There’s History in Haddonfield

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By Pam Teel





Did you ever find yourself without a thing

to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Now

that gas is cheaper, many people are taking

to the roads on mini excursions to places not too

far from their homes. They are getting out and

exploring towns and sights in their own state that

they probably knew little about. Haddonfield is

one of those towns, rich not only in history but a

shoppers and diner’s paradise with its quaint tree

lined streets that boasts over 200 restaurants and

shops in its downtown area. On the main streets

of the downtown you will find six gourmet coffee

shops, cafes, arts and entertainment, Chinese,

Vietnamese, Indian, and Italian restaurants,

to name a few, and in the summer time the

restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks as outdoor

cafes. There are many specialty shops located in the

historic shops along the main avenues of the town.

It is there you will find one of New Jersey’s most

historic buildings, the Famed Indian King Tavern

Museum. It was built in 1750 and named for the

local Lenape Indians who lived among the farmers

closer to the Delaware. The tavern is a fine example

of eighteenth century colonial tavern architecture

as well as the site where New Jersey was legally

created. In 1777, as clashing armies devastated

Trenton, the Assembly reconvened in the Indian

King to pass legislation officially creating an

independent state and adopting its Great Seal. The

tavern has been a Haddonfield central landmark

for 255 years Haddonfield also has paleontological

relevance: this was where the first full dinosaur

skeleton was found in North America.

Every year Haddonfield has one of the largest

Fourth of July parades in New Jersey with as many

as ten thousand people lined up on its streets

and in the fall it plays hosts to a large antique

car show, which draws thousands of people from

all over. Want to catch a play while you’re there?

Haddonfield Plays and Players Theatre is located

at 957 E. Atlantic Avenue, bringing you quality

Community Theater since 1934. For more info and

to see what’s coming, call: 856-429-8139.

Haddonfield evolved over three centuries as a

mercantile hub. It also has an unusual number of

historically significant homes. One of the finest is

the Greenfield Hall, a two and a half story 1841

Georgian Mansion. It now houses the Haddonfield

Historical Society. The large stately Borough Hall

was built in 1928. Next to the Borough Hall is

the home of Civil War era physician Napoleon

Bonaparte Jennings. The home is rich in

gingerbread trim and dates back to 1857. One of

the oldest residences is the Hip Roof House, which

dates back to the early 1700’s. It was built closer

to the Delaware. To view other historic homes and

tour go to:


At one time Haddonfield was a vast farm

operated by the Redman family whose Victorian

mansion resembled a New England sea captains

home, complete with widows walk and other

Victorian features. The town was officially founded

by Elizabeth Haddon (1680-1762) when her

Quaker father purchased a 500-acre tract of land

in the colony of West Jersey to escape religious

persecution. Other historic homes include the

Birdwood Tenant House- 1811, the Pre-Victorian

Haddonfield Inn, which is an operating bed and

breakfast, some typical small houses of the federal

period in the historic district, the historic library,

The Reeves- Glover house, which is a gigantic brick

structure, quaint old shops, old churches, and


Long before Haddonfield itself was founded,

these lands were home to the Lenape Indians,

who settled along the banks of the Delaware and

lived amongst the farmers who settled there.

Haddonfield also has paleontological relevance:

this was where the first full dinosaur skeleton was

found in North America.

In the summer of 1858 a Victorian gentleman

and fossil hobbyist heard about a dinosaur bone

found some 20 years prior in a marl pit in the

town. William Parker Foulke went on a dinosaur

expedition and eventually uncovered the bones of

an animal larger than an elephant with structural

features of both a lizard and a bird. He discovered

the nearly complete skeleton of a dinosaur, which

was later, named Hadrosaurus Foulkii. There is a

small marker depicting the area of the find.

Haddonfield was named the top-ranking town

in the South Jersey Magazine and also named for

the best shopping and dining in south Jersey by the

New York Post. You can obtain more information

about the town and upcoming events at www. From this area you

are just within an hour’s drive.