Logan Township

Gloucester County, New Jersey

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Logan Township Municipal Offices are located at 125 Main Street, Bridgeport, NJ 08014.
Phone: 856‑467‑3424. Originally named West Woolwich Township, Logan was incorporated in 1877 with portions of land taken from Woolwich Township.

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Logan Township [†] was incorporated on March 13, 1877 as West Woolwich Township. A year later the name was changed to Logan in honor of John Alexander Logan (1826‑1886), a Civil War general and U.S. Senator who was a major supporter of equal rights for former slaves after the Civil War, a leading architect of veterans legislation, and the "father" of the Memorial Day holiday.

The Township was originally part of the Civil Organization of West Jersey, established in 1676, and was within Greenwich Township, one of the four incorporated jurisdictions in what is now Gloucester County. In 1750 "South Greenwich Township" was formed from Greenwich Township. It encompassed an area of 40,000 acres and included the area of Logan Township as well as Woolwich and what is today part of Franklin and all of Harrison Townships. In 1767 the name was changed to Woolwich Township when the Township was formally incorporated. Subsequent secessions from Woolwich reduced the land area, with Franklin Township being formed from Greenwich and Woolwich in 1820, Harrison Township in 1844, and West Woolwich (Logan) in 1877.

Recent archaeological finds show that humans have been present on the land within township boundaries for approximately 10,000 years. Early Native American communities relied on the township's natural resources until the arrival of Europeans. Most pre‑European settlements were associated with stream corridors. Indian villages are known to have existed beside both the Raccoon and Oldmans Creeks. The Narraticons lived in the vicinity of the Raccoon. Their name, which means "raccoon," survives in the name of the Raccoon Creek. The Kagkakaini Sakins lived along the Mosackas Creek, now called Oldmans Creek. Oldmans is a variation on the name "Aldermans," given to the creek by the Dutch. A famous Native American archaeological site, the Raccoon Point Site, southwest of Bridgeport, uncovered numerous and important artifacts in the 1950s.

In 1638 Swedish settlement came to the Delaware Valley and a colony was established on the east side of the Delaware River in what is now Logan Township that was referred to as "New Stockholm" (also "New Sweden"). This began to grow when the land was purchased by the Swedes from the Indians in 1641. Swedish and Finnish inhabitants moved into the area and created homesteads. It is they who gave shelter to the passengers of the first English ship to arrive in 1677, which docked at the Raccoon Creek.

With English settlement in the region, Swedish place names began to be replaced with English names. Early settlers raised grain, fruit and vegetables, and tended stock. Peter Kalm, a Finnish botanist and one of the most famous recorders of botany in the colonies, traveled in the region between 1748 and 1751. He began his stay in Swedesboro and explored the surrounding area, including a visit in May 1749 to Repaupo, a village that had been settled by Swedes. In his important account, Travels in North America, Kalm reported on all kinds of fruit‑growing on local farms and "peaches so thick on the ground that one could hardly miss stepping on them."

Waterways were important to Logan from its earliest days. Bridgeport, founded in the mid 1700s, was a shipping point. Farm products, as well as timber from the rich forests, were conveyed to market along the wide tidal Raccoon and Oldmans Creeks. In the 19th century, the Philadelphia and Bridgeport Steamboat Company operated boats along the Raccoon Creek from the wharves at Bridgeport to Philadelphia.

Travel on roads was nearly impossible during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Road quality was exceedingly poor and bridges were frequently in disrepair or nonexistent. A bridge did exist at Bridgeport, however. The Colonial Legislature by the Act of 1765 had authorized the building of a drawbridge over Raccoon Creek and the town was originally called Raccoon Lower Bridge. It was not until 1836 that town residents voted to change the name to Bridgeport.

Railroads became an important means of travel and transport of goods, especially farm produce, in the latter half of the 19th century. The railroad served new processing plants that were established in Gloucester County in the late 19th century. These plants handled the vegetable crops that were a staple of Gloucester County farming. Tomatoes were an especially important crop and research on tomato varieties was carried out locally by farmers such as Willard B. Kille whose farm was located where the Ferro (Monsanto) Chemical Plan is now located. The development of an important commercial variety of tomato occurred on this farm.

Highways and trucking began to replace railroad transport of both goods and people after World War II. In the 1950s the New Jersey Turnpike was built and in the 1960s the construction of Interstate 295 began to bring major changes to Logan. In the early 1970s a planned industrial development was established in Logan as the Pureland Industrial Park. This 3200‑acre environmentally sensitive industrial complex occupies a large area between Raccoon and Oldmans Creeks and is home to over 150 companies in more than 100 buildings. Pureland, along with the Northeast Business Center, which is a part of the complex, form the largest industrial park on the east coast of the U.S.

With the establishment of the Logan Municipal Utilities Authority, which provides sewer service to industry and residences in the western half of the Township, additional industrial sites were established along the Delaware River in Logan. Also in the 1970s, a major residential development called Beckett was planned for Logan and Woolwich Townships. Construction began in 1978 and approximately 1500 homes were built in the Logan portion of the planned unit development. An additional 4500 units are slated to be built in neighboring Woolwich, where the development is now called Weatherby. Beckett's location along Center Square Road has transformed this roadway into a major artery for both Logan and Woolwich Townships.

Today, Logan Township is home to a wide array of people from many ethnic and social backgrounds, with a diverse set of occupations reflecting today's 21st century service and light manufacturing economies. Automobile transportation corridors provide the framework for land uses today. Pureland businesses provide employment to many township residents while other residents commute throughout the tri‑state region for employment. Logan has become a community with a substantial mix of industrial, commercial, and residential uses. However, the Township still has an active farming community in its northeastern section. Logan's landscape is also still dominated by the water that was so much a part of its early history—its Delaware riverfront, its three major stream corridors, and the acres of wetland and marshes surrounding them.

† Logan Township, Environmental Resources Inventory, www.dvrpc.org, accessed January, 2021.


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