Finns Point

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Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Map showing the location of Finns Point
Coordinates39°36′21″N 75°33′38″W / 39.60583°N 75.56056°W / 39.60583; -75.56056Coordinates: 39°36′21″N 75°33′38″W / 39.60583°N 75.56056°W / 39.60583; -75.56056

Finns Point is a small strategic promontory in Pennsville Township, Salem County, New Jersey, and New Castle County, Delaware, located at the southwest corner of the cape of Penns Neck, on the east bank of the Delaware River near its mouth on Delaware Bay.[1] Due to the wording of the original charter defining the boundaries of New Jersey and Delaware, part of the promontory is actually enclosed within the state of Delaware's border, due to tidal flow and the manner in which the borders between New Jersey and Delaware were first laid out. Therefore, this portion of Finns Point is an exclave of Delaware, cut off from the rest of the state by Delaware Bay.[2] The area is about 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Wilmington, and directly across the Delaware River from the New Castle area, and the Delaware River entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Pea Patch Island, part of the state of Delaware, sits in the channel of the river facing the promontory.

17th century[edit]

At the time of European colonization in the 17th century the Delaware River was known as the South River and the Salem River was known as Varkens Kill, or Hogg Creek.[3]

Tradition holds that a settlement was first planted by Finns as part of the colony of New Sweden in 1638.[4][5][6] among them, the family of Anders Sinicka, whose surname has many variations.[7] [8] [9][10][11] This is recalled in the name of the road running along the shore south of the Port of Salem, Sinnicksons Landing Road.[12] which bears the name of the a prominent Salem County family, including Thomas Sinnickson and his descendants.

In 1641, a group of 60 settlers (20 families) from the New Haven Colony (in today's Connecticut) purchased land along the kill. In 1643, the Governor of New Sweden built Fort Nya Elfsborg, just east of present-day Salem, New Jersey, and allowed the Varkens Kill settlement to remain if they swore allegiance to Sweden.[13][14][15]

In 1651, Fort Casimir was constructed directly across the river on the west bank of the Delaware and by 1655, the region came under the control of New Netherland, which it remained until 1664 when the English overran the settlements on the south banks of the Delaware. The peninsula on the east banks became West Jersey. The town at Salem was founded in 1675 by John Fenwick, a Quaker.[16][17]

Military facilities[edit]

The promontory is the location of Finns Point National Cemetery, a military cemetery used in the American Civil War for Union and Confederate soldiers who died while at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. It was also the location of Fort Mott, constructed after the Civil War and used up through World War I to protect the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company facilities upriver at Carneys Point Township, New Jersey, as well as the port of Philadelphia. The fort is now part of Fort Mott State Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Finns Point". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ Schoonejongen, John. "How Delaware got on Jersey’s side of the river", Asbury Park Press, September 10, 2010. Accessed September 21, 2015. "Killcohook, in Pennsville Township, is another. Not only is it a 'confined disposal facility' for dredging materials, Killcohook is also the name of a nearby wildlife refuge. It borders another wildlife refuge, Supawna, as well as the Finns Point National Cemetery, the Finns Point Lighthouse and Fort Mott State Park."
  3. ^ Placenames of Salem County, NJ, West Jersey History Project / Salem County Historical Society, 1964. Accessed September 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Seventeenth Century Salem County, New Jersey – 1600 through 1699" (PDF). Salem County Office of Archives and Records Management. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  5. ^ Math Teacher (December 10, 2010). "First Colony of Settlers of Finnish Blood - Pennsville, NJ". Waymarking. Retrieved 2013-07-28. FINNS POINT Near Here 300 Years Ago and Later Lived the First Colony Of Settlers of Finnish Blood Upon This Continent **To Their Memory and To The Love of Freedom And Justice that They Handed Down to Their Descendants This Tablet is Erected June 30, 1938
  6. ^ "Fins Point". Finnish Place Names - New Jersey. Genealogia. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  7. ^ "Old Chest". Rootsweb. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  8. ^ Dunlap, A.R.; E. J. Moyne. "The Finnish Language on the Delaware". Genealogia. Retrieved 2013-07-28. Sinick Brour is called a Finn in a land record in Vol. XV (p. 61) of the Penn MSS (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). On the Finnish origin of the Sinnexson, or Sennecson, family see The journal and Biography of Nicholas Collin, tr. Amandus Johnson (Philadelphia, 1936), p. 227
  9. ^ Vuorinen, Ask (December 27, 2012). "The Delaware Finns". Retrieved 2013-07-27. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ McMahon, William, South Jersey Towns (PDF), Rutgers University Press
  12. ^,Sinnickson+Landing+Rd,+Salem,+NJ+08079,+USA&gl=nl&ei=SuTzUeTkHsveOJHAgPgM&ved=0CDYQ8gEwAA
  13. ^ Chandler, Alfred N. (2000) [1945], Land Title Origins: A Tale of Force and Fraud, Beard Books, p. 242, ISBN 1-893122-89-1
  14. ^ Sheridan, Janet L. (2007). "Their houses are some Built of timber": The colonial timber frame houses of Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey. University of Michigan Ann Arbor. p. 182. ISBN 9780549186526. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  15. ^ Howe, Henry; Barber, John W. (1844), Salem, NJ, New York: S. Tuttle
  16. ^ Clement, John (1875). A sketch of the life and character of John Fenwick. Published by Friends Historical Association. Philadelphia: Henry S. Volkmar
  17. ^ Shourds, Thomas (1876). "John Fenwick." History and genealogy of Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey. Bridgeton, New Jersey, pp. 3-17 ISBN 0-8063-0714-5

External links[edit]