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Colonial Reenactor Sings at Indian King

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Shops & Restaurants
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Historic Homes
Local Dinosaur Site
Colonial Tavern Museum
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Haddonfield Business and Professional Association Directory 2000

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Known for Historic Homes, Hadrosaurus Site, Colonial Tavern, Village Ambiance

Haddonfield town clock Haddonfield buildings1
A nineteenth-century clock (left) marks the center of Haddonfield's shopping district. Many of the borough's streets (right) are virtual museums of American architecture.

Settled by Europeans more than 300 years ago, Haddonfield, New Jersey, is one of North America's oldest towns. Located a short distance east across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it is also one of the metropolitan area's most affluent communities. Various regional publications have long rated Haddonfield as one of the most desirable places to live in the Delaware Valley.

Haddonfield medical offices Haddonfield shops
Professional offices and village-like shops dominate Haddonfield's downtown.

Special Role in Dinosaur History
Haddonfield played a special role in the history of dinosaur discovery. The first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton was excavated from a marl pit here in 1858 -- an event that also established the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia as the world's leading center for paleontological studies for the rest of the nineteenth century. Energized by that same event, Haddonfield resident Edward Drinker Cope (he lived in a sprawling Victorian mansion in the center of town) set out across the continent in a protracted dinosaur digging competition with Charles Marsh that would later become infamous as the "Bone Wars."

Offices of 390 Attorneys
Aside from having one of the world's most significant paleontology sites, Haddonfield is also famous for its historic homes, quaint shops and legions of lawyers. A major legal center for the southern half of the state, the town houses the offices of more than 390 attorneys.

Aggressive Historic Preservation
The population of 12,000 has a strong sense of identity. Haddonfield community activists run the region's most aggressive historic preservation programs. It is a Rockwellesque community that still blocks off its main street for real brass band concerts on summer evenings and gathers en masse to celebrate the lighting of the town Christmas tree each year. Its 2.9 square miles of streets are shaded by massive trees and lined with often-opulent mansions featured in frequent walking tours and seasonal open-house programs.

The main street -- Kings Highway -- was originally a wagon trail named in honor of the British monarchs that once ruled the area. Many of the buildings -- such as the famed Indian King Tavern -- date to the same period and have an ambiance not unlike that of similar structures in Williamsburg or Annapolis. The town also played a role in the American Revolution; its Quaker cemetery holds the remains of British soldiers who died in battle against George Washington's forces more than two centuries ago.

A Genteel Haven
In the 1850s Haddonfield was a vacation spot for well-heeled Philadelphians who fled the heat and odors of the city in summer. Ferrying across the Delaware River, they clopped their horses and buggies along dirt roads through cool woods until they reached the bucolic hamlet of Haddonfield, with its rambling cottages along the banks of Hopkins Pond and Cooper River.

Haddonfield's ability to retain much of that same genteel feel nearly a century and a half later is what makes the town such a unique and pleasant one.

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