Submitted by pinelands on

Have you ever wondered about the origins of your hometown? Who were the first settlers? Where did they come from? How has the town evolved over the years? You can find the answers to these questions and more in the New Jersey collection at your favorite BCLS location.

Burlington County is bursting with history. Consider Burlington, the birthplace of The Last of the Mohicans author James Fennimore Cooper. Did you know that Burlington’s Revell House is the oldest building in the county? It’s also one of the oldest homes in the state! Legend has it that Benjamin Franklin once dined there on his way to Philadelphia.

Prior to 1624, Burlington Island was inhabited by the Lenape tribe. It became an amusement park in the early 1900s. A couple decades later, two devastating fires ripped across the island and destroyed the park. After that, the island was used for sand mining, and as an Army Corps dumping ground. Local developers have tried to turn the island back into a public recreational space, but none of their attempts have panned out. You can discover more intriguing facts about Burlington and the island in Images of America: Burlington.

The Images of America series is a valuable source of local history. The New Jersey collection contains several about Burlington County towns, including Medford, Browns Mills and Mount Holly. See how Medford’s Main Street has changed over the years, read about Browns Mills’ early days as an exclusive resort town, and learn about Mount Holly’s role in the American Revolution.

The New Jersey collection also contains documentaries. BOOST! fans will enjoy Bottled Up: The Legend of BOOST!, a short documentary about the drink that was invented by a Riverside pharmacist in 1913.

But don’t stop there! Bring history to life by taking a tour of your town’s historic landmarks. A Self-Guided Tour of 63 of Medford's Historical Sites is the perfect starting point for anyone who is curious about Medford’s oldest buildings.

Visit the reference desk to ask a librarian to help you find even more resources. In the meantime, here are a few selections to get you started on your journey toward discovering the history of your hometown: