Elmer, Salem County, New Jersey

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.20130528-184704.jpg

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.

20 thoughts on “Elmer, Salem County, New Jersey

    • There’s a lot in Elmer that I didn’t put in. Perhaps Appel Farm Arts will be another adventure! Thanks for the suggestion. They are always welcomed!

  1. Love hearing about where I came from. I was born in Bridgeton Hospital, lived on Maple Shade Lane in Brottmanville, went to school at Norma, Olivet, and then Pittsgrove Township Middle School, 7th and first half of 8th grade in Schalick HS. I was in the Elmer Little League, playing for 3 years. I so miss NJ, hoping one day to return.

  2. Love hearing about where I came from. I was born in Bridgeton Hospital, lived on Maple Shade Lane in Brottmanville, went to school at Norma, Olivet, and Pittsgrove Township Middle School. 7th and first half of 8th in Schalick HS. I played softball for 3 yras in the Elmer Little League. I hope one day to return to NJ. I miss the coast.

  3. Never knew the facts you shared on Elmer. My family has been living there for 20+ yrs. and never new how and why Elmer got it’s name. thank you

    • John, I do believe he did from my research on the home. Your family left a long-lasting legacy on South Jersey. I plan on doing a write-up on Seabrook history. Thank you for your comment.

    • John! I read this article months ago. Beautifully written and your dad reminds me a lot of my grandfather who owned a big car dealership in the area. I loved your personal experience of the reunion and your journey there. Thank you. I wasn’t sure if it was you.

  4. Just saw this post! This Mayhew/Johnson house belonged to my ancestors from when great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandpa Standford Mayhew built it up until great-great-grandma Bessie Johnson and her sisters were growing up there at the turn of the century. My friend (and fellow historian) lives there now. Seabrooks bought it and restored it but decided not to live there after all. The initials SME 1762 actually stand for the original builders Stanford and Esther Mayhew, while the initials on the later addition EMS 1792 are for Eleazar and Sarah Mayhew.

  5. I absolutely loved this article!! I grew up in Elmer, my family was from Elmer. Elmer was a great small town for raising a family. I have many fond memories of growing up in Elmer, my mother was assistant post master at Elmer Post Office and my father worked at Case Machinery, plus, as I was told, my father was the first person from Elmer to enlist in the Army for World War I. Thanks so much for doing this article on Elmer!

  6. Hi, I love driving through this area. I am looking for peach orchards to photograph in April when the blossoms come out. Is there a good place for that in Elmer? Pittsgrove? area? Thanks!

    • Amanda, there are a few off of Rt. 40 and then Bridgeton Pike. Also, there are some nice orchard fields near Elk Rd in Elk township. I’ll keep my eye out for any others. I see them more in Gloucester County than I do in Salem County.

  7. Thank you so much for the photos and article on this house. I lived in this house from age 1 to 18, from 1952 – 1969. The Seabrook’s did restore the house. As a boy I remember seeing all of the photographs of the meticulous restoration of the house. They rented the house to my father, Ernest H. (Pete) Brothers, who was a vice-president for Seabrook Farms. Later, in about 1960, my father started the Brothers Farming Company which lasted until 1969. My parents stayed in that house until they moved in 1969 and left that beautiful house. It is wonderful to see it is still being treasured.

    • Kay Sickler Aliberti
      Enjoyed the photos and the comments. I remember when the Brother’s family lived there.
      I believe my aunt Jane Garrison babysat for Michael. We lived on Garrison Rd, Elmer.

      • Hi Kay
        Yes, I do remember Jane Garrison. That is a name I haven’t heard in well over 50 years. I loved living in that wonderful old farmhouse.

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