49 Rancocas Road
Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

Northern Loop Tour Page 2

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Continue on Main St. .3 mi. to its end at Beverly-Rancocas Rd. (Rte. 626). Turn left, toward Mt. Holly onto Rte. 626 and follow .4 mi. to entrance to Rte. 295 North. Follow 295 North 12 mi. toward Bordentown.

This stretch of 295 provides an excellent view of Burlington County's rich farmland-the appearance of which has changed little in two hundred years.

Exit Rte. 295 onto Rte. 130 North. Follow 130 to second light (junction Rte. 206). Continue straight on 130-206 .3 mi. to signs for Ward Ave., on right. Turn right onto Ward Ave. Follow 2.6 mi. to entrance to Crosswicks (at picket fence on right).

7. This late 17th Century Quaker settlement endured many occupations and witnessed at least one skirmish during the Revolution. The slope to your right (along Ward Ave. at entrance to town) was covered, in June 1778, with British troops following their evacuation of Philadelphia. Near the J.P. Bunting Mansion (behind picket fence on right) stood an earlier home of the Bunting family, which was chosen as headquarters by Sir Henry Clinton during that particular occupation. According to one tale, Sir Henry had too much to drink one night while staying here, and, awakened from his drunken slumber by a nightmare, he ran screaming from the house, down the hill and into the stream. The lady of the house, Mrs. Bunting, was kind enough to calm and clean the shaken General and return him to bed.


Continue on Ward Ave. to the first stop sign (at Church St.). Turn right at stop (onto Church St.) and follow one block to the stop sign (at Front St.).

The meeting house on the left was built in 1773. It served as the command post, on 29 December 1776, of the American Col. Silas Newcomb prior to his troops' engagement in the second Battle of Trenton. Later, in June 1778 while Sir Henry Clinton occupied the home of the Bunting family, many of the 17,000 men, women, and children in his charge settled in and around this building. During that occupation a skirmish erupted with American units attempting to destroy a bridge over the Crosswicks Creek and a cannon ball struck and become lodged in the north wall of this meeting house. The relic is still there.

Meeting House Marker
Meeting House

Turn left at stop sign, onto Front St. and follow one block to its end at Chesterfield Rd. (stop sign). Turn right and follow Chesterfield Road 2.4 mi. to its first stop sign at the intersection in Chesterfield.

8. Chesterfield was called Recklesstown at the time of the American Revolution (after its founder Joseph Reckless) and the tavern to your left (now the Chesterfield Inn) was then, the Recklesstown Tavern. Established in the mid-18th Century, it was the scene, in Revolutionary War days, of many a heated town meeting.

Chesterfield Inn
Chesterfield Intersection

Make a sharp right onto the Bordentown Rd. (Rte. 528) and follow 1.5 mi. to its intersection with the Old York Road.

9. Paralleling the road you are traveling (Rte. 528) to your left are the remains of an old Indian trail called the "Burlington Path," and near it, in the area to your left stood and stands the homestead of the Taylor family-Brookdale Farm. The plunderous British army marched along the Burlington Path, following the evacuation of Philadelphia in 1778, burning or carrying off much of what lay in its way. To spare her home the lady of Brookdale Farm, Ann Newbold Taylor carefully hid her true feelings, put a smile on her face and graciously invited several of the officers in to tea.

Burlington Path

Continue on the Bordentown Rd. (Rte. 528) 2.3 miles to the jughandle at Rte. 130. Follow the jughandle left, toward Bordentown. Cross Rte. 130 to Butts Ave. and follow to the stop sign at Crosswicks St. Turn left onto Crosswicks St. and follow to its end at Farnsworth Ave. Turn right onto Farnsworth, one block to its intersection with Church St.

10. The Thomas Paine House (on left, first building past Farnsworth Church intersection) became the home of the fiery pamphleteer in 1783. Paine's "Common Sense;' published in early 1776, began "These are the times that try men's souls."His words and spirit heartened many a patriot in the early days of the Revolution.

Thomas Paine Marker
Thomas Paine House

Continue on Farnsworth to stop sign at Park St. intersection.

Each building at this historic corner figures significantly into our area's Revolutionary War history. The Francis Hopkinson House (red brick on right) was the home of one of New Jersey's five signers of the Declaration of Independence. Occupied by the enemy on several occasions, it was spared the torch by a scholarly Hessian officer who was impressed with Hopkinson's library.

Facing the Hopkinson House, across Farnsworth, stands the Patience Lovell Wright House, home of the noted American sculptor. Carried to England and the court of George III by her talent, Patience Wright reportedly gathered information helpful to the American Cause during the Revolution.

Next to the Wright House, across Park St., stands the home of Col. Joseph Borden, or rather the house built upon the foundations of Borden's home which was burned by the British in May 1778.

Across Farnsworth from Borden House stood Hoagland's Tavern, a center for the 2,000 Hessians and Scotsmen billeted in Bordentown under Col. Kurt von Donop in December 1776. Had these troops not been lured southward (see remainder of tour) just prior to Washington's attack on Trenton, they might easily have reached the 1,500 Hessians quartered in Trenton and turned Washington's victory there into a devastating defeat.

Hopkinson House
Wright House Marker
Wright House
Borden House
Hoagland Tavern

Turn left on Park St. to its intersection with Prince St. (stop sign).

At the foot of this bluff stood, at the time of the American Revolution, the bustling Bordentown wharf. In, an attempt to destroy a portion of the British fleet stationed at Philadelphia during the winter 1777-78 a number of floating explosive devices (wooden kegs filled with gunpowder) were launched from this point. The episode was later recounted by Francis Hopkinson in his poem "The Battle of the Kegs" in which he observed,
"The kegs, 'tis said, tho' strongly made,
of rebel stayes and hoops, sir
Could not oppose their powerful foes,
The.Conque'ring British Troops, sir:"

Although a failure militarily, the kegs came to symbolize American ingenuity and spirit, and in Hopkinson's satirical lines they prode an early glimpse of American humor.

Bordentown Wharf

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