Rt 539 Painted Rock

Location (N 39o 52.663', W 074o 22.594')

Elevation:  157 '

Have you ever driven by the Decorated Rock on Route 539 S in Lacey Township)?

Each month someone repaints the rock to fit the season. 

Well, it is no longer a mystery as to who paints the rock.  One Monday, March 13, 2000 I met Eddie.  He is a retired person who is just someone who enjoys painting the rock each month and has nothing else to do.  Today I found him repainting the rock after someone had painted graffiti on the rock.  He said his name was Eddie, the want-to-be-artist.  He owned a paint store and had a lot of left over paint.  

Local rock artist carves out a fanciful niche on Route 539

Beach Haven Times, January 24, 2001

For many years I have traveled Route 539 South from Allentown to Manahawkin where we own a condo at Fawn Lakes.  Approximately 5-6 miles from Route 72 there is a large rock on the side of the road.  Many times there was graffiti written over the entire rock--and it was a complete eyesore for travelers to observe.
Several years ago, some unknown person, or person decided to change the atmosphere and started painting various scenes on the rock--in accordance with the season or holiday at each different painting.
At times, other people, have left signs, they had painted with statements, i.e. "Good Job", Well Done" "Thanks", etc.
So it seems that along with myself and my family and friends who enjoy seeing this work of art, many others seem to be grateful also.
Enclosed please find some of the recent snapshots I have taken of different scenes on the rock--at St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Easter, Mother's Day, etc.

I wish I had started at an earlier date to take some photos of other scenes painted.  
In view of all that is said negatively about today's events in most newspapers, I think that perhaps this would make a very interesting story; if the person could be located who is responsible and then to be interviewed.  
Also, since this person is undoubtedly using his own finances to do these works, why not have a fund set up donations welcome-- and present it to that person as a thank you.  (Count me in.)
As a former resident of New Jersey, moved to West Virginia in 1977, I plan to try my skill at "rock painting" in the near future.  I anxiously await each trip to Manahawkin--especially to see "What next on the Rock!

 Resident of  W. VA.

Editor's Note:  The identity of the "artist" was revealed in a feature published last summer in the Islander.  We can thank Mr. Edward Gillesheimer, Cedar Glen Lakes, for providing passersby with a sense of mystery and a smile because of his artistry and community spirit. 


Someone recently also showed their appreciation to painter


(click on any of the thumbnail prints to view a larger picture)

October, 1999 November, 1999 December, 1999 January, 2000 February, 2000
March, 2000 April, 2000 May, 2000 May, 2000 JUNE, 2000

In honor of the Day Lincoln was assassinated?



July, 2000

August, 2000

September, 2000

This completes one year of pictures of the rock on Rt 539.




October, 2000

November, 2000

December, 2000

  Angela recently left 

this sign at the painted rock.  

Thanks for the words of encouragement.  10/31/00


January, 2001

February, 2001

March, 2001


April, 2001

May, 2001

June, 2001

July. 2001

August/September 2001

September, 2001 to Present (11/13/18) 9/11/04

The same painting has remained on the rock since 9/11/01 in honor of those lost in the Twin Tower Destruction

  7/25/05 Sept-Nov 2005 Summer 2006
Note from a recent painter of the rock 7/10/05:


I loved your info about the rock. I painted the flag on it in 2001. I always wondered who was the man painting it before then. I waited a week after 9/11 to see if he would come and paint it. I was wondering if you knew if he is still around and if he liked the flag? I didn't want to stop him from painting any thing else on it, I thought that since it hadn't changed in awhile before 9/11 he was not able to do it. I hope the new painting made him smile. I found out last week someone had painted peace signs on it and next came some foul words. I have gone back and painted a new flag on the day the bombs went off in London.




Neil and Daughter painting the rock in July, 2006

  August, 2006


Article About the Mystery Story on The Painted Rock


  Click on thumbnail prints to see an enlargement   
  October, 2007 June 2011

How the Painted Rock Got to the Side of Route 539

According to "Captain Lou" Puskas, Jr., who recalls when the rock first appeared there, it was on its way to be piled with other rocks of its size around Barnegat Light to help prevent erosion of the land. He first saw a "big tractor trailer truck" hauling three rocks in that direction. The truck got a flat tire and was apparently too heavy to be jacked up in order to change the tire.

A day or two later, Puskas was in the same area and noticed a new addition to the roadside a large (then unpainted) rock. He only assumed the truck driver had removed it from his truck in order to jack the vehicle up and change the flat tire so he could continue on to his destination, one rock less. Puskas' first-hand account ends there, only revealing how he believes the rock got to its present location.

Read more at Suite101: The Painted Rock of Route 539: A South New Jersey Roadside Oddity in the Heart of the Pine Barrens http://www.suite101.com/content/the-painted-rock-of-route-539-a220455#ixzz1CBSONE6y



January, 2011

Pictures by Lisa Prothers

Blogging on the Painted Rock by Kristin C. Tangel, Writer



Updated on 11/13/18 .