Tag: Historic Sites of New Jersey

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.

Hancock House State Historic Site                           3 Front Street                                               Hancocks Bridge, NJ 08038

Hancock House State Historic Site 3 Front Street Hancocks Bridge, NJ 08038

Hancock House State Historic Site

3 Front Street

Hancocks Bridge, NJ 08038

(856) 935-4373

https://nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/historic/hancockhouse.html

https://www.facebook.com/FOHHNJ/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_House_(Lower_Alloways_Creek_Township,_New_Jersey)

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-12:00pm/1:00pm-4:00pm

Admission: Free but donation suggested

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46491-d14113448-Reviews-Hancock_House-Hancocks_Bridge_New_Jersey.html

The Hancock House

I took an extensive tour one weekend of historical sites of southern New Jersey to see how the lower part of the state was inpacted by the Revolutionary War and one of the most important sites was the Hancock House. The family was extremely prominent not just in Salem, NJ but in New Jersey politics as well.

The house once stood on an very busy road between Salem and Bridgeton and where most commerce passed by. When I was taking the tour, you could see that the house was built in two parts. When I was listening to the lecture I found that the side of the house that faced the road had once been a leased space for a tavern. This commercial enterprise brought in income for the family. Later on when the Hancock family sold the house in the early 1800’s, they sold it to the tavern keeper. After he and his family sold the house, it went on to various owners before the State of New Jersey bought it in the 1930’s.

There are no family heirlooms in the house and while some of the rooms have period pieces and are decorated to show how the family might have lived at the time as well as how the tavern functioned, many rooms in the house needed some direction on what they wanted to say about living at the time. There needed to be more artifacts to complete the look of the room.

The downstairs at the Hancock House

The upstairs bedrooms were an example of that. One of the rooms was fully furnished to look like a period bedroom while the other had a mish-mosh of decorations and furniture. There needed to be more to capture the time period of the house.

Still, the house was steeped in history and it was fascinating to hear what the tour guide said about the goings on during the war years to the family.

Many of the rooms also could have used a good plastering and painting to bring them back to life.

History of The Hancock House:

(from The Hancock House Pamphlet)

The story of the Hancock House begins in 1675 when John Fenwick, a lawyer and Quaker from England, arrived in West Jersey (now Salem Country), With land purchased two years earlier, he established the first permanent English Settlement here, called “Fenwick’s Colony,” and founded the town of Salem. Eager to populate the area with skilled, industrious individuals, he advertised the area’s assets by stating, “if there be any terrestrial “Canaan” ’tis surely here, where the Land floweth with Milk and Honey.”

The Hancock House sits on property that was purchased from John Fenwick in 1675 by William Hancock, an English showmaker. Upon his death, the property passed to his wife and then to his nephew, John Hancock.

John’s inheritance of approximately 500 acres made him a major landholder in Fenwick’s Colony. he contributed to the development of the area by building a bridge across Alloways Creek in 1708. Now known as “Hancocks Bridge,” it permitted passage on an important highway between Salem and Greenwich and gave the settlement its name.

When John Hancock died in 1709, he left his property to his son William. William became a Justice of the Peace for Salem County and served in the Colonial Assembky for 20 years.

In 1734, William and his wife, Sarah built the Hancock House. Their initials (WHS) and the construction date (1734) can be seen in the brickwork on the house’s west elevation.

Upon his death in 1762, William left his house to his son, William who succeeded him in the Assembly and became His Majesty’s Judge of the County Court for the County of Salem. It was this William who figured in the massacre of March 1778.

The Hancock House remained in the family until 1931, although the extent to which the house was used as a private residence and the property farmed is uncertain. There is evidence to suggest a section of the house was leased for a tavern during the 18th & 19th centuries. The State of New Jersey acquired the Hancock House for $4,000 in 1931 and opened it as a museum in 1932.

Historic Marker at the Hancock House

The Architectural Significance:

The Hancock House earned a place in history on the fateful day in March 1778. Yet the story of its architecture also is important. With its distinctive patterned and wall brickwork, simple lines and little ornamentation, it reflects the building traditions of the Quaker’s English Homeland.

The brick work of the Hancock House

Other elements of this architectural style include Flemish bond brickwork; a pent-roof that wraps around the front and back of the house; simple entrance steps; interior paneling and the use of such local materials as Wistarburg glass.

Hanover Heritage Association/Whippany Burying Yard                                                                        325 Route 10 East                                     Whippany, NJ 07054

Hanover Heritage Association/Whippany Burying Yard 325 Route 10 East Whippany, NJ 07054

Hanover Heritage Association/Whippany Burying Yard

325 Route 10 East

Whippany, NJ 07054

https://www.hanovertownship.com/1396/Whippany-Burying-Yard

https://whippany.net/whippany-burying-yard

(973) 539-5355

Open: Check the website/Cemetery Hours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46925-d23534409-Reviews-The_Whippany_Burying_Yard-Whippany_Morris_County_New_Jersey.html

On my last stop of touring Historic Morris County for the “Pathways for History ” event, I visited the Whippany Burial Yard at 325 Route 10 in Whippany. The old cemetery is steeped in history as one of the oldest cemeteries in New Jersey and home to many Revolutionary and Civil War veterans. As we learned on the tour later on, the only people that can be buried there now are former Mayors of the Town of Whippany who have died.

Historical Marker at the cemetery

Two of the founding families of the town have many family members buried here, the Tuttle’s who still have relatives living in the area and the Kitchel’s. The guide for the afternoon took us on an hour tour of the cemetery, pointing out prominent members of the war years including Timothy Tuttle (died 1754), a founding judge of Morris County, Keturah Tuttle Platt (died 1850), who was a Charter member of the First Presbyterian Church, Captain Timothy Tuttle (II of III-died in 1816), who was a member of George Washington’s First Regiment in the Continental Army, Samuel Tuttle (died in 1762) and Colonel Joseph Tuttle, a blacksmith and Deacon at the Presbyterian Church who served in the French & Indian War.

The entrance to the Whippany Burial Yard

The Kitchel family was prominently represented as well with Abraham Kitchel (died in 1741), who was one of the six original judges of Morris County and his wife Sarah, whose family was claimed to date back to Charlemagne, Emperor of France, Abigal Kitchel (died in 1768), Uzal Kitchel (died in 1813), a Militiaman in the American Revolution and his wife, Anna (died in 1815). Many of these people as well as their ancestors made major contributions to the growth of the surrounding community.

We were also given a lesson in the construction and care of the old tombstones, some of which were beyond repair. Some of the original grave sites were made from sandstone, marble and granite with granite becoming the popular choice later on. Here and there some of the tombstones were decorated with winged skulls or cherubs. These show morality images of the dead (Whippany Burial Yard pamphlet).

We were also walking by the river that the graveyard sits on and were told that current erosian is affecting some of the grave sites. These might have to be moved in the future and the tour guide was not sure if any have been lost over the years. The old Presbyterian Church that sat on the site (built in 1718 and removed in 1755) has since disappeared and there is no trace of it now.

The Whippany Burial Yard has many different types of tombstones

At the end of the tour, the guide explained to us that the old Tuttle House, dating back from the late 18th Century was just left to the town by its last owner to be preserved as a museum for the community. The Tuttle house will need a lot of work in the future.

I ended my tour of the cemetery here as the graveyard was closing for the evening but planned on coming back in the future. There are more interesting things to see amongst the tombstones.

History of the Whippany Burying Yard:

(From the Township of Whippany website/The Township of Hanover Landmark Commission):

The Whippany Burying Yard is the oldest graveyard in North Central New Jersey. It contains the oldest dated colonial artifacts in Morris County. It was established in 1718 before the United States was conceived before New Jersey was a state and before Morris County was founded. Two of Morris County’s first governing judges and many Revolutionary War soldiers are buried here.

The three and a half acres of land was donated by John Richards for a “meeting house, schoolhouse, burying ground, training field and for public use. Mr. Richards was the first one buried here when he died in 1718. His grave is the oldest in Morris County, NJ.

For the next 200 years, the burying yard was maintained by the members of the Presbyterian Church with which it was closely associated. In 1914, the Presbyterian Church elected trustees for a group that would be known as The Whippany Cemetery Association. They maintained the yard for the next sixty-one years.

The graveyard is legally, publicly owned but no particular entity or institution in named in the deed. The grantee is interpreted to be the “Christian friends and neighbors in Whippanong”. It was formally maintained and administered by the Whippany Cemetery Association until its maintenance and administration was transferred to the Township of Hanover in 1976 as an historical site. The Township gave the responsibility for the Burying Yard to its Landmark Commission, where it remains.

The Burying Yard holds about 450 graves that include 11 veterans of the American Revolution, nine Civil War veterans. In 2011, the Burying Yard was listed on both the State and the National Register of Historic Places. When visiting the Yard, you can see that the gravestones are made out of three different materials: sandstone, marble and granite. Visitors can see a 300-year time span of various commemorative styles. The Burying Yard is also home to two prominent families in the area: The Tuttle’s and the Kitchel’s.

Some of the prominent members buried here are John Richards who was the schoolmaster who donated this land for public use, Abraham Kitchel who was an early settler from Newark, NJ and one of the six original judges of Morris County. Joseph Tuttle Sr., who was a blacksmith, had served as a Colonel of Morris County militia in the French and Indian War and Timothy Tuttle who was a Sergeant of the First Company under Captain Joseph Morris in Lord Sterling’s First Battalion of New Jersey’s First Regiment in Washington’s Continental Army.

The Tuttle House at 341 Route 10:

https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=91152

The Tuttle House (the future museum) at 341 Route 10

This 1796 National Register site is the house of Samuel Tuttle, the grandson of Joseph Tuttle, a Colonel in the Morris Militia. The Tuttle’s were among the first to setting in Hanover and they played an important role in its development.