Washington Township is a township in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. Washington Township was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 17, 1836, from portions of Deptford Township. The Township officially moved to the newly created Camden County on March 13, 1844. Monroe Township was created on March 3, 1859, from part of the township. Most of Washington Township, along with all of Monroe Township, was moved back into Gloucester County on February 28, 1871, with the remaining portions of Washington Township that were still in Camden County being transferred to Gloucester Township. Additional transfers to Gloucester Township were made in 1926 and 1931.
The oldest community in Washington Township, Grenloch Terrace, was a thriving Lenape Native American village called Tetamekon. Some of the early settlers to the area were the Collins family of Chestnut Ridge Farm, for whom Chestnut Ridge Middle School is named; the Turner family, for whom Turnersville was named; the Hurff family, for whom Hurffville and Hurffville Elementary School are named; the Heritage family, whose family began the Heritage’s Dairy Farm Stores, and for whom the community Heritage Valley is named; the Morgan family, who were the first residents of the Olde Stone House, a landmark for residents of the Township; and the Bell Family, who arrived in 1899 and for whom Bells Lake Park and Bells Elementary School are named. Sewell, New Jersey, is named after General William Joyce Sewell, who was elected to the United States Senate in 1881 and 1895, and served as President of the New Jersey Senate in 1876, 1879 and 1880.
Washington Township has two major economic centers. The “town center” is focused around the square formed by Greentree Road, Egg Harbor Road, Ganttown Road, and Hurffville-Crosskeys Road. Washington Township High School, the TD Bank Arts Centre, Washington Lake Park, and the township municipal building are located around this general vicinity. The other major center is located around Route 42, which connects Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore. Washington Township is sometimes referred to as “South Philly South” or “Little South Philly” as a large percentage of its citizens moved to the town from the Italian South Philadelphia region over the past several decades. It is also known simply as “Township”.
In 2008, CNN/Money and Money Magazine ranked Washington Township 58th on its list of the 100 Best Cities to Live in the United States.