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The Cumberland County Historical Society is very excited to announce that the Potter’s Tavern will be open on Sunday, July 22nd and Sunday, July 29th between the hours of 1 – 4 P.M.  We hope you will join us for a tour of this historical building and explore one of the County’s oldest preserved landmarks.  The Tavern is located at 51 West Broad Street, Bridgeton.

Tavern keeper, Matthew Potter, Jr. came to Bridgeton from Philadelphia and opened the tavern in 1773.  It became a favorite meeting place for the local young men just before the Revolutionary War.  Today, it is one of New Jersey’s most significant historical shrines and is an excellent example of the type of frame houses built in New Jersey during the 17th and 18th century.  It was here that the Plain Dealer, Cumberland County’s pioneer newspaper, was published for the purpose of supporting the drive for American liberty from the Crown rule.  The fact that Matthew Potter gave a home to the Plain Dealer placed him in personal danger, risking a charge of treason during this time. The distinguished historian, John T. Cunningham, said that the fact the Plain Dealer appeared every Tuesday morning probably made it New Jersey’s first regular “newspaper.”

There were sundry topics in this weekly manuscript that were contributed by members of a Bridgeton literary association.  Some of the leading citizens who wrote articles included Dr. Jonathan Elmer, Dr. Lewis Howell, Richard Howell, Ebenezer Elmer, Joseph Bloomfield and Thomas Harris, Jr.  (Note:  Richard Howell and Joseph Bloomfield later became governors of New Jersey.)

If you have any questions, please call the office of the Cumberland County Historical Society at 856-455-8580.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S SITES TO SEE AND VISIT ALONG YE GREATE STREET IN GREENWICH

·       1730 Gibbon House – This well-preserved townhouse was erected by Nicholas Gibbon, who built his home in the village because it was convenient for his shipping business.  The house is an excellent example of Flemish bond patterned brick work, with red and blue alternating headers and stretchers forming the pattern and a pent-roof. (Hours open: Tuesday through Sunday – 1 to 4 p.m.  Closed January, February and March.)

·       Cumberland County Log Granary – When the granary was built, this part of South Jersey was known as New Sweden.  It is said to be the oldest agricultural building in the United States.  (Same hours as the Gibbon House.)

·       1930 Red Barn Museum – On display are items once used in the homes, farms and industries of Cumberland County.  (Same hours as the Gibbon House.)

·       Warren and Reba Lummis Genealogical & Historical Library – This modern building (1969) was constructed in an authentic colonial style in order to harmonize with the other buildings on Ye Great Street.  The decorative spikes on the slate roof prevent snow or ice from sliding off the roof. Originally built as a bank, the building is now owned by the Society and houses its genealogical library and many documents pertinent to the county’s history.  (Hours open: Wednesday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday – 1 to 4 p.m.)

·       1852 John DuBois Maritime Museum – This museum is home to an extraordinary collection of South Jersey Maritime artifacts collected by John DuBois.  Visitors can step back in time and learn of Greenwich’s rich maritime history.  It provides a look at the water industry that flourished in the area until the Second World War.  Exhibits include models of oyster boats that once plied the bay.  (Hours open: April through mid-December – Sundays only 1 – 4 p.m.)

·       Alan Ewing Carman Museum of Prehistory in Cumberland County – This museum is home to the Archeological American Indian and Fossil Collection of Alan Ewing Carman.  They were collected over fifty-one years of field work.  (Hours open:  Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday – 1 to 4 p.m.  Closed January, February and March.)

·       1908 Tea Burners’ Monument – The monument was erected in 1908 to commemorate the burning of tea in protest of the hated British Tea Tax.  No event in the history of Cumberland County has received such recognition or has been so highly honored as this act on the part of the young patriots whose names are listed on the monument.

OTHER SITES IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY MANAGED BY THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Cumberland County Liberty Bell – located in the Cumberland County Courthouse, Broad Street, Bridgeton, New Jersey

Potter’s Tavern – located on Broad Street in Bridgeton, New Jersey (Open on July 4th each year.)

Old Stone Church – located in Fairfield Township, Bridgeton, New Jersey

Additional information on front page.