Cooper Street, named after the prominent Cooper family, holds a significant place in Camden’s history as one of its oldest streets. William Cooper, an early settler in the region, played a crucial role in the area, and for many years, Camden was referred to as Cooper’s Ferries until its incorporation as a city in 1828.
In 1881, notable changes took place along Cooper Street. The curb line from Front Street to the Camden & Atlantic Railroad Company tracks was shifted twelve feet inward, and the street was paved with Belgian blocks. Another transformation occurred in 1927 when the curb lines were moved back twelve feet between 4th Street and 9th Street. This particular enhancement project was completed in September of that year.
Originally extending from the waterfront to 12th Street, Cooper Street now stretches from the waterfront to 9th Street, with a small section of homes and businesses remaining beyond 11th Street. It used to be an esteemed address in Camden, boasting numerous historically significant homes designed by renowned architects and inhabited by notable residents.
However, the fate of Cooper Street took a turn in the early 1920s when three grand mansions were demolished to make way for the Walt Whitman Hotel. On June 30, 1940, further devastation struck when an explosion and fire engulfed the entire block, resulting in the destruction of all the homes on the south side of the 900 block. This block was predominantly occupied by the R.M. Hollingshead chemical factory, situated along 9th and Market Streets, contributing to the tragic event.
In addition to its more well-known counterpart, there exists another section of Cooper Street in East Camden, which is lesser-known. This particular stretch of Cooper Street spans from North 19th Street to East State Street. Unlike the prominent Cooper Street, this segment is considerably shorter and predominantly consists of a single-family home and a block of 13 row homes.
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Reprinted from the series of stories of Camden’s earlier days, under the title Sixty Years in Camden County – Gosh! by Will Paul, appearing in The Community news, of Merchantville, NJ.
Cooper Street, named after the prominent Cooper family, holds a significant place in Camden’s history as one of its oldest streets.
Leon Edgar Todd Sr. was born in Camden NJ on November 22, 1893. He operated his real estate agency for many years in Camden at 2623 Westfield Avenue, a building designed by the Camden architectural firm of Lackey & Hettel. Besides handling real estate transactions between buyers and sellers, Leon Todd developed several neighborhoods. One…
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Royden Street, in Camden, NJ, was named in honor of William Roydon, a grocer from London, England. When he became one of the largest landowners in West Jersey, he was selected to be a member of the first Council of Proprietors.
WILLIAM C. AITKEN was born around 1846. He first came to America in 1869. He moved to Camden in the early 1880s. He was active as a builder in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He built rows of homes on Cooper Street between 9th and 11th Streets. Many of these…