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Burlington County will distribute guide to local Black historic sites

Special to The Sun
Another site in the updated Burlington County guide is Jacobs Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mount Laurel. It was among the first African Methodist Episcopal churches in the United States and its cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds for African Americans in New Jersey.

Burlington County is celebrating Black History Month with the release of a new tour guide of notable African American historical sites.

The 28-page Burlington County African American Historic Sites Tour Guide is an update to one that was first created in 1998 by the Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Department and Advisory Committee. It spotlights 19 historic sites located across nine municipalities, including:

  • Burlington Island – one of the earliest places in New Jersey where Black enslaved people were brought.
  • Oliver Cromwell House in Burlington City – Oliver Cromwell was a decorated Revolutionary War soldier who served under General George Washington
  • The Dr. James Historic Office and Education Center in Medford – Dr. James Still, the largely self-taught physician who became renown “Black Doctor of the Pines” due to his successful medical practice and natural herbal remedies.

Three of the sites in the guide are new additions that were not listed in the original 1998 pamphlet. They are: The Underground Railroad Museum of Burlington County in Eastampton, and the William F. Powell Monument and the Richard Watson Gilder House, which are both in Bordentown.

The guide’s update coincides with a statewide effort to preserve and showcase sites important to Black history, heritage and culture through the creation a New Jersey Black Heritage Trail. The New Jersey Historical Commission is currently accepting nominations for the first markers for the trail.

Applications can be found online at https://nj.gov/state/historical/his-black-heritage-trail.shtml and are due on Friday, March 8.

Copies of the Burlington County African American Historic Sites Tour Guide are available online on the Burlington County Commissioners page: https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/201/Board-of-County-Commissioners. Paper copies will also be printed and distributed by the county.

For more information, contact the Burlington County Public Information Office at (609) 265-5020.

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