The Township of Moorestown is 15.1 square miles and has a population of 21,355. It is located in southwest Burlington County approximately 10 miles east of Philadelphia and bordering:
- Cinnaminson and Delran Townships on the west
- Willingboro Township on the north
- Mount Laurel Township on the east
- Maple Shade Township on the south
Moorestown's municipal government operates under the modern and efficient Council-Manager plan. A 5-member Council is elected at large on a partisan basis. Each member is elected for a 4-year term, on an overlapping basis.
The Township Manager, a full-time professional administrator, is appointed by the Council. Under the Township's administrative code and the Faulkner Act, the Manager is vested with broad executive and administrative authority and responsibility.
The following is a list of road miles by governmental jurisdiction in Moorestown, totaling 102 road miles:
- Burlington County - 24.7 miles
- Moorestown Township - 74.6 miles
- New Jersey - 2.7 miles
Although there were property owners as early as 1680 in the present township location (formerly known as Chester Township), the Village of Moorestown was founded in 1682 when the 1st owners built homes and actually lived here. Thomas Hooton and son acquired 600 acres in 1682 and a Roberts family also set up their farmstead in the area.
In May of 1686, when Philadelphia was about 3 years old, John Rodman bought 500 acres on the west side of Chester Township, and Thomas Rodman bought 533 additional acres in the same area, where the area soon became known as the Village of Rodmantown. The growing area around the eastern spring was known as the Village of Chestertown.
Society of Friends' Meeting House
In 1700, the 1st Society of Friends' Meeting House, built of logs, was erected on King's Highway. Originally known as Meeting House Lane, Chester Avenue was laid out in 1720. The Village at that time probably consisted of a few farmhouses along King's Highway from Stanwick Road to Locust Street.
Thomas Moore and his wife Elizabeth settled here in 1722 and in 1732, Moore purchased 33 acres of land on the north side of King's Highway. The land ran from the west side of the Friends' graveyard on the northwest corner of King's Highway and Meeting House Lane on the east and west to Locust Street on the western boundary of his property and north to Second Street.
The Start of Moorestown
Mr. Moore set up a hotel on the northwest corner of King's Highway and Union Streets (currently a bank). With so much land eventually being owned by Thomas Moore, the name Moorestown gradually replaced Chester informally in what is now the center of town. Finally, Moorestown formerly split off from Chester and became a Township.
The Coles Hotel, east of the corner of Main and Chester, was the scene of great activity prior to the building of the railroad in 1867. Before this time, the stagecoach was the only public conveyance between Moorestown and Philadelphia, and the hotel was a stagecoach stop.
Another landmark on Main Street, east of Chester Avenue, is now the present home of the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. In 1745, John Cox erected a tavern there that was to become famous in the early history of Moorestown. Town meetings were held in the tavern prior to 1812 when Old Town Hall was then erected.
Joshua Bispham Home
The home now standing on the northwest corner of Main and Schooley Streets, then the home of Joshua Bispham, was commandeered by Hessian officers during the Revolutionary War as they retreated from Philadelphia in 1778.
The old homestead on the northeast corner of King's Highway and Lenola Road was constructed in 1742 by John Cowperthwaite. Because of its excellent example of an 18th century home, record of its construction was made in 1937 by the U.S. Department of Interior and is now recorded in the Library of Congress.
Although Moorestown is over 300 years old, it was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey State Legislature approved on March 11, 1922. Chester Township was a large expanse of land which included what is now known as:
- Maple Shade
- Part of Mount Laurel