Maple Shade, NJ Streets Trivia

Old and new street signs shown side by side

Old Street Signs-

There are about a dozen left around town, now most of painted yellow. This was one of the things I most remember when my family moved to Maple Shade in 1973. Here is an article about when the project was started- Old Street Signs Progress newspaper article

The Lions Club was involved in the township's street signs. Improvements like this were done not just in Maple Shade but in all towns. Christmas Main Street decorations to youth ballpark lighting etc... was done by clubs like the Lions Club, Jaycees, etc... Today everything seems to be our tax dollars and getting "grant money" do do something.

Perhaps people may have enjoyed things more the old way because you always "get more out of something the more you put into it." In the beginnings of the post WW2 housing developments there were civic groups who got together about their "neighborhoods."

Tree Named Streets-

Can you name the first ten tree named streets in Maple Shade? They would be on the "Shuster Tract," Zane (or Levi French) tract, and Maple Heights. Answer is at the bottom of the page.

Street Names for "The Orchards"-

I actually have a copy of this whole plan map which is about 2 feet by 3 feet in size. I paid for it to be copied from the original which at the time was about 100 years old. It is at the Burlington County Clerk's Office.

In 1912 Camden attorney John F. Harned bought the Levi Lippincott farm then owned by Henry T. and Emma E. Bleam. In 1914 the Plan for "The Orchards" was submitted by John Harned with the houses to be built on one acre farm lots by Barlow and Co.

John F. Harned specialized as a Real Estate Lawyer. This looks like the case of another of Thomas Barlow's partners in business, Attorney George B. Evans of Moorestown, NJ

With the name "The Orchards" given, one can imagine what Henry T. Bleam had there on his farm- orchard trees!

The farmhouse was kept on a larger lot and called "The Homestead" on the plan. This area, later on, has streets like Nagle Ave., but remained as Pear trees until, off hand, the 1940s probably. It is the Plan of Lots of Ignac Allekna, Map 744, Filed in 1924.

Back to "The Orchards" and the streets names-
Coming from Main Street, down South Lippincott Avenue is-
Helen Avenue named for John F. Harned's wife Helen.
Anna Avenue named for Thomas Barlow' Sr.'s wife Annie.
Gradwell Avenue named for Attorney James S. Gradwell who practiced law with Attorney John F. Harned at 424 Market Street, Camden, NJ.
Thomas Avenue named for son Thomas Barlow Jr, or Thomas Barlow Sr. and Jr.
Frederick Avenue named for son Frederick Barlow.
Stinson Avenue was a road taken out with the building of the High School. Robert G. Stinson was the Secretary of the Maple Heights Land Co., with Thomas Barlow Sr. President.
While not in the Orchards development it is in a later plan of the Lippincott farmhouse-
Nagel Avenue is named after Frank O. Nagel who owned that area known as lots 3 and 4 of block 120 on the township tax map.

There was no Margaret Avenue. That street was added in later on.

I am working on the other street names which have been changed anyhow. I kinda know one of them but have to re-verify it. In the case of Stinson Ave. It is no longer there. The High School is. Well it probably was only a "paper road." I wonder, seeing how far the bungalows go down Frederick Ave., how much of that road was a "paper road" until when.

John Harned also owned the "Maple Heights Farms" subdivision on Mill Road where the Barlow Mansion was.

Here is a few internet research snippets-

Harned and Gradwell worked at 424 Market St. in Camden, James Gradwell started there as a "law student" so maybe it was like an apprenticeship under John Harned. It was not a large office building and also was the address of a Cold Storage and a lumber corporation. (They were involved with) Here is a Sanborn map detail from 1906-

James S. Gradwell-

According to the 1920 Census of Camden County, NJ, James S. Gradwell was living with his parents John and Rosalie in Oaklyn, NJ. He was 31 years of age and single and for his profession he was listed as a lawyer.

According to the 1930 Census of Camden County, NJ, James S. Gradwell was living with his parents John and Rosalie in Oaklyn, NJ. He was 42 years of age and single and for his profession he was listed as a Lawyer working in a Law Office.

-Researched on

He was nobody of acquired renown as John F. Harned came to be. At the time Gradwell Avenue was named after him he was a young lawyer, in his mid twenties working with or for John F. Harned.

James S. Gradwell was on the Board of Public Utility Commissioners in the 1920s for Oaklyn Twp. (Thomas Barlow for Maple Shade)

My Aunt is a member in several online things like and Find a Grave, etc.. so I asked her to see what she could find. She found several items notably this information at the cemetery site and this detailed obituary. If you want more items then email me.-

Annetta Drummer, according to the 1930 census, was a stenographer at a Law Office.
I hate to say it but she cannot at this point be ruled out as to who Anna Avenue is named for.
When the plan of "The Orchards" was filed in 1914, she would have been about 22 years old and might have been working for James S. Gradwell or John F. Harned then. I cannot find her in an earlier census than 1930 so hard to tell.

Anna is most likely named for Annie Theresa Barlow as Annetta Drummer might not have lived around here in 1914, but she could have been missed over in the census. At the end of her life Annetta (single) lived in Virginia.

See what I mean. From a 1926 Camden newspaper

In the above James S. Gradwell obituary it states that at that time "he maintained offices at 728 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ."
That was John F. Harned's house.

In the history of Camden, John Harned was one of its most prominent lawyers. He had a write up in about 4 Biographies books. (Much was recopied from the others.) Here is webpage from Phil Cohen's Camden, NJ website.-
John F. Harned

Street Renaming-

While we are on the subject of the old street signs, the Plan of The Orchards development street names and who the streets were named for, here is another topic- At sometime between 1929 and 1944 there was a renaming of many Maple Shade streets to lesson the number of names to make it easier to navigate your way around. For instance Sauselein Ave. was changed to North Pine Ave. East Ave. in the Shuster Tract going out to Poplar Ave. was renamed Gradwell Ave. There was a Harned Ave and Barlow Ave near Mill Road but now they are renamed.

I have no bad feelings about any of the renames except one because rather than a person it referred to the actual development itself! Nathan Perkins farm (house on North Coles Ave.) became the "Evergreen Terrace" subdivision. If you are familiar with Perkins Memorial in Moorestown and knew some history, the family had a nursery and grew many evergreen trees on the property. The same for a son Nathan who had evergreen trees around his house but now they are gone and Evergreen Ave. was renamed Clinton Ave. and only Terrace Ave. remains like to tell half the story!

Detail from a 1944 Sanborn Insurance map
Note the additons on the Chesterford School when it was used as a house

Another bad way a street can be renamed is when the original name is very historic. Yes it was a good idea how they placed that second marker on North Pine ave. with Sauselein because there was the Sauselein brickyard there, but I can really think of a greater instance which could definately be deemed a wrong when the Township of Willingboro recently renamed a section of the old Salem Road (King's Highway) as Martin Luther King Road or whatever and Moorestown let the east section chop up and rename the same.

Here is a place Thomas Barlow is honored. In Cherry Hill, in what was the Mechantville Terrace subdivision.

Inglesby Funeral Home used to be Thomas Barlow Sr.'s house and
his real estate office was first at the corner of Main St. and Holly Ave.

Main Maple Shade Roads-

I am having such a good time on "roads talk" that one thing we should discuss is Maple Shade's main roads.

Main Street- In 1794 it was part of the straight road laid out between the village of Moorestown and Cooper's Ferry crossing the Delaware River to Market Street in Philadelphia. This was the "Market Road" or "Market Ferry Road" which replaced portions of the "Old Ferry Road" or "Market Road" which branched off King's Highway, the point of origin being renamed Schoolhouse Lane where the Chester Brick one room schoolhouse once stood.

In 1850 the road became the "Moorestown and Camden Turnpike" owned and maintained by local share holders. It had toll gates with tollgate houses for their workers and milestone markers (still there) to show how many miles it was either way from Camden (incorporated in 1823) to the village of Moorestown (originally Moore's Town). This was discontinued and became a free road in November of 1907. It is now a County Road #537.

It 1917 it was renamed from the "Moorestown Road" or the "Moorestown Pike" to Main Street as Maple Shaders wanted changes for the Maple Shade section of Chester Township.

Forklanding Road- This road is not named this because it goes to where the North and South branches of the Pennsauken Creek meet. It is named for a landing that was at that location. A landing is a wharf or dock where items were "landed" from a boat. In the early days roads to landings were naturally some of the first roads put in. This road at first was not named Fork Landing Road (two words) but Poplar Landing Road for an earlier landing which was at the creek before the road bends towards Rt 73. At one time both landings were in use. Fork Landing had the Heulings lumber and planing mill in the late 1800s. John Winter a wheelwright who owned the house at Main St. and Maple Ave, was not to be found and owed them money for wood.

Coles Avenue- Laid out in 1817, just prior to the building of Perry Frisby's house on it across from the High School baseball field. He was a black man and there was Quaker forces working in this area! Anyhow it was not named Coles Ave. then. What do you think a early road would be? It was Cooper Landing Rd.

Fellowship Road- It went to the village of Fellowship (mostly in Mount Laurel). Where Route 73 meets Fellowship Road in Mount Laurel is where the village once was.

Mill Road- Almost every town has a Mill road or Mill Street and you can date the mill to if the road crossed a creek or not. Moorestown's was where Ellis Heating is and was steam powered. Our mill is from Enoch and Samuel Roberts. Samuel later moved to a house he had built in 1861 where Mill Road School is now near. They tore it down for a parking lot. Robert's Mills Apartments changed their name to Robert's Mill, but we are talking a different Roberts who lived in Fellowship or perhaps Colestown area and there were two mills as can be seen on an old map.

There are very few "roads" or "streets" in the Township of Maple Shade. We have mostly "avenues" which means "a tree lined residential street."

Interesting Streets-

Germantown Avenue- Horace Roberts' 1914 Maple Croft subdivision on North Forklanding Rd. has a street he named Germantown Avenue. With the Frech, Klinger, Mennel, Fahr, Shuster, and Zane families occupying the business district of Maple Shade and all being of German descent (plus hearing people talking in German) this was appropriate!

Collins Lane- Nevermind this had a house from like the 3rd generation of colonial pioneers- Joseph Rudderow when England owned our country. Nevermind that it was where a Stiles family lived when the railroad came through and decided to have a stion named "Stiles Station" after the Stiles family farms in the area. There was a hamlet of "Stiles Corners" in the 1860s. No, this is because John S. Collins and then his son Lester bought the farm of 129 acres, divided the house into two tenant farmer homes and grew apples.

Maple Heights Avenue- Do you know who lives on that street? Nobody. There are no houses on it. The Maple Heights Land Company bought the Mason Farm and Thomas Barlow Sr. was their president and in 1912 formed Barlow & Company with his sons. The subdivision is also named "Maple Heights." It has the most Barlow Bungalows of any Barlow & Co. development.

Brubaker Avenue- Another street which had, repeat had no houses on it is Brubaker Ave. A member of the Brubaker family requested the township to rename it that for their family which used to live where all that land is.

Rudderow Avenue- This street doesn't sit well with me because the Rudderow family land was on the other side of town (and in what is now Cinnaminson) between the forks of the two branches of the Pennsauken Creek. A descendant Alfred Rudderow in the early 1900s owned the Samuel Roberts' house on Mill Road with the land on each side of Mill Road. George Martin bought and made it into two subdivisons. He named a street Rudderow Avenue after Alfred Rudderow. By the style and age of the homes built on the tract between Mill Road and Center Ave., you can see not much development happened on it until after WW2. Maybe it was being farmed in the mean time.

Martin Avenue- George Martin named a street after himself. Also there is a Cutler Avenue. The Cutler real estate agency handled the Maple Shade Land and Improvement tract, the Shuster Tract, and the two George Martin tracts.

Rose Avenue- Named for Rosa Rynning. On one side of the street near Coles Ave. is land of the Thorne family from the 1700s and the other the Burrough family from the 1700s. (Later Coles, then Tiver, then Alden Park) I believe offhand that this marks the spot where the "Old Ferry Road" crossed town and went on to cross the Pennsauken Creek near Samuel Burrough's Grist Mill. The Rynning subdivision (on the left side of Rose Ave.) was owned by Joseph E. Rynning and Rosa Rynning his wife. A house of white stone was later built at Main St. and Walnut Ave. for Rosa Rynning. I don't know if that was for her or a daughter.

Answers to the Tree Named Streets Quiz-