Along the Mullica river
The Story of Quaker Bridge
BY JERSEYMAN · MAY 5, 2011
The story of Quaker Bridge begins with the need to cross the Batsto or Mullica River at that place in present-day Washington Township. As Leah Blackman explains, that need arose primarily among members of the Society of Friends who attended a yearly meeting at Little Egg Harbor:
As before stated sometime during the youthful age of the meeting house, there was a yearly meeting established at Egg Harbor, which continued for a number of years, and Friends came from distant sections to the yearly meeting at Egg Harbor.
In the year 1772 John Churchman states that there was a large concourse of people at the yearly meeting then held at Little Egg Harbor [now Tuckerton]. Friends who came from the upper section of Burlington county crossed the east branch of Mullica river, at the place now known as Quaker Bridge. After fording the stream they watered and fed their horses, and then sat down in the shade of a venerable and majestic oak tree and partook of the lunch they had brought with them. Fording the stream was not a very pleasant job, especially for people who were dressed in their “meeting garments,” and finally Little Egg Harbor Friends and Friends of the upper section of Burlington county, agreed to meet at the east branch of Mullica river, at the fording place, in order to construct a bridge as a more convenient way of crossing the stream. They met at the appointed time, and the banks of the stream being heavily timbered with large and primitive cedars a number them were cut down and a bridge constructed of them, and thus came about the name of Quaker Bridge, or as formerly called the “Quaker’s Bridge.”