Lumberton or as it was once known, Lumbertown, was a pioneer settlement. Its name came from the fact that Pine trees were abundant in the vicinity and boats and rafts carried lumber and cord wood from the Rancocas Creek to Philadelphia and other places. There were two or three lumber yards and saw mills at one time.
In 1683, Robert Dimsdale, an English physician, bought a tract of land from William Penn on the North side of the Rancocas Creek. Through a portion of the tract, a body of water flowed (Bobby's Run) and entered the Rancocas Creek next to the present Railroad Bridge.
Mr. Dimsdale set to work establishing a small working community revolving around a sawmill. In this area we have the housing development of Bobby's Run as well as other schools, thus the name Bobby's Run School and Dimsdale Drive.
The village of Lumberton grew out of two bordering towns : Eayrestown, settled by Richard and Elizabeth Eayres in the late 1600's. Eayrestown was the first substantial settlement in this area. The town was responsible for a diversity of commerce including sawmills and gristmills. At one time Eayrestown was the home of a picnic grove that had a carousel and attracted visitors from as far away as Philadelphia. William Foster settled Fostertown in 1735. His plantation was on what is now known as West Bella Bridge Road. Fostertown claimed to be the home of shoemakers, tailors and wheelwrights. There is not much left of these two towns today, but a few houses and street names.
Lumberton was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Assembly on March 14, 1860. The town was a hub of commerce and transportation. All types of boats were using the creek - canoes, rafts, shunkus, sloops, and barges. In 1855, steamboats appeared on the creek. The first was believed to be the "Wave", then came the "Barclay", which was built in Lumberton and made her last trip in 1870. Both of these boats were side-wheelers. The "Minerva" was a tugboat that also mad regular trips to Philadelphia carrying all sorts of cargo from farm produce to ironware.
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