Albert D. Horner’s love for the region runs deep, captured in photographs that follow the seasons in his book, “Pinelands: New Jersey’s Suburban Wilderness,” (Schiffer Publishing, 144 pp., 2015). Often, he’ll leave his Medford Lakes home before dawn to shoot as the sun cracks the horizon. He’s the kind of guy who has relationships not just with the forest, but with specific trees.
When it comes to the Pines’ most infamous inhabitant, we tend to trade in campfire tales. There’s Mother Leeds and her “monstrous” birth in 1735. There are strange hoof-prints and fluttering wings. This left Kean University historians Brian Regal and Frank Esposito wondering what lurked behind the legend. In their new book, “The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: How Quakers, Hucksters, and Benjamin Franklin created a Monster,” the pair reveals that the interesting bits have little to do with “beasties in the woods.”