The Township of Hamilton in the County of Atlantic was incorporated February 5, 1813, and is the largest municipality, in size, in the State of New Jersey: 115 +/- square miles. Today Hamilton is a unique mix of two worlds: rural forest and bustling suburb. The western three-quarters of the township is rural pine forest protected from dense development by Pinelands Commission restrictions and large preserved tracts of land.
By stark contrast, the eastern quarter has developed as a suburban-like area due to its status as a Pinelands Regional Growth Area (RGA). Mandated to absorb growth fueled by Atlantic City, Hamilton’s RGA now is home to the majority of its 23,000 residents. It is also home to over 3 million sq feet of first class retail establishments including Hamilton Mall and Consumer Sq. Hamilton offers housing for families, seniors and singles in all price ranges.
The historic village of Mays Landing in Hamilton Township also has the distinction of being the County Seat of Atlantic County since 1837. Hamilton is also home to Atlantic Cape Community College; Atlantic County Institute of Technology; Atlantic County Justice Facility; the County Court Complex; and the main branch of the Atlantic County Library.
Hamilton Township’s origins are directly tied to the Great Egg Harbor River and its tributaries which runs through it. George May, after whom the village of Mays Landing was named, built a shipyard and trading post near Babcock Creek in 1756. By the mid 19th century that Mays Landing reached the height of its shipbuilding.
From 1830 to 1880, more than two hundred vessels were built along the Great Egg Harbor River with lumber from native forests and iron from Weymouth foundries. Half of them were produced at Mays Landing. But by the end of century, wood shipbuilding began to disappear due to the lack of suitable timber. Iron was then substituted for hull construction.
Today, the Great Egg Harbor River and Lake Lenape are recreational resources used by local residents and visitors alike.
In the new millennium, Hamilton will continue to grow, offering a modern community with all the amenities of suburban life while preserving the peaceful lifestyle of our rural community and the rich history of Historic Mays Landing Village.