See Over 40 Historic Sites: 26-30
Burlington, once the Capital of West Jersey, and third largest port in the New World. Try it for your next family vacation day trip, or bring your seniors group. Come and see...
Family home of educators emeritus.
213 Wood Street
This house is undoubtedly the oldest building in Burlington County, and one of the oldest residences in New Jersey. It was constructed in 1685 by George Hutchinson, a wealthy Quaker distiller, and sold to Thomas Revell who used the house as an office from 1696 to 1699.
Tradition places this as the home where Benjamin Franklin was sold gingerbread and given supper by a friendly Burlington woman on his way to Philadelphia. Thus, it is sometimes called the Gingerbread House. In Bens own words from his Journal:
...and got in the evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington,..., and the next morning reachd Burlington, but had the mortification to find that the regular boats were gone a little before my coming, and no other expected to go before Tuesday, this being Saturday; wherefore I returned to an old woman in the town, of whom I had bought gingerbread to eat on the water, and askd her advice. She invited me to lodge at her house till a passage by water should offer; and being tired with my foot travelling, I accepted the invitation. She understanding I was a printer, would have had me stay at that town and follow my business, being ignorant of the stock necessary to begin with. She was very hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox-cheek with great good will, accepting only a pot of ale in return; and I thought myself fixed till Tuesday should come. However, walking in the evening by the side of the river, a boat came by, which I found was going towards Philadelphia, with several people in her. They took me in, and, as there was no wind, we rowd all the way;...
A juried crafts fair, the Wood Street Fair, is held annually, the first Saturday after Labor Day, for the upkeep of this historic home. The popular Fair is sponsored by Colonial Burlington Foundation.
Henry Grubb operated the first tavern in Burlington and his family was later involved in mining and manufacturing. This estate contained a tannery, a brewery and a brickyard.
The Grubbs were abolitionists and reportedly built tunnels under their home to the river to hide slaves, as noted in the Underground Railroad Tour.
Edward B. Grubb, his grandson, was a Civil War General and Ambassador to Spain and built the two Victorian-style homes. See his marble portrait bust in the Library Company of Burlington, discover more about his valorous exploits in Military Masters.
Early 19th century home of Judge Edward Shippen typifies the elegant houses lining the Riverbank, often used as summer retreats from the poisonous confines of Philadelphia. Daughter Peggy Shippen married famous traitor Benedict Arnold.
The waterfront area derives its name from Green Bank, the estate of Gov. William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin and last Royal Governor of New Jersey. His politics opposed those of his father, unto death.
Across Talbot Street is Stone Cottage, a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture designed by architect William Strickland, the home of Cortlandt van Rensselaer, founder of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington.
Inland side of Riverbank, west of Wood Street
On this site, the ship Shield, came to Burlington and tied up to a large buttonwood tree on December 10, 1678. Legend states it was so cold that overnight the river froze, and the passengers walked ashore on the ice. The “Shield” of Stockton was the first ship to navigate the Delaware River from the Atlantic Ocean to Burlington, setting the stage for Burlington’s eventual emergence as the third largest port in the New World. In the distance, you can see the truncated V.F.W. Building which, in the eighteenth century, was the location of Green Bank mansion, home of the Royal Governor William Franklin, son of patriot Benjamin Franklin.
Tours vary from 1 1/2 to 3 hours (2 to 3 miles), depending on pace and route. Tours may be modified. Special Interest Tours are listed in Ready, Set, Tour. Some sites have stairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
Print our Map to Historic Sites to locate Sites by number. Call 609-386-0200 or 386-4773 to arrange a group tour guide, or request a free Tour Guide & Map Brochure showing all 44 sites with map.