Everybody Likes Pitman!!
Welcome to Pitman, New Jersey 08071 - Our Home Town!!
Pitman is located in Gloucester County, New Jersey (see article on Gloucester County further in this piece). It is approximately 17 miles south of Philadelphia. It is one mile from Rowan University and 16 miles from Rutgers in Camden. Pitman has an area of 2.5 square miles and a population of 10,200.
Pitman is governed by a mayor and an elected town council. All are volunteer positions. It is serviced by three volunteer fire companies, Highland Chemical, Pitman Fire Company and Fire Patrol Number 1 and a paid police force. Chief of Police is Scott Campbell.
Pitman is a state historical site. Its roots emerged from a summer camp meeting at the turn of the century. In the center of the Grove area is the Camp Meeting Auditorium, which once was the center of Methodist worship. There are 12 “avenues” representing the disciples of Christ, that are joined to the auditorium as spokes on the hub of a wheel. There is a spot in the tabernacle where you can stand and look down all 12 avenues. Eventually small cottages were built on these avenues and this was the origin of the town.
In 1905, Pitman Grove became the Borough of Pitman. Back then, Pitman was known as a place with no mosquitoes, no malaria and no saloons. To this day, Pitman is a dry town with no liquor stores and no liquor licenses issued. We do, however, have our fair share of mosquitos!
To preserve the Grove’s uniqueness, an historic district ordinance has been adopted. Before any exterior changes can be made, property owners within the district must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Building Inspector’s Office in Borough Hall.
There is a small book called Cottagers and Commuters: A History of Pitman, New Jersey that can be purchaes for $6 at McCowan Library in Pitman. This book describes the origin and growth of the Borough.
Downtown Business Area: The business section of Pitman runs up and down Broadway. Many stores dot both sides of this street. One can find antique shops, delis, clothing stores, book stores, card and gift shops, convenience stores and more. The Broadway Theater is also located on Broadway. There, first run movies are shown for just $3.00 a show. This theater is known for its elaborate architecture, chandeliers and old fashioned balcony and seating boxes since it was constructed back in the early 1920s.
Pitman 4 Mile Freedom Road Race: Held every summer for the past 10 years, this is a qualified course attracting hundreds of runners each 4th of July. The race starts at 9 and is followed by the annual 4th of July parade through town.
Pitman Craft Fair: The craft fair is one of the largest in the state of New Jersey. It is held on a Saturday in mid September. Hundreds of crafters display and sell their goods. A smaller craft fair and art show is held in May.
Pitman Santa Claus Parade: This parade is held on the Saturday morning of Thanksgiving weekend. Complete with bands and fire engines, it is the town’s way of ushering in the Christmas season with Santa arriving to greet the children.
Betty Park: Betty Park has playground equipment, picnic tables, and fishing and boating on Alcyon Lake. This once was the nation’s number one Superfund site, but has recently been cleaned and now reclaimed by the town.
Shertle Park: Shertle Park has basketball courts, shuffleboard courts, and tennis courts as well as playground equipment. It is ajacent to Sunset Auditorium, where outdoor concerts are held throughout the summer.
Walton Park: Walton is located on the outskirts of town and provides a quiet wooded
area with short trails and a few benches.
Glen Lake Park: This park has benches all along the lake and is maintained by the students of Kindle School. The lake recently has been fitted with fountains and lights. Glen Lake is stocked for fishing. It also is rather shallow and often freezes over, providing a nice place for winter outdoor ice skating.
Ballard Park: Ballard Park is right in the downtown area, directly across from borough hall. There are many park benches in Ballard and the library is located in this park. McCowan Library has over 30,000 books and many periodicals. Ballard Park is the site of many town events and has a veterans memorial erected there to honor those citizens of Pitman who died while serving our country.
Our Schools: Pitman is a walking district, that is, it uses no buses to transport its students. There are three neighborhood elementary schools serving students in grades K to 5, one middle school for students in grades 6 to 8, and a high school for students in grades 9 to 12. The student enrollment is approximately 1,800. The schools are run by an elected seven member school board, who serve without pay. The superintendent is Dr. Michael DiPaola.
ABOUT GLOUCESTER COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
Gloucester County (Old), founded in 1686 and once including within its boundaries the present Atlantic and Camden Counties, is unique in that it is an outstanding Agricultural, Industrial and Residential Area. Farming in all of its phases is highly established and developed. The raising of fruit, farm vegetables, and poultry, the dairy industry, the breeding of cattle, hogs, and other livestock, the existence of modern year-round canneries, quick freezing establishments and nearby markets all go far to make Gloucester County one of the chief food producing sections of our State and of our Country. Hand in hand with agriculture, the County possesses some of the largest industries of the East. Modern plants of small and great proportions steadily employing thousands of our citizens, today are contributing in a major way to the prosperity of our Municipalities, County, State, and Nation. Such a combination of Agriculture and Industry, together with the location of the County in the Metropolitan area of Philadelphia, was bound to result in thriving residential communities. A fine network of improved State and County Highways, excellent bus service, and generally splendid Municipal Government have contributed to the development of residential communities without comparison in our State. Gloucester County possesses the finest schools and places of worship, the finest of local and county service of every kind, and is indeed a happy, healthy place for living. Dotted with woods and beautiful lakes, traversed by beautiful streams, Old Gloucester County possesses a historical background that places it foremost in our Country’s history. Historical shrines abound throughout the County. Major Revolutionary War Battlegrounds with original trenches and weapons carefully preserved, distinctive and outstanding Early American architecture, exemplified by beautiful old homes of notable Patriots, churches, and public buildings are generously scattered throughout the county and are a constant inspiration to the citizenry.