CELEBRATE THE FOURTH OF JULY by visiting the historic Potter’s Tavern on Saturday, July 4, 2015.  You are invited to stop in and tour the Tavern between the hours of 1 to 4 P.M.  It is located at 51 West Broad Street in Bridgeton (opposite the Cumberland County Court House) and is certified as a national landmark.

     We are also very excited to announce that the Potter’s Tavern will be open every Sunday during the month of July (2015) between the hours of 1 – 4 P.M.  We hope you will join us for a tour of this historical building and explore one of the County’s oldest preserved landmarks.

     Tavern keeper, Matthew Potter, Jr. came to Bridgeton from Philadelphia and opened the tavern in 1773.  It became a favorite meeting place for the local young men just before the Revolutionary War.  Today, it is one of New Jersey’s most significant historical shrines and is an excellent example of the type of frame houses built in New Jersey during the 17th and 18th century.  It was here that the Plain Dealer, Cumberland County’s pioneer newspaper, was published for the purpose of supporting the drive for American liberty from the Crown rule.  The fact that Matthew Potter gave a home to the Plain Dealer placed him in personal danger, risking a charge of treason during this time. The distinguished historian, John T. Cunningham, said that the fact the Plain Dealer appeared every Tuesday morning probably made it New Jersey’s first regular “newspaper.”  

     There were sundry topics in this weekly manuscript that were contributed by members of a Bridgeton literary association.  Some of the leading citizens who wrote articles included Dr. Jonathan Elmer, Dr. Lewis Howell, Richard Howell, Ebenezer Elmer, Joseph Bloomfield and Thomas Harris, Jr.  (Note:  Richard Howell and Joseph Bloomfield later became governors of New Jersey.)

     If you have any questions, please call the office of the Cumberland County Historical Society at 856-455-8580.

Sitting Pretty: The Cumberland County Historical Society's Ware Collection on Exhibition in Princeton

The Cumberland County Historical Society (CCHS) is proud to have several pieces from our collection included in Morven Museum & Garden's upcoming exhibit "Of the Best Materials and Good Workmanship: 19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking." This exhibition will be held from April 23, 2015 through October 18, 2015.  Objects from the CCHS's collection that are being highlighted in the exhibition center on the renowned Ware family of South Jersey. There were nineteen Wares who, over four generations, engaged in chairmaking from the late-18th century until the 1940s. The Society's 1894 Maskell Ware and Family Lithograph will be on exhibition along with the ca. 1840 companion portraits of Maskell and Hannah Ware.  Three of the CCHS's slat-back, rush seated chairs created by Dan, Reuben and George Ware will be on exhibition. The Society's Ware-type child's two-slat rocking potty chair with finials and rush seat is sure to be an exhibition favorite.

Morven's exhibit "will explore the craft of chairmaking in New Jersey from the late 1790s to the end of the nineteenth century, an era when chairmakers worked actively in virtually every corner of the Garden State, from large cities and towns to small crossroads communities. Hundreds of craftsmen are known today through census records, business directories, account books, and research conducted by furniture students and local historians....Thirty-five examples of documented New Jersey chairs will show the range of seating furniture produced in all parts of the state, and will be joined by chairmaking tools and equipment, portraits, photographs, advertisements, and plates from sales catalogs."

Curator Joseph W. Hammond will give a gallery talk on May 14 and September 17. Space is limited. To make your reservation call 609-924-8144 x 106, email or register online at

Thanks to Morven Museum & Garden for helping the CCHS to once again be a part of their exhibition. Join us at Morven for an opening reception on April 22, 2015, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

For more details about this interesting exhibition, visit Morven Museum & Garden's website
Create a Legacy
on the
Pathway to History

Click here for details on how to purchase a commemorative brick.

About the Cumberland County Historical Society

The office of the Cumberland County Historical Society is located in the Warren and Reba Lummis Genealogical and Historical Library, located at 981 Ye Greate Street, Greenwich, New Jersey 08323.

Office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Library is open for research on Wednesday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4 pm. Click here for more details.

The telephone number is 856-455-8580 or please visit our website at Our email address is

In 1905, at the same time plans were being made to erect a monument to commemorate the Tea Burning in Greenwich, the Cumberland County Historical Society was organized as a non-profit corporation. The first recorded meeting of the incorporators of the Cumberland County Historical Society was held in the old Cumberland County Court House on Broad Street in Bridgeton at 2 PM on December 2, 1908.

These Charter Members organized the Society in order to apply to the Board of Freeholders and the State Legislature for funds to erect a monument inGreenwich to the memory of the brave Patriots who burned the tea on December 22, 1774.

learn more >

© 2014 Cumberland County Historical Society. All rights reserved.

| Home |

Cumberland County Historical Society
PO Box 16, Greenwich, NJ 08323

web design & hosting
JoyceMedia Web Design