From our 75th Anniversary Celebration booklet:
In 1969, Richard Pedlow wrote a descriptive “Biography of a Small Town – Hainesport”. In this history of our township, Mr. Pedlow traced the progress of the first settlers to invade this territory of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. One family of particular interest was that of Richard and Margaret Haines who set sail from Northamptonshire, England in 1682. The land grant for which the Haines family emigrated covered approximately 1700 acres, including a portion of the present Mount Laurel Township. Their son, Joseph Haines, who was born in mid-ocean, purchased a tract of land beyond Lumberton covering several hundred acres, including the Village of Long Bridge which was the original name of Hainesport. The village was named after the long wooden toll bridge crossing the south branch of the Ancocas (Rancocas) Creek on the only road leading from Moorestown to Mt. Holly, known as the Philadelphia Road.
The Haines family were Quakers, as were most of the original settlers to this area. Tall timber stands, fertile fields, and a tidal passage to the Delaware River attracted these dedicated pioneers to our area. The major means of livelihood was lumbering and agriculture, although some settlers turned to trapping and fishing along the Rancocas Creek.
During the Revolutionary War, the area of Long Bridge (Hainesport) and surrounding Burlington County found itself in the midst of the area of activity, but never directly in the center stage. There were some minor conflicts, but the deciding battles took place elsewhere; i.e., Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth. Early residents of this area witnessed the march of British, Hessian and American trips across the Long Bridge to Mt. Holly. In 1778, local American patriots destroyed the Long Bridge in order to delay the advance of the Hessian troops to Mt. Holly. A minor skirmish developed with the resulting death of five unnamed American patriots.
Almost a century later, the Civil War erupted and Hainesport was already a part of the County link in the Underground Railway. Records still exist of runaway slaves helped to freedom by citizens from the other nearby communities.
The nineteenth century brought about a change not only in the name of our town, but also in its character. In 1847, Barclay Haines, a sixth generation Haines, bought 311 acres from John Creek. Barclay Haines was a prominent landowner from Lumberton who established and maintained a wharf or port in 1848 just below his new home on the south branch of the Rancocas. From his port, sidewheeler steamboats carried freight and passengers to and from Philadelphia. In 1848, the name of the little town became Haines’ Port, and in 1850 was condensed to Hainesport. Our town provided the entire area with water transportation. Freight wagons and stagecoaches met here, making Hainesport the headquarters for steamer navigation on the Rancocas. The advent of the railroad brought about the demise of the steamship era. The port of Barclay Haines is gone along with its passenger docks and freight wharves. All that remains is an occasional line of broken pilings in the Rancocas.
In addition to the establishment of Barclay Haines’ Port and Steamboat line, the nineteenth century brought about a marked change in the industrial growth of the area. In 1852, an iron foundry was established under the name Columbian Iron Works, and in 1854, a steam saw mill was built. In 1867, the Pennsylvania Railroad built a station in Hainesport.
The Columbian Iron Works became the John D. Johnson Co. Foundry, and this company was to have a notable influence upon the community. It was the major industry of Hainesport and brought prosperity to many residents. The foundry was also responsible for importing many workers which assisted in the growth of Hainesport’s population until it closed in 1930.
Former Flo's Lakeside Tavern
At one time one of Hainesport's scenic sites on the Rancocas Creek.