Historic Sites

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)

Bethel Othello compressed

The small, concrete masonry church known as Bethel African Methodist Episcopalian Church is a rare, surviving African American institution associated with many famous abolitionists, including Harriet Tubman who, in her lifetime (between 1850- 1860) played a significant role in helping over 300 slaves escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad, which had a major “Station” in Greenwich. The original congregation joined the newly chartered AME Church in the early 1800s.

 

Eagle Manor & Dix Wildlife Management Area

DSC_0035Eagle Manor: The 785-acre property known as Eagle Manor (a.k.a. Brick House Farm) is an exceptional property located on the Cohansey River in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County. Eagle Manor was built in 1736 by the Sheppards who still farm in the area. After many years of negotiating with the property owner, the New Jersey Green Acres Program acquired the property at a cost Eagle Manor3of $4.8 million in July 2007 and expanded the Dix Wildlife Management Area to 3,400 acres.

Dix WMA is a little-known jewel surrounded by vast marshlands and bounded by the Delaware Bay to the west. Nearly 3,400 acres of fields, forests, and salt marshes provide a mosaic of critical resting, nesting and feeding habitat attractive to a variety of wildlife.

 

Greenwich Tea Burning Monument

In the town square of Greenwich on December 22, 1774, young men dressed as Indians broke open a supply of East India tea that was bound for consignment at the port of Philadelphia.

greenwichIn protest of the heavy British taxes levied on the American colonists, the men burned the tea, mimicking the famous event that had taken place in Boston just a year earlier. In 1908, the Cumberland County Historical Society erected a monument on the site to commemorate the event.

 

 

Bridgeton Raceway in City Park

In the 19th century, the Bridgeton Raceway was constructed in order to provide water power to the mills in the area, such as Cumberland County Nail & Iron Works, the first factory to form in Bridgeton (1815). The Raceway is an earthen structure originally created as a mill race, but began to be used recreationally, raceway4even under continued ownership of Iron Works. The Raceway was, and still is, a popular spot for ladies, gentlemen, and families to row boats and canoe.

Iron Works owned the land through which The Raceway flows until 1899. The land was purchased by the  City of Bridgeton in 1902-3, becoming forever preserved as today’s Bridgeton City Park. Included in the park are Mary Elmer Lake, Sunset Lake, East Lake, and of course, the Raceway, which still flows through City Park, meandering past the beloved Cohanzick Zoo.

On August 14th 2011, a storm brought in heavy flood waters that washed away an earthen berm, resulting in the loss of Sunset Lake. Plans are in the works for a repair of the Raceway and revitalization of Sunset Lake.