History of Stratford

1961 - 1980
(picture taken 1965)
302 Union Avenue

Stratford, in the beginning, was a tiny village called "White Horse", built up around the White  Horse Tavern.  Located about fourteen miles from the City of Camden, Stratford came into being on June 1, 1695 and was part of Gloucester County, Gloucester Township, covering an area of 3,566 square miles.

Around the White Horse Tavern grew a village of nine homes, a General Store, a Blacksmith Shop and a Wheel Wright Shop.  Of the nine original homes, the General Store, now known as the Quaker Store, is the only one still in existence.

Prior to, and during the Revolutionary War, our patriots, mostly sea-going men, fitted out fast sailing ships with armament to capture English merchant ships.  These small, fast vessels, owned by the Americans, were called "Privateers", but the men were called "Pirates" by the British Navy.  The booty from the captured vessels was sold for high prices in the cities and transported by wagon and cart from the shore points through the forests to Philadelphia and Gloucester.  The White Horse Tavern was an important stop on this route for food, water and repairs to the wagons after a long and hard trip from the sea.

(Picture left the White Horse Inn November 4, 1922 re-opening celebration of the newly paved White Horse Pike. The tavern was in Business for 219 years.)

In 1807, the White Horse Pike, which takes its name from the White Horse Tavern, was laid out from the Village of White Horse in front of the Tavern to the Haddonfield Road.  The two roads intersected at Harleigh Cemetery at City Line in Camden.

Business at the Tavern and the tiny village flourished, as stage coach service increased until 1854.  In that year, the Camden and Atlantic Railroad was built, passing within a few blocks to the rear of the Tavern.  With the railroad came the slow demise of the stage coach and increased population of the area.

In 1888 or 1889, Charles S. King saw the possibility of creating a pleasant and ideal He, along with Zimmerman, Twitchell, Smith and Rogers, formed the Rural Land Improvement Company.  The development was roughly triangular in shape.  The name they chose for this new community was Stratford--after Stratford-on-Avon in England. Stratford was incorporated as a Borough in 1925.

The Stratford Library was first organized in March of 1921 by the P.T.A. at the original Princeton School, a building later moved to 320 Harvard Avenue, now a residence.  Miss Amy Hardester, a teacher, volunteered as the first librarian.  However, when the school closed for the summer, Mrs. Hemmingsen of 106 Princeton Avenue offered her home, and the library remained there until 1924. If you would like more information about the Stratford Library's History [read]

(Picture right Iredell's  Cash Grocery and first Stratford Post Office at 1 Atlantic Avenue. Also at one time home off the Stratford Library.)

If you would like to know more information on the history of Stratford, New Jersey, contact Harry Berry, our town historian at harryhelen@verizon.net.