A Brief History of Willow Grove, NJ

The personal injury attorneys in Willow Grove, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group have kindly sponsored some history on the neighborhood.

Willow Grove

This unincorporated community is located within the Pittsgrove Township. The township is situated in the eastern section of Salem County, New Jersey. The neighboring communities are Newfield, Alliance, Pittsgrove, and Franklin. Willow Grove Road, Parvin Mills Road, and Jessie Bridge Road are the town's main roadways. New Jersey Route 55 forms the eastern border. The town is just a 13-minute drive from Vineland. 


The Lenni-Lenape Native American Indians were the first to dwell in the area. This set up camps along the rivers and ate off the land. However, the Europeans began to settle in the area as far back as the 17th century and consisted primarily of Quakers. The Salem County Court was the first in the western region of the state. It was formed on May 17, 1694. The Pittsgrove Township at one time was part of Cumberland County, but in 1868 it was restored to Salem County. 

In the center of the town is a manufactured lake that was formed in the early 1800s. The Maurice River, the second largest tributary that flows out of Delaware Bay, has provided this natural landmark. In addition, the Maurice River is considered an important oystering area provided by the salt marshes surrounding it. The Willow Grove Lake Preservation committee was established in 1993 to protect the area. In 1994, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. donated 1,035 acres to preserve nature conservation. In 2011, the dam was damaged by floodwaters that came from Hurricane Irene. This caused a 19-month road closure as the repairs were made to strengthen the dam. The dam was repaired, and the road reopened in 2016. 

Historical Landmarks

The area is home to many Quaker-inspired architectures as well as the masonry styles from the 18th century. The Willow Grove United Methodist Church has been ministering to the area for more than 200 years. The historic building sits across Parvin Mill Road from the cemetery. The Faith Temple Assembly, formerly the New Macedonia Free Will Baptist Church, was built in 1883 and still holds services. 


The most commonly spoken language among the townspeople is English, at 71.9%. Spanish is spoken by as many as 27.1%. The ancestral makeup of the community's population is the following:

  • 22.8% Puerto Rican
  • 11.6% Italian
  • 10.3% Irish
  • 10.1% German
  • 6.4% Mexican

The breakdown of the employed resident's occupations is the following:

  • 44.1% manufacturing and laborer jobs
  • 23.5% executive, management, and professional roles
  • 19.6% sales and service occupations
  • 12.8% clerical, assistant, and technical support positions

Keep reading: A Historical Look at Newfield, NJ

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Vineland, NJ 08360
(856) 290-8869

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Date Published: May 6, 2021
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