Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


Stoy's Landing: business, romance
Anyone traveling down Grove street today would never believe, as the bridge across Cooper's Creek is reached, the area was once a busy commercial center.

The first Landing by the Creek was built by Francis Collins, the early settler, but it was nut until 1815 that Joseph Hinchman built up a general store which was run by James Stoy.  The was the sole store between there and Camden.

Grove street was initially Hinchman's Landing road, and later it was know as Stoy's Landing road.  The Stoys had built a wharf to load the timber that had been cut from the forest between Maple avenue and Chapel avenue.

Philip Stoydja come to America in 1798 from Sweden.  He had bought the lumber rights of the forest from Joseph Hinchman and built his home, near where the race track is now, on Grove street.  He changed his name to Stoy.

The timber was loaded on flat boats and poled down the Cooper's Creek from Stoy's Landing to the shipyards in Camden to be used in the growing shipbuilding industry there.

In 1799 the tract of land adjoining Stoy's Landing was purchased by Jacob Coles who built a Landing and established a coal business.  The coal was sent down from Pennsylvania via the rivers and canals and then brought by barges up Cooper's Creek to the Coles Wharf.

Coal purchased at Coles Landing was cheaper that if securing up at Willits Coal and Lumber Yard.  It can readily be seen how in pre-railroad days, Stoy's Landing was the chief commercial center of this region, but to enhance the history of the Landing is a story to add luster to the spot.

It is the romantic story about a young lady and a young man.  Ann Morgan lived beside the Cooper's Creek midway between Haddonfield and the Delaware River.  One day, with the barge filled with blocks of granite, the boatman allowed Ann to ride up to the Landing.  The stones were being used to build Haddon Mill at Hopkins Pond.

Sixteen-year-old William Estaugh Hopkins was at the Landing that day and met the young lady.  He became infatuated with her, and eventually he made her his bride.  The young couple were the first occupants in Birdwood mansion when it was built near the Mill by Hopkins Pond.

A homespun memory about the Landing is recounted by Mrs Jess G. Haydock, Sr. who tells how she use to take her two children, Jesse, Jr and Dorothea, with their fishing tackle, down to the old iron bridge crossing the Cooper's Creek there at the Landing.  They would sit on old timbers that were still as good as the day they were put there for the bulkhead, and with feet dangling over the water, they would fish.  There were always fish caught out of that clear, cool stream.

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