Cedar Bridge Tavern Receives Preservation Grant
Barnegat Township’s historic Cedar Bridge Tavern is one of 25 projects included in the New Jersey Historic Trust grant awards through the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund. The grants, totaling nearly $3 million, were recently approved by the Garden State Preservation Trust and will require an legislative appropriations bill and the governor’s approval before funds are available.
“These grants will help restore these sites and preserve their historic, architectural and aesthetic character for generations to come,” said state Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles A. Richman.
The Cedar Bridge Tavern is one of the oldest buildings in Ocean County and dates from before the Revolutionary War. Every year around New Year’s, the county presents an on-site re-enactment of what is considered to be the last battle of the Revolutionary War (April 1782), between the Burlington Militia Patriots and the British Loyalists led by Capt. John Bacon. Only one fatality on the Patriots’ side was recorded though there were injuries on both sides, and both claimed the battle as a victory.
“It was on the original stagecoach route from the west to the shore,” said Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett. “In the 1920s to ’30s when the state built Route 72, they bypassed the site.”
Funding for the current grant round is dedicated from a voter-approved constitutional amendment that created the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund, which is supported by income from the corporate business tax. The fund will receive an annual allocation in support of historic preservation projects for planning and construction. All grantees are nonprofit organizations or entities of municipal, county and state government. All funded projects are listed on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places, either individually or within designated historic districts. The Preserve New Jersey Fund continues the work of the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund and voter-supported referendums that have committed $140 million to more than 750 historic preservation projects since 1990.
“Each grant round is highly competitive,” explained Historic Trust Executive Director Dorothy P. Guzzo. “While we were able to fund almost half of the requested number of applications in this grant round, there is still tremendous need for financial support of historic preservation at the state, county and local levels. We are very pleased to have this ongoing source of funding to help meet those needs.”
Established in 1967, the New Jersey Historic Trust is the only nonprofit historic preservation organization in New Jersey created by state law. The trust became a Department of Community Affairs affiliate in 2002 in an effort to better realign the state’s smart growth initiatives with historic revitalization. Its mission is to advance historic preservation in New Jersey for the benefit of future generations through education, stewardship and financial investment programs that save our heritage and strengthen our communities.
— Eric Englund