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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


Gloucester County, which originally included Camden and Atlantic Counties, is bounded on the northeast by Camden County; on the southeast by Atlantic County; on the south-west by Cumberland and Salem Counties and on the northwest by the Delaware River.

Gloucester County was created 1686 and included the territory lying between Pensauken and Oldman's Creeks. It was organized May 26, 1686, at Axwamus, now Gloucester. The courts sat alternately "at Axwamus and Red Bank." In 1837 Atlantic County took a large part of Gloucester County, and in 1844 Camden County was formed out of another portion of Gloucester County.
Points of interest are:

  1. On the Camden-Woodbury Turnpike, passing through Westville, one will reach Princeton Avenue-Taking Princeton Avenue at Colonial Manor, one will reach Candor Hall or Ladd's Castle, said to be the oldest house of brick in Gloucester County. Built by John Ladd, Sr. who purchased the property in 1688. Ladd was engaged by William Penn to help lay out Philadelphia, which he accomplished to Penn's satisfaction. Now known as the Shivers Farm House.
  2. Red Bank Battle Field, at right angles to trolley line on Hessian Avenue or Hessian Run Road from Colonial Manor on the Delaware River, the most historic spot in Gloucester County. Fort Mercer constructed here by Council of Safety and named after General Mercer who died at Princeton January 3, 1777. Battle field, is marked by two monuments, one erected to the gallantry of Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Greene who, with four hundred men, conquered two thousand Hessian troops in the British service at Red Bank October 22, 1777. A second monument unveiled June 21, 1906, commemorated the battle of Red Bank. Count Donop, Hessian Commander, mortally wounded at the battle, was carried to Whitall Mansion and subsequently removed to the farm house of Joseph Low across Woodbury Creek where he died. By Act of Congress twenty acres of land at Red Bank, including the fort, monuments, and site of the old mansion, are now a public park under care of the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders.
  3. Site of the mansion. Home of Ann Whitall who on the day of the battle was spinning in her home. A cannon ball entered the house, falling in the room where she was spinning. She removed her wheel to the cellar and continued her work.
  4. Fort Nassau. Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, the explorer, in 1625 entered the Delaware Bay and explored the Bay and River. He landed and built a fort at Sussacon on Big Timber Creek, which he called Fort Nassau. This was the first European settlement on the Delaware River. (See monument in Gloucester to commemorate Fort Nassau which cannot be precisely located).
Settled in 1684 by John Wood of Lancashire, England, for whom the town was named. Woodbury was occupied briefly in the winter of 1777 by Lord Cornwallis with an army of British troops and subsequently by the New Jersey Militia.

Points of interest:

  1. Friends Meeting House built 1717, with addition erected 1783. Used during Revolution as a place for care of wounded soldiers. Diary of Job Whitall records finding the house filled with sick soldiers, eleventh month seven, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven.
  2. Friends Burial Ground. Graves of James and Ann Cooper Whitall who occupied Whitall Mansion during the battle. Also John Cooper, member of Continental Congress in 1776.
  3. 90 South Broad Street. Headquarters of Gloucester County Historical Society, once owned by John Lawrence, brother of Captain James Lawrence of "Don't give up the ship" fame, who resided with him and attended the Academy School in Woodbury.
  4. 130 South Broad Street. Residence of Dr. Duncan Campbell, built and occupied by John Cooper, member of the Continental Congress, the Committee on Correspon dence and Council of Safety. He was also judge of the County Court. The house was used by Lord Cornwallis as headquarters during the three days he was in Woodbury.
  5. Opposite to 130 South Broad Street, bronze Soldiers' Memorial to commemorate the dead of Gloucester County who fell in the World War. Designed by R. Tait McKenzie.
  6. Laboratory of Colonel G. G. Greene, where is shown a cannon dredged from the Delaware River bearing Coat of Arms of George III from the British ship "Augusta."
On Main Street -- The graveyard and site of Presbyterian Church acquired August 10, 1721. Many Revolutionary Soldiers are buried in this graveyard. The log church on this site was used as a hospital by the Continental troops following the Battle of Red Bank.

Three and one-half miles from Woodbury. Residence of Nathan P. Hoffman, in Colonial days, "Death of the Fox Inn," rendezvous of Gloucester Fox Hunting Club. MICKLETON. On the farther side of Mickleton, the residence of Colonel Boddo Otto of Revolutionary fame.

On Raccoon Creek, was settled by the Swedes about 1642. The British, during the Revolution, burned the school-house.

On Salem Road, Swedesboro, just after entering town, Trinity Episcopal Church, built by the Swedes on land purchased in 1703, consecrated June 17, 1705, rebuilt about 1786. The Swedish naturalist, Kalm, spent one winter at Swedesboro where he preached in this Church. Nicholas Collin, last of the pastors sent over by King of Sweden, was pastor here during Revolution. Subsequently he became pastor of Old Swedes' Church, Philadelphia. The Right Reverend John Croes, first Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, preached here one hundred and twenty-five years ago, then being rector.

In the Cemetery of Trinity Church are buried Colonel Boddo Otto, Colonel Thomas Heston, Colonel Robert Brown, Captain John Daniels, and others of Revolutionary fame.

Passing through Swedesboro to Battentown or South Swedesboro, one comes to the house of John Hatton, Local Stamp officer of Salem and Revenue Collector of West Jersey under George III, who became a fugitive, joining the royal army. His property was confiscated in 1778.

Stratton Mansion, built in 1784, by Dr. Stratton, birth- place of Charles C. Stratton, member of Congress and sixteenth Governor of New Jersey. House now owned by de scendants of James Gibbs. The Stratton house is back from the main road where the Old Kings' Highway used to run.

Three miles below Swedesboro, on the Kings' Highway to Sharptown. Site of Moravian Church, built of brick, dedicated 1786, replacing log church dedicated August 31, 1749. Gloucester County Historical Society placed a tablet on Church August 31, 1907. A skirmish occurred with the British near the Church June 12, 1778.

On the road from Hendrickson's Mill to Bridgeport, half way between Bridgeport and Swedesboro, is Adams Meeting House, formerly known as Old Stone Church or Oak Grove Church, built 1793. Said to be oldest Methodist Episcopal Church in New Jersey.

On the Delaware River just off the road from Paulsboro to Thoroughfare, about one-quarter mile from Paradise Station, is the home of Tench Francis, one of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania and an associate of Benjamin Frank, lin. Cannon were placed in his farm yard during a fight with the British ships.

Ten miles southeast of Woodbury. Settled during the Revolution by Stanger & Company, composed of seven brothers from Germany, who established a glass factory. They had been originally at Wistar's Glass House in Salem County. The first successful manufactory of its kind in North America. It is said that the First City Troop of Philadelphia was formed in the house of the late Isaac Moffott.

On the Delaware River. Some say it was named after Edward Byllynge, purchaser of Lord Berkley's moiety of the Province. Site of a Revolutionary Fort constructed for the purpose of preventing the British fleet from communicating with Philadelphia. Billingsport was acquired by the Thirteen United Colonies July 5, 1776, destroyed by the British September 30, 1777. Cornwallis landed and made second attack on Red Bank November 18, 1777. Billingsport was occupied by New Jersey Militia during the War of 1812.

On March 15, 1778, Colonel Mawhood landed at Billingsport and marched up Salem Creek to Mantua Bridge and on the 16th fought the militia who retreated to Tomkins Farm where they halted and fought until forced to retreat to the vicinity of Colonel Boddo Otto's residence near Mickleton.

Just beyond Mantua on Mantua Creek is the Hendrickson Oak, the largest in New Jersey. Until a few years ago the Tatem Oak, near by on the same stream, was reputed to be the largest and oldest oak in America. It was conservatively estimated to be over eight hundred years old at the time of its accidental destruction by fire.

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