Everyone knows that New Jersey and Delaware are neighbors, but few know that the two states share a physical border. A little piece of Delaware is tucked away in southern New Jersey, secluded and uninhabited, but there nonetheless.
Finn's Point National Cemetery
Finn's Point National Cemetery is located in Pennsville, New Jersey... but if you've been here, you've been just steps away from the state of Delaware.
Due to tidal flow and the way borders were originally drawn, a small promontory (raised mass of land, peninsula) actually falls within Delaware's borders. It is mostly marshland, and includes portions of the Killcohook National Wildlife Refuge. (Though its official refuge status was revoked by the federal government in 1998.)
So... how exactly did this happen? In the 1600s, the land around New Castle, Delaware was deeded to William Penn. He was given all land along the riverbed within a 12-mile radius of the town. At the time, New Jersey's physical borders fell outside the radius. However, dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers has expanded the land mass of New Jersey over the years. Still, the Supreme Court maintained the details of the original deed in 1934, determining the low water line to be the official boundary between the states and designating the land to Delaware.
The Wild West
Since the area is secluded and generally abandoned, it has garnered a reputation for criminal activity. New Jersey state and local police do not have jurisdiction in the area, lending to lawlessness.
According to a 1990 article in the Baltimore Sun, an occasional body will be found, drug users have been known to frequent the area and it's a popular place to strip and dump stolen cars. Teens sneak in to drink and party, and there's an arson incident almost yearly. Be aware that this promontory is mostly located on private property and trespassing is illegal.
Map, Up Close
Who knew that part of Delaware could be found within New Jersey's physical borders? In fact, there's a second spot that falls within the 12-mile radius - Artificial Island north of the Hope Creek Generating Station. The above snap from Google Maps highlights the 12-mile radius (in black) and landmasses attached to New Jersey that belong to Delaware (circled in red).
The day I learned this, it blew my mind, and I hope you found it interesting as well. It’s one of those really unique things about New Jersey that they don’t teach in schools, or at least not in mine. For more fun facts about New Jersey, check out my previous post:
18 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Jersey Shore.