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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Way-finding in Historic Mount Holly, New Jersey

Mount Holly is a historic community located just 3 miles southeast of the New Jersey Turnpike off of Exit 5. Mount Holly was first settled by Quakers in 1677. Colonel Samuel Griffen established himself on Iron Works Hill during the Revolutionary War. Two thousands Hessians engaged in a three day-long artillery battle, allowing George Washington to cross the Delaware River and win the Battle of Trenton days later. Architect Robert Mills is responsible for helping build a County prison around 1819. As mills and dye-shops shut down after World War II, Mount Holly began to feel the effect. This was offset somewhat by increased employment with Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base. Military base downsizing following the Vietnam conflict presented further challenges for Mount Holly.

White Street, south of Washington Street, has an assortment of historic buildings and shops situated on a narrow street with prominent overhead entrance sign. Other way-finding signs are located throughout the community, directing people to sites including County Offices & Courts, the Historic Prison Museum, Mount Holly Library, and the One Room Schoolhouse.

Burlington County College has a facility downtown, occupying space in what appears to be a former bank building.

Mt. Holly's Relief Fire Company No. 1 is the oldest continuously serving volunteer fire company in the United States. Founded on July 11, 1752 as "Britannia" they later changed their name. The original firehouse built in 1752 sits next to the current firehouse built in 1895.

Mount Holly was designated a Main Street community by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The program has won awards from the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society for landscaping of Fountain Square, and from First Night International for programming events and sculptural exhibits.

Way-finding sign directing visitors to sites in Mount Holly.

Marker designating City Hall & Jail

The present-day Mill St. Hotel and Tavern appears to have been made from joining together of several buildings over time. A rubble stone veneer on the side elevation, has a brick gable directly overhead. The building then appears to have been expanded upwards and to the rear.

"Red Mens Hall Imporium", 1886, has handsome frontispiece and cornice detail.

This metal roof with segmental arch dormer is typical of historic architectural details throughout Mount Holly.

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