Founded September 2003
The Bridgeton Renaissance League
"Promoting the Arts, History, and Beautification of Bridgeton"
A Section 501(c)(3) non profit organization
The Bridgeton Christmas Historic House Tour
New Jersey's largest historic district Featuring Victorian and Pre-Revolutionary properties
December 1, 2007
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"All of the charm and wonderment of an old fashioned Christmas..."
Usher in the holidays with the charm and enchantment of a Victorian Christmas.
Tour Bridgeton’s historic district by moonlight as a passenger of a horse drawn trolley and be welcomed into private homes, churches, and museums dating back as far as 1740 each lovingly decorated for the holidays.
Tickets: $15.00 at the door
$12.00 in advance
Call (856) 455-3230 for tickets & information!
The tour departs from The Nail House Museum located at the entrance of The City of Bridgeton's park located on Mayor Aitken Drive by way of West Commerce Street.
Transportation throughout the tour area is by foot, your own vehicle, or by horse drawn trolley or sleigh. Yes, horse drawn carriages!
All of the charm and wonderment of an old fashioned Christmas
Christmas House Tour
The Bridgeton Renaissance League in partnership with the City of Bridgeton and the Bridgeton Cumberland Tourist Association is bringing the sights and sounds of the holiday season to life on December 2, 2006 with the warm remembrances of a Dickens inspired Victorian Christmas. Sleigh bells, horse drawn carriages, and Victorian Carolers set the stage for this season’s premiere holiday event showcasing numerous preeminent historic properties of Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Christmas tree decorated in the exuberant style reminiscent of the Victorian era at the Bridgeton Christmas Historic House Tour.
Colonial meets Victorian
A unique and rare opportunity to visit several of our nation's most important historical sites from the Colonial to Victorian era.
The Colonial Era Properties
Our 2006 program includes 13 historic properties dating from the pre-revolutionary era through early the early 20th Century. The cost of admission to this event is $15 the day of the event and $12 in advance. The price of your ticket includes the tour of some of Bridgeton's most important historic properties,, a 17th Century Christmas at the New Sweden Farmstead Museum, entertainment and unlimited enjoyment riding as a passenger in the horse drawn trolley or sleigh.
This year's program presents an unusual opportunity for those with an interest in Colonial architecture. In fact, the theme for this year's tour is "Colonial meets Victorian...". The Brearly Lodge has been the home of a Masonic lodge since its construction in 1797. It is rumored that President George Washington's horse is buried in the rear of this property. President Washington, General Lafayette and General Giles met with frequency at this lodge discussing the future of our nation. Rare furnishings and artifacts from the 1700's will be on display the day of the tour. This lodge was opened on only one other occasion in its history and that was in 1936. The lodge was an integral meeting place for our country's fathers and was, believe it or not, also used as the first public school in New Jersey.
Potter's Tavern dated 1740 is one of the rarest colonial taverns in existence today. Potter's Tavern was a popular meeting place just prior to the Revolution. In 1775 at Christmas time, patriots published a manuscript newspaper called "The Plain Dealer" at Potter's Tavern. The first newspaper ever printed in New Jersey. Dedicated to the cause of liberty, it called for separation from the crown rule. Matthew Potter, Tavern keeper, risking charge of treason, thus became one of the unsung heroes of the Revolution.
Old Broad Street Church 1792. This church is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture, with Palladian window, high-backed wooden pews, wine glass pulpit, brick-paved aisles, and brass lamps that once held whale oil. Bridgeton, NJ's first house of worship, Old Broad Street Presbyterian was built in 1792. The church was preserved and never altered after 1836 when the congregation relocated a few blocks away to a new location on West Commerce Street.
Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church 1792.
From Colonial to Victorian...The journey continues...
The three colonial era properties showcased in this season's tour represent some of the most important historic sites in our nation, however this year's tour offers a journey through antiquity.
The Nail House Museum (circa 1815) 1 Mayor Aitken Drive, Bridgeton, NJ 08302, Bridgeton City Park is the point of departure for our Historic Christmas House Tour. This unassuming structure was formerly the office of the Cumberland Nail and Iron Works, which was in operation from 1815 through 1899, and now houses exhibits and artifacts that have to do with the historical and cultural legacy of Bridgeton and the surrounding region, as well as examples of early Bridgeton glass, toys, lanterns, the oldest public clock in the region, Nail Works artifacts, and more.
The owner of Cumberland Nail and Iron works built a palatial Italianate residence located 31 Franklin Drive which remains as a private residence to this day. This unique property is being featured as one of the many premiere sites on our tour. Our 2006 program will share 7 private residences, St. Andrews Episcopal Church (1860), The Brearly Lodge (1797), Potter's Tavern (1740's), The Old Broad Street Church (1792), The Nail House Museum (1815), and The New Sweden Farmstead Museum which is an actual replica of a New Sweden farmstead circa 1638.
There is nothing to compare to the sounds of the horses as they klip klop through the streets. The are dressed for the holidays and one can hear their sleigh bells as they jingle in the night.
The tour begins at the Nail House Museum in the City Park on Mayor Aiken drive at 4 p.m. where visitors will be greeted by warm and friendly Victorians filled with holiday cheer. Visitors will be mesmerized when they embark upon a tour of the historic properties on a horse drawn trolley and are escorted through the tour taking in the beauty of a Victorian Christmas.
1 Mayor Aitken Dr
The New Sweden Farmstead Museum
The tour continues to The New Sweden Farmstead Museum for a 17th Century Swedish Christmas. This fascinating destination offers a recreated New Sweden settlement circa 1638. Visitors will be dazzled by life at this settlement by period music and tours lighted by candlelight.
Listen to Living History Music featuring Kent Courtney, performing music and telling stories about the history of New Sweden in the 1600s and the history of New Jersey. Kent Courtney is frequently on The History Channel and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, PBS, The Discovery Channel, BBC, The Travel Channel, NPR, C-SPAN, A&E, and CNN. Kent Courtney’s CDs have won splendid reviews and are available at The New Sweden Farmstead Museum. His latest release is a delightful instrumental CD entitled Secrets of the Feast.
Performing with Kent will be Melissa Arleth who is an accomplished classical guitarist.
The Irish Guard from the Philadelphia area will be making a guest appearance this year dressed in costuming from the New Sweden Colony era toting their 1600's firelock muskets. The Guard will be providing demonstrational firings of the muskets and interacting with the visitors throughout the evening.
Included with the tour is a horse drawn sleigh ride from the Nail House Museum (the tour departure point) to the farmstead as well as shuttle bus service to the site.
A Christmas celebration in 17th Century Swedish style. The New Sweden Farmstead Museum is an actual replica of an actual Swedish settlement from the 1600's.
Tickets are $15.00 at the door and $12.00 if they are purchased in advance of the day. The price of your ticket includes a tour of the homes, a visit to our 17th Century Swedish farmstead and yes, believe it or not, your ticket includes transportation throughout our tour area on a horse drawn sleigh and/or trolley. You cannot imagine how lovely the homes are. The joy of riding on the horse drawn trolley and sleigh are worth the price of admission. Come, join us.
Buy your tickets in advance through the Bridgeton Department of Recreation at (856) 455-3230 or the day of the tour at the tour departure location, The Nail House Museum.