Two presidents visited Hammonton: Teddy Roosevelt in May, 1912 and Ronald Reagan in Sept., 1984. (Ulysses S. Grant’s train stopped in Hammonton on the way to the shore in 1874).
In 1888, watchmaker and jeweler Elliott J. Woolley, built the first double three story brick “block” in Hammonton on Bellevue Ave.
The first town clerk was Edward T. McKean in 1866. Mr. McKean lived on Basin Rd. and in 1858, he partnered with John Myers in the brick making business. Mr. McKean was also the chairman of the Greenmount Cemetery Association in 1856.
Starting with the town’s first newspaper publication, the Hammonton Farmer issued by Judge Byrnes from 1858-1866, several publications followed including the South Jersey Republican in 1866, the Hornet in 1878, the Atlantic County Mirror in 1882, the Atlantic Mirror in 1887, and the Chatte in 1895. In 1902, Thomas B. Delker published the South Jersey Star and sold his interest to Raymond L. Buck in 1923, who combined the assets of the Star with the South Jersey Republican forming the foundation for the current Hammonton News.
The cornerstone of the first St. Joseph Church was laid in Nov., 1886. The church was built by William Bernshouse at a cost of $3000. A larger church was built in 1919 at a cost of $21,150. The present church was built in 1964 with a dedication ceremony held on May 23.
In 1881, C.E. Hall purchased property at the corner of Bellevue and Central Aves. He also bought the adjoining property and built a furniture and hardware store in 1887.
Cyrus Fay established the first store in Hammonton in 1858 with the purchase of the entire block of land running from the Camden and Atlantic Railroad to Third St. and from Bellevue Ave. to Pleasant St. as well as much of the land on the opposite side of Bellevue Ave. Mr. Fay built a dwelling, store, saw mill, grist mill, blacksmith shop, lumberyard and shingle mill.
In Aug. 1886, three buildings were destroyed by fire: A.H. Simons Bakery (the building was owned by William Black), D.C. Herbert’s Shoe Store and Mrs. Cogley’s Harness Shop.
In Jan. 1896, a fire started in Newland’s Bakery on Bellevue Ave. and burned the William Arlitz Newstand and Sam Brown’s Store. The fire spread to Herman Fiedler’s Cigar Store and Photograph Shop, Mrs. Arlitz’s Dry Goods and Notion Shop and the E.J. Woolley Jewelry and Novelty store housed in a three-story brick building owned by Mr. Woolley.
In June 1902, the Tilton Store, located between the county road and the railroad was destroyed by fire.
Imhoff’s Saw and Planing Mills on North Egg Harbor Rd. between Orchard and Pleasant Sts. was destroyed by fire on Dec. 1910.
In June 1930, fire destroyed the department store of William L. Black on Bellevue Ave. near the railroad station.
Dr. Joseph Henry North (1811-1893) arrived in Hammonton in 1858 and opened his practice at Railroad Ave. and Orchard St. At the same time, he started fruit farming. During the Civil War, Dr. North traveled to Washington, DC to treat the troops. In 1866, he built a home on Central Ave. Dr. North retired from medicine in 1870 due to the demands of his farming activities. He also “engaged in the sale and exchange of real estate.” Dr. North was 82 when he died on Sept. 19, 1893 in Hammonton.
The Central, located at N. Egg Harbor Rd., was built between 1903 and 1906. Filomena Boccella purchased the Central in 1986 from the Fords who purchased it from the Benedetto Brothers. The building included four apartments along with a bar and retail store. Filomena paid $161,000 and called the restaurant Café Boccella but changed the name to the Central in 2004. Over the decades, the Central was a speakeasy with an opening in the floor that led to the basement and out the door in the foyer. It was also a hotel and general store in the retail part of the building.
The Nivision Home at Summit Grove Place, near N. Third St. and Ranere Ave., was the site of a foundling home. In the 1870s, nearly three dozen babies died over a short period of time. Cause of the deaths was a swift-acting virus.