Return to All News

Amatol: Atlantic County’s Boom Town

02/07/2022 | Media Contact: Claire Sylvester | (609) 343-4933
historic photograph of Amatol, New Jersey.

By Michael DiCamillo, librarian

You don’t need to go West to find a ghost town; you only need to go as far as Mullica Township. 

Amatol, New Jersey – a now-defunct town of which the remnants largely have been swallowed by the Pinelands – was literally a Boom Town that the Atlantic Loading Company and the United States government built to manufacture munitions during the United States’ formal involvement in World War I. However, with an armistice reached just months after the plant and town opened for business, the town emptied, buildings came down, and Amatol became fodder for ghost stories.  [More about Amatol including images and its second life as a racetrack HERE.]

A rare book in the Spangler Library’s New Jersey collection titled Construction and Operation of a Shell Loading Plant and the Town of Amatol, New Jersey created by Victor F. Hammel documents the town’s activities through essays, maps, diagrams, and photographs. The book provides insight into everything from the town’s warehouses to the town’s government. This book is one of many in the library’s New Jersey collection which documents the state’s history, geography, and culture. The New Jersey collection and the complementary Atlantic and Cape May counties Squires collection contain a wealth of primary sources that faculty, students, and community members can use for interesting and engaging research projects about New Jersey, our local counties, and the many cities and towns in the region.