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This article is about the Township of Moorestown in New Jersey. Other places in New Jersey with similar names are Morris Townshipmarker, New Jerseymarker and Morristownmarker, New Jerseymarker.


Moorestown is a township in Burlington Countymarker, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker as well as an affluent eastern suburb of Philadelphiamarker. At the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 19,017. Moorestown is not to be confused with similarly-named Morristownmarker, a town in the northern part of New Jersey.

Moorestown Township was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 11, 1922, from portions of Chester Township (now Maple Shade Townshipmarker), based on the results of a referendum held on April 25, 1922.

The township banned all liquor sales in 1915 and retained the restrictions after Prohibition ended in 1933. Referendums aiming to repeal the ban failed in both 1935 and 1953. In 2007, the Township Council approved a referendum that would allow the sale by auction of six liquor licenses (the state limit of one per every 3,000 residents), with estimates that each license could sell over $1 million each. The referendum did not receive enough votes to pass.

Moorestown was ranked number one in Money magazine's list of the best places to live in America in 2005. The magazine screened over a thousand small towns and created a list of the top 100 for its August 2005 issue. The township earned the top spot because of its true community feeling, in addition to its plentiful jobs, excellent schools and affordable housing. Another one of its attributes is its close proximity to Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, about a 15-minute commute.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.7 km²), of which, 14.8 square miles (38.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (1.07%) is water.

Moorestown Township is located in southwest Burlington County and borders Maple Shade Townshipmarker to the south, Cinnaminson Townshipmarker and Delran Townshipmarker to the west, Willingboro Townshipmarker on the north and Mount Laurel Townshipmarker to the east. Moorestown Township is approximately ten miles east of Philadelphia.

Moorestown-Lenolamarker is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Moorestown Township. Other place names used within Moorestown include North Bend, Stanwick, Northwest Estates. Some of the neighborhoods in Moorestown are West Moorestown, East Moorestown, South Moorestown, and Downtown Moorestown.

Demographics

At the 2000 census , there were 19,017 people, 6,971 households, and 5,270 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,287.3 per square mile (497.1/km²). There were 7,211 housing units at an average density of 488.1/sq mi (188.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 89.19% White, 5.69% African American, 0.16% Native American, 3.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.75% of the population.

There were 6,971 households of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.4% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.13.

Age distribution was 27.4% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

The median household income was $78,826, and the median family income was $94,844. Males had a median income of $74,773 versus $39,148 for females. The per capita income for the township was $42,154. About 2.4% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

Moorestown's municipal government operates under a Council-Manager plan under the Faulkner Act. A five-member Council is elected at large on a partisan basis, with each member elected for a four-year term of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year.

The Township Manager, a full-time professional administrator, is appointed by the Council. Under the Township's administrative code and the Faulkner Act, the Manager is vested with broad executive and administrative authority and responsibility.

Members of the Moorestown Township Council are Mayor Daniel Roccato, Acting Mayor John Button, Greg Gallo, Michael Testa, and Seth N. Broder .

On Election Day, November 4, 2008, Republicans John Button (5,671 votes), Gregory Gallo (5,651) and Michael Testa (5,424) won election to all three open seats on the Township Council, defeating Democrats Mark E. Hines (4,281), Jonathan A. Eron (4,148) and Grit-Karen Anhold (3,911). In 2004, Moorestown elected a majority Democrat council for the first time in its history. In 2008, the Moorestown Republicans won back three seats, giving them a 4-1 majority starting in 2009.

During the summer of 2007, the Council Chamber of Town Hall suffered damages caused by an electrical fire. The office is now located in temporary quarters at 2 Executive Place. Moorestown Township Council meetings are now held at the William Allen Middle School Auditorium.

Federal, state and county representation

Moorestown Township is in the Third Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 8th Legislative District.

Education

The Moorestown Township Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are three K-3 elementary schools — George C. Baker (433 students), Mary E. Roberts (401 students) and South Valley (464 students) — Moorestown Upper Elementary School for grades 4-6 (1,004 students), William Allen Middle School for grades 7-8 (724 students) andMoorestown High Schoolmarker for grades 9-12 (1,314 students).

Moorestown Friends Schoolmarker is a private Quaker school located at East Main Street and Chester Avenue. The school serves approximately 700 students from Pre-School through 12th grade.

History

Moorestown originated as a Quaker town. It is not certain when the first European settlers came here, but it was in 1682 that the road from Burlingtonmarker to Salemmarker, passing through what is now Moorestown, was laid out. Dr. John Rodman bought 500 acres (2 km²) of land in 1686 in what is now the western section of Moorestown, but was called Rodmantown at that time. What is now the east part of Moorestown was called Chestertown. The name Moorestown did not come into use until the mid 1800s, named after Moore's Tavern. The first meetinghouse was built out of logs in 1700, but burned down in 1720. Another meetinghouse was built out of stone, but was erected in 1802 for a burial site. Until 1867, the only form of transportation from Moorestown to Philadelphia was stagecoach, until a railroad was built. Before this, Coles Hotel was a major resting point.

Today, as one walks along Main Street from the Friends’ School west past the old Town Hall, it is hard to believe that the ridge that the road (formerly The King’s Highway) follows was once occupied by the wigwams of the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. Two fine springs, one to the west (off Main Street before reaching the Perkins Center for the Arts, just by Roberts Elementary School) and one to the east (off North Stanwick Road) were attractive to Native Americans and traders alike.

Although there were property owners as early as 1680 in the present township location, (formerly known as Chester Township), the Village of Moorestown was founded in 1682 when the first owners built homes and actually lived here. Thomas Hooton and son acquired in 1682 and a Roberts family also set up their farmstead in the area. In May 1686, when Philadelphia was about three years old, John Rodman bought 500 acres (2 km²) on the west side of Chester Township, and Thomas Rodman bought another in the same area, which soon became known as the Village of Rodmantown. The growing area around the eastern spring was known as the Village of Chestertown.

In 1700, the first Society of Friends’ Meeting House, built of logs, was erected on The King’s Highway. Originally known as Meeting House Lane, Chester Avenue was laid out in 1720. The Village at that time probably consisted of a few farmhouses along The King's Highway from Stanwick Road to Locust Street.

Thomas Moore and his wife Elizabeth settled here in 1722. In 1732, Moore purchased of land on the north side of The King's Highway. The land ran from the west side of the Friends' graveyard on the northwest corner of The King’s Highway and Meeting House Lane on the east and west to Locust Street on the western boundary of his property and north to Second Street. Moore set up a hotel on the northwest corner of The King’s Highway and Union Streets (where a former Shell gas station is, across the street from the Wawa). With so much land eventually being owned by Thomas Moore, the name Moorestown gradually replaced Chester informally in what is now the center of town. Finally, Moorestown formerly split off from Chester and became a Township.

The Coles Hotel, east of the corner of Main and Chester, was the scene of great activity prior to the building of the railroad in 1867. Before this time, the stagecoach was the only public conveyance between Moorestown and Philadelphia, and the hotel was a stagecoach stop.

Another landmark on Main Street, east of Chester Avenue, is now the present home of Verizon. In 1745 John Cox erected a tavern there that was to become famous in the early history of Moorestown. Town Meetings were held in the tavern prior to 1812 when Old Town Hall was then erected.

The home now standing on the northwest corner of Main and Schooley Streets, then the home of Joshua Bispham, was commandeered by Hessian officers during the American Revolutionary War as they retreated from Philadelphia in 1778.

The old homestead on the northeast corner of King's Highway and Lenola Road was constructed in 1742 by John Cowperthwaite. As an excellent example of an 18th century home, record of its construction was made in 1937 by the United States Department of the Interiormarker and is now recorded in the Library of Congressmarker.

Vernon Hill's 46,000 ft² (4,270 m²) mansion Villa Collina — Italian for "Hill House" — the largest private residence in New Jersey, is located in Moorestown.

Moorestown's Quaker heritage is discussed in Moorestown resident and native historian William H. Kingston's book, Moorestown's Third Century: The Quaker Legacy.

Transportation

Moorestown does not have its own train station, as residents have historically been opposed to the concept, though the original plan of the PATCO line had a train stopping in Moorestown. Residents can drive to train stations in the nearby communities of Haddonfieldmarker and Lindenwoldmarker, for access to PATCO Speedline and NJ Transit service.

New Jersey Transit provides a bus service to Philadelphia on the 317, 407, 409 and 413 bus routes, with local service available on the 457 line.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Moorestown Township include:

Moorestown in fiction



References

External links



Further reading








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