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Delaware River Region

New Jersey’s Delaware River Region covers the central to southern counties of Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem, which are along the Delaware Bay Shore. Highlights of this region include historic districts and Delaware Valley communities, early cultures of African-Americans, Native Americans and European settlers, military history and lighthouses.

BURLINGTON COUNTY

Burlington County Historical Society Burlington County Historical Society
451 High Street
Burlington, NJ
(609) 386-3993
www.tourburlington.org

The City of Burlington Historic District, located on the banks of the Delaware River, provides visitors with a glimpse into the history of a city that was once the Capital of West Jersey and the third largest port in the New World. Visitors can walk through the square mile historic district and see over forty historic sites including the first recorded European settlement in New Jersey, New Jersey’s oldest fire company, pharmacy and library, Underground Railroad sites from the anti-slavery movement and many historic homes.

Visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour of the city’s historic sites with maps available from the historical society. Historic landmarks throughout the city are well-labeled, even those that are now private residences and are not open to the public.

Visitors can tour the inside of some of these sites, including the home of author of Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper, and Captain James Lawrence, famous for

Beverly National Cemetery
Beverly National Cemetery 916 Bridgeboro Road
Beverly, NJ
(609) 880- 0827
www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/beverly.asp

Beverly National Cemetery was established in 1864 as a burial ground for soldiers killed in the Civil War. Currently, the cemetery has about 49,000 interments of veterans from all wars. Gravestones at the cemetery are uniform in appearance. They are all the same size and all white in color. Visitors to the cemetery can drive through or walk around the grounds and experience this memorial to our veterans.

Powhatan Renape Nation’s American Indian Heritage Museum
730 Rancocas Road
Powhatan Renape Nation's American Indian Heritage MuseumWestampton, NJ
(609) 261-4747
www.powhatan.org/museum.html

The Powhatan Renape Nation’s American Indian Heritage Museum is located on the Rankokus Indian Reservation. Visitors to the museum will learn about American Indian history and culture through exhibits of artwork, artifacts, tools, clothing, weapons and woodcarvings. Visitors can take a guided tour of the exhibits or a self-guided tour through the wooded nature trail.

CAMDEN COUNTY

USS New Jersey Battleship Museum
USS New Jersey Battleship Museum 62 Battleship Place
Camden, NJ
(856) 966-1652
battleshipnewjersey.org

The USS New Jersey Battleship Museum, located on the Camden waterfront across from Philadelphia, provides visitors with the opportunity to explore America’s largest and most decorated battleship. The USS New Jersey Battleship (BB62) was built in the Philadelphia Naval Yard and launched in 1942. It is almost three football fields long and eleven stories high. Exhibits and artifacts from the ship are on display and visitors can experience the history of the ship by exploring its rooms and climbing up to the bridge. The USS New Jersey Battleship Museum also offers educational programs for schools, groups and the general public.

Camden County Historical Society Complex
1900 Park Boulevard
Camden County Historical Society Complex Camden, NJ
(856) 964-3333
www.cchsnj.com

The Camden County Historical Society Complex is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Camden County by educating the public through its museum, library, 18th century mansion and education programs. The library has over 20,000 periodicals on the history and genealogy of South Jersey and the Delaware Valley. The museum features exhibits on life in the region over the last three centuries including displays on the Lenape Indians, Civil War artifacts, and daily life and industry exhibits. The 18th century mansion, Pomona Hall, is a Georgian style plantation house that has been restored to recreate the life of a Colonial Quaker family. The historical society also offers public and education programs on topics such as colonial life and the Underground Railroad anti-slavery movement.

Indian King Tavern Museum
Indian King Tavern Museum 233 King's Highway East
Haddonfield, NJ
(856) 429-6792
indiankingtavern.com

The Indian King Tavern, named for the Lenape Indians, is an original 18th century colonial tavern. In 1777, legislation was passed inside of the Indian King Tavern to make New Jersey an official independent state. The close proximity of the Indian King Tavern to the Cooper River, which provided access to the Delaware River and Philadelphia, made it an important location for travelers as well as a crossroads during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can take a guided tour of the tavern and see how it would have been setup with reproductions and antique period furnishings.

Historical Society of Haddonfield
Historical Society of Haddonfield 343 King’s Highway East
Haddonfield, NJ
(856) 429-7373
www.historicalsocietyofhaddonfield.org

The Historical Society of Haddonfield is located within Greenfield Hall, a Georgian mansion built in 1841. The museum houses exhibits of historic and cultural value from the 18th and 19th centuries including furnishings, costumes, toys and tool collections. The Historical Society also has a research library of local historic information. Haddonfield is one of the oldest communities in what was originally West Jersey. The location of the town, where the Cooper River crosses the King’s Highway, made the community prosperous for trade as well as a crossroads location during the American Revolution.

Peter Mott HousePeter Mott House
26 Kings Court
Lawnside, NJ
(856) 546-8850
www.petermotthouse.org

The Peter Mott House was a station along the Underground Railroad and has now been resorted as a museum. Visitors can learn about Peter Mottt, a free African-American preacher whose home was a safe house for slaves looking for freedom. The house was built in 1845 and is the oldest known house in Lawnside, the only historically African-American incorporated municipality in the northern United States.

GLOUCESTER COUNTY

Red Bank Battlefield ParkRed Bank Battlefield Park
100 Hessian Avenue
National Park, NJ
(856) 853-5120
www.co.gloucester.nj.us/Government/Departments/ParksnRec/redbank.cfm

Red Bank Battlefield Park is a recreation and historic area along the Delaware River waterfront. Visitors to the park can enjoy playgrounds and picnic areas as well as historic sites from the Battle of Red Bank and the remains of Fort Mercer that are marked with educational signage and monuments. The James and Ann Whitall House is also located within the park and is open to the public. This house was built in 1748 on a 400-acre plantation and served as the hospital after the Battle of Red Bank. After the Revolutionary War, the house and plantation was used by the Whitalls for several businesses including livestock, a shad fishery and a ferry across the Delaware River.

Hunter-Lawrence-Jessup House
Hunter-Lawrence-Jessup House 58 North Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ
(856) 848-8531
www.rootsweb.com/~njgchs/

The Hunter-Lawrence Jessup House is an 18th century house that is now the headquarters of the Gloucester County Historical Society and Museum. This house was home to Reverend Andrew Hunter, a tea burner from the Revolutionary War, Captain James Lawrence who cried out “Don’t Give up the Ship” when mortally wounded in the War of 1812 and John Jessup, a judge. Visitors to the museum can see thousands of interesting items relating the history and development of Gloucester County and Revolutionary and Civil War artifacts.

Tinicum Rear Range Light
Tinicum Rear Range Light 2nd Street and Mantua Avenue
Paulsboro, NJ
(856) 423-0673
www.tinicumrearrangelighthouse.org

The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse is the northern most lighthouse on the Delaware River. The steel skeletal structure of the lighthouse, built in 1880, is uncommon in this part of the country. It is 85 feet tall and has 112 steps. The lighthouse is still in use as an active navigational aid with a fixed red light signal. Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse works in conjunction with the Tinicum Front Range Light, located to its south. When the lights are aligned, vessels are safely in the shipping channel. Visitors to the lighthouse can climb to the top and enjoy the view of the Philadelphia skyline and Delaware River.

Trinity Episcopal “Old Swedes” Church
Trinity Episcopal "Old Sweedes" Church 208 Kings Highway
Swedesboro, NJ
(856) 467-1227
www.trinityswedesboro.org

Trinity Episcopal “Old Swedes” Church was the first Swedish Church in New Jersey and the oldest deeded church in Gloucester County. The first Swedish settlers in the Delaware Valley lived on the banks of Raccoon Creek in 1642. In order to attend church services, these settlers had to cross the Delaware River to Wilmington or Philadelphia. To avoid this dangerous travel, Lars Tollstadius, a preacher, built a new church in Swedesboro in 1703. This church was originally a log cabin structure and has grown to be the Trinity Episcopal “Old Swedes” Church of today.

SALEM COUNTY

Finns Point Rear Range Light Finns Point Rear Range Light Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
197 Lighthouse Road
Pennsville, NJ
(609) 463-0994
www.fws.gov/northeast/nj/supawnameadows/

Finns Point Rear Range Light is located within the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. This light worked in conjunction with a smaller front range light located near the Delaware River’s edge. Ships traveling northward on the Delaware River would align the taller rear range light directly above the smaller front range light to determine when they were safely navigating in the middle of the channel. There were only four lighthouse keepers during the active life of Finns Point Rear Range Light. In 1907, the salary of the lighthouse keeper was $500 a year and it remained at that level for 31 years. Visitors to the lighthouse cannot go inside of it but can view the structure.

Fort Mott State Park
Fort Mott State Park 454 Fort Mott Road
Pennsville, NJ
(856) 935-3218
www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/fortmott.html

Fort Mott State Park provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the history of Fort Mott and enjoy the recreational areas on the Delaware River. Fort Mott was part of a three fort coastal defense system designed to protect the Delaware River in the late 1800s of the post Civil War era. Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island and Fort DuPont in Delaware City, Delaware, were also a part of this defense system. Fort Mott was never built-up to what is was originally intended to be. Only two of eleven gun emplacements were completed and the three-fort defense system eventually became obsolete. Visitors to the park can enjoy trails, fishing and picnicking as well as exploring the old batteries and fortifications of Fort Mott. There are educational signs to guide visitors through the historic site as well as a welcome center.

Church Landing Farmhouse Museum
Church Landing Farmhouse Museum 86 Church Landing Road
Pennsville, NJ
(856) 678-4453
www.pvhistorical.njcool.net

The Pennsville Township Historical Society’s Church Landing Farmhouse Museum is located on the shore of the Delaware River. At the site are an 1860 Victorian farmhouse and four additional buildings. Visitors to the museum can view artifacts from the town’s fishing and farming industries. Swedish settlers took a ferry from Church Landing to Wilmington, Delaware to attend church.


Finn's Point National Cemetery
Finn's Point National Cemetery Fort Mott Road
Salem, NJ
(609) 877-5460
www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/finnspoint.asp

Finn’s Point National Cemetery is located near Fort Mott State Park on land that was originally purchased for the construction of the Finn’s Point Battery. The grounds increasingly served as a burial site for Confederate prisoners of war who died at Fort Delaware and thus eventually became a national cemetery in 1875. Both Union and Confederate soldiers are interred there. Today, visitors can view the gravestones and monuments dedicated to 135 Union guards and 2,436 Confederate prisoners of war who died at Fort Delaware during the Civil War.

Hancock House State Historic Site
3 Front Street
Hancock's Bridge, NJ
(856) 935-4373
www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/hancockhouse/hancockhouse-index.htm
Hancock House State Historic Site

The Hancock House was built in 1734 by Judge WM and Sarah Hancock, a prominent Salem County family. The architecture of the home is an excellent example of an English Quaker patterned end brick house of the lower Delaware Valley. The Hancock House was also the scene of a British massacre of thirty Quakers during the Revolutionary War in 1778. Visitors can view the ornamentation of the bricks on the outside of the house and tour the museum of the Hancock House Historic Site.