Gibbsboro is a wonderful small community located in southern New Jersey, approximately 15 miles from Philadelphia, Pa. The borough covers 2.2 square miles with approximately 750 homes and 2400 residents. The communities of Voorhees Township and Lindenwold form the boundaries of Gibbsboro.
Gibbsboro lies on the transition area between the inner and outer coastal plain, where water to the east flows to the Atlantic Ocean and water to the west flows to the Delaware River. Within its boundaries are 5 streams and 6 lakes that form the headwaters of the Cooper River, which flows to the Delaware River. All 5 streams have their origins within the borough. The highest elevation is 210 feet above sea level along the eastern border with Voorhees and the lowest elevation is 60 feet above sea level along the western border with Lindenwold.
Gibbsboro's heritage dates back to the early 1700's, when the first settlers built saw and grist mills on the many streams that flowed through the heavily wooded forest. The first mill, a saw mill, was built by George Matlack in 1714 on Hilliards Creek. Another saw mill was built by Enoch Core in 1731 in the center of what is now Gibbsboro. Many other mills were established along the streams in the later 1700's and early 1800's. One of these mills, Ford's Mill, located on Silver Lake was purchased by and Joseph Foster in 1852. This event changed Gibbsboro from a cluster of mills, serving the local farms, into an industrial company village.
Because of the town's pure water, John Lucas and Joseph Foster founded the "Gibbsboro White Lead, Zinc and Color Works", a paint factory on the shores of Silver Lake in 1852. The company, which developed ready-mixed paint known for its shades of green, essentially put Gibbsboro on the map.
By 1887, the prosperity of the Lucas paint works(which employed 300 men in 1886 and 700 men in 1909) was such that a spur rail line was constructed from the main Camden to Atlantic Railroad line to Gibbsboro to handle the volume of products and ensure the continued success of the enterprise. Passenger service along this rail spur was provided by the Gibbsboro - Lucaston Horsecar Railroad.
The paint works continued to be in operation until the early 1980's, at which time it was re-developed into an office-research complex called appropriately "The Paint Works".
Gibbsboro's economic evolution has taken it from a milling and farming community to company town and finally to a suburb of Philadelphia. Gibbsboro still maintains its small town charm and natural settings, despite the ever increasing development of surrounding communities and Camden County.