Voorhees Township is a township in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2020 census, the township’s population was 31,069. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 29,131, reflecting an increase of 1,005 (+3.6%) from the 28,126 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,567 (+14.5%) from the 24,559 counted in the 1990 Census. Voorhees is a New Jersey suburb in the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area.
The history of Voorhees is quite extensive and interesting. Voorhees is 11.6 square miles and was named in honor of Foster McGowan Voorhees, the governor of New Jersey who granted the petition for Voorhees to become a separate township on March 3, 1899. “Voor” is a Dutch prefix for “in front of.” “Hees” was a village near Ruinen, Drenthe, Holland.
Governor Foster McGowan Voorhees gave permission for Voorhees to become a township separate from Waterford Township on March 3, 1899. The first residents however were the Lenni-Lenape. The Lenni-Lenape Nation of the Algonquian People migrated to New Jersey from the “North Country,” crossing the Mississippi River. While the exact date of their arrival is unclear, it is known that humans inhabited New Jersey 10,000 years ago. The Lenni-Lenape Nation was known by the Algonquian tribes as the “Original People,” “Grandfather,” or “Men of Men.” While only about 2000 Lenni-Lenape lived in this area, many neighboring tribes came to New Jersey to hunt, fish and cultivate the rich soil. Although basically nomadic, they raised crops of corn, pumpkin and beans. In warmer weather they walked to the Atlantic Ocean. There they often lived for the summer months, enjoying cool sea breezes, collecting shells, smoking fish for the winter, and eating crabs, oysters and clams. One path they made to the seacoast was so worn that it eventually became a stagecoach route, known as Long-A-Coming Road. Today it is known in Voorhees as Route 561, or Haddonfield-Berlin Road.