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Atlantic County New Jersey




County government offices are located at 5901 Main Street, Mays Landing NJ 08330; phone: 609-625-4011; additional offices located at 1333 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City NJ 08401; phone: 609-345-6700.

Beginnings [1]

Gloucester County at one time extended from the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean and included what are now the counties of Camden, Atlantic and Gloucester. Atlantic County was created on February 7, 1837. Initially the county contained four townships: Egg Harbor, Weymouth, Hamilton, and Galloway. Mullica Township was later created out of Galloway, and Hammonton out of Mullica. Buena Vista was created from Hamilton in 1867 and Atlantic City set off from Egg Harbor Township in 1854.

Before being settled by Europeans, Atlantic County [2], along with the rest of New Jersey and adjacent parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, was inhabited by the Lenape Indians ("Original People"), or Delaware Indians, as they later became known. The Lenape were Algonkin speakers, and were organized into three groups; the Minsi, who occupied the extreme north; the Unami, who lived in the center; and the Unalachtigo ("People Near the Ocean"), who lived across what is now South Jersey.

Most of the Unalachtigo lived on the inner coastal plain along the Delaware River where hunting and fishing were easier and where the soil was more fertile. Because the Lenape were a water- oriented people, most of their settlements were near major rivers or streams. In the Atlantic County region most settlements were at the north of the rivers and near the back bays where shellfish were plentiful. It is generally believed that large groups of Lenape migrated to the shore region during the summer for shellfishing.

The Indian population declined quickly once Europeans settled in New Jersey. The Europeans found the areas where the Lenape were concentrated to be the most attractive to them. Consequently, most of the first European settlements were along the Delaware River.

  1. Atlantic County Historical Society, Early History of Atlantic County New jersey, Kutztown Publishing Company, Kutztown PA, 1915.
  2. Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Economic Development, Atlantic County Master Plan, 2000, www.atlantic-county.org, accessed October, 2016.
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