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From Historic Roadsides of New Jersey by The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey, 1928
Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2002


Atlantic County was organized in 1837 out of the eastern portion of Gloucester County. Bounded on north by Great Bay and Burlington County, on northwest by Camden and Glouces ter Counties, southwest and south by Cumberland and Cape May Counties.

The region first appears in history about 1609, when Henry Hudson sailed the Half Moon to Absegani (Absecon Beach) and Eyre Haven or Egg Harbor, so named on account of the number of gulls' eggs found there. The original owner of Absecon Island was Thomas Budd, 1695. There were no permanent residents on Absecon Beach until about the time of the Revolution. Settlers from Long Island located near Somers Point as early as 1695.

In September, 1765, the ship Faithful Steward, carrying Stamp Act paper, came ashore on Absecon Beach and was wrecked. The passengers, trying to get ashore, were swamped and lost.

County seat. It was originally a part of Hamilton Township. First settled in 1710 by George May. At one time a thriving port and shipbuilding center.

On Mullica River. The Richards Mansion located on the Sweetwater Creek close to Pleasant Mills, is the Aylesford Hall, home of Kate Aylesford, the fictitious heroine of Peterson's novel of that name. Tablet erected by Kate Aylesford Chapter, D.A.R., November 21, 1914, in memory of Revolutionary Soldiers buried here.

On Mullica River. Once a thriving town carrying on a brisk trade in the Revolution, its boats going into Great Bay would seize British supply vessels and send the captured supplies to the American Army. In September, 1778, a British force of 9 vessels and 400 men was dispatched to destroy the place. Count Pulaski and his legion sent by Washington to relieve the town did not arrive in time. October 6, 1778, the British captured the Fort, destroyed all of the vessels in the harbor, pillaged, and burned the town. The scene of the engagement between Pulaski and his legion and the British across the Mullica River in Burlington County, is marked by a tablet erected by the Society of the Cincinnati in New Jersey. The Battle of Chestnut Neck is commemorated by a monument dedicated October 6, 1911, erected through an appropriation obtained by the General Lafayette Chapter, D.A.R., of Atlantic City, N.J.

On Great Egg Harbor Bay, settled about 1693 by John Somers. Birthplace about 1778 of Richard Somers, who, in 1803, a Naval Lieutenant, commanded the Nautilus, a twelve gun schooner attached to the Mediterranean Squadron under Preble. He distinguished himself in the blockade of Tripoli and is said to have originated the plan of destroying the Tripolitan Fleet by a fire-ship. He commanded the fireship and lost his life in the explosion which destroyed her.

Located on the river about six miles northwest of Mays Landing, is made interesting by the ruins of the Weymouth Foundry, built in the Eighteenth Century. The neighboring bogs contained iron, which at the foundry was converted into flint locks and cannon. Barber & Howe, in their historical collections of the State of New Jersey, state that in 1844 Weymouth contained a furnace, forge, saw and grist mill and about forty dwellings, the works belonging to the heirs of Samuel Richards and giving employment at the time to several hundred men.

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