Gloucester City, New Jersey
Gloucester City is a city in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 11,456, reflecting a decline of 28 (-0.2%) from the 11,484 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,165 (-9.2%) from the 12,649 counted in the 1990 Census. It is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and the Port of Philadelphia.
Gloucester City, New Jersey
|City of Gloucester City|
Gloucester City highlighted in Camden County. Inset: Location of Camden County in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Gloucester City, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Settled||1627 (Fort Nassau)|
|Incorporated||February 25, 1868|
|Named for||Gloucester, England|
|• Body||City Council|
|• Mayor||Daniel T. Spencer Jr. (D, term ends December 31, 2022)|
|• Administrator||Jack Lipsett|
|• Municipal clerk||Vanessa L. Parent|
|• Total||2.782 sq mi (7.206 km2)|
|• Land||2.320 sq mi (6.009 km2)|
|• Water||0.462 sq mi (1.197 km2) 16.62%|
|Area rank||354th of 566 in state|
15th of 37 in county
|Elevation||23 ft (7 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||213th of 566 in state|
12th of 37 in county
|• Density||4,937.8/sq mi (1,906.5/km2)|
|• Density rank||112th of 566 in state|
10th of 37 in county
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||856 exchanges: 456, 742|
|GNIS feature ID||0885234|
Gloucester City was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 25, 1868, from the remaining portions of Union Township, which was then dissolved. Additional territory was annexed in 1925 from Centre Township and in 1927 from Haddon Township. The city's name derives from Gloucester, England.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Sports
- 6 Government
- 7 Education
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Notable people
- 10 Popular culture
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The name Fort Nassau was used by the Dutch in the 17th century for several fortifications, mostly trading stations, named for the House of Orange-Nassau. The one built in the 1620s at today's Gloucester City was for trade, mostly in beaver pelts, with the indigenous population of Susquehannock and Lenape. The region along the Delaware River and its bay was called the Zuyd Rivier and marked the southern flank of the province of New Netherland.
From 1638-1655 the area was part of New Sweden, which had been established by Peter Minuit, who had been Director of New Netherland, and was responsible for the famous purchase of the island of Manhattan. The location was disadvantageous since the richest fur-trapping area was on the west side of the river, where Swedish could intercept trade with the natives. In 1651, Peter Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland, dismantled the structure and relocated to a position on the other side of the river, in part to menace the Swedish, calling it Fort Casimir.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.782 square miles (7.206 km2), including 2.320 square miles (6.009 km2) of land and 0.462 square miles (1.197 km2) of water (16.62%).
The city borders Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Camden, Haddon Township, and Mount Ephraim. Gloucester City also borders Westville in Gloucester County and the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, across the Delaware River.
|Population sources: 1870-2000|
1870-1920 1870 1880-1890
1930-1990 2000 2010
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,456 people, 4,248 households, and 2,803.680 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,937.8 per square mile (1,906.5/km2). There were 4,712 housing units at an average density of 2,031.0 per square mile (784.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.52% (10,370) White, 3.07% (352) Black or African American, 0.14% (16) Native American, 2.68% (307) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.82% (209) from other races, and 1.76% (202) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.70% (767) of the population.
There were 4,248 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.7 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $52,222 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,589) and the median family income was $58,825 (+/- $7,975). Males had a median income of $49,032 (+/- $3,038) versus $36,560 (+/- $2,335) for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,718 (+/- $1,341). About 12.2% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 11,484 people, 4,213 households, and 2,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,213.7 people per square mile (2,015.5/km2). There were 4,604 housing units at an average density of 2,090.2 per square mile (808.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.14% White, 0.69% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 34.2% of Gloucester City residents were of Irish ancestry, the ninth-highest percentage of any municipality in the United States, and third-highest in New Jersey, among all places with more than 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 4,213 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,855, and the median income for a family was $46,038. Males had a median income of $35,659 versus $24,907 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,912. About 7.7% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. Gloucester City was selected in 2004 as one of two zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6 5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in August 2004, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in August 2024.
Gloucester Point Grounds is a former baseball stadium that was the part-time home to the Philadelphia Athletics from 1888 to 1890, with the Athletics playing games there on Sunday to avoid blue law restrictions in Philadelphia.
John L. Sullivan World Champion Boxer had an exhibition match with William Muldoon Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion in Gloucester in 1889.
Annie Oakley performed in Gloucester City on July 2, 1888 at the grandstand Gloucester Point Grounds along the Gloucester Beach in New Jersey as part of the Pawnee Bill Frontier Exhibition. Annie Oakley would return to Gloucester City, NJ for exhibitions in 1898. 
Gloucester City is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The Mayor is elected at-large and serves a four-year term. The six members of the council are elected in a three-year cycle with three elected at-large one year and one each from three wards to three-year terms the next year, so that there are no council seats up for vote in one year in the three-year cycle. The Mayor and Common Council are responsible for making public policy that addresses the needs of the City and its residents. The Mayor and Common Council also appoint members of the Planning and Zoning Board, as well as the Board of Health.
As of 2019[update], the Mayor of Gloucester City is Democrat Daniel T. Spencer Jr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the City Council are Nancy Randolph Baus (D, 2021; Third Ward), George Berglund (D, 2021; First Ward), John Hutchinson (D, 2019; At Large), James "Bowie" Johnson (D, 2021; Second Ward), Patrick J. Keating (D, 2019; At Large) and Bruce Parry (D, 2019; At Large).
Federal, state and county representationEdit
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 5th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D, Barrington) and in the General Assembly by Patricia Egan Jones (D, Barrington) and William Spearman (D, Camden). Spearman took office in June 2018 followingh the resignation of Arthur Barclay.
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2018[update], Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. (D, Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2020; term as director ends 2018), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (D, Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as deputy director ends 2018), Susan Shin Angulo (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), William F. Moen Jr. (D, Camden, 2018), Jeffrey L. Nash (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), Carmen Rodriguez (D, Merchantville, 2019) and Jonathan L. Young Sr. (D, Berlin Township, 2020).
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa (Voorhees Township, 2019), Sheriff Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (Camden, 2018) and Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer (Gloucester Township, 2020). The Camden County Prosecutor is Mary Eva Colalillo.
The sheriff of Camden County is Charles H. Billingham, a resident of Gloucester City who had previously served as the city's mayor.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,726 registered voters in Gloucester City, of which 3,320 (49.4%) were registered as Democrats, 660 (9.8%) were registered as Republicans and 2,744 (40.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 65.6% of the vote (2,624 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 32.6% (1,303 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (72 votes), among the 4,058 ballots cast by the city's 7,177 registered voters (59 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 56.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 59.2% of the vote here (2,611 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 37.0% (1,631 votes), with 4,411 ballots cast among the city's 6,711 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 58.9% of the vote here (2,698 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 38.3% (1,755 votes), with 4,578 ballots cast among the city's 6,653 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.0% of the vote (1,309 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.2% (870 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (41 votes), among the 2,310 ballots cast by the city's 7,097 registered voters (90 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 32.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 54.8% of the vote here (1,473 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 36.0% (969 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.2% (113 votes), with 2,689 ballots cast among the city's 6,708 registered voters, yielding a 40.1% turnout.
The Gloucester City Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Students from Brooklawn attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its three schools had an enrollment of 2,064 students and 198.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.4:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Cold Springs Elementary School (888 students in grades PreK-3), Mary Ethel Costello Elementary School (387; 4-6) and Gloucester City Junior-Senior High School (789; 7-12).
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden operates Gloucester Catholic High School, a co-educational four-year Roman Catholic high school. Saint Mary School was a Catholic grammar school that served grade levels from three- and four-year-old pre-school to eighth grade, which was closed by the diocese at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, in the wake of declining enrollment and rising deficits that were beyond the ability of the diocese to cover.
Roads and highwaysEdit
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 39.97 miles (64.33 km) of roadways, of which 29.52 miles (47.51 km) were maintained by the municipality, 7.10 miles (11.43 km) by Camden County, 2.63 miles (4.23 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.72 miles (1.16 km) by the Delaware River Port Authority.
Interstate 76 is the main highway passing through Gloucester City. It enters Gloucester City from Philadelphia, skims the north side of the city, briefly enters Camden, then reenters Gloucester City as it turns south towards its eastern terminus at Interstate 295 beyond the city limits.
The Walt Whitman Bridge is the suspension bridge carrying Interstate 76 west over the Delaware River to Philadelphia. The bridge, which extends for almost 12,000 feet (3,700 m) between abutments, opened to traffic on May 16, 1957. U.S. Route 130 also travels through Gloucester City.
NJ Transit bus service is available to Philadelphia on routes 401 (from Salem), 402 (from Pennsville), 408 (from Millville), 410 (from Bridgeton) and 412 (from Sewell), with local service on the 457 route between the Moorestown Mall and Camden.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Gloucester City include:
- James Barton (1890-1962), vaudevillian, stage performer and character actor in films and television.
- Agnus Berenato (born 1956), former women's basketball program head coach at Rider University (1982-1985), Georgia Tech (1989-2003) and University of Pittsburgh (2012-2013).
- Jack Collins (born 1943), former Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Patrick T. Harker (born 1958), President of the University of Delaware (2007-2015).
- Eliza Leslie (1787-1858), author of popular cookbooks during the nineteenth century.
- Gloucester City is cited by some as the birthplace of rock and roll. Bill Haley & His Comets — originally a country music band called "Bill Haley and the Saddlemen" — were the house band playing at the Twin Bar for 18 months starting in the early 1950s and are said to have modified their performing style while on stage there to an early form of rock and roll.
- In 1881, painter Thomas Eakins completed two versions of "Shad-Fishing at Gloucester on the Delaware River". A watercolor version is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, while an oil on canvas version is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, just across the Delaware River from Gloucester City.
- On November 4, 1773, Elizabeth Griscom married John Ross at Huggs Tavern. Better known as Betsy Ross, Elizabeth is credited with designing and producing the first American flag. Huggs Tavern was torn down in the 1920s; the former site of the tavern is part of what is now Proprietor's Park.
- Parts of the 1988 movie Clean and Sober – starring Michael Keaton – were shot in Gloucester City. The film prominently features the property at 215 Morris Street, which acts as the home of characters played by Kathy Baker and Luca Bercovici.
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- Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 279, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed October 14, 2013. "Gloucester City had a population in 1850, of 2,188; in 1860, 2,320; and in 1870, 3,682." Population listed for 1850 and 1860 is for predecessor municipalities.
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- Urban Enterprise Zone Tax Questions and Answers, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, May 2009. Accessed October 28, 2019. "Legislation was amended again in 2004 to include Gloucester City and New Brunswick, creating a total of 32 zones in 37 municipalities."
- Urban Enterprise Zone Program, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed October 27, 2019. "Businesses participating in the UEZ Program can charge half the standard sales tax rate on certain purchases, currently 3.3125% effective 1/1/2018"
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- Staff. "Gloucester City History - Gloucester City: Reinvention over centuries", Courier-Post, October 19, 2006. Accessed November 15, 2014. "Gloucester City has significant but little known ties to Major League Baseball. Gloucester Point Grounds ballfield was home to the Philadelphia Athletics -- the forerunner of the American League team -- on Sundays from 1887 to 1889. At the time, Philadelphia's blue laws prohibited the A's from playing on Sundays in their usual park, the Jefferson Street Grounds."
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- Charles H. Billingham Sheriff, Camden County, New Jersey. Accessed October 14, 2013. "He previously held public office for nearly four years as a Councilman and Mayor of Gloucester City.... A resident of Gloucester City with his wife Marion and their two sons, Chuckie and Michael, Sheriff Billingham's commitment to the citizens of Camden County is governed by his concern for family and community."
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- Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florence; McNeilly, Donald. Vaudeville, Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, p. 74. Psychology Press, 2006. ISBN 9780415938532. Accessed November 15, 2014. "JAMES BARTON b: (James Barton Jr.) 1 November 1890, Gloucester City, NJ - d: 19 February 1962, Mineola, NY"
- Price, Karen. "Pitt coach, player were impacted by dangerous Hurricane Sandy", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 4, 2012. Accessed November 15, 2014. "Even as the Pitt women's basketball team prepared this week for its lone exhibition game, coach Agnus Berenato and sophomore forward Chyna Golden were thinking of New Jersey. Golden is from Neptune, N.J., near the Jersey Shore, and Berenato hails from Gloucester City, N.J."
- Preston, Jennifer. "Man of the House". The New York Times, February 4, 1996. Accessed February 10, 2013. "He and his wife, Betsy, have owned their three-acre farm in Pittsgrove Township since 1974, when they traded in their Gloucester City row house for the rural life."
- O'Neill, James M. "Wharton School Names Harker As Its Next Dean The Search Committee Turned To One Of Its Own Members. He Had Not Been A Candidate.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 9, 2000. Accessed May 29, 2014. "Harker, who grew up in Gloucester City, N.J., now lives in Haddon Heights with his wife, Emily, and their three children, a 13-year-old and twins who are 10."
- Simpson, Henry. The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians, Now Deceased, p. 650. W. Brotherhead, 1859. Accessed November 15, 2014. "The death of Eliza Leslie, the authoress, is announced as having taken place at Gloucester City, New Jersey, where she latterly had resided."
- Strauss, Robert. "Cradle of Rock? Two Towns Stake Their Claims", The New York Times, July 10, 2007. Accessed July 10, 2007. "But Gloucester City, another New Jersey town, about an 80-mile drive northwest of Wildwood, wants to cut in right there. And on Saturday, Mr. Richards and other Comets plan to headline a show in Gloucester City, in Camden County along the Delaware River, to commemorate an 18-month span in the early 1950s when Mr. Haley led the house band at the Twin Bar."
- News, Gloucester City. Accessed May 26, 2007.
- Staff. "An exhibit of the Philadelphia artist's work offers fresh insights into his techniques", Courier-Post, October 14, 2001. Accessed May 30, 2012. "Gloucester City provided Eakins the focus for a series of paintings in the early 1880s"
- Franolich, Mike. "Gloucester City: Reinvention over centuries", The Courier-Post. Accessed April 16, 2012.
- Brown, Janice. History and Genealogy: Township of East Greenwich, New Jersey Accessed April 16, 2012.
- Staff. "Newsmakers", Kokomo Tribune, August 16, 1987. Accessed March 16, 2017. "By early next month, the cameras will roll for Clean and Sober in Gloucester City, Cherry Hill and Medford Lakes. Michael Keaton stare as a stockbroker with a cocaine habit."
- Imgur "Michael Keaton on the steps of 215 Morris Street, Gloucester City, NJ. A sign for Labbree Realty is visible in the background."