Merchantville Historical Society

Merchantville Historical Society Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from Merchantville Historical Society, Museum, Merchantville, NJ.

Long time Merchantville resident:

Long time Merchantville resident:

Jean Guidara (nee Wilson) age 95 years of Merchantville, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2023. Beloved wife of the late Joseph R. Guidara. Devoted mother of Jean Gallotti (Arthur), Sandra Caputi (Paul), Loretta O'Neil (Benedict) and foster mom of Lori Ramsell (Jim). Loving Mom Mom of Joseph Caput...


“Your House and Your Story”
We know that many of you have been working hard on your Merchantville home to bring it back into tip
top condition.
The Merchantville Historical Society would like to acknowledge your efforts and those of your friends
and neighbors if you let us know who you are! We are requesting your input in bringing to our attention anyone you know, (including yourself), who has done work over the last few years, interior or exterior, to beautify their home consistent with the original style and character of the house.
We would then like to invite the nominees to attend a get together with the theme “Your House and Your Story”. This special evening will be a great time to meet neighbors throughout the community who have also been restoring their homes. Those attending will be asked to share a bit about the projects and challenges as they work on their special home. Feel free to bring a few photos of your project as well.
The Society is working on a date and venue for this event, which would likely be in the second half of March, so look for further updates.
But for now, please send your nominations to [email protected]. Please include names and addresses, and if possible, email.

Annual meeting at The Station

Annual meeting at The Station


‘Preserving Our Past While Fulfilling the Promise of Our Future’

Celebrate Camden County History Month! Join us at our historic train station, The Station, 10 E. Chestnut Ave., on October 19, 2022, at 6:30 PM:

Historical Society Major Milestones and Future Vision…..Overview of the Society’s creation and productive path.

“A wish is a dream your heart makes!” The Historical Society has been dreaming, since its inception in 1990, to have a Resource Center. A gift has been established to honor and remember Dr. John P. Rudolph, longtime resident and whole-hearted supporter of the history of Merchantville. This magnanimous undertaking, by Dr. Rudolph’s three daughters, will allow our footprint to expand and have the state of the art tools to bring Merchantville’s treasured history to the people.

150th Anniversary of Merchantville’s Incorporation.....Review of the historic milepost anniversaries and the proposed planning passage towards 2024...

In just 2 short years, Merchantville will celebrate its 150th Birthday. Our legacy reflects how those who came before us poured their hearts and souls into creating memorable milestone events. Now it is our turn to step up to the plate and score a grand slam. Our reputation proceeds us. We are inspired to make ‘Merchantville’s 150th’ a magical, historical happening!

Come see how you can participate as a shareholder and caretaker of Merchantville’s priceless heritage. Lite refreshments served. Rebuilding our membership ranks will reap marvelous results. Complete the invite below to confirm your attendance.

The Merchantville Historical Society


Children’s Day and Trinity United Methodist Church
Submitted by the Merchantville Historical Society
On Sunday, June 10, 1866, children and their families flocked to the one-year-old Trinity Methodist Episcopal Chapel in the little village of Merchantville for a special day unlike any other. Indeed, the entire day was dedicated to them.
Children’s Day, as the annual event at Trinity came to be known over the years and as it was adopted by other Meth¬odist churches worldwide, was to be filled with special mu¬sic, hymns, and readings dedicated just to them. It was a day so special that at the church’s 75th anniversary celebration in 1940, the few surviving members who attended that first Chil¬dren’s Day were recognized and honored.
Children’s Day was the inspiration of Rev. Robert S. Harris, age 50, who in 1865 had become Trinity’s first pastor. Harris was a man with a passion for Methodism, a love of children, and a special sorrow in his own life that is thought to have spurred his interest in setting aside a special day for Trinity’s children.
Years earlier, his only child, Charlie, had died from typhoid when his small family was living in Red Bank. Harris also had been ill but recovered. His wife, Maria, never got over her grief, and eventually, as her obituary stated, “settled into mel¬ancholia” that “greatly increased her distaste for society.”
By the 1860s, Harris had settled in Camden, where he was able to both care for his reclusive wife and serve a number of area churches without need of a parsonage. In 1862 and 1863, he was pastor at Broadway Methodist in Camden where, one history noted, he led a revival during the “dark days” of the Civil War. He next served at Bethel Methodist on Westfield Avenue, where he likely came to know David S. Stetson. In 1863, Stetson be¬gan a Sunday School in his Merchant¬ville home, and in 1865 he helped raise the $3,000 needed to build the 32 foot by 48 foot Trinity Chapel at the corner of Maple Avenue and Whiskey Road (now Chapel Avenue).
While the United Methodist Church eventually replaced Children’s Day with Methodist Student Day, Trinity continues to celebrate Children’s Day each year on the second Sunday in June. Children’s Day is also commemorated through a large, stained-glass window called “Christ and the Children” on the Maple Avenue side of the current church building, which was built adjacent to the chapel in 1894. The chapel was preserved and incorporated into the design of the new church and is now known as Fellowship Hall.
In 1992, Trinity was named a Methodist Historic Site and the church was presented with a site marker that hangs in Fel¬lowship Hall.
Rev. Harris, who eventually came to be called “Father Harris,” died in March 1898. Maria Harris’s obituary stated that, with¬out her husband, she “rapidly declined,” and a month later “followed him to the grave…her days of gloom and affliction” over. Robert and Maria Harris are buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Written by Cece Torok

Published in Camden County Historical Society History Alliance Magazine


The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunday, November 18, 1984


October is Camden County History Month and to celebrate this we present “Voices of Merchantville” a video by Zachary Moore.
The Camden County Historical Society would appreciate if visitors would fill out this virtual survey


The Station sign unveiling


Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 24th from 10-2.

Newspaper article about the grand opening of 2 East Maple

Newspaper article about the grand opening of 2 East Maple

Dr. John P. “Jack” Rudolph, formerly a longtime Merchantville resident, passed away Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the ag...

Dr. John P. “Jack” Rudolph, formerly a longtime Merchantville resident, passed away Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the age of 107.

Jack was born in Camden on August 26, 1912, and had very fond memories of how beautiful a city it was to live in at that time. As a young boy, Jack, along with his brothers Richard and Robert moved to Merchantville with their parents Oscar and Ruby.

Jack was a graduate of George School, Lafayette College and Jefferson Medical College where he earned his Medical Degree. Dr. Rudolph was a WWII Veteran serving with a core team of local doctors and nurses in the 61st Station Hospital from Cooper Hospital. He spent over three years in North Africa and Italy, earning the rank of Major. He would later serve his community for many years through his own medical practice located in his home on Springfield Avenue in Merchantville.

One of Jack’s favorite places on earth was Ocean City, NJ. He spent all of his boyhood summers there fishing with his father and brothers and enjoying the beach. He loved the ocean and later became an Ocean City Lifeguard, but his fondest memory was meeting Grace Moran at a dance on the boardwalk. Little did he know, Grace would become his wife and lifelong love. He often spoke about all of his summertime memories of Ocean City and continued to spend summers there for the rest of his life.

Jack was a kind-hearted family man who will be missed by many. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He had many friends, especially in Merchantville where he made such a positive impact on the community. Jack loved the town and was captivated by its history. He was a member of the Merchantville Historical Society. One of his proudest accomplishments is that as a physician, he delivered many of Merchantville’s current residents.

During his 107-year life he had a profound impact on so many. In addition to taking care of his family and community he was a generous philanthropist who continually gave to the many of the causes that interested him.

Jack was husband of the late Grace Rudolph; brother of the late Bob and Dick Rudolph; father-in-law of the late Mike Craig, he is survived by his three beloved daughters, Judy, Jeanne, Barbara; three caring grandchildren, Richard, Kim (Luke), Jeremy; and three cherished great-grandchildren, Katie, Liam and Kahli.

Relatives and friends may visit with the family on Friday, November 1st from 5 to 7 pm at the Gaskill-Brown Funeral Home, 33 West Maple Avenue, Merchantville. Graveside service in Harleigh Cemetery will be on Monday, November 4th at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. For condolences and more information please visit

Annual meeting with Mike Ivankovich, professional appraiser

Annual meeting with Mike Ivankovich, professional appraiser


We are just 2 days away from our antique appraising event. There are still a few more slots opened for items to be evaluated. Message on this page or email [email protected] indicating that you will be bringing an item. Thank you.


Annual Meeting next Wednesday October 9th
If you have a personal treasure you have been yearning to know its historical significance and value, we have a venue for you. Join us for the Annual Meeting of the Merchantville Historical Society on Wednesday, October 9th, at 8 PM, at the Community Center. Go to the Merchantville Historical Society page to indicate you are attending. Those guests wishing to bring an item for evaluation, should select the appropriate box.

The first 35 people, registering a submission, will have their pieces placed in a viewing area. Mike Ivankovich, professional appraiser, will expound on each item to the audience.
To register please message our page or email [email protected]


The Merchantville Observer—the free, all-volunteer, monthly publication for town news—is seeking new volunteers to fill several key positions:

• Editor to identify newsworthy stories around town, assign reporters to cover them, and share in copy editing for a portion of the articles

• Three reporters to cover general interest stories and to partner with and back-up our reporters for Borough Council, education, and community interest (Town Happenings and Newsworthy Neighbors), respectively

• Dropbox coordinator to keep our internet-based filing system for stories up to date and/or to generate the monthly template on which editors fill in publication priorities.

Volunteers for these positions may apply as individuals or as a team. The time commitment for each position is typically around six hours per month but may occasionally reach ten hours per month.

Please contact the Merchantville Observer at [email protected]


Merchantville NJ

Pemberton bound local departs the Merchantville Station after dropping off passengers on 6/1/1965.


Annie Oakley Once Lived in Town
There is nothing on the record to indicate that Mrs. Frank Butler packed any sixguns
or toted her rifle when she strolled around the quiet streets of Merchantville.
Better known to America as Annie Oakley or Little Sure Shot, Mrs. Butler spent
several months in the summer of 1923 in the home of her stepson, Edward F. Butler,
at 218 Woodlawn Avenue.
Her step-grandaughter, Elizabeth Butler, by then Mrs. Howard E. Hall, well remembered
the visits of her famous relative.
After Edward’s death in 1911, Elizabeth and her husband, an architect, owned the home. “I talked over so many incidents of her life with Aunt Annie, as I called her,” Mrs. Hall said.
She had visited Annie many times in various parts of the East before she came to stay in the Merchantville home.
Frank and Anne Butler had been a team since Annie was 15. She met Frank Butler when he was the country’s champion shot and on an exhibition tour.
A match between them was arranged in which they would shoot at clay targets with each participant having 25 shots. The match was even after 24 rounds. Frank missed his 25th, but Annie scored with hers. Within a year, the two were married. Mrs. Hall said they were completely devoted to each other throughout their marriage.
Many believe that extreme grieving for Annie caused Frank’s death, threeweeks after Annie’s passing in 1926.
Annie loved America. She told of a performance of the Buffalo Bill Circus Show before Queen Victoria.
After the show, Annie was presented to the Queen, who said America must be very proud of her. Annie replied,
“I am more proud of America.”


Happy Thanksgiving!


Annual meeting


Annual Meeting 2018

Camden County History Week is a perfect backdrop for our Annual Meeting. Merchantville’s history is a chronicle of its unique Victorian architecture and its greatest asset, its people. The same spirit that has enabled this small hometown to thrive for more than 144 years will be the driving force for its progress in years to come. Those values of community caring and pride are the same in 2018, as they were in 1918. Revisiting the accomplishments of our forefathers validates their contributions and life.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. The designation "Eagle Scout" was founded over one hundred years ago. Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. We are proud and delighted that Zachary Moore, resident and boy scout, embraced the production of a Merchantville history video as his project on his journey to Eagle Scout. His primary goal was to create a film for his hometown. Zachary showcases his history presentation through interviews with 16 residents and collaborative research material. Over a period of 6 months, he was at the helm of his team of fellow scouts from Troop 119, producing, directing and delegating, in order to execute the phases of his venture. Rightfully so, the baton has been passed on to a new steward of Merchantville’s legacy.

Over the last 94 years, the Merchantville Community Center has come to be known as the “heart” of the community. Join the Society members, Zachary, Scoutmaster, Shawn Waldron, Troop 119, Merchantvillians and history enthusiasts from all over Camden County at the Community Center on Wednesday, October 17th, at 8 PM, for an enthralling documentary on Merchantville’s history through its people. Lite refreshments will be served.

The Borough Beautiful beckons you!

Merchantville Community Center
212 Somerset Avenue
Merchantville, NJ 08109


We are meeting Wednesday to prep for the annual meeting.
Anyone interested in lending a helping hand are welcome to attend the meeting, 8 pm at the Community Center


Part 2


Photos from Merchantville Historical Society's post

George Burton German Jr.'s Obituary on

George Burton German Jr.'s Obituary on

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | George Burton German, Jr. Merchantville - On April 21, 2018; of Merchantville; Devoted husband of the late Ann (nee Dilmore); Loving father of Gregory W. (Heather Garnick) of Mt. Laurel, NJ, Judith


Merchantville School Library Spring of 1929

93.3 WMMR Philadelphia

93.3 WMMR Philadelphia

McFarlan’s Market, located in the heart of Merchantville, NJ is a hometown favorite. Try their "McFarlan Special”: a triple decker club sandwich using Dietz & Watson premium meats and artisan cheeses.


AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in New Jersey!
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to New Jersey! They plan to film episodes of the
hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in September 2017!
AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on
History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for
America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the
interesting stories behind them.
As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue
forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.
The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about
America’s past along the way.
Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something
they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.
AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone
you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better
part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the
collection with photos to:
[email protected] or call 855-OLD-RUST.



This national emblem has a peculiar history. At the breaking up of "Union Camp," September 1, 1862, the "boys" of the Corn Exchange Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, started for the front. U. S. Senator Alexander Cattell, being the originator of this regiment, was presented with its camp flag and pole, which he sent over to Merchantville, planting the flagstaff on his grounds, but religiously preserving the flag for holidays and special occasions.
General Grant, who was a warm personal friend of the Senator, on a visit to Merchantville, in September, 1875, hoisted the flag himself, in the presence of many of our citizens. Upon the death of the Senator (May, 1894), the flag came into the possession of our fellow-townsman, George W. Algor. The old flagstaff was purchased by William Longstreth and presented to the "Merchantville Field Club," and adorned their grounds.
At the breaking out of our war with Spain, a number of our citizens, among whom were George W. Algor, Walter H. Eastlack and Marshall G. Stevens, conceived the idea of floating her over Morro Castle so soon as that fortress should come into our possession. With this end in view a public meeting of our citizens was called May 18, 1898, in which all our ministers made eloquent remarks, Judges Charles Garrison and Howard Carrow taking leading parts. It was then decided that the flag should be borne personally to Washington and the request of our people be made known to the War Department. This was done May 24, 1898, and. January 1, 1899, when the morning sun rose over humbled Morro Castle, it was greeted by Merchantville's "Old Glory" floating defiantly from its ramparts. In February, 1899, the flag was returned to us with an autographic letter of thanks from the Secretary of War. It was then in the possession of Mr. George W. Algor. In the early 1940s, the Haddonfield Historical Society agreed to house the flag until such time as it could be properly displayed by the future Merchantville Historical Society.


Frederick W. Grigg Post 68 American Legion, Merchantville, NJ

CORPORAL FREDERICK W. GRIGG was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1897 to William Erie and Mary Butler Grigg. His father was an insurance agent. The family soon moved to Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, where they resided when the Census was taken in 1900. They had moved to 46 West Chestnut Avenue in Merchantville NJ by the summer of 1910. Frederick Grigg was the tenth
of the eleven Grigg children, coming after Leora, Florence, Cora, R. Horace, Walter, Robert, Ernest, Marion, and Arthur Grigg, and before Thomas. All but Cora and Thomas lived to majority. After moving to New Jersey, the Griggs were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Merchantville.

After joining the United States Army at the age of 16 in 1915. He first saw service with Battery B, 1st New Jersey Field Artillery, on the border during the armed intervention with Mexico in 1916. When the battery returned to Camden, he was mustered out of service. He was working in Trenton when America entered the Great War and enlisted in the Second New Jersey National Guard and was first placed on guard duty in the state. Later he was sent to Camp McClellan, Anniston Alabama, and sailed for France in June 1918. when sent overseas, Corporal Grigg was a member of Company E, 113th Infantry Regiment. Corporal Frederick Grigg was killed in the Argonne Forest and Meuse drive in October, 1918. He was struck in the stomach by a fragment of shrapnel. He was buried in Plot G, Row 26, Grave 30
at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.

The Grigg family had left Merchantville by 1920. William and Mary Grigg had moved to Glendale, California by 1926, and were living at 2245 North Louise Street in Glendale by1930. Mary Grigg was offered the opportunity to take part in the 1930 Mother’s Pilgrimage to France, but declined the offer. Mary Grigg passed in January of 1941, William the following year.

In the years following World War I, veterans in the town of Merchantville organized an American Legion Post, which is still active. The Frederick W. Grigg Post 68 of the American Legion meets at the Merchantville Community Center.

The Camden County Historical Society

The Camden County Historical Society

Check out this wonderful article about our CCHS member Jeff Vilardo, who is a regular researcher in our library doing extensive research on WWII veterans of Mount Ephraim!


Merchantville Historical Society's cover photo


MHS Annual Meeting


History of MPWC to be topic of Merchantville Historical Society’s Annual Meeting
While it’s hard to imagine today, water was often a contentious issue in Merchantville’s early days. Even after plans for the privately-owned Merchantville Water Company were approved in 1886 and pipes were laid, water pressure could be unreliable, water quality was never guaranteed, and angry residents frequently vented their ire on borough council members.
The Merchantville Historical Society will present the story of how that situation finally improved through creation in 1926 of the Merchantville Pennsauken Water Commission at its annual membership meeting, to be held on Wednesday, March 22 at the Merchantville Community Center
MPWC staffer and borough resident Sean Fitzgerald will tell the MPWC’s story as he shares historic documents, hand drawn area maps and hundreds of photographs. Some date back more than 100 years to the time of the original Merchantville Water Company.
Fitzgerald also will show a short video prepared by the Commission in 1966 to help mark the MPWC’s 40th anniversary. In addition to promoting the activities of the MPWC, the video provides a fascinating time capsule of how Merchantville and the surrounding area appeared at the time.
All borough residents are invited to attend the 8 p.m. meeting. Light refreshments will be served.
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Merchantville, NJ



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1936 Merchantville High School Field Day,
Robert P. Fulton Jr.
1936 Merchantville High School Field Day
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Email your information to: [email protected]
Only 13 hours left to bid and WIN this class photo! Let's win it for Merchantville School.
I would love to talk with any members of MHS Class of 1949. And any long-term residents who lived in Merchantville (past and present) 1930's-mid 1980's.
Are copies of "The Annals of Merchantville" still available for purchase somewhere?
I was reading "The Annals of Merchantville" and saw a reference to "backyard gas geneneration plants." Never heard of them, so I Googled it and learned that from the 1850s to 1950s homes not near commercial gas pipelines could install a small gas generation plant that created gas for light, heat and cooking from coal. Since these existed in Merchantville, I was wondering if anyone remembers them and how they worked.
I found this in a box of photos at a recent antique fair and bought the whole box, in it was a bunch of photos from Cornell University and the gentleman's name was on the back,
Chas. F Saylor and Merchantville NJ. Hope he has a story in your area.
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Merchantville High Class 1947 Reunion 1992