The Woodruff Museum Of Indian Artifacts
Wednesdays from 1-4 PM the museum will be available showcasing the many examples of Lenni Lenape examples of every day life. Call ahead to schedule a visit at any other time.
Found in the Woodruff Museum of Indian Artifacts, located in the lower level of the Bridgeton Free Public Library at 150 E. Commerce Street in Bridgeton, NJ, are some 30,000 pieces on Native American relics creatively laid out in display cases.
Among the 30,000 pieces you will find approximately 25,000 Indian arrowheads, all found in South Jersey. Amid the arrowheads, you will find some Folsom Points which are about 10,000 years old.
All artifacts in the museum come from the Lenni Lenape Indian Tribe. James Holder, one of the museum’s volunteer tour guides, explains that all were found in what the Indians called the Unalachtigo section of the Delaware Indian Nation. This section covered parts of what is now Ocean and Burlington Counties on the northern border and extended southward covering all the South Jersey counties.
Some other of the remarkable arrowheads found in this interesting collection are the Iron Stones, dated from between 5,000 to 8,000 years ago.
There are also notched bifurcate arrowheads created some 3,000 to 5,000 years ago and Quartzite arrowheads, found in Greenwich that go back from 600 to 1,000 years ago.
Also found in the display cases are pots, mostly found by the late Howard Radcliffe who helped assemble the museum.
There are 57 pots carefully reconstructed from shattered pieces by Radcliffe, known in South Jersey as the “Grandfather” of all local Indian artifact collectors.
Other interesting items displayed in the museum are a collection of axes dating back 1,000 years, gorgets that Indian women used to tie their hair back, cooking utensils, fishing bobs, pipes and bones such as the skull of a dog found at the feet of a skeleton in an Indian burial ground.
The museum was created by the late George J. Woodruff with the assistance of Mr. Radcliffe. The artifacts were stored in Woodruff’s home until the men created the museum at the Bridgeton Library in the year 1976.
A group of volunteers interested in Indian artifacts and collectors themselves, serve as tour guides for the museum and are available to take school children on tours during the week if scheduled in advance by schools. These knowledgeable volunteers provide a valuable background to what a visitor sees in the dozens of displays located throughout the museum. They are there from 1:00 to 4:00 pm every Wednesday.
A demonstration of flintknapping, or making projectiles from larger pieces of rock, was presented by docent, Leigh Ingersoll and his colleague, Evan Shea.
You can preview the Woodruff Museum before visiting.