Pedricktown’s Big Day
by Sherada C. Rempe
Like Salem this year, Pedricktown’s celebrating a birthday on October 14th that takes the “Little Town With The Big Heart” over the 300th year milestone...
325 to be exact. To blast the event into the new millennium, this rural village on Oldmans Creek is planning a fest for old and young alike that includes Sally
Starr, Ron LeHew, helicopter rides, a cake baking contest and yes, food, food, food!
Events swing into action at 9am at the Middle School with opening exercises at the band-stand. Jazz, swing dancers, ragtime and country will be just part of
the ear candy on parade with bands from far and wide saluting Pedricktown’s birthday in the new century. As well as munching on barbecue and scanning
the flea market tables for anything but fleas, passersby get a literal stroll down America Yesterday by just being in the vicinity. From 9 am to 5 pm,
Pedricktown’s stores and public buildings welcome all to a treat that has been available since pioneer Roger Pedrick purchased the property in Oldmans in
1675. The cost of the pro0perty was about two and a half cents per acre, a bargain at anytime in history!
In 1796, Pedricktown was prod to have one of the first churches in Upper Penns Neck - the Friends Meeting House. Bustling and prospering since the
1800's, Pedricktown offered a brisk trade in dairy and farm products. Shop owners such as Hudson Springer, Ira Brad-shaw and blacksmith Joel Haines (who
was also a local tavern keeper ) traded in flour and feed at the grist mill originally owned by the Pedrick family.
Pedricktown was the site of modern machinery at work with the Pedricktown Mill boasting the use of steam rollers. So successful was this mill that it may have
played a pivotal part in the closing of the old Carneys Point Mill in Carneys Point.
Beside milling, Imperial flour, the Justice family (ancestors of mine!) dealt in grain, coal, lumber and hardware. This prominent family also shipped sweet
potatoes, fish, produce and more in the shipping industry that was growing there. When the Sweeten family moved to the village, competition produced more
services and products for the people.
The railroad was the big boom on the early part of the 20th century, with students being able to take the train to enjoy and education in nearby Penns Grove.
The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Station brought Pedricktown from its early days from what the Indians call Kachikanizachen into the industrial
revolution and on into the new century and finally the new millennium.
Old country and old Salem County charm abides here in this quaint village. The secret of its beauty isn’t really much of a secret - it lies with its people,
something the villagers have known since 1675. Stop by on October 12, 2000 and have a chat with some locals. You’ll be glad that you did.
For more information, call (856) 299-2133 or visit Pedricktown’s website at: pedricktownday.org.
NOTE: Article is retyped as originally printed.
VOL. 8 NO. 1