Together, Elmer and Pittsgrove live the life of one. The two combined towns are settled in South Jersey where some 10,000 people reside. The small town of Elmer, founded in 1893, is a symbol of a different time. It is a vintage town caught in a time capsule and sealed away for someone else to find. It could be commonly compared to the town of Mulberry, where everyone knows one another– each person’s relationship with another dating back several generations. With U.S. Route 40 as it’s only draw, Elmer businesses hang on the purse strings of locals to survive. But business after business shuts down. The town motto, “The Small Town with the Big Welcome,” only accentuates its need for more recognition.
The neighboring town of Pittsgrove dates back farther, founded in 1769. However, Pittsgrove businesses depend solely on the weather. The large farm town draws from the money made off of crops and farm fields that stretch the township end to end. Because no consumer directly benefits from the town, they miss the beauty that it holds and the timelessness it exhibits.
It is the combination of Elmer and Pittsgrove that outsiders would not know of. Sharing the post office and the school system, the two towns are commonly combined by the locals. However, explaining where you are from is all about the location. If someone asks where you’re from and you respond “Pittsgrove,” you’ll never be found. Respond as being near Elmer, and an immediate association with Route 40 and the shore occurs.
This work exhibits the blend of ageless beauty with the abandoned businesses that went unnoticed; to give credit where credit is due. To pay tribute to those who couldn’t make it, as hard as they tried. These images portray the businesses and farms, both abandoned and still laboring, on the same playing field. Illustrating that as time passes; it’s the people who recognize the timeless beauty lying within.