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Burlington County’s diverse and rich history was showcased again with this year’s History Recognition Award recipients.
Awarded annually by the Burlington County Commissioners for more than 25 years, the program honors those who directly or indirectly preserve historic structures and sites in the county, as well as those who explore, record and promote history or serve as leaders and educators in the field of history.
“Burlington County’s history spans from Native Americans and early Colonials through modern times. Critical Revolutionary War battles were fought here, life-changing scientific discoveries were made here, and historic figures such as Clara Barton, Alice Paul and Dr. James Still all called Burlington County home,” said Commissioner Linda Hynes, who is the Board’s liaison to the County Department of Resource Conservation. “We’re proud of our county’s history and are thrilled to continue the tradition of recognizing those individuals and organizations that help preserve it for present and future generations.”
This year a total of ten awards were made by the Commissioners in seven different categories honoring published history, achievement and leadership, education, historic projects and outstanding history organization.
Nominations for the awards were solicited and reviewed by Burlington County Parks staff and the Commissioners.
This year’s recipients are:
A video presentation of the award winners was posted on the Burlington County Parks YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO_nBZk6W0M.
In addition to recognizing those who help preserve and promote Burlington County’s history, the Board of Commissioners remains committed to providing financial backings to these local organizations.
This year, the Board awarded more than $31,000 in grant to local history groups like the Armed Forces Heritage Museum and the Timbuctoo Historical Society. For many of them, the funding was critical for their operations during the pandemic.
Burlington County has also undertaken major projects to preserve historic sites such as Smithville in Eastampton, where industrialist Hezekiah B. Smith lived and manufactured high-wheel bicycles in the late 1800s, and the Prison Museum in Mount Holly, which was the one-time home of Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler.
Burlington County has also created the Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Sciences in Mount Holly. Located in the historic home of James Langstaff, the Lyceum is a museum dedicated to Burlington County’s extraordinary history, from prehistoric times to the turn of the century.
“Burlington County is blessed to have so many historic sites and artifacts. It’s a big part of what makes our county so wonderful, but it also takes a lot of resources and labor to preserve,” Hynes said. “That makes those of work and volunteer all that more important. It’s because of their efforts that our history is kept alive for everyone to explore and enjoy.”