"Old Swedes" Trinity Church
208 Kings Highway
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
(856) 467-1227

Places Nearby:
C.A. Nothnagle Log House
Heritage Glass Museum
Church Landing Farmhouse
Fort Mott State Park, Finn's Point Lighthouse (see Fort Mott)
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Other States:

The Swedish have played more than a passing role in the growth and development of the United States. They were among the earliest settlers, establishing some of the earliest agricultural and industrial communities. About three hundred years ago Swedish pioneers came into southern New Jersey from Christiana, a town now known as Wilmington, and built their farms and homes in Raccoon, now Swedesboro.

The settlers were devout church-goers, but having no church had to sail across the Delaware to worship in Christiana. Eventually this became a hardship, and even dangerous during bad weather. They solved the problem by building their own church on the banks of Raccoon Creek.

The log cabin church was completed in 1703 and was the first Swedish Lutheran Church in New Jersey. That original church, damaged during the Revolutionary War, was replaced by another in 1784, and a bell tower and steeple were added in 1839. It is this church, Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church that was the fulcrum of a rapidly growing farming community and that today is the focus of an ever-growing cultural awareness in picturesque Swedesboro and its surrounding area.

Listed on both the National and State Historic Registers, the Church has recently been restored. An ambitious project is underway to develop Trinity Square, a beautiful interpretive park that will tell the community's story through displays and educational programs.

A Burial Ground on the Church property contains the remains of many historical figures, including a former New Jersey Governor and Revolutionary War notables. A Swedish Log Cabin can be seen adjacent to New Sweden Park, the site of the original church.

Swedesboro is actively reaching out to tell its history, a fact that predicts a handsome reward for visitors. Neighborhood Tours are conducted which include, of course, the Church. A variety of displays and artifacts can be seen that recall the area's history. Call for a calendar of upcoming events. As Trinity Square is developed an increasing number of family activities will take place.

Groups, including School Groups, are welcome. A Program has been developed for grades 5 through 12 that can enhance a variety of specific history lessons, such as those on significant historical figures. The melting pot nature of the United States, the impact of religion, the importance of water in the early days of our country, and other subjects can be incorporated to provide a well-rounded learning experience. Call to discuss your group's needs.

Hours: Open Monday through Saturday. Call to arrange a tour.
Admission: Donation.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Picnic area available, and a room is available for large groups during inclement weather (bagged lunch).
Handicapped Access: Accessible (not restrooms).
Directions: I-76 East to North/South Frwy. South to I-295 South to Exit 16A. Follow signs for Swedesboro. This is Rt. 653, which will change to Rt. 538. Go about 6 miles to end and turn right. Church is on right. 30 minutes from Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.