Race Tracks

The South Jersey Jockey Club and Cloverdale Driving Park

In the early 1890's, Gloucester City had two horse racing tracks. The South Jersey Jockey Club was the more famous track and was located on Water and Charles Streets in the south end of Gloucester's waterfront. The lesser known track was called the Cloverdale Driving Park and was a trotter track. Cloverdale was located in eastern portion of Gloucester along the Newton Creek in what was then Centre Township. This area would later become the Starlite Drive-In.

The South Jersey Jockey Club was organized by William J. Thompson who was known as the "Duke of Gloucester". The South Jersey Jockey Club allow betting on the horse races using through the club. This led to a great state wide political battle which resulted in betting on horse racing to be made illegal. The South Jersey Jockey Club would be also known in the press as the Gloucester Racetrack. The Gloucester Racetrack operated continuously from September 1890 until November 1893.

Cloverdale Driving Park was at first a private track and horse farm. But with the popularity of South Jersey Jockey Club, Clovedale was leased by North Jersey track owners with the intent to capture some of the business from Thompson's track. Thompson would out maneuver the North Jersey Track owners and would take control of Cloverdale as well. Before Cloverdale could attracted the crowds equal to that of the South Jersey Jockey Club, the New Jersey State Legislator made gambling on horse races illegal.

Very little documentation about the Cloverdale track exist; however, much have been written about the South Jersey Jockey Club.


Dick Liddel was a member of the James Gang.

Liddel would live in Gloucester for the last eleven years of his life 1890-1901.

Gloucester had two racetracks and Liddel was active at both.

In 1890, a horse trainer by the name of Purcell shot Liddell. Liddel would be OK and would continue to live in Gloucester until his death in 1901.

Liddel lived on the 400 block of Ridgeway Street at the time of his death.