Bett Norcross McCoy, 1943-2020

From our beginning in 1890 (when Martin L. Haines started scooping cranberries in the wild) until 130 years and five generations later (when we now grow over thirty million pounds of cranberries a year), Pine Island Cranberry has remained a family business. Sadly, this week the Haines family lost a member of the fourth generation: Bill and Holly’s sister, Betty Ann McCoy.

Bett was born in Mount Holly in 1943 and grew up on the farm in Hog Wallow, working here every summer. A 1961 graduate of Oakcrest High School, she went on to receive a BS in journalism from the University of Georgia. Over the course of her career, she was the South Carolina bureau chief for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald before becoming the Hernando bureau chief for the Tampa Tribune, where she also wrote a weekly column. Eventually, she and her husband Aldo came back home, where she worked for the Press of Atlantic City and he worked at our equipment facility. Upon Aldo’s retirement in 2007, they returned to Florida.

Predeceased by her parents and her sister Kay, Bett leaves behind her husband of 35 years, Aldo McCoy; her son Scott Doerr and his wife Dawn; her grandsons Nick and Jason; her brother Bill and sister Holly; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bett was smart and observant, two qualities that served her well during her reporting career. She took in the world with one raised eyebrow and always gave it to you straight. She worked hard; she was organized; she was funny, and most of all, she loved her family.

She will be missed.

Blog anniversary 2019

This weeks marks the seven year anniversary of the Pine Island Cranberry website, and as always, we’ve had quite an eventful year!

The annual harvest remains our biggest draw for readers, of course, and this year saw not only our annual visit from George Giorno and his Bog to Bottle tour, but our own visit to the Ocean Spray receiving station!

The receiving station, coincidentally, celebrated its 30th anniversary this past year, and Pine Island team members were there to celebrate with them.

Team members were also in attendance at both the ACGA summer field day and winter meeting, as well as at the Ocean Spray Annual Growers Meeting.

We also profiled several team members over the past year. Both Jeremy Fenstermaker and Ernie Waszkiewicz both celebrated milestone work anniversaries, and we also talked up newer team member Justin Ross.

The bobwhite quail project continued with another release last April.

The Haines family also had quite a year! Not only did they once again start farming the original property at the Birches, originally purchased after the Civil War by Martin L. Haines, they welcomed sixth generation member Jack Fenstermaker to the world of cranberry growing with his very first summer job. In November, they gained a brand new member of the family when Mike Haines married the lovely Daina!

Pine Island also got some media coverage, as most operations do every year around harvest time. This year, the quail project was covered locally, while the harvest was covered by both NBC 10 and Business Insider. But the seemingly unanimous favorite this year goes to this fun piece about CEO Bill Haines, accompanied by a fantastic video.

And, of course, our entire team remains proud to be members of the Ocean Spray family.

We look forward to everything the next year has in store for us, and we’re so glad you’re all here to read about it as well!

Pine Island History: Martin L. Haines – First Generation

Everything you need to know about the founder of Pine Island Cranberry is noted in the minutes from the January 1893 meeting of the American Cranberry Growers Association:

The first topic for discussion, “Failures in Cranberry Growing and their Cause”, was opened by Capt. Haines, Mr. Budd being absent.

He said he had never failed in cranberry growing and hence was not a good judge.


Martin Luther Haines was born in 1837 in Vincentown to John and Lydia Woolston Haines, and lived in Vincentown for most of his life. Before he was a cranberry grower, he was a teacher, a soldier, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur. After serving as Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War with Company C of the New Jersey Volunteers infantry, he became interested in growing cranberries and owned several bogs in Southampton and Tabernacle Townships including the Birches, Two Bridges, and Burr’s Mill. But the Pine Island story begins in 1890, when he and his friend George McCambridge bought some bogs as well as some uncultivated land at Pineworth and Hog Wallow.

“It was tough back then,” CEO Bill Haines says. “Cultivating a cranberry bed at the time was all mostly handwork. The first area he and George planted was Worth Tract. When they split the partnership, Martin started taking cranberries out of the wild on the Hog Wallow side of the road. We think Mammoth bog was the first one he planted on that side.” Since cranberries are perennials, there is even a small patch of vines we believe may have been planted by him that are still producing.

One favorite family story: when he first started cultivating his own land, his wife, Ella, attempted to change the colorful name and call the place “Tranquility” after a large swamp on the property. But if you know Pineys (and Cap Haines), you know that wasn’t going to stick, and of course, the name remains “Hog Wallow” to this very day.

“He lived in Vincentown, mostly, but built a house to stay here,” Bill says. “He died 48 years before I was born, so I don’t have any real stories. My grandmother, though, grew up in Vincentown and remembered him from when she was a little girl on Mill Street. Her main memory was of him always sitting on his porch with his nose in a book while propping his ‘big feet’ on the porch railing.”

After Martin’s death in 1905, the property passed to his sons Ethelbert, Ernest, and Ralph. Ethelbert and Ernest took over the everyday operation of the cranberry bogs, continuing to expand the property, along with the others at the Birches, Burrs Mills, and Goose Pond. Eventually Ralph, the youngest son (and Bill’s grandfather) became more involved as well…but that’s a story for a future blog post!


The best summary of Martin’s life, though, may be this amazing tribute from the Burlington County Bar Association after his passing.

Martin L. Haines, whose decease we mourn, was born at Vincentown, in our county and state, on the 19th day of March, A.D. 1837, and after a long and honorable career as a student, soldier, teacher, lawyer, and agriculturalist, died rather suddenly at the age of sixty-eight, and was thus removed from life’s active scenes. His death shadows his relatives, friends, and companions with a pall of grief.

Mr. Haines began life as an industrious student. At the age of twenty-three his studies were interrupted by his enlistment, on the 13th day of March, 1863, as a Union soldier in the war of the rebellion. His active army services extended over a term of three years. He rose to the rank of captain in Co. C, of the 34th New Jersey Volunteers, and after a valiant career was honorably discharged on the 18th of April, 1866. Returning to his home, he became a teacher and taught in the Burlington County public schools until 1870, when he entered his name with Justice Charles E. Hendrickson, at Mount Holly, New Jersey, as a student at law, and was admitted to the bar at the November term, 1874, being admitted as a counselor at law three years later. For twenty years he practiced law successfully, having an office at Mount Holly and residing at Vincentown. While Captain Haines never discontinued his office up to the time of his death, yet since 1893, he occupied a major portion of his time in cranberry culture, in which he was remarkably successful in securing bountiful yields and a considerable fortune.

Captain Haines was an extensive reader and more of a student than was generally known. He loved knowledge and held his profession, and its learning, as life’s greatest adornment. He hated sham, detested hypocrisy, and had a low estimate of those in his profession who stooped to technical and mean advantages. No characteristic stood out more prominently than his independence, and cast, class, rank or fortune showed no sycophant in Captain Martin L. Haines. Captain Haines’ life was clean and honorable, both private and public, and we are honored by his connection with us as a fellow member of the bar, and sincerely mourn the loss of our friend, companion, and brother.

Captain Haines married Ella Joyce, of Vincentown, and she, three sons and a daughter survive him, who have our sympathy and tender condolence in their great grief.

We move that this testimonial be made a part of the record of this honorable court and that a copy be forwarded to his family. Respectfully submitted, JACOB C. HENDRICKSON, SAMUEL A. ATKINSON, CHARLES EWAN MERRITT, SAMUEL W. SHINN, WALTER A. BARROWS.

Pine Island Cranberry is proud to be continuing our founder’s hard work!