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Oaklyn is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 4,038, reflecting a decline of 150 (-3.6%) from the 4,188 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 242 (-5.5%) from the 4,430 counted in the 1990 Census.
Oaklyn was once dense forest land which was inhabited by Lenape Native Americans. In 1681, a group of Quakers seeking religious freedom sailed from Ireland to Fenwick's Colony at Salem, New Jersey where they spent the winter. In 1682, they sailed up the Delaware River and settled on Newton Creek. William Bates, their leader, purchased 250 acres (1.0 km2) on the south side of Newton Creek from the local Native Americans. The original Quaker settlement, known as Newton Colony, was located in The Manor section of today's Oaklyn.
The Colony began to grow rapidly and the land was cleared for farming. Eventually two highways were laid out. One, from the Delaware River to Egg Harbor, followed an old Native American trail, which is today the Black Horse Pike. The other was known as the Long-a-coming trail, which extended from Atlantic City to Berlin and then from Berlin to Camden. This trail is now known as the White Horse Pike.
After the American Revolutionary War, a group of Virginia sportsmen built a racetrack on the east side of the White Horse Pike. President Ulysses S. Grant visited this track as a young man before it closed in 1846. Samuel Bettle bought the land which was formerly the racetrack and eventually, the land was deeded to Haddon Township.
As the years passed, the farms along Newton Creek were divided into lots and the development called "Oakland the Beautiful", for the many trees in the area. The name was changed to Oaklyn in 1894 to avoid confusion with another Oakland in North Jersey.
Oaklyn was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 13, 1905, from portions of Haddon Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.694 square miles (1.796 km2), including 0.628 square miles (1.626 km2) of land and 0.066 square miles (0.170 km2) of water (9.48%).
Oaklyn borders the Camden County municipalities of Audubon, Audubon Park, Collingswood, and Haddon Township.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,038 people, 1,725 households, and 1,007 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,432.9 per square mile (2,483.8/km2). There were 1,847 housing units at an average density of 2,942.4 per square mile (1,136.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 92.40% (3,731) White, 2.48% (100) Black or African American, 0.22% (9) Native American, 1.81% (73) Asian, 0.02% (1) Pacific Islander, 1.49% (60) from other races, and 1.58% (64) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.37% (217) of the population.
There were 1,725 households out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.4 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 96.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,690 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,370) and the median family income was $86,019 (+/- $13,045). Males had a median income of $52,963 (+/- $6,041) versus $44,653 (+/- $12,251) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,168 (+/- $2,965). About 1.6% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.4% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census of 2000, there were 4,188 people, 1,791 households, and 1,067 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,824.2 people per square mile (2,650.8/km2). There were 1,893 housing units at an average density of 3,084.6 per square mile (1,198.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.92% White, 1.15% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.84% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.32% of the population.
There were 1,791 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $44,364, and the median income for a family was $55,434. Males had a median income of $37,474 versus $30,243 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,157. About 5.2% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
Oaklyn is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Oaklyn, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, Oaklyn's Mayor is Democrat Robert Forbes, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Oaklyn Borough Council are Council President Jim Rafferty (D, 2016), Greg Brandley (D, 2018), Gerry Davidson (D, 2016), Mike Enos (D, 2018), Chuck Lehman (D, 2017) and Dorothy A. "Dot" Valianti (2017).
The Oaklyn Fire Department (Station 18-3) is responsible for fire protection in the Borough of Oaklyn and until December 2007 was responsible for Haddon Township Fire District 3, which paid the Borough of Oaklyn for fire protection through tax money it collected from its residents. Fire District 3 covers the Bettlewood, Heather Glen, and Heather Woods sections of Haddon Township. This was a long-standing agreement that existed since 1905. From 1902 when the Oaklyn fire service was established until 1905, Oaklyn and the Bettlewood section were both in Haddon Twp. Subsequently, the Oaklyn Fire Company No. 1 of the Oaklyn section of Haddon Township provided fire protection to the whole area, as it was and still is a continuous land mass. When Oaklyn seceded from the Township in 1905 there was an agreement made between Oaklyn Borough and Haddon Township that Oaklyn would still protect the District 3 section since they were much closer and the fire apparatus was horse drawn at the time. This relationship continued for another 102 years until January 2008. Currently, Fire District 3 is protected by Westmont Fire Co. # 1 pursuant to three consecutive one-year agreements.
The Oaklyn Fire Company No. 1 (Station 18-1) was established in 1902 (predating the borough's establishment) and was located on Newton Avenue near the Suburban Lumber Company, which ironically has been the site of several famous Camden County fires occurring in the 1950s, 1980s, and 1990s. The Oaklyn Fire Co. building still stands today as a private residence. The company was formed by Oaklyn residents who had been volunteering their services at the nearby Defender Fire Company (Station 1-2), which was located in the community of Orston (then another section of Haddon Township, now part of Audubon borough). Until the formation of the Oaklyn Fire Company, the Defender Fire Company handled firefighting duties in the Borough of Oaklyn (The Defender Fire Company was subsequently taken over by the Audubon Fire Department (Station 1-1) as of 1996).
The Welcome Fire Company (Station 18-2) was established in 1906 and was located at the corner of the White Horse Pike and West Clinton Avenue. Today, the building houses the Oaklyn Police Department and Borough Hall and stands next to the current fire station. The Welcome Fire Company was established when residents who wished to volunteer with the Oaklyn Fire Company found they had filled their roster and were not "welcoming" any new members, hence their name.
The current incarnation of the Oaklyn Fire Department was established in 1976 when Oaklyn Fire Company No. 1 and the Welcome Fire Company consolidated their services. David Aron was the first Chief following the merger, previously serving as Chief of the Welcome Fire Company. The current Fire Chief is Scott Cairns.
Oaklyn is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 6th state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 6th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James Beach (D, Voorhees Township) and in the General Assembly by Louis Greenwald (D, Voorhees Township) and Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D, Cherry Hill). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2018, Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. (D, Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2020; term as director ends 2018), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (D, Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as deputy director ends 2018), Susan Shin Angulo (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), William F. Moen Jr. (D, Camden, 2018), Jeffrey L. Nash (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), Carmen Rodriguez (D, Merchantville, 2019) and Jonathan L. Young Sr. (D, Berlin Township, 2020).
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa (Voorhees Township, 2019), Sheriff Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (Camden, 2018) and Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer (Gloucester Township, 2020). The Camden County Prosecutor is Mary Eva Colalillo.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,835 registered voters in Oaklyn, of which 1,165 (41.1%) were registered as Democrats, 417 (14.7%) were registered as Republicans and 1,249 (44.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 61.8% of the vote (1,200 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 36.3% (704 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (38 votes), among the 1,954 ballots cast by the borough's 2,965 registered voters (12 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 65.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 60.2% of the vote (1,311 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 37.0% (806 votes), with 2,176 ballots cast among the borough's 2,799 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 57.8% of the vote (1,229 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 41.1% (874 votes), with 2,125 ballots cast among the borough's 2,752 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.2.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 56.8% of the vote (631 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 40.3% (447 votes), and other candidates with 2.9% (32 votes), among the 1,146 ballots cast by the borough's 3,023 registered voters (36 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 45.6% of the vote (616 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 43.6% (589 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 6.7% (90 votes), with 1,351 ballots cast among the borough's 2,810 registered voters, yielding a 48.1% turnout.
Oaklyn Public School District served students in kindergarten through ninth grade through the 2017-2018 school year. Starting with the 2018-2019 school year Oaklyn Public School serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. As of May 2018, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 356 students, down from 483 students in 2015. The district has a student teacher ratio of 9:1, as of the 2016-2017 school year. Oaklyn Public School served students from the Borough of Hi-Nella, who attended as part of a sending/receiving relationship. The Hi-Nella relationship ended in 2011 with a complete phase-out by 2016.
Public school students from Oaklyn in sixth through twelfth grades attend Collingswood Middle School and Collingswood High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Collingswood Public Schools that has been in place for over 40 years. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 718 students and 63.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 11.92 miles (19.18 km) of roadways, of which 7.69 miles (12.38 km) were maintained by the borough, 3.57 miles (5.75 km) by Camden County and 0.66 miles (1.06 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
NJ Transit bus service between Sicklerville and Philadelphia on the 400 route, between Turnersville and Camden on the 403 route and between Cherry Hill and Camden on the 450 route.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Oaklyn include:
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