Collingswood

Collingswood

[kol-ingz-wood]
Collingswood, borough (1990 pop. 15,289), Camden co., SW N.J.; settled 1682 by Quakers, inc. 1888. The borough has some light industry.

Collingswood is a Borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 14,326.

Collingswood was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 22, 1888, from portions of Haddon Township, based on the results of a referendum held that same day.

The Borough does not license any establishments to serve or sell alcoholic beverages inside borough limits, a policy that dates back to 1873.

Geography

Collingswood is located at (39.916141, -75.074671).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.9 square miles (5.0 km²), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (4.69%) is water.

Collingswood shares land borders with Camden, Haddon Township, Oaklyn, and Woodlynne.

The Cooper River serves as the Northern border of Collingswood.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,326 people, 6,263 households, and 3,463 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,835.2 people per square mile (3,022.6/km²). There were 6,866 housing units at an average density of 3,755.2/sq mi (1,448.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.47% White, 6.67% African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.76% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.42% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.67% of the population.

There were 6,263 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $43,175, and the median income for a family was $57,987. Males had a median income of $40,423 versus $30,877 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,358. About 3.8% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

Collingswood operates under the Walsh Act commission form of New Jersey municipal government. Three non-partisan commissioners are elected at-large to four-year terms of office. Each commissioner is assigned a specific department to head in addition to their legislative functions. The Borough of Collingswood has governed under the Walsh Act since 1917.

Collingswood's commissioners are Mayor Jim Maley, Joan Leonard, and Mike Hall.

Federal, state and county representation

Collingswood is in the First Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 6th Legislative District.

Education

The Collingswood Public Schools serve students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are five K-6 elementary schools (except as noted) — Garfield (139 students), Newbie (164), Sharp (161), Tatem (195) and Zane-North (includes PreK; 191) — Collingswood Middle School for grades 7-8 (269) and Collingswood High School for grades 9-12 (793).

Students in grades 9-12 from Woodlynne attend Collingswood High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Woodlynne School District. Students in grades 10-12 from Oaklyn attend the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Oaklyn Public School District.

St. John Regional Catholic School is an elementary school that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden

Community

Collingswood retail district is anchored by Haddon Avenue, the main street through the downtown area, which is lined with restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Collingswood restaurants include American, Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and Cuban cuisine. On Saturdays from April to November, the town hosts a Farmers' Market under the PATCO line, offering fresh vegetables, jams, desserts, and crafts from local farmers and artisans.

Collingswood's arts community hosts "2nd Saturdays," with the town's art galleries and restaurants hosting new exhibitions by local, national, and international painters, sculptors, and photographers. Collingswood is also home to a growing theater scene, with the Collingswood Community Theatreand the Collingswood Shakespeare Company offering performances throughout the year. The Ballroom and Theater at Collingswood hosts local theatrical productions as well as national recording artists such as Ben Folds and The Beach Boys. Additionally, the borough's annual Collingswood Book Festival brings recognized authors including Camille Paglia and Joshua Piven of the Worst-Case Scenario series.

Collingswood is noted for its gay and lesbian community, many of whom are leaving surrounding states lured by gay-friendly laws in New Jersey. Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley was one of a handful of New Jersey mayors to perform midnight Civil Union ceremonies the day the state's Civil Union law took effect in 2006. In 2004, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about Collingswood's "fast growing gay and lesbian community.

Real Estate prices in Collingswood have skyrocketed since 2001. In 2006, Philadelphia Magazine ranked Collingswood number one in the region for price growth of homes and property. Values were up about 100% over five years.

Knight Park and Haddon Avenue are the heart of Collingswood. Knight Park is the home to daytime recreation of the town. It is located across the street from Collingswood High School and it hosts the home games of the high school's sports teams, such as Women's Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Baseball and Softball. During the Summer months, the borough offers outdoor movies and classical concerts in Knight Park.

The town is also host to a championship marching band at the High School level. The Collingswood Panther Marching Band, under the direction of Joe Lerch, has captured titles for the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) All-States and New Jersey State Championships in the years 2004 and 2005, and participated in the National Championships in 2006. In 2007, the band was ranked among the highest scoring Group 1 bands in the USSBA, winning five competitions, and receiving many awards for music, effect, visual, guard and percussion. The band finished fourth in their second National Championships appearance, competing as a Group 2 band at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on November 16, 2007. In 2008, the band will perform as part of the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure on Mothers' Day.

Transportation

The Collingswood PATCO Speedline Park and Ride station links the town to Philadelphia by elevated rail. Collingswood is also served by New Jersey Transit bus route 403 to Philadelphia and local routes 450 and 451.

History

Quakers settled near Newton Creek in the late 17th Century, establishing what was known as the Newton Colony and eventually Newton Township. Much of what is now Collingswood was a farm owned by members of the Collings family during the 18th and 19th Centuries. The 1820s-era house of the Collings family, known as the Collings-Knight house, still stands at the corner of Browning Road and Collings Avenue, shadowed by the Heights of Collingswood apartments. Collingswood incorporated as a separate borough in 1888, leaving Haddon Township. That same year, Edward Collings Knight, a wealthy philanthropist from Philadelphia, donated the land that became Knight Park. Knight was a descendant of the Collings family for whom the borough is named.

Collingswood has several historic homes, including the Stokes-Lees mansion, located in the 600 block of Lees Avenue, which dates back to the 18th Century, making it one of the oldest houses in Camden County.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Collingswood include:

References

External links

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