Located in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey in the Hogwallow section of Washington Township, Burlington County, Pine Island Cranberry has come a long way since it was founded in 1890 by Martin L. Haines.
Martin Haines lived in Vincentown, where he practiced law and also taught in the public school system. After serving as Captain in the Union army during the Civil War, he became interested in growing cranberries and owned several bogs in Southampton and Tabernacle Townships. In 1890, he and George McCambridge bought some bogs and uncultivated land at Pineworth and Hogwallow.
After a short partnership, the properties were divided and McCambridge took the cultivated bogs at Pineworth while Martin took the wild ones. The latter became known as Hogwallow. Martin then started to develop and build new bogs on this property until his passing in 1905, when Ethelbert and Ernest (two of Martin’s three sons) took over the everyday operation of the cranberry bogs.
In 1920, Ethelbert and Ralph, the third son, became partners and ran the bogs in Hogwallow while Ernest took responsibility for the other properties. It was during that time some of the current farm structures were built; the oldest house on the property, built by Ethelbert, was the longtime residence of Ralph’s son Bill Haines, Sr. Ethelbert also built a cranberry packing house. In 1948, the farm became a member of the Ocean Spray Cooperative.
Bill Sr. took an immediate interest in the family farm, and after attending Rutgers University, returned to start farming full-time. At this point, the farm has grown to approximately 500 acres, and Bill became a partner with his father. After Ralph’s death in 1965, Bill became the owner of Haines & Haines. It was during Bill’s ownership that many changes occurred and most of the outbuildings, storage sheds, the shop, and employee homes were built. Around 1970, Bill bought back the property known as Pineworth from the McCambridge family.
Bill did a great deal of experimenting on how to make the cranberry harvest easier, more efficient, and less labor intensive. Bill pioneered the wet pick method of harvesting cranberries in New Jersey, was a leader in establishing the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension in Oswego, served on the Board of Directors for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. for over 40 years, and listed many more accomplishments to his credit until his death in 2007.
In 1975, after graduating from Cook College at Rutgers University, Bill Haines, Jr. started farming full-time, and in 1988, created Pine Island Cranberry Company, which managed the day to day operations of the family farm. Some of the changes that have come about since Bill Jr.’s involvement include the installation of New Jersey’s first solid-set irrigation and frost protection system for cranberries. This system has been used as a model by other NJ cranberry growers. Always experimenting to help further the cranberry industry, Haines & Haines was one of the first growers in the country to use a water sanding system which was developed by their neighbor Abbott Lee of Lee Brothers, Inc. Haines & Haines also helped institute other innovations such as applying integrated pest management practices and testing USDA experimental plant varieties for commercial production.
Since Bill Jr. became involved in the operation, the number of acres devoted to cranberries has increased to over 1400 acres. During the fall, there are three crews devoted to harvesting the cranberries, as well as a fourth team dedicated to other farm work.
With the 14,000 acre property situated in the Pine Barrens and on wetlands, a primary concern for Pine Island Cranberry is maintaining and preserving a clean, pure water supply for growing cranberries.
Pine Island Cranberry’s philosophy is: “Nothing but the Best”. Our success is due to our pride in continuous improvement, growth, innovation, and our love and respect for the land and the people. For more information on how our team does whatever it takes, week in and week out, visit us at http://www.picranberry.com.