8 Oldest Buildings in South Jersey
Being one of the thirteen original colonies of the United States, New Jersey is home to many buildings that date back as far as the 1600s.
New Jersey was originally settled by the Lenni-Lanape, a native American tribe, then the Dutch came and were the first Europeans to settle in New Jersey. Later on, New Jersey became an English territory 1664.
The surviving buildings of the time have now become important landmarks and historical sites, so check them out here and get a feel of what it was like to live in colonial New Jersey.
Located on Shore Road in Somers Point, NJ, it is the oldest intact house in Atlantic County. It was built by Richard Somers, the oldest son of John Somers, in 1725. The Somers family had a a great influence in the creation of South Jersey. They owned a 3,000 acres of land in 1695, which is now known as Somers Point & Linwood. The mansion stayed in the Somers family until 1937. It is now a State Historic Site administered by the Division of Parks and Forestry, Department of Environmental Protection.
Revell House is the oldest house in Burlington County. It was built by George Hutchinson in 1685, and then sold it to Thomas Revell who used it as his office between 1696-1699. Fun fact: it is also known as the Gingerbread house! Why? Because this was where a local Burlington woman sold Benjamin Franklin ginger bread and invited him over to her house to eat supper.
Burlington County Prison is possibly oldest prison building in Burlington County. It was in use from 1811-1965. What’s interesting about this prison is that it’s design was influenced by prisoner rehabilitation. Robert Mills, the architect of the prison, placed this motto on the door: “Justice Which, While it Punishes, Would Endeavor to Reform the Offender.”
Chew-Powell House, located in the Blenheim section of Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ, is oldest house in Camden County. James Whitall built this house in 1688. What is considered the oldest cemetery in the entire township, the Chew-Powell-Wallens Burying Ground is located right next to the house. Early settlers, soldiers of the Revolutionary & Civil Wars, and Lenni Lenape Natives are buried here.
Coxe Hall Cottage was built in 1691 by Daniel Coxe and was originally located in Lower Township. It was relocated and reconstructed in Cold Spring Village in 2006. The cottage is known as the oldest known surviving building in Cape May County. During it’s time, it served as a place to hold church services, conduct court, and pay land rents.
C.A. Nothnagle Log House is supposedly one of the oldest surviving log houses in the U.S., and the oldest house in all of New Jersey, and Gloucester County specifically. It was built by Benjamin Braman in the mid-1600s.
Obisquahassit is the oldest house in Salem County. Obisquahassit was the name of the Lenni Lenape chief who sold the land to Anders Seneca, a Swedish settler in 1675. The Seneca (Sinnickson) family owned the home for 300 years while making renovations along the way. It is located in Pennsville, NJ.
The Old Salem County Courthouse is the oldest courthouse in New Jersey that is still being used today. It is also the second oldest active courthouse in all of the United States.