Medford is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. Medford was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 1, 1847, from portions of Evesham Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Portions of the township were taken to form Shamong Township (February 19, 1852), Lumberton Township (March 14, 1860) and Medford Lakes (May 17, 1939). The township is one of 56 South Jersey municipalities that are included within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a protected natural area of unique ecology covering 1,100,000 acres (450,000 ha), that has been classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and established by Congress in 1978 as the nation’s first National Reserve. Part of the township is included in the state-designated Pinelands Area, which includes portions of Burlington County, along with areas in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean counties.
A thriving glass making industry developed in Medford as early as 1825 with a glass making furnace making window panes. By 1850, William Porter was operating a glass factory on a triangle of property formed by South Main Street, Mill Street, and Trimble Street. Glass making operating continued on the property throughout the 1880s under company names including Medford Glass Works and Star Glass, which at its peak employed about 250 workers and built up a “company town” of sorts with houses for owners and managers and housing for workers. A company store enabled workers to exchange scrip for food and necessities. Glassmaking operations ended around 1925 and the factory was torn down by the mid-1940s. Today, many of the nearly thirty workers homes are neatly kept homes on Trimble and Mill Streets, as well as the owners’ / managers’ residence at 126 South Main St. and the company store at 132 South Main St.
Medford’s location along the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, increased trade and Medford expanded at a rapid rate in the years after the Civil War. By the 1920s the rail line had been dismantled and the mill industry was in decline, but Medford’s proximity to Philadelphia and Camden County allowed the township’s growth to continue as many families moved from the city and into a more rural area.