June Sheridan, Township Historian
6647 West Jersey Avenue
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
Office Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Great Egg Harbour got its name from explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey. During
the Dutch desires for settlement and expansion in the "New World"
in 1614, Mey came upon the inlet to this river. The meadows were so covered
with shorebird and waterfowl eggs that he called it "Eyren Haven"
Great Egg Harbor was originally part of Gloucester County. In 1694 a law
was passed that read "forasmuch as there are families settled upon the
Egg Harbor, and of right ought to be under some jurisdiction, be it enacted
by the authority aforesaid that the inhabitants of the said Egg Harbor shall
and do belong to the jurisdiction of Gloucester." Previously Cape May
County seems to have exercised some control over Egg Harbor for in 1693 John
Somers of Great Egg Harbor was appointed by their Court to "keep a ferry
across the Great Egg Harbour for Hors and Kattle."
In 1710, by an Act of the Legislature, legal boundaries of Gloucester County
were set and it covered the area from the Delaware River, along the Burlington
County line to the sea and back up the Great Egg Harbor River to the Delaware
River. At that time Great Egg Harbor encompassed all that we know as Atlantic
County today. In 1837 Atlantic County was set apart from Gloucester County
and the Townships were: Egg Harbor, Weymouth, Hamilton and Galloway.
Since 1837 the following municipalities have separated from
the original Egg Harbor Township:
|South Atlantic City (Margate)
Egg Harbor Township, as it remains today, encompasses 41,600 acres. It includes
the villages of Bargaintown (the seat of government), English Creek, Scullville,
Steelmanville, McKee City, Cardiff, Farmington and West Atlantic City.
Some of the earliest families that settled the area were the Scull, Steelman,
Blackman, English, Lake, Ireland, Smith, Somers, Jeffrey, Frambes, and Van
Sant's. They were millers, shipbuilders, farmers, seamen, and tavern keepers.
In addition, you may read more on the history of Egg Harbor Township by visiting http://www.gehthsmuseum.org/. Please visit the Greate Egg Harbour Township Historical Society Museum and Library at 6647 West Jersey Avenue for additional information and to view artifacts as well as historical documents.