Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sad News

The Board is sad to inform everyone of the passing of Mr. Murray Sonstein who previously served the Board as treasurer, manager and president. He will be missed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Old Map

A Map of what later became New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This was considered accurate and high technology. And a quote from a Swedish website.

The WIC had originally considered the Delaware River to be the potential center of New Netherland. Misinformation had equated the Delaware Valley’s climate with that of Florida. In 1633 the river froze solid enough to en- able Indians to cross on the ice (about one kilometer) and take up residence in the empty fort. When the Company first began to send over settlers in 1624, several families were sent to High Island (Burlington Island) on the Delaware where Fort Wilhelmus was established. Soon after these settlers were withdrawn in 1626 for resettlement on the newly purchased Manhattan Island, Fort Nassau (Gloucester, New Jersey) was constructed to maintain the Company’s presence on the Delaware. However, lack of financial and human resources made it possible only to garrison the fort during the trading season—between May and September. Thus it was used as shelter for the Indians in the winter. In 1635 it was occupied by English soldiers from Virginia, who were quickly expelled by a military force sent to the area by Director Wouter van Twiller. Nevertheless, such activity shows that the region was a low priority until the Swedes appeared in 1638.

I added the emphasis.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Some Books that about or containing information pertaing to Burlington and Burlington Island…

Historical Roadsides of New Jersey
The Colonial Society Wars in the States of New Jersey
The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey
The Jersey Midlands
Henry Charlton Beck
1962 (Originally published under Fair to Midlands in 1936
SBN: 8135-4090-0 or 8135—0410-4
The New Jersey Business
Henry H. Bisbee
Printed October 1963 in Burlington, Revel Press
The Historic Rancocas
George DeCou
1949 by The News Chronicle Moorestown New Jersey
Tales of New Jersey
1963 New Jersey Bell Telephone Tercentenary Celebration
Along the Deleware and Raritan Canal
James and Margaret Cawley
1970 ISBN: 0-498-07543-5                 
Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into New Jersey
2005 ISBN:10:1-59223-381-3 or 13:978-1-59223-381-6
The Early Dutch and Swedish Settlers of New Jersey
Adrian C. Leiby
1964 The New Jersey Tercentenary Commission
Exploring the Little Rivers of New Jersey
James and Margret Cawley
1942 Princeton University Press
Haunted New Jersey Shore
Charles A. Stansfield Jr.
2006 ISBN: 16-978-0-8117-3267-3 or 10-0-8117-3267-3
The Indians of New Jersey (Dickon among the Lenapes)
M.R. Harrington
Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number 63-155519
Printed in 1963 by The Princeton University Press
New Jersey The Garden State
Irwin and Ellis
1962 Oxford Book Company
History of Pennsylvania Published in London in 1698
By Gabriel Thomas
Privately Printed by The Aurand Press, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The Historical County of Burlington
Text by Lloyd Griscom
The Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Commission,
Mount Holly New Jersey
The Burlington Town Book
Henry H. Bisbee and Rebecca Bisbee Colesar
New Jersey’s Historic Houses
Sibyl McC. Groff
1971 Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number 75-139754
Where Pennsylvania History Began
Henry D. Paxson
1926 George Buchanan Company Philadelphia
Exploring the Little Rivers of New Jersey
James and Margaret Cawley
1942, 1961 Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number 61-10255                 

South Jersey Towns
William McMahon
ISBN: 0-8135-0718-9
Forgotten Towns of Southern Jersey
Henry Charlton Beck
The Roads of Home
Henry Charlton Beck
More Forgotten Towns of Southern Jersey
Henry Charlton Beck
Pennsylvania Colony and Commonwealth
Sydney George Fisher
1896 University Press
Old and Historic Churches Of New Jersey
Ellis L. Derry
Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number: 78-74556

New Jersey A History
Thomas Fleming
1977 1987
Burlington Island:The Best and Largest on the South River
Henry H. Bisbee
Hiedelburg Press, Inc Burlington NJ
Place Names
Henry H. Bisbee
1955 The Burlington County Publishing Company, Riverside NJ
Down Jersey
Cornelius  Weygandt
1940 D. Appleton-Centruy Company, Inc
New Jersey Life, Industries and Resources of a Great State
New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce
Newark, New Jersey 1928

Historic Houses of New Jersey
W. Jay Mills
1977 Library of Congress Number: 76-50504
Narratives of early Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Delaware
From 1630-1707
edited by A.C. Myers
Originals Narratives of Early Americans History
J.F. Jameson General Editors

The people of New Sweden
Alf Aberg

The Early Dutch and Swedish Settlers of New Jersey
Adrian C. Leiby
Publications of the City History Society of Philadephia No. 6

The Swedish Settlements on the Delware,
Their history and relations to the Indians, Dutch, and English, 1638-1664:
with an account of the south, the new Sweden, and the American companies,
and the efforts of Sweden to regain the colony (v.2) 1911
Amandus Johnson

New Sweden the Dream of the Empire
Algot Mattsson

These may not all be available titles. Check sites like Ebay, Amazon, Abebooks, Albris,  the BookDepository, Albris and BetterWorldBooks.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Please Donate!

We have a Go Fund Me running for a boat to make Island Access easier.
Please consider donating!
Thank You!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Path from the Past...

The Amusement Park on Burlington Island. 
          The Burlington Island Beach Resort stood from about 1890- 1932. Access was provided to Burlington Island by footbridge on the New Jersey side and Ferry on Pennsylvania. Burlington Island is positioned equidistant from Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC, making it accessible at the time by train or steam boat. The Island was used as a picnic grove before the amusements were added. 

         By the early 1900's, more amusements were added. There were circle, swings, a midway and even a Merry-Go-Round. That same Carousel was on the island for the longest amount of time.  There were sandy beaches added for swimming in the Delaware River, which was not as dangerous as it is today. The number of visitors led to a bath house and ice cream shop being added for Island visitors. Bath Houses were a common recreational pastime in this era. The Island was "Dry"(No Alcohol), so it was a younger, quieter crowd that the amusements were catering to. An Ice Cream Stand makes sense in this light.

          In 1917,George Basser and Robert Merkel purchased the park, which was on the half of Burlington Island controlled by the City of Burlington. Under these young men's direction, a giant roller coaster was added, "The Greyhound", and they continued the transformation from a casual recreation area to a full amusement park, similar to what we think of as an amusement park today. They added rides like the "Ocean Wave", Boat Swings, and a Ferris Wheel. There were also number of other rides, among them were: a tunnel of love, Tumblebug, Steeplechase, Airplanes, Dodge 'em cars, Bumper scooters, caterpillars, a Fun House, and a Miniature Railroad. There were also pony rides, a rifle range, ring-a-cane, air guns and a fish pond, the remains of which can still be seen on the Island today. Even the adults were taken care of with a dance hall, bingo and a baseball field.

          Over 100 acres of the 400 acre Island was covered by Island Beach Park Resort, which saw numerous visitors over the years. Supposedly over 4,000 in one day!

          In the early morning hours of a day 1928 fire broke out. Fire companies from Burlington, and even Bristol were called out. The amusement park was burned completely. As Merkel and Basser did not have the money to rebuild they took what rides that were salvageable and sold or scrapped them. The Carousel was one of these rides. It was lucky, only needed a few animals replaced and in 1932 was erected in Seaside Heights. It continued to be a survivor, also surviving Hurricane Sandy and a fire on the Boardwalk in Seaside that same year. It is still open for rides. 

          The rest of the rides that were not salvageable remained on the island until 1934 when a second fire completely destroyed the remains. All that remains of the once thriving park are pictures, The Carousel and a stone circle on the island, which we now know was the fish pond.

          In 1955, the VanSciver Sand and Gravel Company, (the now owners of the half of Burlington Island which had been Burlington Island Beach Park) had bought the land from Merkel became the Warner Company and began to remove gravel from the center of their half of the Island. This had the ultimate effect of creating a 100 acre lake in the middle of a 400 acre Island in the middle of a river. The only one in the contiguous United States.

          Burlington Island is currently under divided ownership. The City of Burlington owns the half which was once the amusement park and is currently a lake. The other half is in the trust of the Board of Island Managers, the oldest educational fund in the United States. The Charter of the Board of Island Mangers actually predates the United States.(1682) As reorganized in 1852, the Charter states the purpose of the Board of Island Mangers is to raise funds to educate the Youth of Burlington. A charter change in 1998 by Diane Allen stated that any development on the Board of Island Mangers side must be educational,conservastional, historical, or recreational. 

If you have any information you would like to share, please contact us we would love to hear from you! You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well!

Some information sourced from here