Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Origins of Odd Town Names

Swimmin Over, Scrabbletown, Sooy Place - How did these Burlco places get their curious names?

Origins of Odd Town Names

Swimmin Over, Scrabbletown, Sooy Place - How did these Burlco  places get their names?

While researching the history of Burlington Island, I came across a tattered book called Place Names, by the late Burlington historian Henry H. Bisbee.  It was published in 1955.

What a romp through history and folklore!  Now, when I see  signs on dusty by-ways or markers on the fringes of forgotten villages, I'll do more than scratch my head.

So, here's a sampling:  Swimmin Over is a section of the Mullica River, in Bass River Township.  Little imagination is required for that one.  Scrabbletown is where 6 roads merge in the Fort Dix area.  I guess it's a place where you could easily get lost or scrabbled. 

Sooy Place is a hamlet in the Pine Barrens, which also was known for the storied Ong's Hat and Apple Pie Hill. 

Bisbee says "writers are not in agreement as to the meaning of the Cinnaminson, a town close to the Delaware River.  It may come from the Indian word "Se-ne-men-sing,"  or "sweetwater" because of the township's maple sugar groves.  Or, was it the Indian word for "stone island" or "tangled roots?"  Hmm, I thought it had something to do with a spice of which you can never have enough.     

Jobstown is named after Job Lippincott, who owned a tavern in the 1770s.  I'm not sure if it's pronounced the Biblical way or the Steve Jobs way.  Lumberton and Moorestown also were named after taverns.

Finally, Marlton comes from the marl, a mineral used in fertilizer, while Timbuctoo was the African name that freed slaves gave to an old settlement in Westampton. 

Jan Hefler
About this blog

Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at jhefler@phillynews.com.

Jan Hefler
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