c/o Township Clerk
PO Bxo 64
Greenwich, NJ 08323
Phone: (856) 455-4677
Much has been written about the forgotten towns of New Jersey -- communities which once functioned as centers of activity and industry, but which have ceased to exist as the tide of progress passed them by. This is a fate which could easily have befallen Greenwich on the Cohansey River, a village envisioned by John Fenwick as a manor town in which court would be held for settlers living in the eastern portion of this Salem Tenth.
Beginning in 1683, lots were purchased by Quakers, Presbyterians, and Baptists seeking refuge from the harsh religious climate of both Old and New England. The village prospered, especially after being designated by the legislature as the port of entry for all ships traveling up the Delaware River. Market Fairs were held in Greenwich each spring and fall from 1695 to 1795. Hundreds of visitors came to sell the products of their farms and home shops as well as to purchase items for their own use and to enjoy the social conviviality associated with such events.
On December 22, 1774, Greenwich acquired lasting fame as the scene of destruction of a cargo of tea which had been unloaded from the hold of the brigantine "Greyhound" whose captain feared to proceed to Philadelphia. Before the tea could be smuggled overland to Philadelphia as had been planned, it was destroyed on Market Square by a group of young patriots disguised as Indians who danced merrily around a bonfire fed by boxes of tea taken from the cellar of British sympathizer Daniel Bowen.
The importance of the village was diminished when Cohansey Bridge (Bridgeton) was chosen in 1748 as the seat of government for the newly created county of Cumberland. With the passage of time, as roads were sufficiently developed to permit the use of wagons and stages, the river became a less essential means of transport. By 1800, Greenwich, located on a peninsula of land jutting out into meadowland and marsh, well off the main routes of travel, lost its position of commercial significance and gradually lapsed into a period of dormancy which lasted for nearly one hundred and fifty years.
As Americans developed an awareness of their historical heritage, Greenwich was discovered to have been preserved as a unique rural community within an hour's drive from the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Wilmington; a town which almost all the houses built along the tree lined Ye Greate Street during the 18th century still exist. The village is surrounded by the expansive fields, some of South Jersey's finest farmland, cultivated in many instances by farmers whose ancestors cleared the land nearly 300 years ago. Each year, thousands of visitors come to discover Greenwich and to savor the tranquility and peaceful atmosphere of this village where time seems to stand still.