History of Mays Landing

 Mays Landing

History

In the beginning, the first to travel and settle in Mays Landing were the Absegami Indians, who were part of the Unalachtigo branch of the Lenni Lenape tribe.
 
 
1695 - First recorded settlers in area.
 
1700's - Methodists and Presbyterians made missionary trips into Atlantic County area.
 
1710 - Peter Steelman is believed to have first settled in Mays Landing.
 
1735 - The area known as Mays Landing was called Ilifftown after Edmond Illiff who purchased 30,000 acres. He built a sawmill and houses along the Babcock Creek.
 
1740 - Captain George May, an agent for the London Company, sailed up the Great Egg Harbor River and found an area rich in oak and pine which was perfect for shipbuilding.
 
1756 - Captain May bought land near Babcock Creek and later established a trading post and shipyard.
 
1756 - John Hamilton purchased land about a half mile above May's property on the south side of the Great Egg Harbor River. This village became known as Hamilton.
 
1770 - The Gravelly Run Tavern was opened by James Steelman and operated until 1834.
 
1778 - Center of town started being recognized as "Mays Landing."
 
1783 - Colonel Richard Wescoat moved to Mays Landing and opened a store and tavern near the present county buildings.
 
1801 - Weymouth Iron Works produced iron until 1865 when a fire destroyed the furnace and forge. Cannons and cannonballs for the War of 1812 were made here. The remains are part of the Atlantic County Park at Weymouth Furnace .
 
1813 - Hamilton Township was founded as a part of Gloucester County.
 
 
1825 - Richard Wescoat, who owned most of the land in Ilifftown, died and left money for the use of a free school in his will. He is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery.
 
1825 - Estellville Glassworks established. The remains are part of Atlantic County Park at Estell Manor
 
1828 - E. Hudson came to Mays Landing to build schooners for coastal trade.
 
1830-1874 - George Wheaton built at least 23 vessels in his Mays Landing shipyard.
 
1833 - The first school house was located on the corner of Main Street and Taylor Avenue, where the present First Union Bank is located. It was used for 34 years.
 
1837 - The Atlantic County Seat was established in Mays Landing, and the village of Hamilton became part of Mays Landing.
 
1837 - The American Hotel on Farragut Avenue and Main Street was built by Samuel Richards who was part of the Batsto iron dynasty .
 
1838 - Atlantic County Court House was built on Main Street . Criminal court is still held here today.
 
1841 - Presbyterian Church was constructed on Main Street.
 
1846 - A seven mile mule transway was built to transport iron from the Weymouth Iron Works to ships in Mays Landing.
 
1847 - Lake Lenape was created by the construction of a dam . The area was previously an apple orchard.
 
1854 - First railroad was built in the area, between Camden and Atlantic City.
 
1867 - A cotton mill, which is now Lawson Mardon Wheaton, was built on the Great Egg Harbor River and constucted by R. D. Wood and Sons. Numerous jobs were provided for the next 82 years .
 
1871 - A spur of the railroad was completed between Egg Harbor and Mays Landing. The station was located where Shaner School is now.
 
1887 - A papermill was erected on the site of the Weymouth Iron Works.
 
1892 - The Atlantic Brick Manufacturing Company was constructed. Some of the hotels in Atlantic City were built with bricks manufactured here. The kilns still stand near the Meadowbrook Condominiums along Route 40.
 
1902 - New Jersey Bell Telephone completed its long distance phone line to Mays Landing.
 
1907 - Lenape Park was opened on Memorial Day by the Leiling Family.
 
1925 - The statue at the Memorial Park was donated .
1927 - Mays Landing High School (now Duberson School) was built and housed students from K-10 grades
 
1928 - Atlantic County acquired the title to the area at the end of Farragut Avenue. A bulkhead was erected and the swamp area filled in to create Gaskill Park.
 
1943 - The Mizpah school closed completing the centralization of schools in Hamilton Township.
 
1944 - Atlantic City Race Course was established in Hamilton Township.
 
1947 - Hamilton Township became a K-8 school district.
 
1949 - All passenger train service to Mays Landing was discontinued. Bus lines replaced the trains.
 
1957 - Joseph C. Shaner Memorial School opened .
 
1963 - The James F. McNamara wing was added to the Shaner School.
 
1972 - Mays Landing High School was renamed J. Harold Duberson School.
 
1975 - The Gaskill Park Gazebo was built for summer evening concerts .
 
1978 - The Atlantic City Casinos opened and doubled the population of Hamilton Township in 10 years.
 
1983 - The American Hotel was reopened as part of the Atlantic County Library.

1988 - William Davies Middle School opened housing the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

1992 - George L. Hess Educational Complex opened welcoming the students in Kindergarten and second through sixth grades.

1992 - The new Town Hall opened its doors in October.

 

References:

H. Hudson, L. Leyrer, B. McVaugh, K. Reichert, A. Schwiers and E. Tomasello. A Historical Study of Hamilton Township. 1986.

 

Note: To the best of our knowledge the information above is accurate.

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