The first "Modern" development in Marlton, Marlton Hills was built in 1954 and 1955. There were two models to choose from, the Marlton and the Medford. Ultimately, my parents bought the Medford model by default. When they inquired about buying after seeing an ad in the newspaper, they were offered the sample homes which were the two corner homes on the North side of Baker Boulevard at what is now Princess Ave. My mom refused to buy a sample home. They were then told there was one available that had been ordered and was almost completed, but the buyers had backed out. They choose to accept, had settlement at the builders home in Collingswood, and moved in on May 25, 1955. The sample homes were then sold, and the builder changed the location of the sample to 73 King Ave.
The Early Years Of Marlton Hills
by Guy Thompson
Cover of original Marlton Hills brochure
The builder had plans for 281 Ranch style homes but only 77 were built. When my parents purchased in 1955, they were approached by the president of the Marlton Hills Civic Association and asked to join. He informed them that the builder allegedly had been selling the topsoil from all of the properties to help finance his endeavors. The township allegedly stopped him, putting and end to his construction. Construction on the remaining lots were started by a different builder in the winter of 1961/1962 with a more modern dwelling. One of the first, if not the first built, was on Counts Court.
The late fifties brought city sewer to the development which up to that time had relied solely on cesspools. As you can see by the photo below it was an inconvenience for most residents but the end result was worth waiting for. Homeowners were told that they were responsible at their own expense for filling in their now useless cesspools. Some residents followed through on it and some did not. I recently received an email from a long time resident who informed me that on Baker Blvd during the installation of the sewer lines, there was an accident. Apparently the ground collapsed and three men were trapped and buried, and perhaps one or more died.
This photo shows my cousin Evelyn taken in July of 1960. The view is from Counts Court looking towards Duchess Ave. Notice the absence of curbs, the street is extremely poor, and the newer homes had not been built yet. Also, the landscaped lots the builder promised were a muddy mess most of the time and since the sidewalks did not completely converse he development, getting around when it was wet was quite a chore.
"Your moving to the sticks!!!"