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Historical Society of Winslow Township NJ

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by Paul Del Guercio

When the area known as Sicklerville (or Sickler Town) was first settled in the early 1800's, it had an abundance of pine and cedar trees.  The early residents would cut the pine and make charcoal out of it.  The charcoal was then taken by wagon to Philadelphia and used in the smelting of iron ore.  The clear-cutting of the forest gradually turned the community in one of farming.

In 1754 three brothers came from Germany.  They were Christopher, Jacob, and John Zeigler.  After settleing here they changed the family name to Sickler.   Christopher, who lived in Chews Landing, had a son John who was born on March 11th, 1765.  John  was one of the first settlers of Sicklerville.  He built a cabin of cedar logs on what is now Erial Road sometime between 1790 and 1810.  John died in 1839.  He had twelve children of which three were boys.  His sons helped turn the area into a farming community.

The first Methodist meetings were held in people's homes until 1837 when John's son, William, donated an acre of his land for the purpose of building a church.   The community joined together to build a one-story wooden structure that was used during the week as a school and a church on Sunday.  Sometime in the 1840's an additional acre was given for the use as a cemetery.  In 1851 the still existing Methodist Church was built on this site and recently relocated to it present site.  The Sickler family also opened a general store around 1865 that was run by Paul H. Sickler.

When the Williamstown Branch of the Philadelphia and Atlantic Railroad went through the area in 1872 a station as erected and called Sicklertown.  When Paul Sickler opened the first Post Office in his general store in 1874, the sign out front said Sicklerville.  So the town had the distinction of using both names for a number of years.   Finally the name of Sicklerville was permanently adopted.  Another large family of the area at that time was the Ware's.  In the 1800's the area was sometimes called Waretown.

As I previously stated, Sicklerville started as a logging community because of the abundant forests.  It later became a farming community which lasted for the better part of 100 years.  Sicklerville is now thew most populated area of Winslow Township, as a result of the housing boom in the 1960's and the extension of the Atlantic City Expressway through it.  Sicklerville is still growing today with numerous churches, shopping plaza's, and a bus depot.  Sicklerville also houses three of the township's six public schools and is home to Frank Donio Memorial Park.  Descendents of the Sickler family are still residing in the area today.

Thanks to Paul Del Guercio for supplying this information   Reprinted from the March 1995 society newsletter.




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