Tag: Author Justin Watrel

Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church & Cemetery                                                                 54 West Avenue                                                South Bridgeton, NJ 08302

Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church & Cemetery 54 West Avenue South Bridgeton, NJ 08302

Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church & Cemetery

54 West Avenue

South Bridgeton, NJ 08302

Check website

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Broad_Street_Presbyterian_Church_and_Cemetery

Broad Street Presbyterian Church

Open: From Dawn to Dusk every day

Admission: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46324-d24140698-r844174571-Old_Broad_Street_Presbyterian_Church_Cemetery-Bridgeton_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church at 54 West Avenue

When I was traveling to Salem and Cumberland Counties to visit historical sites, this was the last one on my list the first day of exploring. The Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church sits in the middle of a declining downtown in Bridgeton, NJ like a ghost of its former self. This graceful and elegant church is not used much anymore and sits like a majestic building overlooking a city that has passed it by.

The church was built in 1792 for the growing Presbyterian congregation who was living in Bridgetown as it was called at the time. The brick walls and roof were completed but it would take another three years for the interior to be finished (Cumberland History.org).

The cemetery is extremely interesting as you visit the historic tombstones and the family plots and try to figure out the connections. The biggest problem with the cemetery is that is has gotten very overgrown in parts of it. It needs a good mowing and the gravestones need to be cleaned as they are wearing away with the elements. It was hard to follow the historical listing but many famous residents and leaders of the community are buried here as well as members of the armed forces from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and earlier.

In some cases, when the families were buried together, it almost told the story of what happened within the family. I saw grave sites where the son or daughter either died in child birth or a disease or in battle and then the devastated parents followed a few years later which was a sad narrative. I saw this many times in the family plots. How many children died of diseases that today are solved by a pill.

Some of the notable people buried in the cemetery are Ebenezer Elmer, who represented New Jersey in the United States House of Representatives from 1801-1807 and Jonathan Elmer, who represented New Jersey in the United States Senate from 1789-1791. Lucius Elmer, who represented New Jersey’s First congressional district from 1843-1845. Eilas Seeley, who was the Eleventh Governor of New Jersey serving in 1833. William G. Whiteley, who represented Delaware in the United States House of Representative from 1857 to 1861. Joseph Archibald Clark and Clement Waters Shoemaker, who were two of the founders of Cumberland Glass Manufacturing Company (Wiki).

The Broad Street Church Cemetery

The history of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church and its cemetery:

(From Cumberland NJ Art.org)

For much of the 18th century in Bridgetown, which will eventually change its name to Bridgeton, there existed no church for Presbyterians, who were a large and growing segment of the local population. For church services, they were forced to conduct services in the Courthouse or travel to churches in Greenwich, Fairfield or Deerfield several miles away.

In 1792, about two acres of land were donated along King’s Highway, which was the main road from Bridgeton to Greenwich and ran along the south end of the church constuction site. In 1800, this main route was relocated to the north and is today Broad Street (Route 49).

The basic design of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church was set by it congregation and organizers who requested a masonry building with dimensions of at least forty by fifty feet. By December 1792, the brick walls and roof has been completed but it would take another three years for the interior to be finished.

The design of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church is that of a meeting house, almost square in proportion. In the 17th and early 18th centuries, many American houses of worship were built in the meeting house form. This design was in contrast to the more formal churches of the period, which were more rectangular than square with an alter and/or communion table and pulpit approached by a long nave and often divided from the congregation by a railing. Broad Street Presbyterian Church has a tall pulpit, accessed by a winding stair and surrounded on three sides by pews so as many congregations as possible could attend and sit as close as possible to the preacher.

Above the pulpit is one of the most significant architectural features of the church, the Palladian window with its central window and semicircular arch flanked on each side by smaller windows and all unified by an entablature supported by columns. The name “Palladian” comes from the Venetian architect who originated the design, Andrea Palladio, who worked in 16th century.

Architects in the 17th and 18th centuries would travel from other parts of Europe to Italy to study architecture and they brought the Palladian style back to England and the American Colonies. Thomas Jefferson acquired an intense appreciation of Palladian architecture and used it extensively in his desing for Monticello.

By 1835, the congregation had erected a new church but because the Broad Street church was surrounded by the cemetery, the congregation did not abandon or sell it but rather maintained it exactly as they left it, which is why today it is identified as one of the most pristine and unaltered examples of 18th century church architecture in the United States.

Today the Broad Street Presbyterian Church is used for special services and opened to the pubic by appointment. It is carefully maintained by the Presbyterian congregation of First Presbyterian Church located on Commerce Street in Bridgeton, NJ.

The Greenwich Tea Burning Monument               Ye Greate Street and Market Lane          Greenwich, NJ 08323

The Greenwich Tea Burning Monument Ye Greate Street and Market Lane Greenwich, NJ 08323

The Greenwich Tea Burning Monument

Ye Greate Street and Market Lane

Greenwich, NJ 08323

http://www.co.cumberland.nj.us/greenwich-tea-burning

Open: 24 Hours/Outdoor Monument

Admission: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46477-d24137215-r844112153-The_Greenwich_Tea_Burning_Monument-Greenwich_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Greenwich Tea Burning Monument in Greenwich, NJ

I am a firm believer in that you learn something new everyday and on a recent trip to visit historical sites of Southern New Jersey I came across this one in a guide book. I never even knew this monument existed let alone that we had our own version of the Boston Tea Party right here in New Jersey. It really showed me the significance of the Revolutionary War and how people from the past fought for the freedoms that we have today.

On the night of December 22nd, 1774 forty people from the community took possession of tea chests and piling them together burnt them in protest of the Tea Tax that had been imposed on the residents of New Jersey. This act of defiance was a reaction to the actions of the British Rule.

This beautiful and graceful monument lies now at the end of a sleepy country road in Greenwich, NJ which is still surrounded by farmland. It is hard to miss the monument in its location in the middle of a small park surrounded by a small fence. The monument was dedicated in 1908 and then again in 2008 there was a second ceremony to honor the 100th anniversary of the monument (Wiki).

The moument sits down the road from the Museum of Prehistoric History and from the Gibbon House so there are many things to see in Greenwich, NJ on this quiet country road.

The History of the Greenwich Tea Burning in 1774:

(From the Cumberland County, NJ website):

Liberty was not cradled in Philadelphia alone. The spirit was also alive in the inhabitants of Cumberland County when they destroyed a cargo of tea in 1774.

On the evening of Thursday, December 22nd, 1774, a company of about forty young Whigs, disguised as Indians, entered the cellar of Bowen’s house. They took possession of the whole cargo, conveyed the tea chests from the cellar into an adjoining field and piling them together, burnt them in one general conflagration. Forty miles from Philadelphia, was (and still is) the little town of Greenwich, the principal settlement of Cumberland County in 1774.

The Greenwich Tea Burning of 1774 (NJ Historical Society)

It was founded in 1675 by John Fenwick and is older than Philadelphia, which was not founded until 1682. The hand of time has hardly touched Greenwich. It is much the same today as it was three hundred years ago, when the British flag flew high over it. Today you will still find a wide street, which they still call “Ye Greate Street.” It was laid out in 1684 and its course has never been changed.

The Cohansey Creek is a navigable stream of some size running through the county of Cumberland and emptying into the Delaware Bay. In the autumn of 1774, the quiet inhabitants along the banks of the creek were startled by the appearance of a British brig called called the “Greyhound.” Sailing about four miles up the Cohansey, the brig stopped at the village of Greenwich, which was the first landing from its mouth. She was laden with a cargo of tea sent out by the East India Tea Company, which was undoubtedly under the impression that the conservative feelings and principals of the people of New Jersey would induce them to submit quietly to a small tax. The result showed that the temper of the people was little understood by the East India Tea Company (Similar to the Toilet Paper Tax of the Governour Florio in the 1990’s).

Having found an English sympathizer, a Tory, as they were called, one Daniel Bowen, the Greyhound’s crew secretly stored the cargo of tea in the cellar of his house. However, this unusual procedure was noted by the citizens who immediatly appointed a temporary committee of five to look after the matter until a county committee might be appointed.

A general committee of thirty-five was later appointed with representatives from Greenwich, Deerfield, Jericho, Shiloh, Bridgeton, Fairfield and perhaps other places.

Greenwich Tea Burning Monument News of the Boston Tea Party had already reached Greenwich and the defiant example was regarded by many of the local settlers as worthy of their own contempt for the British. Fate now presented them with a ready-made opportunity to duplicate the act.

On the evening of Thursday, December 22nd, 1774, a company of about forty young Whigs, disguised as Indians, entered the cellar of Bowen’s house. They took possession of the whole cargo, conveyed the tea chests from the cellar into an adjoining field and piling them together, burnt them in one general conflagration.

Thus, the patriots of Cumberland County living in Greenwich expressed their discontent by reacting to oppressive governmental measures. They had clearly taken a stand for independence and democracy.

Greenwich has been granted the distinction of being one of the five tea-party towns in America, the others being Charlestown, Annapolis, Princeton and Boston. In 1908, the monument seen above was erected in the old market place on Ye Greate Street to commorate the burning of a cargo of British tea on December 22nd, 1774.

Quinton’s Bridge at Alloways Creek                Route 49 at Quinton-Alloway Road               Salem, NJ 08079

Quinton’s Bridge at Alloways Creek Route 49 at Quinton-Alloway Road Salem, NJ 08079

Quinton’s Bridge at Alloways Creek

Route 49 at Quinton-Alloway Road

Salem, NJ 08079

No Phone Number

https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/quinton_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=88443

Open: Sunday-Saturday 24 hours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46799-d24137890-r844180359-Quinton_s_Bridge_At_Alloways_Creek-Salem_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Quinton’s Bridge at Alloway Creek

If you blink your eye, you will pass this bridge along the Alloway Creek just outside of Alloway, NJ, a sleepy little town just outside the County seat of Salem, NJ. What may seem like just a bridge with an historical marker once held a big place in the history of the Revolutionary War for this part of New Jersey. This was once a major travel and transport point during the area’s heyday of the farming industry in the early part of the country’s history, supplying food for the Philadelphia and lower New Jersey area.

Today the Alloway Creek is used more for fishing and recreation from I saw the afternoon I visited the site but once upon a time, this was a busy throughfare for travel. The creek was used for transport and the road was a crossways between all the small communities in the area.

Take time to stop in the parking lot next to the bridge and take a look at the significance of this area and what this meant in the context of the war years.

History of Quinton’s Bridge at Alloway Creek:

(From Revolutionary War New Jersey.com):

In March of 1778, a group of about 1500 British troops under the command of Charles Mawhood occupied the town of Salem. Their objective was to confiscate cattle, hay and corn to bring across the Delaware River to Philadelphia, which was then controlled by the British.

Local citizen had moved some of the cattle south of Salem, past Alloways Creek to keep it from the British. Alloways Creek extends abou thirty miles inland from the Delaware River, creating a natural southern boundary that could only be crossed at three bridges in the area; Quinton’s Bridge, Hancock’s Bridge about four miles east of here and Thompson’s Bridge about five miles to the west. Salem and Cumberland County militiamen took positions at the bridges to stop the British from moving past them.

The British made an attack on Quinton’s Bridge on March 18th. During the attack, the British lured about 200-300 of the militamen across the bridge into an ambush feigning a retreat. The British had actually hidden some of their soldiers in a house near the creek and when the militiamen moved past them, the soldiers rushed out of the house to cut off the militiamen’s retreat to the bridge. Militiamen were captured or killed but their defense of the bridge held and the British were not able to cross Alloways Creak at Quinton’s Bridge.

Three days later an attack was made on the militiamen at Hancock’s Bridge in which militiamen were bayoneted to death in their sleep in a nearby house.

Alan E. Carman Museum of Prehistory                                        1461 Bridgeton Road                               Greenwich, NJ 08323

Alan E. Carman Museum of Prehistory 1461 Bridgeton Road Greenwich, NJ 08323

Alan E. Carman Museum of Prehistory

1461 Bridgeton Road

Greenwich, NJ 08323

(856) 455-8141

Click to access prehistorical.pdf

Admission: Free

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 12:00pm-4:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

I stopped in at the Museum of Prehistory after a tour of several other historical sites in the area and this little museum is packed with interesting artifacts.

One section was dedicated to the Lenape Indians who lived in the area. There was a many artifacts such as arrow heads, spears, pottery and an assortment of fishing and cooking materials. The Native Americans had an interesting system of living that adapted to nature. They developed a sophisticated system of living that was mobile and came with them as they moved around during the seasons.

There is an extensive fossil collection that includes trilobites, shark teeth, crabs, lobsters and they even had a foot print of a dinosaur. What I thought was interesting was the dinosaur eggs (they were not found locally).

Each case is dedicated to subject matter and the whole museum can be seen in less than an hour.

History of the Alan E. Carman Museum of Prehistory:

The Museum was dedicated in 1997, the museum was established to house the Native American artifacts and prehistoric fossils collected by Alan Ewing Carman. Carman was an avocational archaeologist who spent 58 plus years collecting, excavating and researching Native American artifacts from southern New Jersey. Since Carmen’s original gift to the Society, the museum has acquired a variety of artifacts and specimens from different donors that have enhanced the collection’s research and educational potential. The museum has been and continues to be a valuable resource for archaeologists, paleontologists, students, tour groups and the general public. Come visit our collections to learn more about southern New Jersey’s storied past or to use our extensive research materials.

To enter the museum is to enter the world of the Native American ancestors that lived in the lower Delaware Valley. The Museum of Prehistory displays an incredible assortment of ancient aritifacts and even older fossils that speak to this region’s fascinating prehistory.

Our Mission:

The mission of the Cumberland County Historical Society is to preserve and promote the history and heritage of the county through acquisitions, collections, exhibits, research, educational programs and publications for the benefit of current and future generations.

The Alan Ewing Carman Museum of Prehistory supports this mission through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of pre-Contact period Native American artifacts from southern New Jersey. The museum serves as an institute for public education and a resourve for archaeological research.