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Hammonton is a town in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States, known as the "Blueberry Capital of the World." As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 14,791, reflecting an increase of 2,187 (+17.4%) from the 12,604 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 396 (+3.2%) from the 12,208 counted in the 1990 Census.
Hammonton was settled in 1812 and was named for John Hammond Coffin, a son of one of the community's earliest settlers, William Coffin, with the "d" in what was originally "Hammondton" disappearing over time. It was incorporated as a town by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 5, 1866, from portions of Hamilton Township and Mullica Township. It is located directly between Philadelphia and the resort town of Atlantic City, along a former route of the Pennsylvania Railroad that is used by NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 41.419 square miles (107.274 km2), including 40.887 square miles (105.897 km2) of land and 0.532 square miles (1.377 km2) of water (1.28%).
The town borders Folsom borough, to the southwest, and both Hamilton and Mullica townships to the southeast in Atlantic County; Shamong Township and Washington Township in Burlington County to the northeast; and Waterford Township and Winslow Township in Camden County to the northwest. It is located in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, so is largely flat, though the highest point in Atlantic County is located along the Pennsylvania Railroad within the borders of Hammonton. The town is located almost exactly halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located completely or partially within the town include Barnard, Bellhurst, Caldwell Crossing, Dacosta, Dutchtown, Great Swamp, Murphy, Rockford, Rockwood, Rosedale and West Mills.
The town is one of 56 South Jersey municipalities that are included within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a protected natural area of unique ecology covering 1,100,000 acres (450,000 ha), that has been classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and established by Congress in 1978 as the nation's first National Reserve. All of the town is included in the state-designated Pinelands Area, which includes portions of Atlantic County, along with areas in Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean counties.
Due to its location in the Pine Barrens, the soil is largely sandy, making it ideal for growing blueberries. Low, marshy areas, often within the Pine Barrens are also used for cranberry cultivation.
Hammonton lies in the northern reaches of the humid subtropical climate zone, and, similar to inland southern New Jersey, is characterized by brisk winters, hot summers, and plentiful precipitation spread evenly throughout the year.
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