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Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware

 
 
Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
1. Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware Marker
Inscription. The lands adjoining the Falls of the Delaware River were a natural location for early European settlement, just as they had been a focus of native American occupation. The Falls were little more than a stretch of fast-running shallow water between present-day Trenton and Morrisville, but the rocky river bed could be forded here, causing several colonial regional routes to converge on this spot. The heads of tide and navigation also lay just downstream, leaving the left bank of the river ripe for development as a port, fishing center and ferry location.

While the Dutch intermittently traded at the Falls of the Delaware as early as the 1620s and 1630s, true settlement did not begin until 1678 following the docking of the Shield at Burlington. Among those aboard this vessel were the Quakers Mahlon Stacy and Thomas Lambert who continued on to the Falls to establish the first plantations in what was then part of the Yorkshire Tenth of West Jersey. Between the late 1670s and the early years of the 18th century, numerous farms were set up along both sides of the river, mostly by settlers coming into the area through Burlington and Philadelphia.

Access to the river was key to the success of early farms in the Middle Delaware Valley and farmhouses were located close to the river bank within reach of a landing from which contact
Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
2. Europeans at the Falls of the Delaware Marker
A map showing European settlement at the Falls of the Delaware in 1714.
and trade with the outside world were maintained. Another critical element in the early settlement was Mahlon Stacy’s establishment of a gristmill in 1679 near the mouth of the Assunpink Creek where locally grown grain could be processed. This mill, one of the oldest and largest in colonial New Jersey, became the core of a hamlet that would soon evolve into the village of Trenton.

Links to learn more – Isaac Watson House, Hamilton; Burlington County Historical Society, Burlington; New Jersey State Archives, Trenton
 
Erected 2004 by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 40° 11.887′ N, 74° 45.498′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from Route 29 near U.S. 29. Click for map. This marker is part of South River Walk Park which is built over Route 29. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Quakers Lead the Settlement of West Jersey (here, next to this marker); The West Jersey Proprietors Rule (here, next to this marker); William Trent of Trent’s Town (here, next to this marker); Pre-17th Century Trenton Timeline
The four subject markers under the 17th Century Arch image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, November 2007
3. The four subject markers under the 17th Century Arch
(here, next to this marker); Native American Artifacts – Clubs to Prehistory (here, next to this marker); Who, What and Where were Sanhickans? (here, next to this marker); Native Americans Exchange Furs for European Goods (here, next to this marker); What happened to the Lenape? (here, next to this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Trenton.
 
More about this marker. This is one of 4 subject markers under the 17th Century Arch.
 
Categories. Colonial EraNatural FeaturesNotable EventsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,133 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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