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Description
Settled in 1675 by Quakers, Salem is one of the oldest English settlements on the Delaware River. Its early importance as a port made it a prize during the Revolutionary War, when the city was occupied by the British. After the war Camden surpassed Salem as a shipping center, and attention turned to agriculture.
The restored 1721 Alexander Grant House, 4 miles south of town at 79-83 Market St., displays objects from the Colonial and Federal periods. Hancock House State Historic Site was the scene of a British-led massacre during the Revolutionary War. In retaliation against the Quaker community for supplying cattle to Gen. George Washington's starving troops at Valley Forge, 300 men under Maj. John Simcoe surprised and killed some 30 local militiamen asleep in the house; among the dead was homeowner Judge William Hancock.
Built in 1734, the Hancock House is an excellent example of the English Quaker style of dwelling once prominent in the Lower Delaware Valley, which incorporated a distinctive feature of zigzagging lines of bricks at each end. The house is located at 3 Front St. in the nearby town of Hancocks Bridge, south of Salem via SR 49 to CR 658. It is open Wed.-Sun. 9-4; phone (856) 935-4373.
One survivor of this bygone era is an oak tree estimated to be more than 5 centuries old. It stands at the entrance to the Friends Burial Ground, 112 W. Broadway. Beneath its branches early settler John Fenwick bargained with the Lenni-Lenape people for the land on which Salem was established.
Visitor Info
Salem County Chamber of Commerce Johnson Hall 90 Market St. SALEM, NJ 08079. Phone:(856)351-2245
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Current Location: Salem, New Jersey