Wednesday - November 26th, 2014  

Columbus/Mansfield History

The following is an excerpt from a book named Sign Posts, Place Names in History of Burlington County, New Jersey by Henry H. Bisbee, Historian, 1971:

Columbus (Mansfield Township). An unincorporated community five miles southeast of Bordentown on route 206. First mentioned under the name in 1830 road returns. Named for Christopher Columbus.

The original site was settled by Thomas Scattergood, an English Quaker, who purchased 167 acres on Craft's creek for five shillings sterling. A tavern was located here as early as 1745. In 1761 the Black Horse Tavern opened. The tavern is mentioned in 1769 road returns. Road returns of 1800 call the place Black Horse Village.

Folklore implies that place was once called Encroaching Corners, as some landowners "encroached" on the highway with their fences.

Black Horse figured prominently in the 1795 elections when a county referendum was called to decide upon the location of a new county seat. Mount Holly won the election in a three way fight with Burlington City.

Around 1825 a movement was on foot to change the name of the village which was officially changed to Columbus in 1827 when the post office was established. It is said that the inn keeper of the Black Horse Tavern was so enraged that he refused to serve any man who called the town by its new name. Columbus may be considered a commemorative naming of place.

Mansfield Square, Mansfield Township. A village on Old York Road just off route 206 in southeastern part of the township. Here is the site of Rising Sun Tavern, which opened as early as 1761. The tavern displayed a signboard depicting a "rising sun."

In December 1776 the village was a Hessian outpost. The 1795 map notes the name Rising Sun, and the village carried this name as well as Rising Sun Square and The Square until around 1849 when the name was changed to Mansfield Square.

Mansfield Township. Bounded north by Bordentown Township, north and northeast by Chesterfield Township, south by Springfield Township and northwest by Florence Township and Delaware River. It was formed as a township under the Proprietors in 1688, reformed by Royal Charter in 1770 and incorporated by the State of New Jersey in 1798.

In 1850 part was given to form Fieldsboro within the township. In 1852 part was ceded to help form Bordentown Township and in 1872 part to form Florence Township.

The name Mansfield comes from the name of the English town on the border of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. Further evidence of this fact is that the township on the opposite side of Crosswicks Creek was once called Nottingham.

Mansfield Township contains slightly more than twenty-three square miles of mostly farmland. It had an estimated population in 1970 of 2531 people. The township is watered by Black's Creek, Bacon's Run, Assiscunk Creek, Craft's Creek and Kinkora or Spring Hill Run.

The villages include Columbus, Georgetown, Hedding, Kinkora, Mansfield and Sharp. Georgetown, Mansfield Township. Village in eastern part of the township. Folklore implies the name was once Fooltown because a man bankrupted himself building a mansion. Georgetown was named for George Sykes prior to 1834. The Quaker Sykes was a surveyor and served in the U. S. Congress from 1834 to 1848.

Hedding, Mansfield Township. Hamlet on York Road in northwestern part of township. From 1793 until 1813 place was known as Bryant's Tavern after William Byrant of Brian the proprietor. In 1817 the name was changed to Three Tuns as the sign before the hostelry depicted three casks or tuns. Methodist Episcopal; Church services were held at Three Tuns as early as 1830. In 1847 a church was built which was named Hedding Methodist Episcopal Church in honor of Elijah Hedding, a Bishop of this denomination. The name Three Tuns continued as the name of the village until 1920 when it was changed to the name of the church, Hedding.

Kinkora, Mansfield Township. Name of the area above Roebling at route 130 and Hedding Road. This was formerly a rail terminal for the Kinkora branch and its junction with the Amboy Division of the railroad. Pipe tile was made here in 1860, and from 1875 to 1890 the Knickerbocker Ice Houses were in operation. The Origin of New Jersey Place Names states that the original Kinkora was the "Stronghold of King Brian." Although the statement is true, Kinkora, Mansfield Township, has no connection with Ireland. Origin: The name is Indian in origin and is a corruption of Quinkoringh, the name of the area before William Biddle purchased Biddle's Island and settled on the mainland at Mount Hope.

Information courtesy  Pearl Tusim  (Mansfield Township historian).

Northern Burlington County Band Boosters.
The Webmaster