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a century of stewardship-centennial of new jersey state historic sites
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NJ living History Advisor Council
Featured Historic Site: Indian King Tavern

A century ago our nation began to recognize the importance of public stewardship of our historic and natural treasures. New Jersey was at the forefront of this movement. The legacy of our State historic sites began in 1902, when the Legislature authorized the purchase of the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield. This was where the Assembly met in 1777 and ordered that the word "State" be inserted for the word "Colony" in all future public documents. The tavern was purchased on June 15, 1903, thus New Jersey obtained its first historic landmark for its citizens.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is committed to the stewardship of not only New Jersey’s natural resources, but also its historic resources. Through the Division of Parks and Forestry, the DEP administers the largest historical museum organization in the state of New Jersey with 57 historic sites and districts, over 24,000 museum objects and 68,000 archaeological artifacts.

These historic resources span the 15th through 20th centuries and include Lenape Native American lands, Revolutionary War battlefields, lighthouses, a presidential birthplace, the home of Walt Whitman and five historic villages.

Encouraging citizens to rediscover and enjoy the state’s historic sites, Governor James E. McGreevey signed a proclamation recognizing June 15, 2003 through June 15, 2004 as the “Centennial Year of New Jersey’s Historic Sites.”

As part of the yearlong celebration of the centennial of state historic sites, the DEP will highlight a historic site of the month on the DEP homepage, launch a historical lecture series at DEP historic sites statewide, and release special commemorative items for sale, including a new historical postcard collection.


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Department of Environmental Protection
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Last Updated: October 28, 2003

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