The Alden Park housing development land was formerly the Tiver farm. Prior to that it was owned by the Charles B. Coles family for several generations. Before that, the Burrough family. It originally, I believe, was part of the "100 acres" owned by John Walker and sold to Samuel Burrough in 1712.
Why is Alden Park called that, and why is The Alden Cafe called that? The development's name is actually "Maple Shade Estates."
I asked a man who worked on the Alden Park development.
I worked in the Navy Seabees (Naval Construction Battalion) and built homes there, Main street to Colwick (first section in) when I was 18 years old. They didn't have the money to pay by the hour so workers got piece work pay. Tiver's farm owned the land before. Applegate & Lyon was the builder. They had a Jewish friend named Alden is why it's called that. I had the blue print plans to a model "C" house (cement pad Rose Ave. homes) and I used it to build my garage by. Chicken houses were there before I built the garage.
According to this-
In July of 1950 they were just starting Alden Park.
Old and new Street signs
The Twp. and Lions Club did the old cement pole signs in 1951.
102 S. Coles being built in 1951
Same house on S. Coles, 1951,
Photos courtesy of Rob Hamilton.
Alden Park, like Maple Shade's other housing developments had its own sports teams and Civic Association. The Alden Park Civic Association had meetings to discuss improvements, events, etc...
Maple Shade's ranchers are somewhat small compared to later housing trends but at the time were similar to the first Levittown's. Several sports figures lived in Alden Park and a night at the Alden Cafe bar might include alot of the Philadelphia Hockey team, etc... It was 1950s sububurbia, ranchers and split levels in several models built on winding streets.
A Split Level house which has been modified.
Rancher with a second floor addition.
We are going to go way back....
In 1794, our "Main Street" replaced another road called-
In old deeds we see these names- the great Road, the Road from Cooper's Ferry to Mount Holly, the great Road that leads from Cooper's Ferry to Moore's Town.
From "Chester Township" by Clayton Lippincott-
Near where the Fellowship Turnpike (now Rt. 73 there) crosses the line of the Old Salem Road (Kings Highway) formerly branched off a road running about a westerly course, crossed the south branch of Penisaukin Creek where formerly stood Burrough's grist-mill, and passing a little to the south of Merchantville, crossed Cooper's Creek near where the railroad bridge now stands, at a place called "Spicer's Ferry," and from thence to Cooper's Ferry. This was the general market road for farmers of a large part of Burlington County until the present road from Mount Holly to Camden was laid out in 1794. (Main Street)
From "Moorestown And Her Neighbors" by George DeCou-
An interesting old road known as the Ferry or Market road branched from the Kings Highway near the old Matlack homestead at the intersection of the Fellowship Road and School House Lane. It passed through the woods on the Chalkley Matlack farm (Maplewood Apartments) thence to the south of Merchantville and lead direct to Spicers Ferry which crossed Coopers Creek near the present railroad bridge and thence to Cooper's Ferry on the Delaware. Chalkley Matlack informed me that in his boyhood days the course of this road could be clearly traced through the woods on his farm. The road was used extensively by the farmers in the neighborhood in sending their produce to the Philadelphia market prior to the opening of the present road from Moorestown to Camden.
From "The History of Camden County, NJ" by George Reeser Prowell-
(deals with the Camden County segment)
On the 8th of March, 1762, the surveyors of highways laid out a road from the southeast branch of Pensauken Creek towards "the new bridge erected from Samuel Spicer's Landing across Coopers Creek," to begin at a bridge erected by Samuel Burroughs, across the southeast branch of Pensauken Creek, and at his gristmill. This road was laid out four rods wide and passed through the east end of Thomas Spicer's land, over the head of Henry Woods Creek, and to the "Burlington New Road."
Map detail from the 1907 G.M. Hopkins Camden and the Environs Atlas map of Maple Shade showing the Asa R. Lippincott and Frisby house, etc... lots coming together under one owner. This land belonged to Thomas Thorne in the 1700s. (See the Perry Frisby page) The road to the Charles B. Coles house was once the Old Ferry Road. (about where Rose Ave.is) Samuel Burrough's grist mill was on it on the Cherry Hill side of the Pennsauken Creek nearby it.
Given the facts that Samuel Cole bought in the late 1600s over 1000 acres of land, the south branch of the Pennsauken Creek was once called the Coles branch, and that the Coles family, west of Coles Avenue owned the Alden Park area for generations prior to it being the Tiver farm, one would easily assume it was originally land owned by Samuel Cole. But in fact, it was probably originally first settled by John Walker and sold to Samuel Burrough in 1712. How did Charles B. Coles come to own the land? Well he is a Burrough descendant.
From "The History of Camden County, NJ" by George Reeser Prowell-
Joseph Coles, the grandfather of Charles B. Coles, was married to Sarah Heulings. Their son Charles was born July 7, 1807, and died February 25, 1837; married Rachel Burrough, daughter of Joseph and Martha (Davis) Burrough, and had two children, Joseph, who died in childhood, and Charles B. Coles, who was born on August 7, 1836, at the homestead now owned by himself, and known as the Coles Mill Farm, in Chester township, Burlington County, near the Camden line, to which place his father moved upon his marriage with Rachel Burrough, whose ancestors for six generations had owned the same property. His mother died in the Eleventh Month 29,1869, aged sixty-five years.
Charles B. Coles' father died when he was less than a year and a half old. When eight years of age he went to reside with an uncle on a farm, and in early life followed the occupation of farming. In 1864 he engaged in the active business of life and has since followed it with unabated prosperity.
C.B. Coles' Planing Mill, corner of Front and Liberty Streets, is owned by Charles B. Coles, who, in 1864, in connection with William S. Doughten, started the business on Front Street and Chestnut, the firm-name being Doughten & Coles. They continued in partnership until 1870, when they dissolved, and Charles B. Coles built his own mill at the present location.
At a Maple Shade Historical Society meeting, There were several members of the Sherf family as well as Steve Tiver. Charlie Sherf, as a boy, worked on the Tiver farm. The talk at the meeting was about Charlie and his brother Tommy Sherf's memories of the Tiver Farm, their boyhood adventures, and riding rodeo at places like Totem Ranch and Cowtown. Charles Thomas Sherf and his daughter Barbara Lee Sherf co-wrote a book "Cowboy Mission: The Best Sermons are Lived... Not Preached" The following information about the Tiver farm is from that book.
According to the book, the farm was jointly owned by Mrs. Pfluger, John, and Ed Tiver. (I would add that they might have been renting it in the beginning. Charles B. Coles was very wealthy and moved to a mansion on Chester Ave. in Moorestown.) So the family was Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pfluger and their son Charlie, John Tiver and his younger brother Ed Tiver, both single. The Gibson family, who were black, were the farmhands and lived in a separate house. Bill Gibson was the father and Elwood "Tiddly" Gibson was his son.
The farm had six mules, two workhorses, a half dozen cows and heifers, and two bulls. The Sherfs learned to first ride rodeo on these animals at the Tiver Farm.
The book "Cowboy Mission" is very colorfully written and gets into the hearts and minds of the people and the mules. I will only quote this paragraph here-
Charlie Pfluger and I were quite friendly from our first day in school and one day he invited me to his farm; 125 acres filled with mules, work horses, calves, cows and chickens. Who wanted to play tennis or go to the swimming hole on that farm with all those animals nearby? Not I !
According to Frank Brooks, John and Ed Tiver farmed the land with a colored family that also lived on the farm. They were the Gibsons, one of the only two black families in town at the time. The other one worked on the Gardner farm and lived on Fellowship Road. He said "Old man Gibson" or the Tivers could be seen plowing the fields by hand.
The Sherf's book isn't exactly for children in a few spots and it isn't religious as the title might suggest, but gives insight to the Tiver Farm which is now Alden Park. (A lot is about rodeo riding adventures.) I like how it gets into the heads of the people and even the animals. You would team a male and a female mule to a plow for the day. Makes them happier. Stuff like that. The book doesn't include every story told at the Historical Society meeting but you would get the gist. You can get a copy for yourself here- Cowboy Mission book at Blurb Books
The Tiver family from Ellisburg, New Jersey was quite large. Annie and John Tiver had 10 children. As the children grew older, John and Edward became farmers and eventually leased a large area along Coles Avenue in what is now known as Maple Shade, New Jersey. Their sister Mary joined them on the farm and provided the help in preparing the meals and maintaining the homestead. The house had a very large kitchen with a big coal fired cook stove. She became known as Aunt Mary with a wonderful hearty laugh. She loved to celebrate birthdays with cakes and goodies from the Maple Shade Bakery. Mary married Charles W. Pfluger Sr. also from Ellisburg, N.J. Mary and Charles Sr. had two children, a daughter Marie A. and a son Charles W. Jr. When Charles Jr. became old enough he joined John and Ed in working the farm. Marie A. married Edward Quinlan and moved to Pennsauken.
The farm had a nice stream along the back end of the property with a good grazing area for a few horses and cows. The main farm crop was tomatoes along with smaller quantities of corn, broccoli and potatoes. The tomatoes were harvested and the baskets of tomatoes were loaded on a flat bed truck. In the very early morning hours the truck was driven to Campbell Soup Company in Camden, N. J. Campbell Soup would select a a couple of baskets of tomatoes for grading. Payment for the load would depend on the quality of the tomatoes. This was a very productive farm until the passing of John and Edward. After the farm was sold Charles W. Jr. leased ground in Colestown, N. J. and continued farming.
Annie Tiver - 1860-|
John Tiver - 1843-
Sallie - 1884
Lizzie - 1886
Maggie - 1887
Mary - 1888 - 1946
William - 1890
John - 1892
Katie - 1893
Nellie - 1895
Jacob - 1896
Edward - 1898 - 1943
Mary (Tiver) Pfluger - 1888 - 1946|
Charles W. Pfluger Sr. 1895 - 1983
Marie A. - 1925 - 1959
Charles W. Jr.- 1929 - 2002