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Mount Holly Monuments

Battle of Iron Works Hill Monument

Location: In St. Andrew's Cemetery on Pine Street, Mt. Holly. The monument can be seen from Pine Street. There is an historical marker along the fence, and off in the background you will see the monument and flag. Direct access is possible by entering the cemetery grounds through the pillared gate.

Significance - Mount Holly had a role in the famous Battle of Trenton. Just before Christmas Eve, 1776, about 2000 Hessians and Scots under General vonDonop chased some New Jersey militia down Jacksonville Road from Bordentown into Mount Holly and made a mess of the place. The town was sorely used during the next few days by these mercenaries. But the joke was on them -- while they were busy dawdling in Mount Holly, George Washington's army was completing its crucial victory over the remaining Hessian forces at the Battle of Trenton - turing the tide of the American Revolution.

The text on the plaque affixed to the stone monument reads: "Here on December 23, 1776 was fought the Battle of Ironworks Hill. This diversionary tactic aided Washington to capture Trenton."

Directions: Pine Street is accessible from Route 38. Landmarks are the PNC and FMS banks and and Exxon and Texaco gas station. The Cemetery is on the left. The other end of Pine St. intersects with Washington/Mill St., Mt. Holly.


Centennial Fountain at Fountain Square

Location: At the center of Mt. Holly at the intersection of Washington St. and High St. on the Burlington County College side.

Significance - The original Mt. Holly Fountain was purchased from the bankrupt estate of the Robert Wood and Company for $250 and brought to its place on Mill St. at the bart of High St. in 1878. It remained the centerpiece of Mt. Holly until 1920. It was actually removed in 1922. It was a depiction of the Pagan Greek Goddess Hebe, Daughter of Zeus and Hera, Goddess of Youth and Cup Bearer to the Gods. Her stride, while holding a classical ewer in her upraised right hand, and a goblet held lower near her waist in her left hand, suggests that she is approaching a banquet table to assuage the thirst of those in her charge. Godey's Lady's Book of July 1853 details the everyday function of the Robert Wood Iron Works of Philadelphia, from which Mount Holly's Hebe Fountain was produced, and on page 12 was shown a wood-cut of the fountain. The copy states that" in this fountain there are over one hundred pieces." In some historical accounts of Mt. Holly it has been stated that the fountain was purchased from the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition (1876) -- a used fountain!

The present fountain is a reproduction of the original. After a major campaign to raise funds to create a replica of the original fountain and place it back at "Fountain Square", the present fountain was dedicated on October 15, 1988. It was truly a community effort with impetus coming from the Mount Holly Historical Society and Mount Holly Township. Many organizations and individual Mount Holly residents donated money to the project. Their names are listed on a bronze plaque located on the wall of the Burlington County College Center adjacent to the fountain. Interest from a $15,000 trust fund administered by the Mt. Holly Historical Society is used to maintain the fountain and the plantings surrounding it. The community effort is enhanced by the ongoing participation of The Mount Holly Garden Club, Main Street Mount Holly and the Mount Holly Women's League.

Directions: Proceed to the epicenter of Mount Holly.

Revolutionary War Cannon

Location: On the front lawn (south side) of the Olde Court House at 120 High Street, Mt. Holly.

Significance - Despite the fact that the plaque on the cannon states that it was manufactured in Mt. Holly, it is a baseless legend. It is certain that the Mount Holly Iron Works was not equipped to cast anything as large as a cannon. Nevertheless, the Mount Holly Iron Works contributed significantly to the war effort. The canon was mounted in its present place by Washington Camp No. 71, P.O.S. of A. of Mount Holly in 1915. For many years it had been buried at the northeast corner of the grist mill, serving as a fender to keep wagon wheels away from the foundation. It is positively known that two cannon were captured in Mt. Holly by the British and afterwards abandoned.

No positive proof can be produced that the Court House cannon saw action with the American forces fighting in Mount Holly a few days before the battle of Trenton, but the affirmative evidence agrees perfectly with the known facts. The Americans had two light guns, and two light guns were captured by the Hessians. They were abandoned later, and it is certain that they were first disabled. Two cannon were found, probably in the vicinity of the mill, where the fighting was intense. One has been lost, the other, fortunately preserved, was deliberately damaged so it could not be used as a weapon. The logical conclusion identifies the Court House cannon as one of the two captured and abandoned here by Ewald on December 26, 1776. As the last grist mill was built soon after the Revolution, it is not a fantastic assumption that the workmen found the cannon where it had been left by the Hessians, and that it was then placed in the position it occupied before its removal to the Court House lawn.

(The above narrative is an abbridged version the Cannon story from Henry C. Shinn's "The History of Mount Holly")

Directions: The Olde Mt. Holly Court House is located near the intersection of High St. and Garden St. in Mount Holly.


© 2005 Burlington County Historian. All rights reserved.