The Borough of Haddonfield is convenient to Route I-295 for travel from North or South Jersey. Take Exit 32. Continue for just more than one mile. As you enter Haddonfield, there are baseball fields to your right. Bear left to the traffic light. Go through this light; the next traffic light is the intersection with Kings Highway. You will be in the downtown business district.
From Center City Philadelphia, take the Ben Franklin Bridge. Continue on Route 30 East to Route 70 East. Take Route 70 East for a few miles. Take the "Grove Street" exit. The third traffic light is the intersection with Kings Highway. Turn right onto Kings Highway for the downtown business district.
Haddonfield is a stop on the PATCO Hi-Speed Rail Line, which runs between Lindenwold, NJ and Center City Philadelphia.
On October 23, 1682, when he took up a tract of 400 acres, Francis Collins became the first settler within the boundaries of what is today Haddonfield. An English Quaker and a bricklayer by trade, Collins soon built his house, "Mountwell". Other settlers would soon follow.
John Haddon was a wealthy businessman from London, a Quaker and friend of William Penn; in 1698 he purchased land in West New Jersey. Soon he acquired additional American lands, which required that he take possession within six months. Instead of coming himself, he sent his 20 year old daughter, Elizabeth, to lay claim to his new holdings. She arrived in June 1701.
Elizabeth Haddon named this land "Haddonfield" in honor of her father. A wilderness in 1701, she saw many changes in what would be her home until her death in 1762 at age 82.
In 1702, Elizabeth married John Estaugh, a young Quaker missionary of reknown. In 1713 they built a beautiful brick mansion on what is now Wood Lane. This date of 1713 has been marked by several celebrations in this century as the "founding" date ofHaddonfield.
Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh returned from a trip to England in 1721 with a deed of land from her father, a gift to the Quakers to erect a meetinghouse. The log structure and its brick successor in 1760 were the only places of worship in town for 97 years.
The Estaughs had no children, although they raised Ebenezer Hopkins, Elizabeth's nephew, as a son. John Estaugh died in 1742 while on a religious mission to Tortola in the West Indies; he posthumously became Haddonfield's first author when a compilation ofhis writings was published by Benjamin Franklin in 1744.
Although some of what has been written about Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh is more legend than history, she was a remarkable woman. She served as clerk to the woman's meeting for nearly fifty years and waswell known for her charity to the sick and the poor.
Haddonfield flourished throughout the 18th century; by the Revolution it was the largest village in the area. One reason for its growth was water transportation via the Cooper's Creek; Haddonfield was at the terminus point where boats could be flatted. From this strategic point goods would have to be brought for shipment or incoming goods must be unloaded. Haddonfield also had an advanced road system, leading to what is now Camden and Gloucester City and to Salem and Burlington.
This quiet Quaker town was a reluctant host to some of the armies of the American Revolution. Both the Council of Safety and the New Jersey legislature, on the run from the British, met on a number of occasions in Haddonfield throughout 1777. Many of the famous names of the Revolution passed through Haddonfield, including Lafayette, Generals Morgan, Greene, Wayne and Pulaski, the Polish Count; British leaders included Sir Henry Clinton, Lord Cornwallis and a Hessian Commander, Colonel Donop.
Haddonfield continued to grow throughout the 19th century, which brought the railroad and later the trolleycar. Despite a long tradition of tavernkeeping, the citizens voted "no license" in 1873, prohibiting all sales of alcohol. The town regularly -- and in ever increasing numbers -- voted "no license" through the century. Haddonfield remains a dry community today.
In 1874, the HADDONFIELD BASKET, Haddonfield's first newspaper made its debut. Through the watchful and strongly opinionated viewpoint of the editor and publisher, John Van Court, we see a town undergoing great change. Many new homes were being constructed, social activity centered on a variety of groups, especially the churches; civic improvements such as better sidewalks and electric street lights were on the way. Yet despite becoming officially incorporated as a Borough in 1875, Haddonfield remained a country village.
Another local newspaper in the 1890's described Haddonfield as a "beautiful village" with "finely shaded streets, extensive views, boating and fishing, churches and good schools, spring water running in your house, electric lights, good supply stores delivering goods, No Malaria, No Sand, No Mosquitoes".
Increased mobility (especially due to the automobile) in the 20th century brought greater development, as Haddonfield evolved from an agricultural village to a fully developed suburban community. Some residents, recognizing the important historical developments of the town, initiated a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Haddonfield in 1913 with a large historical pageant. Following from this event, the Historical Society was founded in 1914. In 1963 another historical pageant was staged for the 250th anniversary of the town's founding. "The King's Road", a historical musical about the British and American troops in Haddonfield during the Revolution was written by local resident Harry T. Kaufmann; it was produced for the New Jersey Tercentenary in 1965 and again for the United States Bicentennial in 1976. Realizing that the first settler had come some time before the traditional date of founding, the Borough celebrated the 300th anniversary of its settlement on October 23, 1982.
Five years after the organization of the Haddonfield Preservation Society, an Historic District Ordinance was enacted by public referendum in 1971. The Historic District, comprising over 400 structures and including most of the central business district, is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Information in this entry, "A Short History of Haddonfield", was written by Douglas B. Rauschenberger for the pamphlet, WALKING TOUR OF HISTORIC HADDONFIELD [Revised 1985]
William Parker Foulke, a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia excavated the fossils of Hadrosaurus foulkii from a Haddonfield, NJ, marl pit in 1858. The Hadrosaurus is the name for a duck-billed dinosaur. This type of dinosaur is not named after the town of 'Haddonfield',
The real Hadrosaurus foulkii is no longer mounted. . The fossils remain at the Academy of Natural Sciences in special storage, because the original bones are subject to pyrite disease due to exposure to air. For display, a mounted version was made with casts from the original bones.
Source: "America's First Dinosaur Skeleton", Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, 1985