Brief History of Evesham Township and its Village of Olde Marlton
Welsh and English Quakers in search of farmland settled Evesham Township in the mid-seventeen century. They sailed to Philadelphia beginning in 1684, and moved across the Delaware River in search of farmland and religious freedom. Evesham, New Jersey was named for Evesham, England, a Borough in England, near Stratford on River Avon. Although, the Township may have taken its name in honor of Thomas Eves, one of the first settlers who came from Evesham, England and in 1676 purchased land in the area. Eves bought several tracts in the area north of Greentree Road, an area now in the vicinity of the Evesham Corporate Center on Stow Road.
The Township was originally larger than it is today; it also included what today are Mount Laurel, Medford, Lumberton, Hainesport, Shamong, and Washington Townships. The South Branch of the Rancocas on the East Side and Cropwell Creek on the West Side bound this area. Evesham Township was eventually incorporated in 1692 as one of the thirteen Townships in Burlington County. In 1802, a tract was cut off for Washington Township; in 1847, the Township was then divided in half, with the eastern half becoming Medford Township; and in 1872, Evesham was divided again, for the last time, with the northern part becoming Mount Laurel Township.
Evesham is also known as Marlton. Marlton is a name commonly associated and interchangeable with the name Evesham. The name Marlton came about in the early 19th century. Marlton stems from the name "Marl". Marl is a naturally occurring mixture of green clay with remnants of shells that was used as a fertilizer, like manure. Its discovery helped local commerce and fueled the first "building boom", which took place in the 1830s and 1840s. Marl continued to be mined locally until 1930, when the pits were finally closed. No trace of them remains today.
The Marlton area was recognized as a village in 1758. The village was named Marlton in 1845. The same year the "Evesham" Post Office and the "Evesham" Baptist Church both had their names changed to "Marlton" Post Office and the "Marlton" Baptist Church. The names remain the same today. Most maps and directional signs refer to Marlton instead of Evesham. The Historic Village, Olde Marlton, remains mostly intact and the Township requires property owners to preserve the historical integrity of buildings in the village.
Form of Government
Until 1969, the Township was governed under a Township Committee form of government. In 1969, the voters approved by Referendum the Council-Manager Form of Government. This form of government, which consists of a Mayor, directly elected by the voters, and four Council Members elected at large, is still in effect today.