Bridgeton is located in the state of New Jersey and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Bridgeton, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in Bridgeton
Bridgeton, a city in Cumberland County, New Jersey, is home to about 25,000 people. The city is located in the heart of the state and is about an hour drive from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. Bridgeton has a rich history dating back to the 1700s when it was founded as a port town. The city played a pivotal role in the American Revolution and Civil War. Today, Bridgeton is a thriving community with a variety of businesses and cultural attractions.
There are plenty of things to do in Bridgeton for tourists and residents alike. The Cohanzick Zoo is a great place for animal lovers of all ages. The zoo has over 100 animals, including tigers, lions, bears, and reptiles. The Historic Bridgeton axe throwing competition is a mustsee for anyone interested in American history. The competition is held every year on the Fourth of July. The winner receives a prize of $1,000.
For those looking for a more relaxing vacation, Bridgeton has several parks and golf courses. The Sunset Lake Park is a great place to take a stroll or go for a swim. The park also has a playground, picnic areas, and fishing. The Bridgeton Municipal Golf Course is a 18hole course that is open to the public. The course is located in the center of the city and offers a challenging game for golfers of all skill levels.
Bridgeton is a great place to visit for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. There is something for everyone in this historic city.
Sights in Bridgeton
If you’re looking for a charming small city with a rich history, Bridgeton in southern New Jersey is well worth a visit. The city is home to a variety of historical sites, including the Bridgeton Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Highlights of the district include the John Downey House (built in 1785), the Benjamin Sharp House (ca. 1814), and the First Presbyterian Church (1869).
Bridgeton is also known for its art scene. The city’s Gallery 50 is housed in an historic bank building and features rotating exhibitions of work by local, national, and international artists. Just outside of town, visitors can explore the NElse Gault Nature Preserve, which features hiking trails, a riverfront boardwalk, and an observation deck.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, or nature, Bridgeton has something to offer everyone.
History of Bridgeton
Founded by John Mathis in 1686, Bridgeton was first settled as a small farming community in the northwesternmost corner of Cumberland County. Bridgeton’s location made it an ideal place for settlement. The Cohansey River ran through the town providing power for mills and transportation of goods. The river also served as a barrier to the British and other enemies during the Revolutionary War. The fertile soil helped the community to grow and prosper. In 1779, the area including present day Bridgeton was taken from Cumberland County and formed into Salem County.
Bridgeton quickly became an important center of trade and industry. The first professional tailor in New Jersey, John Fenwick, set up shop in Bridgeton in 1686. milling, tanning, and shipbuilding were also early industries in the town. The first schoolhouse was built in 1716 and the first Salem County Courthouse was erected in Bridgeton in 1735.
During the Revolutionary War, Bridgeton was home to a number of patriot leaders including Richard Hunnewell, who served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army, and James Giles, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Giles’ home, which still stands today, was used as a hospital during the Battle of Cedar Brook in 1777.
Bridgeton continued to grow in the years after the war. In 1798, the city was officially chartered and in 1845 it was designated as the county seat of Cumberland County. The Cumberland Nail & Iron Works, established in 1848, was one of the largest employers in the city for many years.
Bridgeton was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, with several safe houses located in the city. Prominent abolitionists such as Levi Coffin and William Still helped hundreds of slaves to freedom.
The Civil War brought new challenges to Bridgeton. The city was home to two military hospitals, one for Union soldiers and one for Confederate prisoners of war. More than 1,000 Cumberland County men enlisted in the Union Army, many of them serving in the famous “Cape May Blues” regiment.
After the war, Bridgeton entered a period of decline. The railroads bypassed the city and industries began to move away. The population peaked in 1900 at around 16,000 but began to decline thereafter. The Great Depression and two devastating floods in the 1930s dealt further blows to the city.
Today, Bridgeton is in the process of revitalization. The city’s downtown is being redeveloped and a number of new businesses have moved into the area. The city is also home to a growing arts community and is working to promote its rich history.
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