History and Genealogy of East Greenwich NJ
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"About 1681 The General Assembly at Burlington passed an act to survey and set forth a public highway between Amboy and Burlington and thence to Salem, along the Indian trail through the primeval forest." Andrew Robeson, Surveyor General of New Stockholme, was appointed surveyor for the Fourth Tenth, to survey and construct the King's Highway in this area.

A View of Kings Highway
A view of Kings Highway. Photograph from the East Greenwich Master Plan 2004

The old Kings Highway is one of the earliest highways established in New Jersey. It ran from Perth Amboy to Salem passing through the town of Woodbury and the villages of Berkeley (Mt. Royal), Clarksboro and Mickleton.

The course of the "Old Kings Highway" or "Old Salem Road" through Mickleton has long been the subject of debate and research. It is generally agreed that it took a southeasterly course near the Otto-Tonkin House to avoid Craft's Hill. In 1966 Elizabeth Haines Sherman wrote scholarly thesis for her Master's Degree that presented documented evidence that the portion of Rattling Run Road was indeed part of the old road. In 1981 it was reported that "one of the old highway milestones forms part of the curb today on the north side of Cedar Road beside the Bank." In 2004 I investigated this, and could not see a particular curbstone that looked like it was a former milestone.

In Cushing and Sheppard's account, it is said that Salem Turnpike milestones were placed in 1772 and 1773. In 1962 one of these milestones, in good condition, could be found at the then Haines Funeral Home in Clarksboro, lettering "12 miles to Coop's Ferry--21 Miles to Salem." [Coops Ferry is the current city of Camden]. Historian's note: from what I understand from a later publication, this milestone may have been given/donated to the Gloucester County Historical Society. I'll be checking this to see if they have it, and if I can take a photograph of this!

According to the 1981 Centennial Booklet of East Greenwich, It is believed that the Mickleton tollgate was in front of the house at 387 Kings Highway. (The book didn't say whether this was on the same side of the street, or across the street). The toll was about two cents. John Pedrick was the toll-taker for many years. In 1908 Daniel Mumford bought the tollgate and moved it to the Dickerson tract in Woodbury.

Other local stories state that the Mickleton Toll Gate was a bit further north (than the above location) on King's Highway at the corner of Toll Gate Road and King's Highway (this would make sense considering the way that street is named).

Old Mickleton Toll Gate
Old Mickleton Toll Gate, from a photograph in the 1981 Centennial booklet of East Greenwich NJ
Probable location of the Mickleton Toll Gate (photo taken November 2004) on King's Highway in the Mickleton section of East Greenwich NJ
Photograph of 367 Kings Highway in Mickleton (taken November 2004) where it is believed that the Mickleton tollgate was originally located (in the general vicinity, either here or across the street).

Sometime in the 1940's, Ambassador Amos Peaslee of Clarksboro had a replica of a tollgate house built next to his property (the house just south of the Peasee main house on King's Highway, on the same side of the road). After this building was sold, later owners changed the house's appearance, so it no longer looks like the original "toll house."

The road (King's Highway) was straightened to its present course in 1812. [Peaslee, G. 69]

Variously known as Salem Avenue, Salem Pike, Gloucester and Salem Turnpike Road, Salem Turnpike and Swedesboro Turnpike, it once again became known as Kings Highway by ordinance adopted April 9, 1963 by the Township Committee.

Legend has it that Elizabeth Haddon's proposal of marriage to John Estaugh [described by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in "Tales of a Wayside Inn" occured on the Kings Highway near Mt. Royal. (A house was built and the town of Haddonfield was named for her). The story goes that a Quaker minister, John Estaugh came over to America and stopped in Haddonfield. The two, in company with others of the Quaker sect, proceeded on horseback down the King's Highway to attend the Friends Meetings at Salem. When the party reached a point over Mantua Creek, just north of Mt. Royal [near the four corners at Parkville Road and Kings Highway] -- Elizabeth, pretending that her saddle girth had slipped, asked John Estaugh to fix it. The two dismounted and dropped behind. Then Elizabeth, according to Longfellow,

"said, though still with a certain reluctance,
As if impelled to reveal a secret she fain would have guarded;
I will not longer conceal what is laid upon me to tell thee;
I have received from the Lord a charge to love thee, John Estaugh."

John Estaugh, "surprised by the words she had spoken," did not accept at once. He went back to England but later returned and he and Elizabeth Haddon were married in about 1702.

Other "famous" travelers from abroad passed over this road. During the Revolutionary War, Lord Cornwallis and his men travelled it, and stretched their arms around a famous oak tree which stood at the time, just in front of the Friends Meeting House in Mickleton.

The Mickleton Oak
The Mickleton Oak, and the Howard House,
on Kings Highway in Mickelton, N.J. as mentioned
above. The house and the tree are no longer
in existence. From an old postcard
provided by Mrs. Eleanor Speich.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolph of Sweden rode down it in 1938 as Sweden's representative at the Tercentary celebration of the first Swedish landing on American Soil. The Duke of Windsor, former King of England visited it in 1942.

That road is still called Kings Highway and is the main thoroughfare of East Greenwich Township. [Tercentenary; Centennial.]


Name Changes
Road names in Mickleton have changed through the years.

. Wolfert Station Road was previously Union Road. Today's Union Road has also been known as Key's Mill Road or Poole's Road. .Friendship Road was known as De Vault Road and West Wolfert Station Road was known for many years as Bressler Road.
. Mantua Creek and Berkeley Road, sometimes referred to as the Paulsboro Road, was once part of the Barnsboro Turnpike.This turnpike extended from Barnsboro through Berkeley [Mount Royal] and Clonmell to Thompson's Point and Gibbstown.
. County House Road, once known as Lawrenceville Tunrpike
. Jefferson Road, was once part of the Old Cohocking Road, a former Indian trail. It was also known as simply County Road.
. Cohawkin Road was formerly known as the Cumberland Turnpike, and extended from Bridgeton through Clarksboro to Gibbstown. [Tercentenary 14; Centennial 18 - Elizabeth T. Scott]

Laying Out of Roads
Sand Hills to Cork's [or Cooks] Mill to Union Road 1834, Ratting Run Road laid out in 1854, Union Road 1807, Cedar Road 1800, Jessup Mill Road 1764, Pine Mill Road 1816, Heritage Road 1855, Berkeley to Barnsboro Road 1799.

Cohawkin Road was laid out in 1816 as follows: "Three rods wide originally was a native American trail bearing the Indian name, Cohocking, known in later years as Lawrenceville (now Jefferson) and Berkley Turnpike." [Note that there is a Cohocksink Creek in PA]. As the Lawrenceville (Jefferson) and Berkeley Turnpike passing through the township it was laid out as a highway about 1855, at the time when the Red Bank ferry to Philadelphia was in full operation. A toll-gate with dwelling was located on this highway, just west of the overpass of the present New Jersey Turnpike. This house was destroyed by fire before 1962.

In 1869 an article in the Village newspaper states: "George Sigan sold a house and lot formerly owned by a Edward Duffield, to Jacob Hughes who intends to build a convenience wharf on Mantua Creek, and have a dirt street opened direct to the turnpike, for more convenient access." This street is now known as North Street.


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