Bridgeton in Cumberland County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Old Broad Street Presbyterain Church
Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church was constructed in the meeting house form, rectangular in plan, with the pulpit placed on the north gable end wall and a U-shaped balcony on the other sides. The north elevation, facing Broad Street, is the primary façade, although it has no door opening. Rather this three-bay gable-end elevation is distinguished by Flemish bond brickwork and a large Palladian window. The interior features colonial pew boxes facing a central raised pulpit, Federal period paneling on the pulpit and pews, Federal detailing on the wood balcony railing and decorative plaster ceiling, and Georgian period balustrades on the stairs.
The building’s only known alteration consists of the installation of the chimney and heating stoves in 1809. No electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems have ever been installed. Among the many notables buried in the cemetery, which has been in use since 1792, are one of the first U.S Senators from New Jersey, and an early governor of the State.
In 2009, the roof structure was restored and the wood shingle roof was replaced, funded in part by the Garden State Preservation Trust,
Key Events in the Church History
1791 Land donated by the son of a Quaker
1792 October: Congregation applies for recognition from the Presbytery as a separate congregation. December: Construction of the walls and roof completed.
1794 Funding raised by conducting a state-approved lottery. Spring: Construction resumes with Ezekiel Foster, carpenter. 1795 Dedication service held May 17th.
1797 Murder trial of John Patterson held here. 1798 Board fence erected around the graveyard.
1799 Painting completed.
1803 “Venetian blinds” installed.
1809 Chimney and heating stoves installed.1836 Congregation moves to new, larger church.
We the inhabitants of Bridge Town & its neighborhood, having hitherto been destitute of a House of publick Worship, & many of us, by reason of our distance from places of Worship, have belonged to no religious Society, & others have only casually joined the different Congregations around us until a Church could be erected in this place, & and being considerably increased in numbers of late, we have judged it expedient, & have agreed by voluntary subscriptions to build a House in Bridge Town for the purpose of
Old Broad Street Church falls into a group of brick churches in the Delaware Valley that take their architectural inspiration from religious buildings in Philadelphia. Later than most stylistically comparable buildings, his church embodies the full flowering of high-style Georgian architecture in that city. At the same time, its design was particularly influenced by Presbyterianism as it was practiced in the eighteenth century.
To a large extent, Old Broad Street Church owes it remarkable preservation to its near abandonment in 1836. Because the Presbyterian congregation moved to a new building on the more populous east side of Bridgeton, no “improvements” were made to the burying ground and a growing appreciation of the historic building throughout the twentieth century.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Churches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is April 30, 1792.
Location. 39° 25.764′ N, 75° 14.718′ W. Marker is in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in Cumberland County. Marker is on West Broad Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bridgeton NJ 08302, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this Broad St. Church (here, next to this marker); These Patriots (a few steps from this marker); World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); "Liberty Bell" (approx. 0.3 miles away); New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route (approx. 0.7 miles away); Baptist Log Meeting House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Little Stone School (approx. 5½ miles away); Welcome to Greenwich Township (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bridgeton.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 18, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 336 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 18, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.