Go Inside South Jersey’s Fascinating, Real Life Ghost Town
What is Amatol?
In 1918, shortly after the United States entered the First World War, a munitions plant and adjacent town were built in Mullica Township, Atlantic County, named after the explosive they manufactured: Amatol.
For about 100 years, Amatol has been a South Jersey ghost town.
Constructed in 1918, Amatol was the workers' town for the Atlantic Loading Company - a WWI ammunition plant that was located two miles west of town, all on 600 acres of the Pine Barrens outside Hammonton.
Why Did Amatol Become a Ghost Town?
After the First World War ended, the town's purpose was completed.
Even though the town had been constructed as a temporary place, care and thought was taken when planning the town about its general attractiveness and how quickly housing could be constructed.
Amatol was designed to be a real town, rather than a group of buildings. At its height, Amatol had a population of 10,000, but it was designed as many as 25,000 people.
By 1923, most of the residents were gone.
Who Were The residents Of Amatol?
Amatol’s laborers were predominantly Irish and Polish people from Philadelphia who stayed in South Jersey and raised families after leaving Amatol.
What Happened to Amatol?
In the village where the workers lived, most of the homes were built of wood. Those homes were demolished after the town was abandoned, but some things remained, like brick fireplaces and stone foundations.
The structures built for the Amatol munitions plant were made to last, however, and the concrete foundations and shells of those buildings stand to this day.
What's in This Photo Gallery?
Using a series of commemorative postcards of Amatol from back in its prime and screenshots of video taken by modern-day hikers and explorers of the site, we have put together a gallery of photos that will give you a sense of what Amatol was like in the early 20th century and what remains looks like today.