is a 300 acres (1.2 km²) island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...
located in the Delaware River
The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States.A Dutch expedition led by Henry Hudson in 1609 first mapped the river. The river was christened the South River in the New Netherland colony that followed, in contrast to the North River, as the Hudson River was then...
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...
and New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...
in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. Burlington Island is officially part of the city of Burlington, New Jersey
Burlington is a city in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States and a suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 9,920....
. It is an uninhabited scenic landmark in the Delaware River. Burlington Island Lake, is a large lake-within-an-island-within-a-river.
The island is the site of the first European settlement in what would become New Jersey. Fort Nassau
Fort Nassau was a factorij in the colonial province of New Netherland from 1623-1651.The name Fort Nassau was used by the Dutch in the 17th century for several fortifications, mostly trading stations, named for the House of Orange-Nassau....
, to the south, had been built one year earlier, and was originally designed to act as a factorij, or trading post, and would not be fully occupied until some years later.
The indigenous population had known this island as Matennecunk. In 1624, the Dutch established a settlement on the island, which they had named Verhulsten, in honor of the then Director of New Netherland
This is a list of Directors, appointed by the Dutch West India Company, of the 17th century Dutch province of New Netherland in North America...
Willem Verhulst was the second director of the Dutch West India Company. In 1625, Verhulst oversaw the decision to locate the company's main fortress and town on the tip of Manhattan Island in the colony of New Netherland. The settlement, which was given the name New Amsterdam, was the first...
. The factorij
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...
, or trading post, was known as Fort Wilhelmus
Fort Wilhelmus was a factorij in the 17th century colonial province of New Netherland, located on what had been named Verhulsten Island on the Zuyd Rivier, today's Delaware River....
, and one of many to be built along the river which comprised the European colonies of New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...
and New Sweden
New Sweden was a Swedish colony along the Delaware River on the Mid-Atlantic coast of North America from 1638 to 1655. Fort Christina, now in Wilmington, Delaware, was the first settlement. New Sweden included parts of the present-day American states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania....
Though relations between the Lenni Lenape and the colonists were generally peaceful, Burlington Island witnessed one of the few murders of that era. In 1671, two Dutchmen were slaughtered by Tashiowycan and Wyannattamo. The Lenape then promised to kill the braves responsible; the murder is the first recorded in New Jersey's history.
Burlington Island Trust
Burlington Island came under the jurisdiction of The Board of Island Mangers in 1682.
The Board of Island Mangers is a trust created to create funds to educate the youth of the city of Burlington.
It is the longest continuously operating trust board in the United States.
Burlington Island's recent history has been one of toil and arguments. For years people have said they were going to develop the island so that revenues would be generated for the school fund.It wasn't until 1998 when Michael Zalot, a local resident wqas elected president that the Board egan in earnest to reach for its potential. Senator Diane Allen was contacted to issue legislation that would allow the Board to offer leases fgor more than five years. This allowed developers to seek contracts that would prove profitable to them and to the Board itself.
The Board entered into an agreement with Sam Katz of Philadelphia to establish a golf facility on the Island. $30,000 was raised during the period.and that EnterSport, Mr. Katz's organization held first option on the Island.
In the ensuing year President Zalot learned that the Island had been placed on Burlington City's "Green Are" inventory without the Board's permission. The Board's attorney arranged to have it removed. Nancy Dennion, the Board secretary discovered that nthe Island was home to the Pawlonia trees. After exhausting search a buyer was located who purchased the trees for $60,000.
The Board elections became gladitoral in nature with one side or the other taking a 4-3 control of Board activities.--220.127.116.11 (talk) 23:01, 18 November 2011 (UTC)--18.104.22.168 (talk) 23:01, 18 November 2011 (UTC)--22.214.171.124 (talk) 23:01, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Burlington Island Park
Burlington Island Park was an amusement park on the island between 1900-1934 in the Delaware River between Burlington, N.J., and Bristol, Pa. This is just northeast of Philadelphia, Pa. It was also known as Island Beach Park.
Never having any automobile access, the park has always been accessible by footbridge or ferry only.
Around 1900, the island was used as a family picnic "resort". People would arrive on the island by boat and picnic among the trees on tables and in a large pavilion.
In the early 1900s, Burlington Park had a midway, circle swing, and sandy beaches for swimming. There was a bath house for the swimmers and an ice cream stand.
In 1910, they added a carousel. It was a beautiful mixed Dentzel machine. It spun under a large canopy.
In 1917, George Bassler and Robert Merkel purchased the park. They added a giant roller coaster called "The Greyhound" and built an elaborate amusement park. They introduced a ferris wheel, along with an "ocean wave" and boat swings. People came by the thousands, by steamboat or train, then ferried to the island.
The rides and attractions were numerous. There were the Steeplechase, Tunnel of Love, Tumblebug, Aeroplanes, Dodge-em, bumper scooters, caterpillar, a fun house, a merry-go-round, and a miniature railroad. There were a fish pond, a rifle range, air guns, a pony ride, and a ring-a-cane. For other entertainment, there was baseball, a dance hall, and bingo.
At this time, the park covered almost 100 acre (0.404686 km²) of the 400 acres (1.6 km²) island. But it was to last only 11 years.
In 1928, a fire broke out at the park. It started one morning at 2am. Since all the fire-fighting equipment had to be ferried across the river from Bristol, Pa., most of the amusements burned to the ground by the time the equipment arrived.
After the fire, Robert Merkel sold the property to the VanSciver Sand and Gravel Co. (later to become the Penn-Warner Cement Co.)
The ruins of the park stood on the island until 1934 when a second fire destroyed what was left.
In 1955, the Warner Co. started to dredge the sand and gravel from the park area of the island. By 1969, there was nothing left of the former amusement park site but a 100 acre (0.404686 km²) lagoon.
The carousel still exists today. It is owned by Dr. Floyd L. Moreland of Seaside Heights, N.J. And it still spins, under the same canopy, on Casino Pier in Seaside Heights.