Tales From The Jersey Shore: The Mysterious 120 Year Old Tuckerton Stinkhouse
If you have ever been in Southern Ocean County in the area of Little Egg Harbor you may have seen the remnants of what was known as the "Stinkhouse" on Crab Island. A piece of the fishing history we have here at the Jersey Shore.
It's the "Stinkhouse" on Crab Island, do you know the history of this site? It sits offshore in Little Egg Harbor and it fades as time marches on. The "Stinkhouse" is actually an old fish factory. It got its name because of the simple fact it "stunk". Legend has it you could smell the factory from all around Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton. Smelly bunker fish being made into fertilizer is a really stinky business. Can you imagine working in 1902 on the docks of the "Stinkhouse" with all the green heads and smell?
According to the Tuckerton Historical Society "The fish factory stands alone on 100.2 acres known as Crab Island which is part of a group of islands collectively known as ‘Seven Islands', located in the Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey."
The fish factory was built circa 1902, although the only evidence is from an old deed dated March 31st, 1902. Making the "Stinkhouse" 120 years old.
According to an app.com report "In its heyday, the plant was used to process menhaden, or moss bunker, a small oily fish in the herring family. Considered a low-grade fish unfit for human consumption, bunker are netted by the ton along the Atlantic coast. They are then ground up to make products such as fishmeal, fish oil, fertilizer, bait and pet food."
For decades now the old fish factory has sat abandoned, there were talks of making it a park some fifty years ago, but that never came to be. It is not advised you visit the site because of the deterioration that has occurred over the years making it unsafe.
The photos I have included here in the story are from my personal collection, I took these pics from Seven Bridges Road which has a view of Crab Island.
The Tuckerton Stinkhouse