We’ve been asked on a number of occasions who founded Washington Township, New Jersey, and there isn’t just one simple answer! We’re sharing a bit of the history of our township here, but if you’d like to know more, you can visit the township’s municipal page and see more of the story.
As far as we know, the oldest community that is a part of Washington Township today was the Grenloch Terrace area. This was once Tetamekon, a Lenni-Lenape village. Early records show that in May of 1714, a man from England named James Dilks purchased 272 acres from John Ladd, for the sum of 30 francs. (You can read more about this transaction here.)
The community surrounding the area grew as a variety of settlers moved onto that area of land. These families included the Turner family, the Hurff family, and the Heritage family, among others. You can still see their names around the area today…in the towns named Turnersville and Hurffville, and in the Heritage dairy farm stores that are still here.
Another of the earlier settlers was the Morgan family, who were the first residents of the Olde Stone House (pictured), which still exists today on Egg Harbor Road and is protected by the Washington Township Historic Preservation Commission.
In early 1836, a committee was formed to create an official Township government, consisting of a township clerk, a tax assessor, a tax collector and a constable. In fact, it was not until 1985 when the residents voted to have an elected mayor and councilpersons.
In February of 1836, a meeting was held at Green Tree Tavern at the corner of Egg Harbor Road and GreenTree Road (today, you can visit Ott’s Tavern very close to that spot!). During this meeting, Washington Township was incorporated into the Gloucester County. There was a brief period where the Township became part of Camden County, but it returned to Gloucester in February of 1871.
Want to Live in Washington Township, New Jersey?
That’s just a small bit of the answer to the question of who founded Washington Township, New Jersey – we can tell you much more about what makes our township special, both for residents and businesses. Reach out to the professionals at Century 21 Rauh & Johns today, and find out more about what makes Washington Township perfect for you!