Cumberland County is home to some of the most historically significant architecture in New Jersey, from the last mainland lighthouse on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay to a significant station in the Underground Railroad. Given the areas largely rural nature, interpreting the collective history of these sites has proven challenging.
In 2011, the Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission received a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities to interpret fifteen of these sites and create audio podcasts for each. The Commission formed a Panel of Scholars, comprised of architects, historians and other professionals, which reviewed all the content of each podcast to ensure the most accurate information was presented. Over the next eighteen months, historical data was collected, podcasts scripts were written, interviews were taken, and podcasts recorded.
While the podcasts were under production, the Commission retained the services of the renowned Philadelphia architecture firm of Venturi Scott Brown & Associates to design the signs which would be installed at each site to direct visitors to the online podcasts.
In September 2012 the website dedicated to this project, www.cumberlandhistorical.org, was released and beta testing commenced. The intent of the Commission is to make the cumberlandhistorical.org website the main online repository of data on the historic architecture of Cumberland County, New Jersey.
The fifteen podcasts were completed in late 2012 and the website was formally released to the general public in December of that year. Data is constantly being added to the website, and the Commission is working to expand the number of podcasts available for download.
The Commission encourages anyone with historical records, photographs or drawings of the historic sites listed on this website, to contact Matthew E. Pisarski at the Commission by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (856.453.2175). Through continual research and even greater levels of interpretation and understanding of our collective past can the citizens of Cumberland County build an even more profound future.