A Walking Tour of Moorestown, New Jersey
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Moorestown, New Jersey is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. More
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Moorestown, New Jersey is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions.
Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
In 1682, when a wagon road from Burlington to Salem was carved out along a ridge, Quakers found their way here. John Rodman purchased 500 acres of land in 1686 and the western half of today’s town became known as Rodmantown. The eastern portion was called Chestertown, although there was no vibrant unifying force to apply much definition to the scattered settlements in the vicinity. One hundred and fifty years later there were still scarcely 50 dwellings in town. It had by that time, however, acquired the name “Moorestown,” named in honor of the village’s first tavern owner. Thomas Moore purchased 33 acres of land in 1732 opposite the Friends Meeting House (established in 1700) and subsequently subdivided his land for private homes and business sites.
From its inception Moorestown was always a town of homes and small shops rather than an industrial community. There were a few mills nearby and a small tanning industry and a thriving nursery and fruit trade but nothing that substantially altered the residential ambience. Early on Moorestown developed a history of attracting the rich and famous. Samuel Leeds Allen, inventor of the Flexible Flyer sled, was one of the first. His house was later bought by Eldridge Johnson, who was manufacturing Victrolas in Camden for his company that would become RCA.
In recent times Moorestown became the hamlet of choice for high-voltage Philadelphia Eagles football stars, Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens among them. In 2005 Money magazine announced what residents had known for 150 years: Moorestown was the best place to live in America.
The historic district is stuffed with over 350 qualifying properties but we’ll concentrate our explorations along Main Street, beginning in a building that has first served the town 200 years ago...