The History of Collingswood

The History of Collingswood

As one of New Jersey’s older established municipalities, Collingswood has a rich history and architecture reflecting it. Much has changed over the years, but a few things have remained. One of them is our vibrant senior living community, UMC at Collingswood. In this article, our team will share some intriguing history about this town and how our building has stood the test of time.

Origin story: How Collingswood came to be

It all started in 1681, when a ship brought Thomas Thackera, Mark Newbie, William Bates, George Goldsmith, and Thomas Sharp to what is now Salem, New Jersey. These men met Robert Zane (think Zane Avenue, which runs alongside UMC at Collingswood), and together the group would go on to play a major role in the development of the surrounding area. The following spring, new Quakers sailed into the mouth of Newton Creek and started to settle into the town we now know as Collingswood. At the time, the settlers decided on naming their newfound home Newton – hence why Collingswood was once referred to as Newton Township. The name remained until after the Civil War ended in 1865. That same year when peace was restored to the area, Haddon Township was created which included the town of Collingswood.

The community was primarily agricultural area until the late 1800s, when the Camden and Atlantic Railroad began running through the town. The rail line helped to bring new businesses and residents to the area. Soon after, Collingswood became a sought-after destination for people looking to escape the crowded cities of Philadelphia and Camden.

Throughout the early 1900s, Collingswood continued to grow and prosper, becoming known for its beautiful homes and picturesque tree-lined streets. Many of these homes were built in the Colonial Revival and Craftsman styles, and they remain a popular feature of the community today. The borough also became home to several cultural institutions, including the Collingswood Theater and the Scottish Rite Auditorium, which hosted various events and performances over the years. In the closing years of the 19th century, it became evident that the thriving suburban town of Collingswood was here to stay.

Our centuries-long tradition of caring for seniors

One of the most significant landmarks in Collingswood is the United Methodist Communities at Collingswood building. The original organization, called The Home for the Aged and Infirmed of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the County of Camden, was founded by Christianna Baird in 1890 and has been an important part of the community ever since. In 1971, the building’s name was changed to Collingswood Manor when it merged with then-United Methodist Homes of New Jersey. After UMHNJ’s rebranding to United Methodist Communities in 2016, the Manor became United Methodist Communities at Collingswood.

The building remains a beautiful example of the Colonial Revival style, with a grand entrance portico and white clapboard siding. It has been expanded and renovated over the years to accommodate more residents and offer additional services and amenities, but the property retains much of its original charm and character.

The United Methodist Communities at Collingswood has a rich history of serving the elderly in the community. It was originally founded to provide a safe and comfortable home for elderly women who had no other means of support, and it has continued to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of seniors over the years. Today, we offer a range of services and amenities to help seniors live active and fulfilling lives, including assisted living, memory care, and short-term rehabilitation.

Senior community life in Collingswood, NJ

United Methodist Communities at Collingswood is just one example of the many landmarks and buildings that make this town such a unique and special place. From its early days as an agricultural town to its current status as a thriving suburb, Collingswood has always been a place of growth and change. Today, it continues to be a popular destination for people who are looking for a close-knit community with a rich past and a bright future.

Whether you are a resident of UMC at Collingswood or a visitor to the area, there is no doubt that this borough has something special to offer to everyone!

To find out more about community life for seniors in Camden County, please contact us today or visit our website at:

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