We often take for granted that we live in a historic state with some of the earliest settlements in the country.
As you go west, you will find much less history.
It’s amazing that we don’t speak Dutch, as many of our first towns and cities were founded by Dutch traders.
I don’t think they were as aggressive as the British. One of these Dutch settlements was Jersey City.
According to one list, Jersey City is number 8 on the list of the 10 oldest cities in America.
Jersey City occupies the land where Dutch traders established the settlement of New Netherland in or around 1617, although some historians trace Jersey City’s beginnings to a Dutch land grant in 1630.
Of course, it was originally occupied by the Lenape people.
Although its population was well established by the time of the American Revolution, it was not officially incorporated until 1820 as Jersey City.
Eighteen years later it would be re-established as Jersey City.
However, another list ranks Gloucester City in South Jersey as the seventh oldest city in America.
We can thank the Dutch again. In 1623, Captain Cornelius Mey landed at Gloucester Point with 24 settlers and built Fort Nassau.
Dutch settlers built a fort and trading post here to trade furs with Native American tribes.
The main reason for the location of the fort at Gloucester City was not military, but because from there they could control the river and prevent traders from accessing the Schuylkill River on the other side of the Delaware in Philadelphia.
Not far north of there is Burlington City, the third oldest city in the state and once the capital of West Jersey.
Again, some say it is the oldest town in the country, founded by early Swedish settlers.
It depends on whether you are passing by when the place was first settled or incorporated as a city.
Yes, there is a lot of history here and many old towns for history buffs to explore.
The opinions expressed in the post above are solely those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy.
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