Almost dead center in Burlington County, you will discover Springfield Township. It’s a small residential farming community incorporated in 1688. The township stretches to over 30 square miles.
Old Upper Springfield Township Friends Burying Ground
Wrightstown, Burlington County, NJ
This burial place and meeting house are located on a dirt road in Springfield Township. The meeting house was constructed in 1727 and is now used as a private home. The home is so well-kept that my Yummy pals and I, thought it was a much newer construction.
The meeting house was built at the intersection of two ancient American Indian trails. The meeting house is one of the oldest in all of Burlington County. Early Quaker settlers worshipped here and lay at rest on the grounds. Both features were added to the National Historic Registry.
Petticoat Bridge Road
Springfield (on the border of Mansfield), Burlington County, NJ
I feel so pretty at Petticoat Bridge. Oh so pretty and witty…
A long, long, time ago across the South Jersey galactic universe, on December 23, 1776, George Washington issued orders to his inferiors to try and attempt to pull the Hessians southward from Trenton.
There were approximately 600 Americans stationed under Colonel Samuel Griffin in nearby Mt. Holly and his troops attacked a Hessian outpost in this vicinity on December 21st. Over 3,000 Hessians that were quartered in Burlington County retaliated against the attack.
The Hessians marched towards Petticoat Bridge on December 23rd. The Hessians were met with a bombardment of gunfire. A short skirmish between the Americans and Hessians ensued. The Americans retreated to Mt. Holly, further luring the Hessians from Trenton. Washington’s strategy worked.
Presently, The bridge location is all that remains. Only a roadside marker dictates the history into what happened here centuries ago. However, it’s a serene little spot, covered under trees a small stream trickles underneath the Petticoat Bridge.
Revolutionary War Hospital
Springfield, Burlington County, New Jersey
Shortly up the road, from the Petticoat Bridge, is this beautiful brick baby. The home was built in 1775 and its date is marked on the east gable. It is a classic South Jersey Flemish bond design.
The structure was constructed to function as a place of worship by the Springfield Friends (Quakers) as a Meetinghouse, but boy, how things can change in just a short year’s time.
On the same day as the Petticoat skirmish (mentioned above), December 23, 1776, this building was used as a hospital. The wounded Hessians used this meeting house as a hospital for the injured involved in the skirmish. Apparently, a bloody handprint is manifested and preserved in the loft of the home. Pretty spooky, I must say. Hey, perfect time for Halloween.
Sidenote: This house is private please be respectful and view from the street.
Our Next stop…
Animal Kingdom Zoo
1800 Jacksonville-Jobstown Road
Bordentown, Burlington County, New Jersey
On the same road, as the Revolutionary War hospital, is the Animal Kingdom Zoo. This zoo has had some tragedy within the last few years. Two major fires occurred within 6 months apart and killed a few animals such as giraffes. A handful of exhibits were destroyed and unfortunately, even the owner’s wife perished in the first fire.
Animal Kingdom was once a destination where many families visited for over 30 years. Animal Kingdom housed rare and extinct species of animals, which made this little zoo quite special and a spectacle to see. The owner was motivated to restore the zoo back to its glory after the devastating fires, but other violations, codes to abide by and pending lawsuits have forced its closure to the public.
The property is currently listed up for sale for 2.4 million dollars. Some animals have been sold off to other zoos. If you happen to drive by, you may still get a glimpse of a giraffe and a few other species that still call Animal Kingdom their home.
Nonetheless, memories will be cherished for years to come and hopefully, hey, maybe someone will purchase and restore the property….. Just like in the movie, ” “We Bought a Zoo.” Btw, isn’t that a fantastic movie?
Until our next adventure, my friends!