Steam Boating on the Delaware and Rancocas. Burlington County’s Golden Age of Steamboats – 1820-1920. A Celebration of Burlington County’s Relationship with the Delaware River. Where it all started in 1677 and 1678 Kent, Shield, Willing Mynde, Flie Boat Martha
Steam Boating on the Delaware and Rancocas Burlington County’s Golden Age of Steamboats – 1820-1920
A Celebration of Burlington County’s Relationship with the Delaware River • Where it all started in 1677 and 1678 • Kent, Shield, Willing Mynde, Flie Boat Martha • 20-mile Shoreline bordering Burlington County • 15 Riverfront Communities - Palmyra, Riverton, Cinnaminson, Delran, Riverside, Delanco, Beverly, Edgewater Park, Burlington Twp., Burlington City, Florence, Mansfield, Bordentown Twp., Fieldsboro, Bordentown City. • The Creation of our New Park System
Fitch’s steamboat pre-dated Fulton’s by 17 years. s early as 1788 his steamboat would stop at Burlington on the way to Trenton.
Elizabeth Ann Buzby Van Sciver George Ridgeway Van Sciver Born 1862 at Adams Wharf Died in 1947 at age 85 Ann Lambert Van Sciver
Anne Lambert Van Sciver Elizabeth Ann Buzby Van Sciver
The “Maryetta” named for George’s sisters: Mary Ann and Henrietta Van Sciver His first boat – 1862 (65 rt. long) $4,000: $1,000 each from self, mother, Mary Ann, Henrietta
Left: Elizabeth Van Sciver, named after George’s mother. His 2nd boat. 100 ft. long. Built at Adam’s Wharf Passenger-Cargo Ship - 1899 Right: The Annie L. Van Sciver Sold to US Navy in 1906 for $42,000. 135 ft. long, 27 ft. wide
The Anne II – 1899 Carried 460 Passengers. First of the Annie boats. The Anne II
The Admiral (1906) - The last of George’s ships. Carried freight only. By 1913 he was in the Auto-car Freight business.
Van Sciver Freight Station, Pier 31 N. Delaware Ave., Philadelphia George R. Van Sciver. Foreground, Herman Franklin Van Sciver. C. 1920
Upper Delaware River Transportation Company Twilight – Annie L. VanSciver – Columbia – Trenton • Philadelphia, PA Foot of Chestnut Street at Delaware Ave • Riverton, NJ Foot of Main Street at Bank Avenue • Riverside, NJ River Drive at foot of Chester Avenue • Delanco, NJ Foot of Union Avenue at Delaware Avenue • Beverly City, NJ Foot of Broad Street at Bank Street • Edgewater Park, NJ Foot of Edgewater Avenue • Burlington City, NJ Delaware Avenue at foot of High Street • Florence, NJ Foot of Broad at Front Street (At Hoover Hotel) • Fieldsboro, NJ Foot of Delaware or Washington • Bordentown, NJ Foot of Main Street (now Farnsworth Avenue)
Palmyra’s Delaware River coastline covers 2 miles. Delaware River at Tacony-Palmyra Bridge
The last days of the Tacony-Palmyra Ferry service prior to the opening of the Tacony-Palmyra bridge in 1929
Riverton’s coastline is only a mile long. Mansions line the riverfront on Bank Avenue Delaware River at Riverton Yacht Club
The 1858 Iron Pier is the visual centerpiece of the town. This is the last remaining steamboat landing on the Delaware River. In 1865, the Riverton Yacht Club was given permission to build on the Riverton pier with the stipulation that it should “maintain a waiting room for steam-boat passengers.”
In 1851 ten Philadelphia businessmen purchased land from Joseph Lippincot and hired Samuel Sloan to design summer homes for them as a refuge from the urban heat of the city. The presence of steamboat service on the Delaware provided them with an easy commute to their mercantile and manufacturing firms.
The JOHN WARNER was one of the “big 3” along with the TWILIGHT and the COLUMBIA, which docked at the many Burlington County wharfs.
In 1901, the steamer TWILIGHT reputedly was in a race with the steamer CITY OF TRENTON on the Delaware when, in the vicinity of Riverton, the Trenton’s boiler blew up, killing 27 of the 117 passengers on board.
The Yacht Club was restored in 2004 A bell at the Iron Pier would be rung two times when the steamers arrived, Records show that the Yacht Club/Iron Pier was the scene of much activity in the 1860s, 70s and 80s. Clay pigeon shooting contests were held at the end of the pier; musicians played on the balcony of the club hours (built in 1881) during annual Regattas.
Cinnaminson has a 1.5 mile coast. The name comes from an Indian word meaning “Sweet Water” – a reference to the sugar maple trees along the water. Taylor Wildlife Preserve - Riverside Homestead Farm, #7 Taylor’s Lane, Cinnaminson. Residence of Mary Roberts Taylor (1888-1980)and Joseph Taylor (1914-1991).
Joseph Taylor wrote“The Cinnaminson Waterfront Today and Yesterday – The Current State of the Riverfront on the Delaware with an Environmental and Land Use History of the Area” (1988).
DELRAN has a half-mile coastline. During WW II Dredge Harbor had government contracts dealing with Coast Guard assignments and as a wet storage area for vessels awaiting repair. Once known as Plumb Point, DREDGE HARBOR was created during the 1930s as a sand and gravel operation which excavated and dredged the area.
5.5-acre peninsula which includes a collection of upland forests, fresh water ponds and wetlands, river shoreline and meadows which attract a variety of animal species.
Landon Stone Memorial Bridge over Rancocas Creek between Riverside and Delanco RIVERSIDE has no measurable Delaware River coastline, but is at the mouth of the Rancocas. DELANCO has a 3-mile coast. It had a wharf until 1909, accessing the popular Camp Meeting at Fletcher’s Grove. Delanco was a thriving fishing and boat building community.
The Riverside Marina The mouth of the Rancocas at Delanco and Riverside
The Zurbrugg Mansion, known as “the pillars” on the riverfront at Delanco at 531 Delaware Avenue.
View of “Andalusia”, the Biddle Mansion, on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware across from Delanco. Viewed easily from Delaware Avenue.
BEVERLY has a 1 mile coast line. Its two wharves made it a major Civil War mustering town, hospital and cemetery.. Dunks Ferry Dunks Ferry gave it a connection to Pennsylvania that influenced recreation and commerce and played a role in the Revolutionary War at the time of Washington’s Christmas, 1776 Delaware crossing
Beverly, New Jersey In 1679 a ferry was established between Pennsylvania and West Jersey at what is now Beverly. The service to the general public was started by a native of Sweden, Duncan Williams or Williamson. Williamson who lived at Passayunk in 1681 was persuaded by dep-Governor Markham of Pennsylvania to exchange his swampy land near Philadelphia for a "superior tract" opposite present Beverly. The agreement with William Penn was that "Dunk" should maintain a ferry.
EDGEWATER PARK has a 1-mile coast line The Red Dragon Canoe Club is located on the waterfront at 221 Edgewater Avenue. One of the oldest boating clubes in the United States, it was housed in several locations along the Delaware, but in 1923 it found a home in this Second Empire mansion dating from the Civil War. The club house is a fine example of Victorian architecture, complete with “gingerbread” cornices, tall windows and shutters.
BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP has two coast lines, separated by the City of Burlington. On the western side, the coast line is 1 mile long, and on the eastern side it is 1.5 miles long. THE CITY OF BURLINGTON has a 3 mile coast. The Burlington-Bristol Bridge was opened in 1931
Delaware River at Burlington Island ISLAND BEACH PARK In 1900 Mark Bassler developed a family picnic resort on Burlington Island, constructing a steamboat pier, a sandy bathing beach, and a large picnic pavilion. After adding amusement rides in 1913, he sold the park to his brother and Robert Merkel. The added a roller coaster named “The Greyhound”, a carousel, and a miniature railroad. The park closed in 1927 after a disastrous fire, ending steamboat service on the Upper Delaware River. The carousel survives today and can be enjoyed at Seaside Park.
The Oneida Boat Club, Burlington City The Club House was built in 1874 and is the oldest boat club on the Delaware River in continuous operation