Liney Ditch

Ditch Stock Photo

Liney Ditch takes its name from Line Ditch, a.k.a. Little Newton Creek, a.k.a. Kaighn’s Run, a stream located in South Camden. This stream originated out near 10th Street at one time. It flowed under Broadway between Jackson and Lansdowne Street and appears on 19th and early 20th century maps and atlas plates.

Once Eavenson & Levering constructed their wool scouring mill at the intersection of 4th, Jackson and Ferry avenues, the stream to the east disappeared. The wool scouring mill used the stream for its effluent. Even today, there are still bridges in place on Ferry Avenue and the railroad that span the watercourse. In the late 18th and into the 19th century, a Little Newton Creek Meadow Co. existed for creating banked meadowlands along the stream. Line Ditch takes its name from serving as the dividing line between Kaighn and Mickle lands.

Now, regarding Liney Ditch. This community of shanties sprang up on dredge spoils deposited along the Delaware River shore from Jackson Street south to about Jasper Street. The shanty town begins to appear during the late 1890s and grew to rather large proportions, relatively speaking, by the 1930s. The community featured tarpaper shacks, a chapel, a store and post office, a common fountain to supply water and dirt streets and paths. The shanty town disappeared when Camden City began constructing a major new sewage treatment plant on the dredge spoils in the late 1940s. Today, this treatment plant is the home to the CCMUA (Camden County Municipal Utility Authority).

The name Liney Ditch seems to be an enduring part of the history and lore of Camden.

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