Medford, New Jersey – A Picture-Perfect Life

Amidst a lush pineland forest, there exists a Victorian village and a deluge of suburban cul-de-sacs. Swaths of evergreens, tall and spindly, release their needles upon sandy soil. Natural beauty beckons you. Lured by a richly preserved history, refreshed by abundant lake-front communities, amused by young, contented parents returning to familiar surroundings of their youth, and welcomed by the friendly banter of downtown villagers, I found myself home in Medford, N.J.

The first settlers established a community with a warmth that continues to shape the town today. As new villagers arrived, they offered barn shelters to the native Lenni Lenape Tribes residing along what we presently call Main Street. The tribe, in gratitude, offered fresh deer to their generous hosts. As agrarian farming ramped up in the 1700s, Kirby’s, a grist and saw mill, provided Medford, Camden and nearby Philadelphia with assorted grains and flours. Local farmers supplied produce and fresh dairy products. Today, the remaining cranberry and blueberry bogs, mills, farms and manmade lakes all provide tribute to a distant era, when community and family life solidly intertwined.

Presently, a revitalized Kirby’s Mill celebrates its annual Autumn Apple Festival. Downtown, displayed throughout October, a track of children’s scarecrows lounge on antique light poles. The Halloween parade along Main Street includes business owners perched atop antique fire trucks, hurling candy onto the crowds. Every December, the vintage fire truck chariots Santa, sirens blasting, to joyfully greet eager children. Local townspeople, donned in their Dickensian best, recite passages from the beloved novel “A Christmas Carol,” wishing everyone good holiday cheer.

By mid-summer, Medford Lakes (a nearby lake and log cabin community), hosts the traditional “Canoe Carnival” contest. Competing topical skits are performed on tethered canoes, heavily decorated and staged in bright lights. And since 1937, within the dense, ancient Pine Barrens, nestled among 800 acres of forest, YMCA Camp Ockanickon sponsors a bevy of camping and family activities.

Today we call Medford home. Steeped in history, the ghosts and the landmarks of Medford string a line of invisible yet perceptible energy. We reside where others have lived, and there is a connection weaved into the past as new threads interlace, creating tapestries for future explorers.


Originally from Brooklyn, Cindy Weinstein currently resides in Medford N.J., a suburban community enclosed by the pineland forests of Burlington County. Perceiving herself as Aseop’s Town and Country Mouse, she often finds herself reflecting upon the inherent differences and similarities between Brooklyn and Medford. After numerous years, still happily surprised by the patient and courteous drivers within her hometown, she has yet to discover the elusive, perfect pizza slice. But, she’s come close.



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