Beach Hill Road, National Park
My most ever so fabulous… South Jerseyans….. are aware of the history behind National Park, New Jersey… you know… the incredible stories of Jonas Cattell and Fort Mercer. I have written about all these stories and the history up here on this blog, but a lot of folks aren’t aware of this really unique and beautiful spot along the Delaware River and no, not the National Historic site where the Whithall House is located…. This place is called, Beach Hill.
I’ll give you a bit of background of the area… Formally called, Red Bank… In 1895, the area was commercially developed as National Park on the Delaware, a religious retreat/ camp meeting for members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this timeframe, the toponym “National Park” was first used. According, to my buddy, Jerseyman.
Reverend James Lake was responsible creating this organization as a summer Christian resort. The area had a large auditorium and cottages for the summer attendees. Reverend Lake formed the National Park Navigation Company in 1896 for transporting folks to these retreats.Most of the people attending these meetings came by the famous steamboats that once graced the Delaware River, by trolley, or even by wagon. The area near the playground is where the cottages once stood.
In 1898, the National Park Amusement Company provided entertainment for attendees of the camp. Most of the time, it was not all fun and games as these meetings were met with prayer, bible study, and worship.My favorite local South Jersey Irish guy, Billy “the Duke” Thompson, extended his Camden, Gloucester, & Woodbury Railway trolley tracks to National Park in 1900. In 1902, a group of investors formed the National Park Improvement Company… and it was in this time frame on April 15, 1902, National Park was formed as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature from portions of West Deptford.
Gah! Did I bore you to death yet? I hope not!I love exploring the area and I love this little nook on the Delaware River! Often times, you can come here to search for sea glass that has washed ashore! You’ll spot friendly fisherman and enjoy strolling along the pebbled beach. It’s also a great location to watch the planes coming and going from the Philadelphia Airport and a nifty spot to watch the sunset. I urge you to check it out. It’s something you most-often don’t see on maps and that the locals know of… After a day at Soupy Island, if you decide to check that rocking place out this summer, check this place out! It’s right down the road.. You may see Bambi as I did! Thanks Jerseyman for your help with this!
As summer is here… I will be posting more and more often on some really neat spots you have to check out in our South Jersey backyard!
Until our next adventure, my friends!
Please don’t knock me for my writing… as this is a blog… I stopped enjoying what I love to do and took time off here because of it… I’m only here to show you great sites!!! I’m getting back here on this blog and going to do what I love to do.. and that is showcasing my beautiful South Jersey through my own eyes! I am a little rusty at writing.. so please bear with me… Until then… stay tuned! You’re going to love what I will be posting!!! Hope it gives you something to do this summer!
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