New Jersey’s Lost Piney Culture
William J. Lewis
Deep within the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the Piney people have built a vibrant culture and industry from working the natural landscape around them. Foraging skills learned from the local Lenapes were passed down through generations of Piney families who gathered many of the same wild floral products that became staples of the Philadelphia and New York dried flower markets. Important figures such as John Richardson have sought to lift the Pineys from rural poverty by recording and marketing their craftsmanship. As the state government sought to preserve the Pine Barrens and develop the region, Piney culture was frequently threatened and stigmatized. Author and advocate William J. Lewis charts the history of the Pineys, what being a Piney means today and their legacy among the beauty of the Pine Barrens.