Bordentown, New Jersey

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For the township, see Bordentown Township, New Jersey.
Bordentown, New Jersey
City
City of Bordentown
The City of Bordentown highlighted in Burlington County. Inset map: Burlington County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
The City of Bordentown highlighted in Burlington County. Inset map: Burlington County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bordentown, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Bordentown, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°08′59″N 74°42′28″W / 40.149824°N 74.707642°W / 40.149824; -74.707642Coordinates: 40°08′59″N 74°42′28″W / 40.149824°N 74.707642°W / 40.149824; -74.707642[1][2]
Country  United States of America
State  New Jersey
County Burlington
Incorporated December 9, 1825 (as borough)
Reincorporated April 3, 1867 (as city)
Government[6]
 • Type Walsh Act
 • Mayor Joseph R. Malone III (term ends May 14, 2017)[3][4]
 • Clerk Patricia D. Ryan[5]
Area[1][7]
 • Total 0.968 sq mi (2.507 km2)
 • Land 0.929 sq mi (2.407 km2)
 • Water 0.039 sq mi (0.100 km2)  3.99%
Area rank 503rd of 566 in state
36th of 40 in county[1]
Elevation[8] 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2010 Census)[9][10][11]
 • Total 3,924
 • Estimate (2013)[12] 3,914
 • Rank 415th of 566 in state
31st of 40 in county[13]
 • Density 4,222.3/sq mi (1,630.2/km2)
 • Density rank 142nd of 566 in state
4th of 40 in county[13]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08505[14][15]
Area code(s) 609 exchanges: 291, 298, 324, 424[16]
FIPS code 3400506670[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID 0885165[1][19]
Website www.cityofbordentown.com

Bordentown is a city in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 3,924.[9][10][10] The population declined by 45 (-1.1%) from the 3,969 counted in the 2000 U.S. Census, which had in turn declined by 372 (-8.6%) from the 4,341 counted in the 1990 Census.[20]

Bordentown is located at the confluence of the Delaware River, Blacks Creek and Crosswicks Creek. The latter is the border between Burlington and Mercer Counties. Bordentown is 5.8 miles (9.3 km) southeast from Trenton and 25.3 miles (40.7 km) northeast of Philadelphia.

Bordentown was originally incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on December 9, 1825, from portions within Chesterfield Township. It was reincorporated as a city on April 3, 1867, and separated from Chesterfield Township c. 1877.[21]

History[edit]

Thomas Farnsworth, an English Quaker, was credited with being the first European settler in the Bordentown area in 1682, when he moved his family up river from Burlington. He made a new home on the windswept bluff overlooking the broad bend in the Delaware River. The Farnsworth's cabin was situated near the northwest corner of Park Street and Prince Street, perhaps where an 1883 frame house now stands. "Farnsworth Landing" soon became the center of trade for the region.[22] Farnsworth is also the namesake of one of Bordentown's main street, Farnsworth Avenue.

Joseph Borden, for whom the town is named, arrived in 1717, and by May 1740 founded a transportation system to carry people and freight between New York City and Philadelphia. This exploited Bordentown's natural location as the point on the Delaware River that provided the shortest overland route to Perth Amboy, from which cargo and people could be ferried to New York City.[23]

Clara Barton School

By 1776, Bordentown was full of patriots. Patience Lovell Wright, America's first female sculptor, was creating wax busts in King George's court in England. Later, however, Bordentown became a rabble-rousing hotbed. In addition to Joseph Borden's son (also named Joseph Borden), who became a colonel during the war, patriots Francis Hopkinson (a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence), Colonel Kirkbride, Colonel Oakey Hoagland and Thomas Paine resided in the area. Due to their well-published activity in Bordentown, the British retaliated. Hessians occupied the town in 1776, and the British pillaged and razed the town during May and June 1778.[24]

Other notable residents included Clara Barton who in 1852 started the first free public school in New Jersey and later founded the American Red Cross.[25] A recreation of her schoolhouse stands at the corner of Crosswicks and Burlington streets.[26]

The Bordentown School operated from 1894 to 1955.

Joseph Bonaparte[edit]

Former Bonaparte mansion, after its remodeling
Original entrance of Bonaparte tunnel entrance

Several years after the banishing of his family from France in 1816, arriving under vigilant disguise as the Count de Survilliers, Joseph Bonaparte, former King of Naples and Spain and brother to Napoleon I of France, established his residence in Bordentown. He lived there for 17 years, entertaining guests of great fame such as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and the future 6th U.S. President, John Quincy Adams. The residents of Bordentown nicknamed the Count, "The Good Mr. Bonaparte" (Good to distinguish him from his younger brother). He built a lake near the mouth of Crosswicks Creek that was about 200 yards wide and half a mile long. On the bluff above it he built a new home, "Point Breeze".[27] The current Divine Word Mission occupies its former site along Park Street.[28]

Today only vestiges of the Bonaparte estate remain. Much of it is actually the remains of a building remodeled in English Georgian Revival style in 1924 for Harris Hammon, who purchased the estate at Point Breeze as built in 1850 by Henry Becket, a British consul in Philadelphia. In addition to the rubble of this mansion and some hedges of its elaborate gardens, only the original tunnel to the river (broken through in several places) and the house of Bonaparte's secretary remain. Many descendants of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, also were born or lived in Bordentown, having followed their uncle Joseph there. After the Bonaparte dynasty was restored by Napoleon III, they moved back to France and were recognized as princes.

In August 1831, master mechanic Isaac Dripps of Bordentown re-assembled (without blueprints or instructions) the locomotive John Bull (originally called "The Stevens") in just 10 days. It was built by Robert Stephenson and Company, in England, and was imported into Philadelphia by the Camden and Amboy Railroad. The next year it started limited service, and the year after that regular service, to become one of the first successful locomotives in the United States. The John Bull is preserved at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.[29]

In 1866, Susan Waters moved into what is now one of the larger properties on Mary Street. This was a base from which she taught and produced over 50 of her works, many of which are painting of animals in natural settings and pastoral scenes. She was also an early photographer. In 1876 she was asked to exhibit several of her works at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.[30]

In 1881, Rev. William Bowen purchased the old Spring Villa Female Seminary building (built on land purchased from the Bonapartes in 1837) and reopened it as the Bordentown Military Institute. In 1886, African-American Rev. Walter A. Rice established a private school for African-American children, the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth, in a two-story house at 60 West Street, which later moved to Walnut Street on the banks of the Delaware, and became a public school in 1894 under Jim Crow laws. The school, which was known as the Bordentown School, came to have a 400-acre (1.6 km2), 30-building campus with two farms, a vocational/ technical orientation, and a college preparatory program.[31]

In 1909, the religious order Poor Clares established a convent in the former Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy on Crosswicks Street. The building still stands and is used as an assisted living home for non-ambulatory elderly, called The Clare Estate. The Order of Poor Clares moved to a new facility outside Bordentown City.[32]

The city has become a destination for weekend dining as well as for the casual perusal of its book stores, historical sites and art galleries. The active downtown business association sponsors an annual Iris Festival & Art Show in early May, an annual Street Fair in mid- to late May, and an annual Cranberry Festival in early October. The Bordentown Historical Society sponsors other events, such as the Holiday House Tour and Peach Social.[33]

Geography[edit]

Bordentown city is located at 40°08′59″N 74°42′28″W / 40.149824°N 74.707642°W / 40.149824; -74.707642 (40.149824,-74.707642). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 0.968 square miles (2.507 km2), of which, 0.929 square miles (2.407 km2) of it was land and 0.039 square miles (0.100 km2) of it (3.99%) was water.[1][2]

The City of Bordentown is surrounded on three sides by Bordentown Township and on the western side by the juncture of the Delaware River and Crosswicks Creek, which is the border with Hamilton Township in Mercer County. It is bounded on the east by U.S. Route 130 and U.S. Route 206, on the south by Black's Creek and Interstate 295, and on the north by the Mile Hollow Run. Across the Delaware River is Falls Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The former 40-acre Parklands dump brownfield site is being transformed to a solar array by PSEG.[34]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,725
1860 1,130 −58.5%
1880 4,258
1890 4,232 −0.6%
1900 4,110 −2.9%
1910 4,250 3.4%
1920 4,371 2.8%
1930 4,405 0.8%
1940 4,223 −4.1%
1950 5,497 30.2%
1960 4,974 −9.5%
1970 4,490 −9.7%
1980 4,441 −1.1%
1990 4,341 −2.3%
2000 3,969 −8.6%
2010 3,924 −1.1%
Est. 2013 3,914 [12][35] −0.3%
Population sources: 1850-2000[36]
1850-1920[37] 1850-1870[38]
1850[39] 1870[40] 1880-1890[41]
1890-1910[42] 1910-1930[43]
1930-1990[44] 2000[45][46] 2010[9][10][11]

Census 2010[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,924 people, 1,859 households, and 922.1 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,222.3 per square mile (1,630.2/km2). There were 2,014 housing units at an average density of 2,167.1 per square mile (836.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.51% (3,277) White, 10.12% (397) Black or African American, 0.20% (8) Native American, 2.73% (107) Asian, 0.03% (1) Pacific Islander, 1.17% (46) from other races, and 2.24% (88) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.81% (228) of the population.[9]

There were 1,859 households, of which 21.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 41.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.91.[9]

In the city, 18.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.3 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $66,557 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,567) and the median family income was $90,165 (+/- $11,644). Males had a median income of $52,652 (+/- $10,201) versus $48,906 (+/- $9,108) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $36,814 (+/- $3,714). About 1.7% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.[47]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 3,969 people, 1,757 households, and 989 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,303.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,665.7/km2). There were 1,884 housing units at an average density of 2,042.8 per square mile (790.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.25% White, 13.08% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.91% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 2.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.82% of the population.[45][46]

There were 1,757 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.7% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.93.[45][46]

In the city the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.[45][46]

The median income for a household in the city was $47,279, and the median income for a family was $59,872. Males had a median income of $39,909 versus $31,780 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,882. About 4.0% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.[45][46]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Bordentown has been governed under the Walsh Act since 1913, with a government consisting of three commissioners, one of whom is selected to serve as Mayor. Each commissioner is assigned a specific department to oversee during their term in office. Members are elected to four-year concurrent terms in office in non-partisan elections held in May.[48][6]

As of 2014, Bordentown's commissioners are Mayor Joseph R. Malone, III (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance) Deputy Mayor James E. Lynch, Jr. (Commissioner of Public Affairs and Public Safety) and Zigmont Targonski (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property), all serving terms of office that end in May 2017.[3][49][50][51]

Environmental Commission[edit]

The Bordentown City Environmental Commission (BCEC) is a volunteer group of Bordentown City residents. The Commission is an official body, and its chair answers to the Mayor. The BCEC advises local officials and the Planning Board regarding environmental issues and is a watchdog for environmental problems and opportunities. It is designed to inform elected officials and the public, serve on committees, research issues, develop educational programs and advocate for sound environmental policies. Local issues include preservation of open space, promoting walking and bicycling trails and the River Line, protection of wetlands and water quality, recycling and energy conservation, and environmental education.[52]

The BCEC's most current efforts have focuses upon a bicycle and pedestrian circulation study, the City's open space plan, and the development of a set of local greenways (Thorntown and Black Creek).

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Bordentown City is located in the 3rd Congressional District[53] and is part of New Jersey's 7th state legislative district.[10][54][55] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Bordentown City had been in the 30th state legislative district.[56] Prior to the 2010 Census, Bordentown City had been part of the 4th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[56]

New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Jon Runyan (R, Mount Laurel Township).[57] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[58][59] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).[60][61]

The 7th district of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Diane Allen (R, Edgewater Park Township) and in the General Assembly by Herb Conaway (D, Delanco Township) and Troy Singleton (D, Palmyra).[62] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[63] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[64]

Burlington County is governed by a Board of chosen freeholders, whose five members are elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year.[65] The board chooses a director and deputy director from among its members at an annual reorganization meeting held in January.[65] As of 2014, Burlington County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio (R, 2014; Florence Township),[66] Deputy Director Joseph Howarth (R, 2014; Evesham Township)[67] Aimee Belgard (D, 2015; Edgewater Park Township),[68] Joseph B. Donnelly (R, 2016; Cinnaminson Township)[69] and Joanne Schwartz (D, 2015; Southampton Township).[70][65][71] Gargiano was named in March 2014 to serve the unexpired term of Leah Arter and was chosen to fill her position as Freeholder Director.[72]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Public school students in Kindergarten through twelfth grades attend the schools of the Bordentown Regional School District, which serves students from Bordentown City, Bordentown Township and Fieldsboro Borough.[73] As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's five schools had an enrollment of 2,196 students and 171.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.79:1.[74] Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[75]) are Clara Barton Elementary School[76] (251 students; grades K-3), Peter Muschal Elementary School[77] (613; K-3), MacFarland Intermediate School[78] (312; 4-5), Bordentown Regional Middle School[79] (468; 6-8) and Bordentown Regional High School[80] (552; 9-12).[81][82]

The New Hanover Township School District, consisting of New Hanover Township (including its Cookstown area) and Wrightstown Borough, sends students to Bordentown Regional High School on a tuition basis for grades 9-12 as part of a sending/receiving relationship that has been in place since the 1960s, with about 50 students from the New Hanover district being sent to the high school.[83][84] As of 2011, the New Hanover district was considering expansion of its relationship to send students to Bordentown for middle school for grades 6-8.[85]

Students from Bordentown, and from all of Burlington County, are eligible to attend the Burlington County Institute of Technology, a countywide public school district that serves the vocational and technical education needs of students at the high school and post-secondary level at its campuses in Medford and Westampton Township.[86]

Private schools[edit]

Saint Mary School was a Catholic school serving students in Pre-K - 8, that operated for over 100 years under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.[87] The school closed its doors in June 2013 due to the school's financial challenges in the face of enrollment that was half of the 220 students needed to remain financially viable.[88]

The Bordentown Military Institute was located in the city from 1881 to 1972.[89][90] The Society of the Divine Word fathers operated a minor seminary in Bordentown from 1947 to 1983.[91] One of its more notable alumni Douglas Palmer was the four-term mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, leaving office in 2009.[92]

Transportation[edit]

As of 2010, the city had a total of 12.73 miles (20.49 km) of roadways, of which 10.09 miles (16.24 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.25 miles (3.62 km) by Burlington County and 0.39 miles (0.63 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[93]

U.S. Route 130 and U.S. Route 206 run through very briefly and intersect at County Route 528 in the city.[94] The New Jersey Turnpike is outside in neighboring Bordentown Township with access at Interchange 7 to U.S. Route 206, which is signed as Bordentown-Trenton.[95] Interstate 295 (which may not pass through) has two interchanges that take travelers into Bordentown: Exit 57 and Exit 56.

Public transportation[edit]

The Bordentown station at Park Street[96] offers service between the Trenton Rail Station in Trenton and the Walter Rand Transportation Center (and other stations) in Camden, on New Jersey Transit's River Line Light rail system.[97]

New Jersey Transit provides bus service in the township between Trenton and Philadelphia on the 409 route.[98][99]

Commerce[edit]

Downtown Bordentown has many book and antique stores lining its streets, with Italian and American restaurants. The restaurants are primarily Italian, but there are also restaurants and diners that specialize in American food, Chinese food, and more recently Japanese and Latin-American food.[100]

Bordentown City's one square mile is home to at least 10 houses of worship, including: American Presbyterian Church, B’nai Abraham Synagogue, Christ Episcopal Church, Ebenezer Full Gospel Community Church, First Baptist Church of Bordentown, First Presbyterian Church, Mount Zion AME Church, Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, and Union Baptist Church.

Notable people[edit]

This statue was erected on Prince Street to commemorate the fact that Thomas Paine hails from Bordentown.

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bordentown include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Gazetteer of New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 6, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ a b Administration Directory, City of Bordentown. Accessed October 1, 2014.
  4. ^ 2013 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed October 23, 2013. As of date accessed, James E. Lynch, Jr. is listed as mayor with a term-end date of May 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Clerk's Office, City of Bordentown. Accessed June 13, 2012.
  6. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 135.
  7. ^ GCT-PH1: Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- Place and (in selected states) County Subdivision from 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 13, 2012.
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Bordentown, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 4, 2013.
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  14. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Bordentown, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed June 13, 2012.
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  23. ^ BORDENTOWN CITY MASTER PLAN HISTORIC PRESERVATION ELEMENT, Burlington County Bridge Commission, March 2012. Accessed June 13, 2012. "In 1717, Joseph Borden, a farmer from Freehold, New Jersey, settled here, bought up a substantial part of the land, and changed the town's name to Borden's Town. He started a packet line from Philadelphia to Bordentown, where travelers would stop to rest and then proceed on Borden's stage line to Perth Amboy, where they would make their connections to New York."
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  25. ^ Staff. "Barton started first free school", Courier-Post, January 12, 1999. Accessed July 8, 2013.
  26. ^ Staff. "CLARA BARTON WAS PIONEER IN BURLCO PUBLIC EDUCATION", The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 20, 1999. Accessed July 8, 2013. "At Burlington and Crosswicks Streets in Bordentown is a one-room brick schoolhouse, believed to be the first public school in the county, which Barton, then 30, started in 1852 as part of her goal to overcome a bias in the community against `'pauper schools.'"
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  33. ^ O'Sullivan, Jeannie. "Bordentown Historical Society plans a peachy time", Burlington County Times, August 4, 2011. Accessed July 8, 2013. "The Bordentown Historical Society’s annual peach social will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 302 Farnsworth Ave. Admission is $5.... It is one of the signature annual events hosted by the historical society, which also sponsors a holiday home tour and ghost walk."
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