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Evesham Township is a township in Burlington County in the US state of New Jersey, United States. A suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 45,538, reflecting an increase of 3,263 (+7.7%) from the 42,275 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,966 (+19.7%) from the 35,309 counted in the 1990 Census. Colloquially, the area is referred to as Marlton, the name of a community within the township.

The area now known as Evesham Township was originally settled by Quakers in 1672. The township was named either for the town of the same name in England or for prominent English settler Thomas Eves.

Evesham Township was formed on November 6, 1688, as Eversham (with an “R” in the middle of the name that was lost in subsequent years) in the Province of West Jersey before the county was formed. It was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey’s original group of 104 townships. Parts of the township were taken to form Washington Township (November 19, 1802), Medford Township (March 1, 1847) and Mount Laurel Township (March 7, 1872).

The Township was substantially larger than it is today, originally including what are now 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.

Marlton is a name commonly associated and interchangeable with the name Evesham, derived from the census-designated place within Evesham. The name Marlton came about in the early 19th century and stems from the word “marl”, a naturally occurring mixture of green clay with remnants of shells 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 was mined locally until 1930, when the pits were closed.

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 is a locally regulated Historic District. Full-time police services began in 1966.

Evesham remained mostly unchanged until the 1950s, when developers began buying farms and building the township’s first housing developments. Today, no significant farmland remains.

In 1955, the United States Army opened the PH-32 Nike Ajax facility on Tomlinson Mill Road. This battery was one of twelve used to shield Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from aerial assault during the Cold War. The base was decommissioned in the mid-1960s and used for various functions, including a civil defense center. The site is now a housing development which was built in the mid-1990s.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had an area of 29.708 square miles (76.942 km2), including 29.284 square miles (75.845 km2) of land and 0.424 square miles (1.097 km2) of water (1.43%).

Marlton is an historic community, census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated area within Evesham Township with 10,260 residents (as of Census 2010) that covers 3.235 square miles (8.38 km2) of the township. “Marlton” is often used in place of the township’s name, even when referring to locations beyond the CDP’s boundaries.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names partially or completely within the township include Berlin Heights, Cambridge, Cropwell, Crowfoot, Donlontown, Elmwood Road, Evans Corner, Evesboro, Gibbs Mill, Milford, Pine Grove and Tomlinsons Mill.

The township borders the municipalities of Mount Laurel Township and Medford Township in Burlington County; and Berlin Township, Cherry Hill, Voorhees Township and Waterford Township in Camden County.

The township is one of 56 South Jersey municipalities included within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a protected natural area of unique ecology covering 1,100,000 acres (450,000 ha), that has been classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and established by Congress in 1978 as the nation’s first National Reserve. Part of the township is included in the state-designated Pinelands Area, which includes parts of Burlington County, along with areas in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean counties.

Evesham Township operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager plan 11 form of municipal government, as implemented as of July 1, 1983, based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission. The township had first switched to the Council-Manager Plan B of the Faulkner Act on July 1, 1969 to replace the township committee government.

The government consists of a Mayor and a four-member Township Council, all elected at-large in elections held every other year. The Mayor is elected directly by the voters. Members are elected in partisan elections to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two council seats up for vote in even years as part of the November general election. In 2009, a change was approved to shift municipal elections from May to November and from non-partisan to partisan, with officials citing low May turnout and costs estimated at $50,000 to oversee the municipal elections.

As of 2019, the Mayor of Evesham Township is Jaclyn Veasy (D, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the Evesham Township Council are Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper (D, 2022), Councilman Kenneth D’Andrea (R, 2020), Councilman Robert DiEnna (R, 2020) and Councilwoman Patricia Hansen (D, 2022).

On May 12, 2009, Evesham held municipal elections in which Republicans Kurt Croft, Debbie Hackman and Joe Howarth were elected, with the three taking office on July 1, 2009, and giving Republicans control of the council.

On March 6, 2010, Democratic Mayor Randy Brown announced he was switching parties to become a Republican, citing philosophical disagreements. That same year, he endorsed Jon Runyan, a Republican for Congress.

In November 2010, the Republican slate swept the township’s first partisan elections, with Mayor Randy Brown and Councilmember Debbie Hackman winning re-election along with newcomer Steve Zeuli.

Deputy Mayor Joe Howarth resigned from the council in December 2011 in advance of taking a seat on the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders, with his council seat filled until November 2012 chosen from among prospective candidates selected by the local Republican committee. In January 2012, Ken D’Andrea was selected to fill Howarth’s vacancy. Robert DiEnna was chosen in September 2013 to fill the vacancy of Kurt Croft following his resignation.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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