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The area now known as Cherry Hill was originally settled by the Lenni-LenapeNative Americans before being displaced by the first settlers from England, namely Quaker followers of William Penn who arrived in the late 17th century. The first settlement was a small cluster of homes named Colestown, in the perimeters of what is now the Colestown Cemetery on the corner of Route 41 (King's Highway) and Church Road. The municipality was founded on February 25, 1844, in Gloucester County as Delaware Township from half of the area of Waterford Township, and became part of Camden County at its creation some two weeks later on March 13, 1844. Portions of the township were taken to form Stockton Township (February 23, 1859) and Merchantville (March 3, 1874). At its territorial peak, Delaware Township included all of modern-day Cherry Hill Township, as well as the neighborhood of North Camden and the municipalities of Merchantville and Pennsauken (including Petty's Island in the Delaware River).
The township's population grew rapidly after World War II, and continued to increase until the 1980s. Today, the municipality's population is stable with new development generally occurring in pockets of custom luxury houses or through the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of commercial and industrial areas.
Origin of the name
Cherry Hill was a 19th-century farm on Kaighn Avenue (Route 38), owned by Abraham Browning. The farm property later became the Cherry Hill Inn (now an AMC Theatres Cherry Hill 24 movie theater complex), as well as an office campus (now a shopping center with big-box retailers), and today's Cherry Hill Towers and Cherry Hill Estates housing developments.
Adding to the prevalence of the Cherry Hill name, developer Eugene Mori branded several properties using the name, including the Cherry Hill Inn and Cherry Hill Lodge hotels, Cherry Hill Apartments, and Cherry Hill Estates. Cherry Hill Shopping Center (now known as Cherry Hill Mall) opened in 1961 opposite the old Cherry Hill Farm site, featuring 75 stores within a single enclosed space.
When the township sought a new post office, another New Jersey municipality in Hunterdon County was using the name Delaware Township. The United States Postal Service insisted on a name change, suggesting "Deltown". Delaware Township mayors Christian Weber and John Gilmour pursued public write-in campaigns to select possible titles, and chose Cherry Hill from suggestions that included Chapel Hill, Cherry Valley and Delaware City. The name "Cherry Hill" was chosen by the township's citizens in a non-binding referendum in 1961, and was officially adopted November 7, 1961.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Cherry Hill township had a total area of 24.244 square miles (62.792 km2), including 24.097 square miles (62.410 km2) of land and 0.147 square miles (0.382 km2) of water (0.61%),
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Coffins Corner, Colwick, Cooperstown, Deer Park, Erlton, Freeman, Huttons Hill, Locust Grove, Orchard and Woodcrest.
Cherry Hill has a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters however subject to changeable conditions
with occasional ice and heavy snowfall that usually melts within days of falling. Summers are long, hot and humid. The area can feel effects from Atlantic tropical storms. Precipitation is plentiful in all seasons.
The Asian-American population in Cherry Hill is experiencing rapid growth, increasing by 25% from 7,661 in 2010 to 9,587 in the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, significantly out of proportion to the 0.3% growth in the overall population of the township over the same period.
There were 26,882 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.6% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the township, the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 29.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.1 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $88,183 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,748) and the median family income was $105,786 (+/- $2,321). Males had a median income of $72,128 (+/- $2,699) versus $48,937 (+/- $3,321) for females. The per capita income for the township was $41,252 (+/- $1,504). About 3.0% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
There were 26,227 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the township the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
According to a 2010 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $87,392, and the median income for a family was $104,983. Males had a median income of $82,325 versus $49,129 for females. The per capita income for the township was $43,192. About 2.6% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.
One Cherry Hill is the tallest office building in Cherry Hill.
"Cherry Hill Park", a 1969 hit song by Billy Joe Royal, takes its title from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Royal came up with the title after a friend mentioned seeing Cherry Hill on a visit to Philadelphia. The song appears on a 1969 album also titled Cherry Hill Park.
The Latin Casino was a nightclub that showcased popular entertainers from the time it relocated to Cherry Hill in 1960 until it was demolished in the early 1980s. Singer Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack at the club in 1975.
In the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Cherry Hill is the location of the White Castle franchise Harold and Kumar ultimately visit. There are, in fact, no White Castle locations in Cherry Hill, nor does the movie's representation of Cherry Hill accurately reflect the dense, suburban nature of the town or its proximity to Philadelphia. Rather, it depicts Cherry Hill as rural farmland.
The Neulander murder occurred in Cherry Hill. Rabbi Fred Neulander was convicted of paying two men to carry out a "hit" on his wife Carol Neulander, who was murdered in the family home in 1994. He was sentenced to a prison term of 30 years to life.
Barclay Farm House, a farm house constructed in 1816 and listed on the National and New Jersey registers of historic places.
Cherry Hill was the home of four of the five members of the Fort Dix 5, who were convicted in federal court in Camden on December 22, 2008 on a plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix. The Cherry Hill members are Dritan Duka, 30, Shain Duka, 27, and Eljvir Duka, 25, as well as Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 23. Ages were at the time of conviction.
Muhammad Ali purchased a house at 1121 Winding Drive in Cherry Hill's Voken Tract in 1971, living there with his family until 1974.
Parks and recreation
Signage for Cherry Hill Parks
Cherry Hill has 51 public parks, plus three parks owned by Camden County. Most parks have playground equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts, walking paths, and athletic fields. Croft Farm, which was originally a working mill and farm, is the only park with an arts center. It was originally built in 1753, and is a historic landmark in Cherry Hill. The farmhouse underwent many changes throughout the years, including an expansion in 1816. The property was sold to the township in 1985. It was formed into the Cherry Hill Arts Center in 1995, which serves the community for art classes, seminars, and concerts produced by the Cherry Hill Recreation Department.
Toward the last two weeks of April, one can see a two-mile avenue of continuous rows of cherry blossoms on Chapel Avenue between Haddonfield Road and Kings Highway. The avenue of cherry blossoms was conceived by a group of residents who wanted to unify the townspeople of Cherry Hill to participate in a community-wide celebration of the diverse community of Cherry Hill. This effort started in 1972 and cherry trees are still being planted every year by the Cherry Hill Fire Department and community volunteers.
The Cherry Hill Police Department (CHPD) is the third-largest police department in the tri-county area, employing more than 130 sworn officers as well as 21 civilians. The current chief of the department is William Monaghan. The department's TRT (Tactical Response Team) responds to requests for the service of high risk warrants, the resolving of barricaded and/or hostage situations, and dealing with suicidal individuals just to name a few of their assignments. TRT responds to requests for mutual aid throughout the tri-county area as needed. CHPD is home to its own 9-1-1 public safety answering point (PSAP), when a resident of the township dials 9-1-1 they are routed directly to the CHPD, which provides a significant advantage in response time to the caller, the 9-1-1 center is the hub of the department's 800 MHz trunked radio system, as well as an advanced CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system, and RMS (Records Management System). Both systems work together to provide patrol units up to date information directly to their patrol car computers. CHPD's Community Policing Unit provides many services for residents including child fingerprinting, neighborhood watches, and drug & alcohol awareness seminars.
Fire Department and EMS
The Cherry Hill Fire Department is a career department consisting of four engines (1 engine, 2 Squrts, 1 Squad Company), two ladders, one rescue, one technical rescue unit, one haz-mat unit, one foam tender, and other specialized equipment, as well as 5 EMS units. It also has two volunteer units, the Cherry Hill Fire Police and the Special Services Unit ("Rehab 13"), which provides on scene support for the Cherry Hill Fire Department as well as departments throughout Southern New Jersey. On December 1, 2016, the department was awarded with an Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 1 designation, a classification held by 130 of the 30,000 fire departments in the United States, and only three in New Jersey. Also in 2016, the department was accredited by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The Fire Chief is Chris Callan Sr.
Engine 22 is located on North Kings Highway and Chelton Parkway. It was built in 2005 and began operating in 2006, making it Cherry Hill's newest fire station. It houses Engine 22.
Station 2 (built by Erlton Fire Company No. 1 in 1971) is located on Route 70. It was established in 1927. It houses Ladder 24.
Station 3 & Headquarters (original headquarters for Deer Park Fire Company) is located on Marlkress Road off Route 70. It was built in 1972 and replaced in 2010. It houses Ladder 34, Rescue 13, and the technical rescue unit.
Station 4 (known as Springdale Station and built by Ashland Fire Co. No. 2) is located at 1000 Springdale Road and was established in October 1976. The station was renovated and expanded in 2009. It houses Squrt 41.
Station 5 (built by Church Road Fire Co.) is located at Route 38 and Church Road. It was built in 1926 and was renovated in the 1950s. It houses Squrt 51.
Station 6 (built by Woodcrest Fire Co.) is located on Burnt Mill Road and Haddonfield-Berlin Road. It was built in 1967 and replaced in 2010. It houses Squad 13, the hazmat unit, and the foam tender.
Station 8 (built by Deer Park Fire Company) is located on Cropwell Road. It was built in 1968 with outbuildings added in 2006 and 2014. Currently, it houses the Deer Park Fire Company Special Services and Rehab unit.
Civil Air Patrol
The Jack Schweiker Composite Squadron, located at the Cherry Hill Army National Guard Armory is the Cherry Hill component of the Civil Air Patrol, a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. The Squadron has about 60 members, 40 of which are cadets and 20 of which are senior members.
At 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2), the Cherry Hill Public Library is among the largest municipal libraries in New Jersey. The current facility was completed in December 2004 to replace the 1966 Malcolm Wells-designed structure at 1100 King's Highway North. The library is an agency of the Township's municipal government.
Created as Delaware Township in 1844, the community was first governed by a Township Committee. On May 19, 1951, the citizens adopted, in a special election, a Walsh Act Commission form of government, consisting of a three-member Board of Commissioners. In 1962, the Township's population passed the 30,000 mark and two additional Commissioners were elected. Following a study made by a Citizen's Advisory Committee, a special election was held in 1962. The township voted to change its form of government to the Council-Manager Plan A under the Faulkner Act. Five Council members were elected at-large in a May election to serve concurrent four-year terms. The Council members elected one of their own as Mayor, and a Township Manager served as the Chief Administrator of the Township.
By 1975, after a Charter Study Commission report and the passage of a ballot referendum, the township adopted the Council-Manager Plan B form of government. Two features of the government were changed: council members were to be elected every two years for overlapping terms of four years and the number of Council members would increase from five to seven.
After a 1981 referendum, the government changed yet again, this time to a Mayor-Council Plan B form of government. A full-time 'strong' mayor was elected directly by the people and seven Council members were elected at-large for staggered four-year terms, with either three or four seats up for election every other year. After the passage of a ballot referendum in November 1986, voting or the mayor and council was shifted from a non-partisan May election to a partisan November election.
As of 2019[update], the Mayor of Cherry Hill is Democrat Charles M. "Chuck" Cahn, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Township Council are Council President David Fleisher (D, 2021), Council Vice President Sara Lipsett (D, 2019), Brian Bauerle (D, 2019), Sangeeta Doshi (D, 2021), Michele Golkow (D, 2019), Carolyn Jacobs (D, 2021) and Carole Roskoph (D, 2021).
In January 2016, the Township Council selected Carolyn Jacobs from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the seat expiring in December 2017 that became vacant when Susan Shin Angulo took office as a Camden County Freeholder.
N. John Amato, whose 30 years of service made him the township's longest-serving councilmember, died in office in September 2014. At a special council meeting in October 2014, Brian Bauerle was selected to fill Amato's seat, which expired in December 2015.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 50,178 registered voters in Cherry Hill Township, of which 20,220 (40.3% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 8,374 (16.7% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 21,553 (43.0% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 31 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 70.6% (vs. 57.1% in Camden County) were registered to vote, including 91.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 60.9% of the vote (22,128 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 38.2% (13,872 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (353 votes), among the 36,572 ballots cast by the township's 53,628 registered voters (219 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 68.2%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 61.4% of the vote (23,765 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 36.1% (13,966 votes), with 38,678 ballots cast among the township's 52,182 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 59.9% of the vote (22,734 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 39.3% (14,923 votes), with 37,980 ballots cast among the township's 48,778 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.9.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.2% of the vote (12,035 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 38.4% (7,683 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (266 votes), among the 20,526 ballots cast by the township's 53,873 registered voters (542 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 50.8% of the vote (12,046 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 42.7% (10,120 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.5% (1,073 votes), with 23,705 ballots cast among the township's 50,250 registered voters, yielding a 47.2% turnout.
In the 2016 Presidential Election, 36,984 votes were cast with a voter turnout of 70.05% (54,146 registered). Democrat Hillary Clinton received 64.0% of the vote (23,685 votes), beating Republican Donald Trump who received 32.7% of the vote (12,096 votes). Other candidates received 3.25% of votes cast (1,203 votes). In the 1st congressional district election for the House of Representatives, Democrat Donald Norcross received 54.4% of the vote (20,655 votes), beating out Republican Bob Patterson who received 35.1% of the vote (13,318 votes), with other candidates receiving 2.35% of votes (960 votes).
The Cherry Hill Public Schools operates 19 schools including an early childhood center, 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, two traditional high schools, and an alternative high school. Cherry Hill is the 12th-largest school district in the state of New Jersey and one of the largest suburban districts. The district has grown by about 2,000 students since the late 1990s, and employs 1,400 (about 1,000 teachers plus administration and staff). The District is governed by a volunteer Board of Education which consists of nine citizens elected at-large to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election.
For the 2001-02 school year, Cherry Hill High School East received the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education. Three of the district's schools have been named as "Star Schools" by the New Jersey Department of Education: Cherry Hill High School East (1999-2000), Thomas Paine Elementary School (2002-03) and Clara Barton Elementary School (2003-04). The district has five Best Practices Award Winners. SAT scores far exceed state and national averages, with Cherry Hill High School East's average SAT score of 1668, ranking 41st in the state, and West's 1,529 average ranking 124th in New Jersey, out of 349 schools with students taking the test that year. In 2013, the graduation rate was 95% for East and 89% for West.Newsweek named Cherry Hill High School East 85th overall among the nearly 30,000 public high schools in the U.S. in their rankings of "America's Top High Schools 2015".
Cherry Hill's school district offered the International Baccalaureate certificate and diploma program at Cherry Hill West beginning in 2001, but phased it out at the conclusion of the 2007-08 school year. The IB Primary Years Programme is offered at Joseph D. Sharp, James F. Cooper and Thomas Paine Elementary Schools. This program is also a part of the IB Middle Years Programme offered for grades 6-8 at Rosa International Middle School (RIMS).
^Staff. "Metropolitan Area News in Brief", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2005. Accessed January 9, 2012. "Cherry Hill has a new logo A modern, cherry graphic and the tag line "You couldn't pick a better place" will be the new symbol of Cherry Hill. The logo, part of a new branding campaign, was to be unveiled at last night's Township Council meeting."
^Cassell, Andrew. "Andrew Cassel column", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 29, 2005. "A bunch of outlets cluster in Center City, with the rest scattered between the Main Line, Chestnut Hill and our "edge city" suburbs from King of Prussia to Cherry Hill."
^ abMoser, Nick. "The Passing Parade", Reading Eagle, December 20, 1961. Accessed July 17, 2011. "We, too, paid a visit to the Cherry Hill Shopping Center, which is an innovation in modern shopping. There are nearly 75 stores under one roof, lining an indoor mall where tropical plants grown and tropical birds play."
^Staff. "Cherry Hill name originated from farm -- not mall", Courier-Post, November 28, 2003. Accessed August 12, 2013. "The postal service would not use the word 'township' in a mailing address, and several other municipalities and communities in the state also were named Delaware.... The Cherry Hill post office, at the Ellisburg Circle, was established in 1961 and made the name official.... Other names under consideration included Cherry Valley, Delaware City and Chapel Hill."
^ abWoronowicz, Alexa. "50 fun facts about Cherry Hill. Just what makes this township so fascinating? It's much more than a mall", Courier-Post, June 23, 2011. "The Cherry Hill Mall was the East Coast's first enclosed shopping mall. It opened in 1961 near the old location of the Cherry Hill Farm."
^Criminal Minds "A Shade of Gray", TV.com, original air date April 22, 2009. Accessed June 28, 2011. "During an investigation of a series of child abductions and murders in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the BAU concludes the possibility that the last murder may not be the work of the suspect who had been apprehended."
^Fuhrmann, Doug. "Local Entertainment History: Latin Casino", The Daily Journal (New Jersey), April 5, 2009. Accessed January 20, 2012. "Remember the old Latin Casino nightclub in Cherry Hill? Capable of seating some 2,000 for dinner and a show featuring top headliners, the Latin Casino was, perhaps after New York's Copacabana, one of the classiest venues on the East Coast. Having moved here in 1960 from Philadelphia, the Latin Casino soon became known as South Jersey's 'Showcase of the Stars.'"
^Cahillane, Kevin. "Homegrown: A Stoner Comedy Straight Out of Randolph", The New York Times, August 15, 2004. Accessed October 4, 2012. "Some New Jersey moviegoers of sound mind may wonder whether Mr. Hurwitz and Mr. Schlossberg have been away too long, noting a few geographical discrepancies as the half-baked heroes drive all the way to Cherry Hill from Hoboken for their U.S.D.A.-approved meal. For one thing, there is no White Castle in Cherry Hill."
^Straus, Robert. "Worth Noting; So Ali Owned It. So What. How Many Bathrooms?", The New York Times, December 2, 2001. Accessed October 4, 2012. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a flat market. The mansion that Muhammad Ali built in Cherry Hill in 1971 is up for sale by the man who bought it from The Greatest in the mid-1970s. Tony Micale has put the 10,000-square-foot home -- which sits on two wooded acres -- on the market for $1.25 million."
^Skoufalos, Matt. "Cherry Hill Fire Department Earns Top International Safety Rating", NJ PEN, September 6, 2016. Accessed October 24, 2017. "The department joins those of Hoboken and Hackensack as the only three Class I-certified fire departments in New Jersey, and the only one in the Delaware Valley to also have CFAI accreditation. Cherry Hill is one of only 130 ISO-1 fire departments in the United States, in which only 234 of an estimated 30,000 departments are accredited."
^Monostra, Mike. "Carolyn Jacobs plans to bring passion for service to Cherry Hill Township Council", The Cherry Hill Sun, January 12, 2016. Accessed June 24, 2016. "Jacobs was chosen as the newest member of council during last Monday's reorganization meeting. Council chose her to fill the seat of Councilwoman Susan Shin Angulo, who resigned at the end of 2015 after being elected to the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Jacobs will fill the seat for the remainder of 2016. A special election will be held in November to fill the remaining year of the term."
^About Us, Politz Day School of Cherry Hill. Accessed September 4, 2015. "The Politz Day School of Cherry Hill is a Modern Orthodox Day School founded in 1968."
^Welcome to the William G. Rohrer Center, Camden County College. Accessed October 4, 2012. "Did you know that you can earn a college degree or just take a few courses practically in your backyard at Camden County College's William G. Rohrer Center, which is conveniently located at Route 70 and Springdale Road in Cherry Hill?"