Peachfield

180 Burrs Road, Westampton | 609-267-6996 | colonialdamesnj.org

Whether you’re touring the 18th-century country estate or exploring its grounds, you’ll discover Peachfield is a beautiful historic restoration of a property established in 1725. New Jersey’s Burr family owned the home for 200 years. Now it’s the headquarters of the Colonial Dames, who use the property to host special events like tea parties, history lectures (with speakers often dressed as historical icons) and hearth-cooking demonstrations. After your Peachfield visit, take a three-mile drive to check out the Colonial Dames’ other historic property, the Old Schoolhouse on Brainerd Street. Built in 1759, it’s the state’s oldest one-room schoolhouse and still sits on its original foundation. Children around Mount Holly attended the school for free, before public schools were established in 1848.

How to visit: Peachfield is available to tour by appointment only. Cost is $10 per person. Call the Colonial Dames to schedule.

WW2-lookout-towerWorld War II Lookout Tower

Cape May Point State Park | Sunset Beach & Sunset Boulevard, Cape May
609-884-5404 | capemaymac.org

The Lookout Tower was built in 1942 to protect the coast during World War II. Looming large over Cape May Point Park, it’s the last remaining tower in the state and has been restored and outfitted with a winding staircase and viewing platform at the top, and a mini-museum at the tower’s base.

If you’re up for about a 30-minute walk along the beach after climbing the tower, head south, where you’ll find Battery 223, an abandoned WWII bunker. Built in 1943, the bunker has a blast-proof roof and reinforced concrete walls that could withstand an ocean attack. The shelter is empty and overgrown now, but at low tide you can still walk around the massive structure – there were 20 rooms inside, including latrines, a plotting room and an airlock to protect soldiers from a chemical attack.

How to visit: Admission to the tower is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 through 12 and free for children younger than 3. In the summer, the tower is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. There is no charge to visit Cape May Point State Park.

ft-dix-museum-04Fort Dix Army Reserve Mobilization Museum

At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
609-562-2334 | dix.army.mil

The military museum at the Joint Base has information on every war in United States history. Tanks from both World Wars guard the entrance to the museum, along with a narrow-gauge railroad engine, originally used at Fort Dix in the 1920s. Inside the museum, you’ll find war propaganda posters, a restored Vietnam-era jeep, artillery, uniforms and more. There’s also a special gallery featuring the changing role of women in the U.S. Army from World War I to today’s Global War on Terrorism.

How to visit: The museum is on the Fort Dix side of the Joint Base, and though it is open to the general public, visits must be arranged in advance. Call to schedule an appointment at least three days before your planned visit.

Grant-House-LSUlysses S. Grant House

309 Wood Street, Burlington
609-386-1900 | tourburlington.org

Looking to escape the violence of the Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant moved his wife and four children into this house on Wood Street in 1864. On April 14, 1865, Grant and his wife were in Philadelphia, en route to their home, when Grant heard the news that President Lincoln had been shot at Ford’s Theatre. He saw his wife safely home to Burlington, then immediately left for Washington, D.C. The night was actually a fortunate one for the Grants: The president and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln had invited the Grants to accompany them to the theater, but General Grant declined, wanting to spend time with his family.

How to visit: The Grant House is a private residence, so while you can’t go inside, you can make a stop on your walking tour of historic Burlington. Visit tourburlington.org to download a walking tour map.

Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site

Grove Street & Maple Avenue, Haddonfield | 609-313-6648 | hadrosaurus.com

Hidden away behind the suburbs of Haddonfield is a park where history was made — it’s been 70 million years in the making, actually. It was here in 1858, in a marl pit on a farm, that the nearly complete fossilized remains of a new dinosaur were uncovered, making it the most complete skeleton in the world at the time. Paleontologist Dr. Joseph Leidy called the reptile Hadrosaurus Foulkii, and though its remains are on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, you can visit the Hadrosaurus Run stream and see the marl pits where ancient bones can sometimes still be found — so keep your eye out for a fossilized shark tooth!

How to visit: The plaques and historical markers of the park were put in place in 1984 by Eagle Scout Christopher Brees – his father, Butch, now looks after the park. You can visit any time, just be sure to sign the visitor registry at the park.

Isaac Collins House

Corner of Broad & York Streets, Burlington | 609-386-1900 | tourburlington.org

Collins-House-LSAs a royal printer to King George III, Isaac Collins was responsible for printing laws and currency for the colonies, but that wasn’t enough for Collins. He started New Jersey’s first newspaper, The New Jersey Gazette, in 1777 and printed in Burlington before moving his family and business north to Trenton.

Collins also is said to have printed the first quarto (folded pamphlet) Bible in America. He was such a strict proofreader that he demanded his proofs be read 11 times — and the last time was always read by Collins’ daughter Rebecca, says Reverend John L. Blake. Blake wrote in his book of American biographies that Rebecca “had been so well trained to such labor that no inaccuracy could escape her quick and scrutinizing eye.” (The copy editors at SJ Magazine find her story especially fascinating.)

After visiting the Collins House, take the four-minute walk to the Burlington Friends Meeting House, where Isaac Collins is buried.

How to visit: Like the Ulysses Grant House, the Isaac Collins House is a private residence, so it’s closed to visitors. But history buffs can go to tourburlington.org, download a map of the historic district and stop outside the Collins House on a walking tour.

SamAzeezMuseumInteriorThe Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage

610 Washington Avenue, Woodbine
609-861-5355 | thesam.org

The town of Woodbine was created as a settlement for Russian Jews who were fleeing persecution. Baron Maurice de Hirsch, a German philanthropist, purchased 5,300 acres of land in 1891 (in what was then Dennis Township) to provide a home for Jewish immigrants, where they could farm and live as a community in peace. The immigrants cleared forests for their farmland and started the Baron De Hirsch Agricultural College in 1894. The college closed after World War I, and the community grew to be a factory town. This entire timeline of the town’s development is on view at the museum, which is housed in the Woodbine Brotherhood Synagogue. Holocaust survivors frequently speak at the museum, so students of all ages can get a powerful education in tolerance and acceptance at the workshops offered.

How to visit: The museum is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm for drop-ins. You can also call to schedule a group tour.

August 2016
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