The Eloquent Elmer New Jersey
Elmer is a town where you could easily pass on by… perhaps on your journey to the New Jersey Shore. However, it shouldn’t be skipped over. It is a town encompassing history.
Elmer was referred to by the aborigines as “Cohockan” which means “Cedar swamp land.” Muddy Run, which is a little stream near Elmer Lake, was a stopping point for the American Indians and early settlers. Muddy Run was always a reliable area to catch abundant fish.
Cohockan became known as Ticktown by the early settlers. Then it was named after Lord Pitt of the English parliament hence Pittstown. When the postal service came in, there were two Pittstowns, so they had to change their name AGAIN..
In 1862, Elmer was a flourishing transportation center which was part of the West Jersey Line between Bridgeton and Woodbury. Remnants of the railway still mark the dividing line of North and South Main Street.
Elmer was then named and incorporated in 1893 from portions of Pittsgrove and Upper Pittsgrove township. The Elmer name came from Lucius Elmer, a former judge, who helped obtain the post office for the community. A little fun fact, Elmer is a dry town. No alcohol can be sold.
Another fun fact, Elmer Lake, which resides on Muddy Run, sits 100 feet above sea level. The soil is extremely fertile and an agricultural Mecca. It is very rare in the Southern portion of South Jersey, btw.
Enough of the history… Now here are some sites.
The Mayhew house
20 Newkirk Station Road
This brick baby was built by Stanford and Esther Mayhew in 1762. Its Flemish brickwork can be seen on both gables of the casa. The initials S.M.E on one end, named for Stanford’s son, Eleazer and his wifey Sarah. They inherited the home and built an addition. On this addition, E.M.S was placed on the second gable. The house was restored by John Seabrook in 1950 by the famous Seabrook farm family in Southern New Jersey.
She sits modernized with a few additions, but still preserving her past.
Also to ferret out…. is the old Woodstown Railroad Station.
She sits on the edge of Route 40 on the edge of flourishing farmland. She moved here around a decade ago. The station is still in pretty decent condition considering its age.
Check out this history hotbed of a town in Salem County, in the heart of New Jersey. Elmer is eloquent and always will be.