History of Atlantic County, New Jersey

Sketch of Old Gloucester County (1834) NJ
Brief History of Atlantic Co NJ
History of Atlantic County Municipalities
List of Old Places Names for Atlantic County NJ


  • Sketch of Old Gloucester County (1834)

    Source: The Daily Union history of Atlantic City and County, New Jersey : containing sketches of the past and present of Atlantic City and county, with maps and illustrations specially prepared, by John F. Hall; The Daily Union History of Atlantic City and County, New Jersey. Atlantic City, N.J.: Daily Union, 1900.

    Gordon's History of New Jersey, published by Daniel Fenton, of Trenton, in 1834, contains the following interesting sketches of Gloucester County, of which at that time Atlantic County formed a part.

    ABSECUM.--A post town of Galloway township, on Absecum creek, about two miles above Absecum bay, contains a tavern, a store, and 8 or 10 dwellings, surrounded by sand and pine forest.

    ABSECUM BEACH. (Atlantic City), on the Atlantic Ocean, extends eastwardly from Great Egg Harbor Inlet, about 9 miles to Absecum Inlet; broken, however, by a narrow inlet near midway between its extremeties.

    BARGAINTOWN, in Egg Harbor township, 4 miles from Egg Harbor bay, contains 2 taverns, 1 store, a grist mill, Methodist Church and about 30 dwellings.

    GRAVELLY LANDING (Port Republic), of Galloway Township, 40 miles southeast of Woodbury, the county seat, and 79 miles form Tentone on Nacote creek, contains a tavern, a store, and 10 or 12 dwellings.

    LEEDS POINT, post town, in Galloway township, 83 miles from Trenton, contains a store, a tavern and 4 or 5 houses.

    MARTHA FURANCE, on the Oswego branch of Wading river, about 4 miles above navigation, in Washington township, Burlington County, has a grist and saw mill and iron furnace; makes about 750 tons of castings annually, employed 60 hands, making a population of nearly 400, requiring 30 or 40 dwellings. There are about 30,000 acres in the estate.

    MAYS LANDING, of Hamilton township, on the Great Egg Harbor river, at the head of sloop navigation, 16 miles form the sea and 35 miles southeast from Woodbury and 73 miles from Trenton, built on both sides of the river, contains 3 taverns, 4 stores, a Methodist Church and 25 or 30 dwellings. Considerable trade in lumber, cordwood and shipbuilding is carried on at this place.

    PLEASANT MILLS, of Galloway township, on the Atsion river, contains a tavern, 2 stores, a glass factory, belonging to Coffin & Co., a cotton factory with 3,000 spindles, and from 20 to 30 dwellings.

    SOMERS POINT, port of entry for Great Egg Harbor district, on Great Egg Harbor bay. Tavern and boaring houses and several farm houses here. Is much resorted to for sea bathing in summer and gunning in the fall season.

    SMITHVILLE, village in Galloway, 2 miles from Leeds Point, contains a tavern, a store, Methodist meeting house, and 10 or 12 dwellings, surrounded by pines and near salt marsh.

    TUCKAHOE, on both sides of the Tuckahoe river, over which there is a bridge, 10 miles from the sea, contains some 20 dwellings, 3 taverns and several stores. It is a place of considerable trade in wood, lumber and shipbuilding. The land immediate on the river is good, but a short distance from it is swampy and low.

    The post towns of Gloucester County are Absecum, Bargaintown, Camden, an incorporated city, Carpenters Landing, Chews Landing, Clarksboro, Glassboro, Gloucester Furnace, Gravelly Landing, Haddonfield, Hammonton, Jackson Glassworks, Leeds Point, Longacoming, Malaga, Mays Landing, Mullica Hill, Pleasant Mills, Smiths Landing, Somers Point, Stephens Creek, Sweedesboro [sic Swedesboro], Tuckahoe, and Woodbury, the seat of justice of the county.

    There are several academies for teaching the higher branches of education and primary schools in most of the agricultural neighborhoods. There are also established Sunday-schools in most, if not all, the populous villages; a county bible society, various tract societies and many temperance associations, which have almost rendered the immoderate use of ardent spirits infamous.

    In 1832, the report of the county assessors gave 3,075 households, whose ratables did not exceed $30 in value, 978 single men, 102 stores, 21 fisheries, 45 grist mills, 2 cotton and 2 woollen factories, 4 carding machines, 4 blast furnaces, 3 forges, 63 saw mills, 4 fulling mills, 8 feerries, 9 tan yards, 29 distilleries, 7 glass factories, 2 four-horse stage wagons, 967 covered wagons with fixed tops, 204 riding chairs, gigs, sulkies and pleasure carriages, 4 two-horse stage wagons, 31 dearborns with steel, iron or wooden springs; and it paid a county tax of $10,000; poor tax, $5,000; and road tax, $15,000.

    By the census of 1830 Gloucester County, twelve large township, contained 28,431 inhabitants, of whom 13,916 were white males, 12,962 white females, 14 female slaves; 835 free colored males; 714 free colored females. Of these there were deaf and dumb, under 14 years, 64; above 14 and under 30, 73; above 25 years, 80; blind, 205 white, 22 black; aliens 3,365.

    There is a county poor house on a farm of 200 acres near Blackwoodstown, in Deptford township.

    Brief History of Atlantic County NJ

    page 11
    Gloucester County at one time extended from the Delaware to the sea, including what is now Camden, Atlantic, and Gloucester Counties. Camden was made a county by an act of the legislature March 13, 1844, seven years after Atlantic County had been created.

    On February 7, 1837, an act was passed creating Atlantic County. There were then only four large townships or voting places in this county: Egg Harbor, Weymouth, Hamilton and Galloway. Mullica was created out of Galloway, and the town of Hammonton out of Mullica. Buena Vista, in 1867, was created out of Hamilton and Atlantic City set off form Egg Harbor township in 1854.

    The first deed was recorded by J.H. Collins, the first county clerk, on May 4, 1837, and was for 40 acres of land in Egg Harbor township, sold by D. Robart and wife to Samuel Saunders.

    Samuel Richards and wife gave to the Board of Freeholders the lot at Mays Landing for the county buildings, by deed dated May 25, 1838, and the present court house was soon after erected thereon.

    At the annual meeting of the Board of Freeholders of Gloucester County, held in May, 1836, 28 members constituted the Board, while at the annual meeting on the 10th of May, 1837, 20 members composed the body, the townships of Hamilton, Weymouth, Egg Harbor, and Galloway having been set off from Gloucester County, forming a new county called Atlantic, by an act of the legislature passed the 7th day of February, A.D. 1837. At this meeting commissioners were appointed to value the public buildings at Woodbury, the almshouse property, and other assets of the County of Gloucester, and to ascertain what proportion of such valuation would be due to the county of Atlantic, according to the ratio of population determined by the last census.

    The commissioners appointed for Gloucester County were: John Clements, Elijah Bower and Saunders; for Atlantic County, Daniel Baker, Joseph Endicott and Enoch Doughty. These gentlemen met at the court house in Woodbury on the 9th day of May, 1837, at 10 o'clock and were each sworm or affirmed faithfully and impartially to value the public properties of Gloucester County... Their report was submitted to the respective Boards of Freeholders of the counties of Gloucester and Atlantic, with the sincere wish, now that their interests are about to be separated, that in all the future transcations and intercourse of the officers and inhabitants of the said district with each other, they may ever be actuated by the same charity, forbearance and goodwill, that we trust and believe, have governed us in our labors to arrive at the conclusion stated. The report was signed by all of the commissioners and approved by the respective Boards of Freeholders.

    Atlantic County has been still further divied up into cities and boroughs until now it has 28 voting precincts instead of the original four of 60 years ago. Atlantic City was incorporated in 1854, Egg Harbor City in 1858, Hammonton in 1865, Buena Vista in 1867, Absecon in 1872, and Somers Point, Pleasantville, Linwood, Brigantine City, and South Atlantic City more recently.

    On February 7, 1837 the townships of Egg Harbor, Weymouth, Galloway and Hamilton set off from Gloucester County to become the new county of Atlantic. The county seat was designated to be Mays Landing. Each of these townships was made up of towns, villages and stations on the railroad.

    Egg Harbor was the original township. It covered what is now all of Atlantic County plus part of Gloucester County.
    Galloway separated from Egg Harbor Township 1774.
    Weymouth separated from Egg Harbor Township in 1798.
    Hamilton separated from Egg Harbor Township 1813.
    Atlantic City was incorporated in 1854
    Egg Harbor City incorporated in 1858
    Hammonton incorporated in 1865
    Buena Vista incorpoated in 1867
    Absecon incorporated in 1872

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