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Thursday, August 23, 2012


I pass by this very site each week as I visit my daughter down in tabernacle, NJ. The landscape has changed somewhat over the years, but the area adjacent to that Chevy parked along the highway will not change; it is the creek. This particular section of route 206 has an interesting bit of Revolutionary War history surrounding it. Back in Colonial times, there was a drawbridge across the creek and a skirmish took place between the rebels and the King's foot soldiers. I have searched antiquarian newspapers for details but thus far have found nothing except contemporary records. I'm still looking.


Anonymous said...

As a nice 1949 Ford cruises by Ray Londahl's "Live Bait & Boats". That was a nice place to fish before the Hamilton sewage plant went in. A few miles south across from Columbus would take you past an old airport and scrap yard owned by a former WWII decorated bomber pilot. His name was Mihalik or "Mihalchek". He had all sorts of military scrap from dirigible gondolas, planes to steam engines and cars.

Ed Millerick

Bob Chianese said...


This is just south of the White Horse Circle, some of my childhood stomping grounds, forbidden but nonetheless, explored. I was 8 in 1950 and roved endlessly in these nearby waterways and woods. Crosswicks was scary because it was deep and wide but that whole area had marvels for a boy--Revolutionary or Civil War munition mounds, archeologists digging for Native American sites, cat walks, wire bridges, old guys living in the woods, and plenty of turtles and toads to take home for the winter. It was also a place of myth, where we searched for the New Jersey Devil.

I will indulge your site, Tom, with a poem I wrote about the Hamilton Marsh at the mouth of Crosswicks Creek after visiting it many years later :

Freeway over Duck Island Marsh
by Robert Louis Chianese

I know I should sing
“Oh lost world!”
“Oh pierced wild heart!”
when new highways slash through boggy ground.

But the trestle's thick foot
opens a slough
in the inland marsh
that has not run for years.

Fresh currents rip from the Delaware;
upflows swirl and cross.
The far Atlantic tide again
soothes the channel's rough throat.

A gray deer splashes through, hallelujah!
redwings guard
their bright made boxes,
frogs lay froth on greener reeds.

I walked here for years in childhood,
knew its shallow shores,
heard its weepy lap lap lap
when snappers dove the stagnant shadows,

and the marsh lay sick and sleeping,
waiting for the bridge to flush out
cattails, blue flags, and broad skunk cabbage
under sleek, zooming, oblivious cars.


John Fabiano said...

Before daylight on the morning of the 23rd of June, 1778, large party of light troops (foot) through Bordentown and out the White Horse or Trenton Road to the drawbridge. At this time all the Continental troops were north of the Crosswicks , though but few on the line of it. The First Burlington Regiment, Colonel William Shreve and the First Hunterdon Regiment, Colonel Joseph Philips, were stationed to guard Watson’s Ford, where the Camden and Amboy Railroad crosses the Creek, and the Regiments of Colonel Frederic Frelinghuysen, Henry Vandike and John Webster remained to hold the bridge. General Dickinson had some redoubts thrown up north of the bridge, and the flooring had been removed and the draw raised. Under cover of darkness the light troops approached and, having ripped the planks and weather boards from a neighboring barn, proceeded with zeal to repair the bridge. The militia got under arms and double quicked to the bridge, but the picket who had been stationed there opened upon the enemy with such spirit as to drive them back with the loss of four killed and several wounded. The militia remained under arms the balance of the night and most of the day but no further attempt was then made to seize the bridge. The position at the bridge is a most excellent on, as is the line of Crosswicks Creek generally on either side for defense. If General Washington, then marching to intercept the movement of the British to New York, could have taken position on the north bank of this creek, he would have had a much more advantageous position than at Monmouth, and a prolonged battle of maneuvering and detached fighting would probably had taken place before the enemy could have forced a passage over one of the few fords, or turned the left of the position near the Pines. [Excerpt from Mt.Holly Herald 7/19/1924]

Tom Glover said...

Fabulous account of that little know skirmish, John Fabiano. Thank you very much for adding a detailed account. Comments such as yours add immeasurably to the value of this website.

Tom Glover

Tom Glover said...