Whether its the close proximity to the coast, the reassurance of knowing its a safe place to raise children or simply its easy distance from the bright lights of Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township in southeastern New Jersey has something for everyone. The word is spreading, too, as more people take notice of its large selection of new homes and developing communities. The township’s population, in fact, has grown more than 25 percent in the last seven years, not too bad for a place that was mostly farmland just a century ago.
Bordered on the west by Hamilton Township, to the north by Galloway Township, to the east by Absecon, Pleasantville, Northfield, Linwood and Somers Point with Ocean City and Estell Manor to its south, Egg Harbor Township is centrally located, offering nearby big city amenities while maintaining its small-town feel. “Egg Harbor is the center point of Atlantic County,” says Shari Tomasini, a broker with Sellstate Innovative Realty, LLC, in Northfield. “It’s the best of both worlds. You’re close to (Atlantic City), but you’re far enough away that you can enjoy the suburban life.”
Although places like Egg Harbor are suffering from the same housing slump felt all over the United States, it is still a place of extraordinary development with new planned communities rising from its landscape seemingly every day. From single family homes, to townhouses to adult living communities, nearly every type of habitation is available within the confines of Egg Harbor Township. In fact, more than 50 percent of Egg Harbor’s existing homes were built since 1980 with more than 23 percent erected since 1999.
Where It All Began
The history of Egg Harbor Township goes back more than 300 years to the late 1600s when it was first mentioned in records for Gloucester County. The land that would eventually become Egg Harbor was first claimed by the Dutch who were settling the East Coast with carefree abandon in the 17th century. Egg Harbor got its name, in fact, from Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey in 1614 when he stumbled upon the inlet for the Great Egg Harbor River. He noticed that the shoreline was covered with the eggs of local birds and dubbed it “Eyren Haven,” which translates to Egg Harbor.
The land was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Native American tribes, who sold much of the land in a somewhat questionable deal to the New Jersey legislature in 1832 for just $2,000, relinquishing all their rights to the area from that day forward.