Municipal History

From Fort Nassau, to Gloucester Town, Gloucester Point, 

Union Township and Gloucester City.

Over the years, the legal municipal area that present day Gloucester City would include, expanded and contracted for various reasons.  

In 1786, the county court house in Gloucester Town burned down and it was decided by the county to move the court house and county seat to Woodbury further south of Gloucester Town.

The resulting move of county business out of Gloucester Town resulted in the population dropping and very little activities occurring in Gloucester Town until the 1840's.  At that time Gloucester Town was part of Union Township in Camden County ( 1831-1868 ).

Gloucester was left only with seasonal fisheries, a small number of farms and a ferry running between Gloucester and Greenwich Point in Pennsylvania.   But Gloucester's location on the Delaware River would prove valuable in the forthcoming industrial expansion.

David S. Brown from Philadelphia would purchase large portions of the Gloucester and would built textile factories.  With the factories came an rapid increase in population, resulting in the creation of a Post Office (1845) many churches and other businesses.

Brown was the architect of Gloucester City's present street layout and the names of many of todays streets.

As the communities the northern portions of old Gloucester County began to growth, Camden County was created on March 13, 1844. 

[ See the links below for more information about the history of Camden County]

Centennial of Camden County 

Prowell's History of Camden County New Jersey

Gloucester City became part of the newly formed Camden County at that time.

In 1855, Gloucester's population growth lead to the other areas of Union Township wanting to former a municipality of their, so Centre Township was formed from all the areas of Union Township except Gloucester.  So Gloucester City and Union Township were one in the same from 1855 until 1868.  In  February 1868 Gloucester City was chartered by the NJ State Assembly and in March of 1868 the Gloucester City School District was created.

Later on in the 1920's Highland Park ( part of Centre Township) and Gloucester Heights ( part of Haddon Township) would be become part of present day Gloucester City.

The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries, 1606-1968