Egg Harbor City Street Names

Probably the most visible sign of Egg Harbor City's German founding are the street signs. The street names were planned and laid out with very specific themes. For a ten-mile stretch along US Route 30 (also known as the White Horse Pike) most of the major cross-streets, (running southwest/northeast) bear the names of cities with some German connection. Parallel with Route 30 (running northwest/southeast) the streets bear the names of (mostly German) European cultural heroes. It is common for residents to live near intersections such as "Schiller and Cologne," or "Diesterweg and Bremen."

Outside the town limits (in the townships of Mullica and Galloway) most of the streets are named for cities in Germany proper. But there are also other European cities which had had significant German populations. As you travel southeast the street names are:

Hanover, Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Cologne, Leipzig, Prague, Mannheim, Odessa, Genoa, Zurich, Innsbruck.

Inside the town limits most of the southwest/northeast streets are named for US cities which had significant German populations. The Association organizing the settlement was was actively recruiting settlers from these cities. The others are named for international deep-water ports (as EHC was intended to be). Travelling southeast these are:

New York, Norfolk, Washington, London, Liverpool, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Chicago, Saint Louis, Boston, Havana, San Francisco, New Orleans, Antwerp, Baltimore.

Most of these city names are recognizable and would not be difficult to find on a good map (or Mapquest!)

Most of the names of the cultural heroes, however, are not familiar to the average citizen of today. As Dieter Cunz has listed them in his 1956 article "Egg Harbor City: New Germany in New Jersey" they are:

Agassiz, Arago, Beethoven, Burger, Campe, Claudius, Diesterweg, Dürer, Egmont, Esslair, Fichte, Follen, Goethe, Gutenberg, Herschel, Humboldt, Irving, Itzstein, Kant, Kepler, Lessing, Liebig, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Naegeli, Neander, Oken, Opitz, Pestalozzi, Pindar, Quantz, Quinet, Rink, Rotteck, Schelling, Schiller, Thalberg, Tell, Uhland, Umbreit, Vogler, Voss, Welker, Wieland, Xenophon, Xylander, Yorick, Ypsilanti, Zelter, Zschokke.

Here is some basic information about each of these persons with links to more information and pictures. In some cases only articles in German were available, and sometimes articles will only mention the person peripherally. Note that Agassiz street can no longer be found on maps: it has been replaced by the White Horse Pike (US 30).

Louis Agassiz, Swiss Natural Scientist born 5/28/1807, died 12/14/1873, (bio) (pics)
François Arago, French Mathematician/Revolutionary born 2/26/1786, died 2/10/1853, (bio) (pics)
Ludwig Beethoven, German Musician born 12/16/1770, died 3/26/1827, (bio) (pics)
Gottfried Buerger, German Poet born 1/1/1747, died 6/8/1794, (bio) (pics)
Joachim Campe, German Writer/Educational Philosopher born 6/29/1746, died 10/22/1818, (bio) (pics)
Matthias Claudius, German Writer born 8/15/1740, died 1/21/1815, (bio) (pics)
Adolph Diesterweg, German Educator born 10/29/1790, died 7/7/1866, (bio) (pics)
Albrecht Duerer, German Painter born 5/21/1471, died 4/6/1528, (bio) (pics)
Lamoral Egmont, Dutch Politician/Warrior/Goethe-hero born 11/18/1522, died 6/5/1568, (bio) (pics)
Ferdinand Esslair, German Actor (of works by Goethe) born 2/2/1722, died 11/10/1840, (bio) (pics)
Johann Fichte, German Philosopher born 5/19/1762, died 1/29/1814, (bio) (pics)
August Follen, German Poet/Revolutionary born 1/21/1794, died 12/26/1855, (bio) (pics)
Charles Follen, German Poet/Revolutionary born 9/4/1796, died 1/14/1840, (bio) (pics)
Johann Goethe, German Writer born 8/28/1749, died 3/22/1832, (bio) (pics)
Johann Gutenberg, German Inventor born 6/31/1400, died 2/3/1468, (bio) (pics)
William Herschel, German Astronomer born 11/15/1738, died 8/25/1822, (bio) (pics)
Alexander Humboldt, German Natural Scientist born 9/14/1769, died 5/6/1859, (bio) (pics)
Wilhelm Humboldt, German Writer, politician born 6/22/1767, died 4/8/1835, (bio) (pics)
Washington Irving, American Writer born 4/3/1783, died 11/28/1859, (bio) (pics)
Adam Itzstein, German Politician/Jurist born 9/28/1775, died 9/14/1855, (bio (in German)) (pics)
Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher born 4/22/1724, died 2/12/1804, (bio) (pics)
Lorenz Kepler, German Astronomer born 12/27/1571, died 11/15/1630, (bio) (pics)
Gotthold Lessing, German Dramatist/Critic born 1/22/1729, died 1/22/1781, (bio) (pics)
Justus Liebig, German Chemist born 5/14/1803, died 4/18/1873, (bio) (pics)
Felix Mendelssohn, German Musician born 2/3/1809, died 11/4/1847, (bio) (pics)
Wolfgang Mozart, German Musician born 1/27/1756, died 12/5/1791, (bio) (pics)
Karl Naegeli, Swiss Botanist born 3/27/1817, died 5/10/1891, (bio) (pics)
Johann August Wilhelm Neander, German Theologian born 1/17/1789 , died 7/14/1850, (bio) (pics), -- OR --
Joachim Neander, German Musician/Pastor born 6/31/1650, died 5/31/1680, (bio) (pics)
Lorenz Oken, German Natural Scientist born 8/1/1779, died 8/11/1851, (bio) (pics)
Martin Opitz, German Poet born 12/23/1597, died 8/20/1639, (bio) (pics)
Johann Pestalozzi, Swiss-German Educator born 1/12/1746, died 2/17/1827, (bio) (pics)
Pindar, Greek Poet born 6/31/-522, died 6/31/-443, (bio) (pics)
Johann Quantz, German Musician/Compser, Flautist born 1/30/1697, died 7/12/1773, (bio) (pics)
Edgar Quinet, French Historian born 2/17/1803, died 3/27/1875, (bio) (pics)
Johann Rinck, German Musician born 2/18/1770, died 8/7/1846, (bio (in German)) (pics)
Gottlieb Rinck, German Historian born 8/11/1670, died 2/9/1745, (bio (in German)) (pics)
Karl Rotteck, German Historian born 7/18/1775, died 11/26/1840, (bio) (pics)
Friedrich Schelling, German Philosopher born 1/27/1775, died 8/20/1854, (bio) (pics)
Friedrich Schiller, German Dramatist born 11/10/1759, died 5/9/1805, (bio) (pics)
Wilhelm Tell, Swiss Legendary hero born 6/31/1275, died 6/31/1325, (bio) (pics)
Sigismund Thalberg, German Musician/Paianist born 1/8/1812, died 4/27/1871, (bio) (pics)
Johann Uhland, German Writer born 4/26/1787, died 11/13/1862, (bio) (pics)
Friedrich Umbreit, German Theologian born 4/11/1795, died 4/26/1860, (bio) (pics)
George Vogler, German Musician born 6/15/1749, died 5/5/1814, (bio) (pics)
Johann Voss, German Writer born 2/20/1751, died 3/29/1826, (bio) (pics)
Friedrich Welcker, German Linguist/Archaeologist born 11/4/1784, died 12/17/1868, (bio) (pics)
Karl Welcker, German Writer born 6/31/1790, died 6/31/1869, (bio (in German)) (pics)
Christoph Wieland, German Writer born 9/5/1733, died 1/20/1813, (bio) (pics)
Xenophon, Greek Historian/Warrior born 6/31/-434, died 6/31/-355, (bio) (pics)
Wilhelm Xylander, German Classicist/translator born 12/26/1532, died 2/10/1576, (bio) (pics)
Yorick, Danish Fictional jester born 6/31/900, died 6/31/975, (bio) (pics)
Demetrios Ypsilanti, Greek Revolutionary born 6/31/1793, died 1/3/1832, (bio) (pics)
Karl Zelter, German Musician/composer born 12/11/1758, died 5/15/1832, (bio) (pics)
Heinrich Zschokke, Swiss Poet/Statesman born 3/22/1771, died 6/27/1848, (bio) (pics)


The curious choice of the above names gives some insight into the world view of the city planners. First it is interesting to note that there are 50 streets and there are two names for each letter of the alphabet, with the exception of "J." This is probably due to the fact that the capital "I" and "J" were identical in German. Two of the names are from Classical antitiquity (Pindar and Xenophon), two are legendary (Yorick and Tell), and nine of the others were born between 1400 and 1700. The remaining thirty-seven names were born in the 150 years preceding the establishment of Egg Harbor City in 1854 and a dozen or more of those were still alive. There are no more than a dozen names that are not German.

Nine were scientists, nine were musicians and one was an artist. Most of the remainder were writers and many of them were part of the romantic movement or champions of anti-imperialism and liberal democracy. Some were active politically and at times were imprisoned for their activities. The Follen brothers were both involved in radical groups: Karl was driven into exile around the time of the 1820 revolution. After staying in Switzerland he fled to America and taught at Harvard. August Follen was imprisoned in 1819 (he died in 1855, the year that EHC was incorporated). Ludwig Uhland and Adam Itzstein were both members of the revolutionary Frankfurt National Assembly after the 1848 revolutions in Europe. (Itzstein also passed away in 1855). Friederich Diesterweg was dismissed by the Prussian authorities from his position at the Berlin Teacher's Training college in 1847 for "subversive writings." Karl von Rotteck and Karl Welcker published the Staatslexikon (1st. ed. 1834-1843) which "drew together the political theory and the current practical wisdom" of Germany's southwestern liberals. Both of the Welcker brothers were still living when EHC was founded.

Of the non-German names in the list most seem to be there because of their involvement in anti-imperialist activities. The two French names in the list, Francois Arago and Edgar Quinet, were both active in the 1848 revolution in France: Arago was a member of the revolutionary council and Quinet was active in the most extreme party. Also included are Demetrios Ypsilanti, who fought the Ottoman Empire in the early 1800s for the cause of Greek Independence, and Egmont who fought the Spanish for independence in the Netherlands in the 1500s (Goethe had written a play about Egmont for which Beethoven composed incidental music and an overture).

It is clear from the choices of place names that Egg Harbor City's planners were interested in attracting settlers from all over the US to a cosmopolitan city that would tie a deep-water port on the Atlantic with the new railroad that travelled from Atlantic City to Philadelphia. Though Dieter Cunz commented in "Egg Harbor City: New Germany in New Jersey" that
"The settlement was founded seven years after the unsuccessful German revolution of 1848 which brought so many German refugees to America. However, there are no indications that the Forty-eighters played a conspicuous part in the history of this town."
it is also clear from the names of their heroes that the socio-political sentiments of the planners were in touch with the progressive thinkers of their day in Europe.

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This site maintained by Bob Barnett.
Last updated: 2008 Eighth Month, 30th.