Local residents and folks who know Mt. Holly’s heritage…
Mount Holly’s history predates the American Revolution by nearly one hundred years. Walter Reeves, who lived on the Rancocas Creek before 1677, purchased land in what would become Mount Holly from Native Americans or assumed ownership through squatter’s rights. The community is home to the oldest operating fire company in the United States, the Prison Museum designed by Robert Mills, and the oldest schoolhouse in New Jersey, still on its original site. Occasionally throughout its history, Mount Holly has fallen victim to the Rancocas Creek, which has swelled over its banks and spilled into the streets. Many bridges were built, allowing residents to pass over the creek and offering Mount Holly its first name, Bridgetown. As early as 1723, entrepreneurs took advantage of the water by digging the millrace, which powered the great mills that became the impetus for development and commerce in Mount Holly. The mills are gone now, but the town that developed around them still has all the character of an early working town. Mount Holly takes a glance at the early commerce, architecture, unfortunate disasters, and celebrations that molded this town into the diverse community that it is today.