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The Other Half-a-Tour

Just as it is named– this tour takes in the remaining (19) historic sites. Moving along W. Broad Street and S. High, it includes the Burlington County Historical Society complex. Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours should be ample for most folks to complete.

Walk back in time and engage your mind with Self-Guided Tours of historic sites in the City of Burlington. Available year-round, these are especially fun when taken during one of our special annual events (see Events Calendar). The Site Numbers (in circles: 1 ) below may appear out of order, but the sites are arranged in order of best walking route.To help you find your way, print out a copy of our Historic District Map. Or, request a FREE Map Brochure– by <E-mail> or call (609) 386-3993. Supplies are limited.
Some sites may contain stairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

15 Surveyor General’s Office document 1676

W. Broad Street
The first governors of West Jersey at a time when Burlington was Capital of West Jersey, The Council of West Jersey Proprietors maintains their records in this office. Among the many rare and valuable documents stored here is The Concessions and Agreements, a frame of Government for the colony of West Jersey written and signed by William Penn and other maor landholders in 1676. Many of the principles and ideals annunciated in this document were incorporated into the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Innovations included: civil and religious liberty; separate executive and legislative power; freedom of speech; no deprivation without due process of law.
The Council is responsible for the original disposition of all acreage within Western NJ. Surveyor General is a highly esteemed position which carries with it the responsibility of presenting surveys to the Proprietors and the general administration of their records. The position was formally established in 1688 and has been held in direct succession since that time.

18 (Old) St. Mary’s Episcopal Church 1703

NW corner of Wood & Broad Streets
The oldest Episcopal Church in New Jersey is Old St. Mary’s. The founding was accomplished by Rev. George Keith and Rev. John Talbot, with the aid of the board of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The architecture and landscaping of St. Mary’s Church displays the sensitive work of the early adherents to the Church of England in Burlington. A silver communion service was a gift from Queen Anne, before 1713.
During the American Revolution, this church served as the focal point of the activities of the American Loyalists. Reverend Jonathan O’Dell, of St. Mary’s, worked diligently from the pulpit to convince people that King George III was the rightful ruler of America, until his own expulsion.
Bishop Doane helped found Columbia University, as well as the local St. Mary’s Hall School once known as Doane Academy.

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19 New St. Mary’s Church 1854

W. Broad Street
New St. Marys was designed by Richard Upjohn, a noted American architect, at the direction of Bishop Doane. It is the earliest and one of the foremost examples of the Gothic revival style in this country.
The hand-rung carillion bells enliven the sonic landscape of many a Sunday morn in town.
St. Mary’s churchyard is the resting place of prominent citizens including NJ Governor Joseph Bloomfield, President of the Continental Congress Elias Boudinot, Representative John Howard Pugh, Senator James Kinsey, Senator Garret Dorset Wall, Mayor James Walter Wall, and Joshua M. Wallace, a delegate to the New Jersey Convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

20 St. Mary’s Guild Hall 1799

NE Corner of W. Broad & Talbot Streets
For over 200 years, the scene of many a humane and community-minded undertaking.

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22 Boudinot-Bradford House 1804

207 W. Broad Street
Elias Boudinot was a New Jersey delegate to, and then President of the Continental Congress when America gained its independence in 1783, and as such he signed the Treaty of Paris. He has been called the first President of the United States. He was the Chief Executive of America while Trenton was the capital, from November 1, 1781 to January 12, 1784. Boudinot was a U.S. Representative 1789–95, Supreme court lawyer, Director of the U.S. Mint, and founder of the American Bible Society. He was also a trustee of what is now Princeton University. He fought against slavery, for the rights of the American Indians, and for religious tolerance. His son-in-law was George Washington’s second Attorney General: William Bradford. Elias and William are buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard.

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21 Delia Biddle-Pugh House ca. 1799

130 W. Broad Street
Delia Biddle-Pugh was an outstanding member and benefactor of both the Burlington County Historical Society and the Friendly Institution, and an important figure in popularizing the historic significance of Burlington.

17 McIlvaine House 1813

100-102 W. Broad Street
This house was built in 1813 by Joseph McIlvaine. In 1820 his son, Charles, became the Episcopal Bishop of Ohio. Earlier, when 17 years of age, Charles founded the first United Sunday School in New Jersey. In 1864, Mary and Margaret McIlvaine donated the bells to St. Marys Episcopal Church.

16 Kinsey House 1770

38 W. Broad Street
James Kinsey was a member of the Society of Friends, and a skillful lawyer who practiced in the Burlington area. He was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1772, and opposed Royal Governor Franklin. As a Quaker, he refused to swear an oath of allegiance and resigned his appointment to the Continental Congress. In 1774, Kinsey started the Burlington Committee of Correspondence, the purpose of which was to foment feelings against the rule of George III.

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33 Collins Jones House ca. 1785

NE corner Broad and York Streets
Isaac Collins was appointed as His Majesty’s Royal Printer in 1770 and proceeded to furnish the colony with three-pound notes (colonial currency).
He started the first newspaper in New Jersey which he entitled The New Jersey Gazette. In 1777, the Gazette was published in Burlington and after several editions, Collins moved his printing press to Trenton. Many of his editorials criticized local leaders and his reputation for honesty made him an influential force.
Collins is also credited with the printing of the first quarto Bible in America.

13 Blue Anchor Inn est. 1750

SW corner of High & Broad Streets
Site of the historic Blue Anchor Tavern, established 1750. This famous hostelry was used as a public house where food, drink, lodging and a place to meet and exchange ideas were available to locals, and visitors. During the Revolution, this building served both Colonial and British forces. A stage line ran from the Blue Anchor to points north. The current structure has also served guests of national fame. The Belden House, as it was later known, was a favorite lodging place for stars of the American Stage performing at the Opera House located nearby. Republicans utilized this building as a headquarters during Abraham Lincoln’s presidential political campaign. The bar within is the site of a legendary arm-wrestling match between candidate Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

14 Alcazar ca. 1680

406 High Street
Incorporated into this building is the oldest extant construction in the City of Burlington; first occupied by Thomas Ollive, an original founder of the City and a prominent member of early West Jersey government. In time it became the home of international trader Richard Smith, Jr., and his son Richard Smith, Esq., a member of the Continental Congress who resigned because of his Quaker vows of nonviolence when war with Great Britain was imminent. It was later the dwelling of Henry C. Carey, noted American Economist and muckraker.

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34 Birch-Bloomfield House 1750

415 High Street
James Birch built his first carriage repair shop in 1867 and from there his business career soared. He later built a three-story factory in East Burlington where he produced more than 200 models of carriages exported around the globe as far as Japan, China and South Africa. Henry Ford visited the Birch factory and offered to have automobile bodies built in Burlington. Birch refused, believing there would always be a market for carriages and the automobile business was suspect.
Joseph Bloomfield was a Captain in the American Revolution, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Vice-Admiralty Court, and Mayor of Burlington. From 1800 to 1812, he served as Governor of New Jersey and during the war of 1812 he was commissioned as a Brigadier General.

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35 Statue of Mercury 1881

427 High Street
This cast iron statue was erected in 1881 and served as the centerpiece of the Birch Opera House which was located on the site of the present Post Office. The figure is believed to have been cast in England and is a copy of a sixteenth century work by Flemish sculptor Jean Boulogne. Now resplendent in gold leaf, it stands atop a base inscribed ‘BIRCH 1881’' for the year it was placed at the Opera House. Most appropriately, the “Messenger of the Gods” now stands before the U.S. Post Office.

38 Herman T. Costello-Lyceum Hall 1839

432 High Street
Originally called Lyceum Hall, the building was constructed for use by the public as a lecture hall, theatre and for other cultural purposes. It became City Hall when the new City charter was adopted in 1851. It was renovated in 1910 under the direction of Burlington architect, Henry Armitt Brown. Presently, it is once again undergoing restoration and renovation, perhaps to serve once day as an arts and cultural center.

36 Bard-How House ca. 1743

453 High Street
This building was probably constructed about 1743 by Bennett and Sarah Pattison Bard. It is the earliest of the historic houses maintained by the Burlington County Historical Society, and provides vistors the opportunity to experience living conditions in the bustling City of Burlington during the mid-1700s. Samuel How, Sr. purchased the house in 1756. He was an Inferior Court of Common Pleas Justice, and a representative to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey. In 1782 the house was passed to his sons Samuel, Jr. and John. There are many antiques on display here, including a Tall Case Clock by Isaac Pearson, ca. 1740.

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37 James Fenimore Cooper House 1782

457 High Street
The Cooper House was the birthplace of America’s first true novelist, James Fenimore Cooper, author of “The Last of the Mohicans”, “Leatherstocking Stories”, and numerous other books about the American Wilderness. Cooper items are on display.
Upstairs, find furnishings and items that once belonged to Napoleon’s older brother, Joseph Bonaparte, who fled to Bordentown following the Battle of Waterloo.
This is part of the Burlington County Historical Society complex, which also includes the Bard-How House, the Capt. James Lawrence House, the Delia Biddle-Pugh Library at the Corson Poley Center and Aline K. Wolcott Museum.
These buildings contain significant historic collections. The furniture and accessories, including a permanent display of case clocks (“grandfather” clocks) and carriage, are fascinating reminders of our colonial past. New displays and shows are mounted on an ongoing basis.

38 Capt. James Lawrence House 1742

459 High Street
Captain James Lawrence was the naval war hero of the War of 1812. As commander of the U.S.S. Chesapeake , he accepted the challenge of Captain Broke aboard H.M.S. Shannon. After taking a terrible battering, the Chesapeake was boarded and Captain Lawrence, who had been mortally wounded, shouted to his men, “Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks!”. This became paraphrased as, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”, and was sewn onto a flag, becoming the motto of the U.S. Navy. There have been six American vessels commissioned in his honor. He is buried in New York City. Find more details about the gallant young Captain in Military Masters.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the Other Half-a-Tour. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to come back to our Historic District and take the Half-a-Tour.

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NOTE: Some of the sites listed in Tours (4-5, 7, 11, 13-23, 25-28, 30-33, 38-44) are private property owned by individuals or organizations, and must be viewed and enjoyed with respect from without.
These contacts are offered only to aid those interested in requesting access to the following private interests:
Burlington County Historical Society 453 High Street (properties include Bard-How House, Cooper House, Capt. Lawrence House, Delia Biddle-Pugh Library at the Corson Poley Center and Aline K. Wolcott Museum) For walking tours, tours of the interiors of their buildings, hours and more information call (609) 386-4773
City of Burlington Historical Society Carriage House, Ellis Lane (properties include Hoskins House, Carriage House, Friends School House) For information call (609) 386-7125
Bethlehem African Methodist Episcopal Church 213 Pearl Blvd. Tours by arrangement (609) 386-6664
Burlington Friends Meetinghouse 341 High Street Tours available by arrangement (609) 387-3875
Temple B'nai Israel 212 High Street For more information call (609) 386-0406

See the past for yourself– it’s our present to you. Welcome to the City of Burlington.

 

 

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