saying it is, but maybe they're hobo signs. I heard about them as a kid but have never actually seen one before. When I saw the picture it triggered a memory. Gotta love the internet!!

http://www.angelfire.com/folk/famoustramp/signs.html

I think we must have had one related to 'food' near us when I was a kid. It wasn't unusual that every month or so, we'd have someone down on his luck stop by looking for something to eat. I always remember my mom would never refuse to make them something. She'd also never let us say anything negative about them and reminded us that while we might not have had much ourselves, we were luckier than them. That's actually one of my fondest memories of my mother.

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smallchevy- the marks changed picture to pic- they are not natural. All the stone in that wall is solid dark grey stone... granite-esque; no variations at all. However, I didn't investigate the marks up close. Was it a quarry mark?? Possibly, tho the track was laid in 1857 and I'm certain this wall dates to that far back, so if it was painted, I would think the paint would be long gone by 1948... and why anyone whould repaint it is a mystery to me.

The color shot cannot zoom in anymore due to the rez, and the B&W pic does not offer anymore detail when enlarged.

Unfortunately, I won't get back up there to check it out up close until early next summer.

usonia- intriquing idea, but not only is the general area not one for hobos and I doubt it ever was, the immediate area does not lend itself to finding any handouts due to the remoteness. I would also doubt that a hobo marking would remain a constant over 60 yrs, but it's not a circle I move in. There was a small station about 400' from that spot at least as late as '48 - hobos technically could have debarked there, tho in my experience in the area over the last few decades : the train primarily runs in the other direction... ie: the hobos would've been on the other side of the station when the freight ran thru.

If anything I could see the 'nothing doing here' symbol...

Cool retrospect about mom- the world is in short supply of her character these days.

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smallchevy- the marks changed picture to pic- they are not natural. All the stone in that wall is solid dark grey stone... granite-esque; no variations at all. However, I didn't investigate the marks up close. Was it a quarry mark?? Possibly, tho the track was laid in 1857 and I'm certain this wall dates to that far back, so if it was painted, I would think the paint would be long gone by 1948... and why anyone whould repaint it is a mystery to me.

The color shot cannot zoom in anymore due to the rez, and the B&W pic does not offer anymore detail when enlarged.

Unfortunately, I won't get back up there to check it out up close until early next summer.

As a part of railroad design class that I took in my undergraduate courses, the rail road company often remarks its mile markers or put new ones, possibly when they add a new line or the tracks change in length because of addition a small section, those mile markers change. The rail road workers then "erase" the old markers and rehash a new one.

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Railroad design class? Cool!

Don't think so- RR used vertical concrete mile markers long before even 1948 and this doesn't line up- one still stands about a third of a mile farther down the track (doesn't quite show in my pic). It's certainly not 3 anything from anywhere, either. I could see if it was 3 vertical hashes and we were dealing with Roman numerals...

Could be right... but I walked over a mile in either direction from that point and there were no other marks, similar or otherwise. It seems almost convinient that the stone wall was there as a canvas.

I have other pics of the track layout that was there from 1908 - 1950s; no switches lined up with these marks. Regardless, those switches are long gone and there's nothing electrical there, either..... That the RR would be the only entity bothered to repaint them seems logical..... but what the hell do they signify ??

Going over to the RR board to see if anyone has any ideas..... Slow over there as usual- no replies yet.

Edited by balthazar
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I have other pics of the track layout that was there from 1908 - 1950s; no switches lined up with these marks. Regardless, those switches are long gone and there's nothing electrical there, either..... That the RR would be the only entity bothered to repaint them seems logical..... but what the hell do they signify ??

Going over to the RR board to see if anyone has any ideas.....

Probably something that is unknowable to mere mortals like ourselves...maybe it's a sign that only the illuminati or freemasons are meant to understand... :)

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

Graham_31_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-30.jpg

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

Graham_7_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-07.jpg

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

Edited by balthazar
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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

It is pretty fascinating..when I was in Upstate NY about 10 years ago, I walked across a high trestle over a gorge at Letchworth State Park...beautiful place.

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

2008~

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

2008~

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

Approximately how far is the underpass from the location of the sign?

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'bout .4 or .5 mile.

Do those over/ underpass lines meet about another 1/2 mile away? Usually two parallel lines with a cross line stands for an intersection. What is baffling is the three lines. Was there a track parallel to the current one which was decomissioned? The dead underpass at the intersection points out that there was one. That might explain the three parallel lines. I am however rusty with those signs, and the book I used as a reference is long gone at a used books store.

Any ways, it is fascinating to look at ancient industrial architectures, back when Civil 3D, AutoCAD 3D tools along with modern finite element analyses were not available to an engineer, yet the structures stand. It always intrigues me to put me in their shoes and imagine what were those blokes thinking when they designed the marvels.

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smallchevy -- Look at the pic above with the locomotive. It's on 'track 1' and this is the same track seen in the color pic I took up top; running along the stone wall.

Track 2 & 3 went over the underpass, track 4 curved under 2 & 3 and then ran next to track 1. This arrangement was an elevation issue- track 1 & 4 followed a lower grade and went thru a newer (1908) tunnel.

Right where the 3 bars are there were 4 tracks, but around the end of the wall seen in my '08 pic, track 1 merged into track 2 (this is 1948 I'm talking. Since then track 1 was realigned, eliminating the 'S' that was there via the switch to join with track 2).

Again- I don't see anything lining up with these marks in the photos I have access to... I don't see them as practical for communication for anyone on the train as far as switches / # of tracks go when the train passes the marks at speed.... but most of all, with there only being 1 track since about the early '80s, I see no reason why someone would have repainted the marks if anything RR-related they could have signified has been gone for 25 or so years.

Now I wish to hell I had inspected them up close...

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  • 1 month later...

Fascinating thread... first time reading through it.

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If I'm seeing your 2008 picture of the bridge correctly, is that water down where the trains used to run? And if so, why? How long has it been since something's run on those rails?

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

Graham_31_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-30.jpg

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

Graham_7_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-07.jpg

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

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Agreed. I hike thru the woods and am struck by structures left behind by time, huge granite-block tunnels under the track beds, conforming to the mountainside 'bedrock', channels to allow the passage of water under the bed and I imagine the scores of men & teams of horses & makeshift A-frames necc to move these 3-4-ton cut blocks way out in the 'midle of nowhere'... so much effort & sweat & time spent... and there they still stand, still performing their duty 150 years later, and it's all just amazing to me.

There used to be a number of mines and a smelting operation nearby- I can imagine the men & equipment, the daily bustle of workers, the tens of thousands of tons of lead extracted, the different patterns of train operation to transport, the lives lived both on & off the clock.... all gone & forgotten today- no traces left except the smelting chimney standing quietly among the trees. I love it.

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  • 1 year later...

Took an up-close pic of the marks in question last summer, just stumbled across it on my camera. Here 'tis :

3stripesjpg.jpg

The marks are spray-painted. Unquestionably the same exact stone. They were there in 1948, looking somewhat dated (thinner), and they are still there today, repainted at some point I would guess in the last 20 years. That'd be since 1990. Nearby station was a hideous ruin in the 1970s, has been gone since the 1980s. This is up in the mountains of NY State, and foot traffic is nil here. Railroad work here since they took up the 2nd track circa 1980 : nil.

Still puzzled by this- will have to seriously investigate the immediate area next summer.

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I've done my fair share of exploring in South Jersey, and I've learned the local history, so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but I still am amazed by the stuff I would find... abandoned RR beds miles from anywhere, HUGE concrete pads in the middle of the woods. Research turns up nothing, and I cannot understand why anyone would build such stuff so far off the beaten path. Best I can figure is that they where part of WWI munition factories, or suppliers to the factories. A lot of factories popped up in our area for the war effort, but most are well documented.

I still want to try to find the supposed RR cars in the woods... but nature has done a good job at hiding the trail.

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SAmadei~ try historicaerials.com - they have shots of Jersey back to the '30s. If you can locate your specific structures in question, you can cross-reference google-earth with it (Jersey is, for some reason, one of the only states where images go back that far) and maybe learn what was there.

With railroad-related stuff... someone has maps of tracks going all the way back- those have been relatively well mapped over the years. That info is out there somewhere.

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Looks like hobo code

That's what think.

The simple fact that the markings have three lines makes them similar to the hobo code for "not a safe place" (shown here, fourth column, fourth square to the right).

Also, interestingly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_iconography#Tilaka

So I guess it could also mean someone really loves Shiva?

Edited by whiteknight
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SAmadei~ try historicaerials.com - they have shots of Jersey back to the '30s. If you can locate your specific structures in question, you can cross-reference google-earth with it (Jersey is, for some reason, one of the only states where images go back that far) and maybe learn what was there.

And Iowa, for some strange reason.

Its a neat site, though... a bit flaky and slow, though.

I usually use the USGS quads going back to 1930 or so to track buildings and ruins.

Interesting that my home here in Brigantine was about 150 ft in the ocean in 1920.

With railroad-related stuff... someone has maps of tracks going all the way back- those have been relatively well mapped over the years. That info is out there somewhere.

Oh, I have plenty of RR maps... but they don't always have the numerous little spurs and short, non-connected runs on them.

And the search for the train cars in the woods is easily shown on a map... but hard to pick up on the ground. We picked up part of the trail, but it crossed a road and disappeared... on one side you could see the path, ballist and mossy, rotted ties... the other side, nothing but a wall of VERY old trees... and a house with no tresspassing signs.

I was always interested in this stuff because the abandoned West Jersey and Atlantic Railroad rightaway abutted the rear of my home I grew up in.

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SAmadei~ try historicaerials.com - they have shots of Jersey back to the '30s. If you can locate your specific structures in question, you can cross-reference google-earth with it

As slow and flaky as that website is, it FINALLY confirmed a 25 year old mystery... the location of my childhood home. LOL. Sure, I knew where my childhood home was when I lived there... but it wasn't built there. I had heard rumors of its relocation and that the original house had burned down... sure enough, 1972 my yard is empty and one a few miles away has a house... 1995 my yard has one and the other is empty. Obviously, I knew my yard had one in 1978 and that the field where the house came from was empty... but we were never certain.

Of course, it still doesn't answer the 'Why would someone move a 15 year old house to make an empty field?', but all involved are likely dead or senile now. I had suspected the it was moved so it wouldn't interfere with the little airport... but that not the case.

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Interesting schtuff. In Lancaster County Park, there are concrete formations along the creek, some old industry, not sure what, but it's always cool to try to figure stuff out.

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Industrial archeology IS terrifically interesting.

There was a house 2 doors down from my grandfather's, for some reason it was moved around the corner in the early '70s, less than .75 miles away. I suspect it was to get off a busier roadway.

I & my brother dug around a house and dug a new basement hole so that it could be moved from 30' off the road to about 200' off the road, on the same property... tho in this case, money was not a major concern.

Sam- what's the rumor WRT the railcar- just want to find it??

A guy I worked with told me a story, there was a boxcar on a siding, and "a whole bunch of kids from the neighborhood pushed it into the woods so they could break into it and get at the beer inside". This guy is a regular BSer, so I don't necc believe it (HOW heavy would a RR boxcar be, again??).

Long-gone industry and life in general always intriques. For sure, we cannot learn anything from the future, and I have little hope for the betterment of man as man there, either.

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Industrial archeology IS terrifically interesting.

There was a house 2 doors down from my grandfather's, for some reason it was moved around the corner in the early '70s, less than .75 miles away. I suspect it was to get off a busier roadway.

I & my brother dug around a house and dug a new basement hole so that it could be moved from 30' off the road to about 200' off the road, on the same property... tho in this case, money was not a major concern.

In this case, the original land is a fairly sedate corner... on probably a 5 acre tract. Of course, the idiot who had the house moved dropped it where the drivers arbitrarily parked it. Resulting in a rancher with its short side facing the road and and not square.

As a child, I unearthed lots of old debris around the house digging holes, as kids will do. Stuff like that got me interested in this kind of stuff.

Sam- what's the rumor WRT the railcar- just want to find it??

A guy I worked with told me a story, there was a boxcar on a siding, and "a whole bunch of kids from the neighborhood pushed it into the woods so they could break into it and get at the beer inside". This guy is a regular BSer, so I don't necc believe it (HOW heavy would a RR boxcar be, again??).

I can't imagine one or even 4 guys could push a railcar too much... they are pretty heavy, especially full of beer bottles.

In this case, the rail cars are much, much older. There is nothing online about it, only whats left in my brain from my research 20 years ago. The story concerned a long abandoned railroad spur in Egg Harbor City. The Germans who founded Egg Harbor City had grand plans for a metropolis, including a huge port on the Mullica River. To help facilitate growth to the area, Egg Harbor City and the town on the other side of the river, Lower Bank, agreed to build a railroad connecting the still active Atlantic City Line to the Central NJ Railroad, sometime in the 1880s, IIRC. Well, Egg Harbor City built their part, to the river, but Lower Bank never did, so apparently the rails were used to shuttle back and forth from the port to the main RR, and soon fell into disuse. During WWI, the need for iron caused the tracks to be pulled up for scrap... but they started at the RR end, leaving 3 railroad cars abandoned deep in the woods, near the river.

I would just like to track the rightaway and see whats left... If they really are still out there, nearly a century later... I imagine there might be little left but the trucks. I imagine they were wooden in constrution, as a metal railcar would have been cut up for scrap.

20 years ago, some friends and I tried to track it... but the path was too overgrown. Everyone once in a while, I look online for scraps to see if there was more to it.

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  • 5 months later...

In conversing with a Flickr dude who regularly photographs in this area- he made mention of a book on hobo codes, and that these 3 lines pictured in the OP meant 'big hill'.

This to me makes great sense: on this side of the track, maybe 2000' feet down the line, there is an extremely sharp drop off of at least 150 vertical feet.

I can be a regular billy goat in the wild, but I don't even get close to this slope. Anyone looking to jump off a moving train would be WELL advised not to do so on that side, in that area.

The distance makes sense considering train speed.

The repainting (IMO within the last 20-25 yrs or so) suggests 'hobos' still rode the freights that recently (of course: prolly still do sometimes)- so someone repainted the marks to continue the warning.

I am willing to call this 'case closed'. Will post ariel shot tonight.

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