I hope you enjoy learning some of Maple Shade's history.
1973, When my family came to Maple Shade-
My family usually moved every few years. Up until 1973 we lived primarily in Moorestown except for one year in Edgewater Park where I started Kindergarten.
My Mom and Dad were in the Maple Shade Jaycees when we lived on Church St. in Moorestown. We knew many Jaycees from going to backyard picnics, Jaycee Kid's Christmas Parties at the 25 Club or Happy Hour, Jaycee kid's Easter Egg Hunts, Jaycee parade floats, and last but not least the great Maple Shade Jaycees carnivals held at Steinhauer School.
So before we even came to Maple Shade we knew so many people there already and my parents actually knew these people prior to that because in the 1950s Maple Shade attended High School at the old Moorestown High School which was on Second St. in Moorestown. And the kids all went to the dances together at the Moorestown Community House.
In mid year 1973 we moved to the Alden Park section of Maple Shade. It is funny how I overlooked how old the bungalows were until I owned one. I had prior lived in many old houses with the claw foot tubs and radiators, but in Alden Park we lived in a 1950s rancher.
When we moved in there was one place to buy pizza- Mom's Pizza in the Barlow Building. There was one place to buy hoagies- The Sub Shoppe on Fellowship Rd. And the honest truth is the pizza and hoagies never got any better than right then in the early 70s. For Deli meats you went to Ronnie's Deli near the Towne Crier (which sold my Mad magazines).
Main Street had several empty blocks in the center of town. First came was little Joe's pizza which had the best Panzorottis ever (He made them his own way), thinner shell and deep fried with the cheese and sauce inside!
The mart stores building was built at N. Forklanding and Main and a bakery opened at Main and Maple where Olt's garage formerly stood.
The Post Office remained for several years at Main and Margaret and was later a bank. Select Sea Food opened.
The roads in Alden Park were very bad and there was a water shortage and the Twp was hooked up to a hydrant in Moorestown as we were buying water from them. You see a lot happened! 1500 apartments were being built at Spring Hill apartments! The High School was only 2 or 3 years old!
The street signs, at least in Alden Park, were still the ones Arthur Cutler and the Lions Club helped put in in the 1950s. Cement with names written down vertically. There are still maybe a dozen remaining around town. If you wanted a maple tree along your curb you would call up the "Shade Tree Commission."
The E.B. Haig school on North Poplar ave. had been struck by lightning and the roof was damaged so my brother, I believe, went to class in the Immanuel Baptist Church's garage building for a short time til they re-routed people.
Main Street had 5 bars on it. The Jade, The Red Carpet Lounge, The Antler's Grille, the Blue Heaven, and the Alden Cafe.
Penn Jersey Auto supply sold bike tubes, etc...
We came as Maple Shade got reinventing- We had no idea of who Ralph J. Steinhauer was but several things in town were named after him. We had no idea of (us kids anyhow) of what was on the blocks where the new Post Office etc... would be built. I missed the Moorestown Rec Center and all there was to do for the kids in Maple Shade was sports which I did not care for. We did find woods to play in.
I lived in Maple Shade since 1973 and feel like it's my home.-Dennis
Old and new street signs shown side by side
Collins Lane House Razed April 3rd-
I went back later on to see what the animal(s) they found were while tearing it down. It turned out to be 3 baby squirrels which seemed now dead. I should have taken my camera because on top of remaining rubble lay copies of the book "Maple Shade A Story of 300 Years." Almost poetic! I grabbed the two on top of the ground copies as it was drizzling out. Maybe I should have left them as a reminder for who else would come. But then again they might soon be back to fill the hole. There were a few more copies in the cellar steps. I guess the MS Historical left a box inside. I know we lost our cabinets we bought from Mike's Hardware store when it went out.
I think after the demo crew cleaned up the area one of the workers who must've found the "Maple Shade A Story of 300 Years" books put the books on the edge where a wall would have been and one blew several feet away and several others fell down the cellar stairs. I saw the two copies on top which were a stark response to what had happened (Like in the Bible the stones will cry out!) so it was drizzling rain and they appeared still half good so I grabbed them up.
Video on correct Twp. History-
My Youtube was actually hacked and someone put the Twp website URL with "for more good history" down in my text description. (fixed on April 17) I got like the most comprehensive Twp History website in the United States and the TWP ignored it over the years it would seem. I could go on and on and on!
Well maybe to give it the benefit of the doubt, perhaps I entered the wrong URL in the text.
Brief History Project-
I try to write briefs. I guess I am breaking it down as well and this is part one of several parts.-Establishment of Maple Shade Township pdf
Effort to save the Collins Lane House
Courier Post newspaper story
Burlington County Times newspaper story
Maple Shade Historical Society at Sidewalk Sale
I was at the table selling the Progress books.
1859 Map shows Maple Shade's first brickyard1859 Map at Library of Congress
You can download this 1859 Map of Burlington County in high formats like TIFF, large jpg. Maple Shade had a brickyard in 1859. The symbol is hard to understand but easy when you compare it to the brickyard that was at the "Mini Pond" as we used to call it as kids - the little park with children's swings near Strawbridge Lake in Moorestown.
Good "book" online to save and search through-PDF book Burlington NJ Post Towns by Jack Edge
Do yourself a favor and click FILE, SAVE PAGE AS at your left top corner of your web browser thereby saving the PDF file which will take a minute or two to load as it is 14 MB!
When it is a saved PDF the magnifying glass or SEARCH will let you find instances of things say for example "Maple Shade" quickly.
Great read as it tells of the times back when post offices started there was not even a concept of a telephone. This is how important they were! Also it says Stiles Corner (or Corners) for Maple Shade's earlier name. No history of Maple Shade should be without that mention.
Maple Shade Historical Society