Camden, NJ


WATER STREET is a name that was applied to at least three and possibly five separate pieces of road in the 1860s and 1870s. One section of Water Street still exists, albeit under another name. 

The 1863-1864 Camden City Directory shows that a Water Street existed "West of Erie", but does not say where. 

The 1878 edition shows a second Water Street running south from Kaighn Avenue to Ferry Avenue, east of Front Street, presumably west of South 2nd Street as well. This would place it in the vicinity of what was known as Mickle's Alley and later was known as Knight Street. The 1887 City Directory shows two addresses on Water Street in South Camden, 1207, occupied by Mary Towles, and 1209, occupied by John Mathis and William S. Mathis. 
Water Streets "3" and "4" appear in the 1878 City Directory in North Camden. One ran north from Elm Street to York Street, east of Point Street, and presumably west of Front Street. This street does not appear on the 1885 Sanborn Map, but does in 1891.  The other Water Street is described as "N from State Street". The two description cover the same piece of road. The 1885 and 1891 Sanborn Maps shows the section north of State Street, the southern sections were by then covered with railroad tracks and apparently impassable. The occupied section of Water Street ran from the Camden & Amboy Railroad tracks and State Street north across Wood Street to York Street. On the west side of Water Street stood two building. One at State Street, was the Camden & Atlantic Railroad offices and the Cooper's Point station. At the northern end was the railroad's Wagon and Carriage Shed. On the east side of Water Street were two buildings, a ship's smith shop on the corner at 4-1/2 York Street and a grocer's supply house, also on a corner, at 1-1/2 Wood Street.  This street appeared in City Directories as late as 1906. The 1906 Sanborn Map shows it in its overview as Delaware Avenue. The two business buildings were still standing, but both were indicated as vacant on the 1906 Map. It appears that at some point in the 1890s or early 1900s Water Street was by ordinance renamed Delaware Avenue.   

The fifth Water Street, according to directories in the 1890s ran from Berkley to Walnut Street, west of Front Street. This street, which can be seen in the 1906 Sanborn Map, was still evident on maps as late as 1914, in Directories as late as 1922. 

Do you have an Water Street memory or picture. Let me know by e-mail so it can be included here.

 Phil Cohen