For generations now, no one has really heard of this place, even the people that live nearby.

Early in the 20th century, it was a very popular resort called Island Beach Amusement Park. It's nowhere near the Island Beach State Park that we know and love today. As a matter of fact, it's nowhere near the Jersey Shore.

via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
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It's an island in the middle of the Delaware River between Burlington, New Jersey, and Bristol, Pennsylvania. The indigenous Lenape tribes called it Matennecunk. Today it's known as Burlington Island and was the first settlement in the state in 1624.

Dutch and Swedish settlers set up a trading post there. It was actually intended to be the site of the Dutch West India Trading Co. before they decided to set up that famed operation on Manhattan Island.

In 1671, two Dutchmen were killed on the island by members of the Lenni Lenape tribe, which was the first recorded murder in the state.

Over the years ownership of the island changed hands as it was more recently used for the mining of sand and gravel, thus the large hole in the island. But its glory days were in the 1920s and '30s when it was a very popular regional amusement attraction.

via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
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Throughout the rest of the 20th century up until the 1970s, families would spend the summers there in tents and makeshift bungalows but evolved into almost permanent types of housing. Those folks were evicted from the island in 1975. It's been a very sought-after piece of property for its location and natural beauty. The only way to get there today is by small watercraft.

via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
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It's a pretty desolate and eerie place but there are people who dedicate their time and effort to the island. The Friends of Burlington Island is an organization of volunteers looking to work to preserve the Island in its natural state for the enjoyment of surrounding communities, naturalists, environmentalists, and recreational enthusiasts. If you're interested in the history and preserving nature in New Jersey, here's a great opportunity to get involved.

via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
via The Mickey Shuffle on YouTube
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Burlington Island has a fascinating history through the centuries. I've lived in Burlington County most of my life and never knew anything about this precious little dot of land on the Delaware River. It's a great story that you can find out more about here:

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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A little slice of Jersey (and U.S.) history: A look at Cowtown Rodeo

One of the Top 50 Candy stores in the US is right here in Jersey

Black River Candy Shoppe in Chester New Jersey was selected in Food Network Magazine's “America’s 50 Best Candy Stores” a couple of years back and the story went viral online earlier this year.

I decided to take a trip down there for myself to see what they had to offer. Right, when you walk in you feel like you are Charlie about to take over the chocolate factory. Black River Candy Shoppe is a cute little candy shop offering hundreds of different types of candy.

They have old-school childhood candy as well as an incredible selection of newer candy varieties. Candy is displayed in old whiskey barrels, and a lot of their candy is sold in bulk by the pound. It is located in downtown Chester right off of Main Street. Check out the photos from my recent visit: