Streets
of
Camden, NJ

Colton Street
aka Old White Horse Pike
aka Venner Street


COLTON STREET, perhaps better known as the Old White Horse Pike, runs southwest from Haddon Avenue at some point west of the White Horse Pike, running straight for a short distance, then turning slightly to the left and intersecting with the White Horse Pike. Outside of City Directories as early as 1928 through their last publication in 1947, the street was generally known as Old White Horse Pike, and although in recent years it was again renamed, to most South Jersey residents passing on it the old name still sticks.

Colton Street was the original access point from Haddon Avenue to the White Horse Pike. Around 1925 due to greatly increased automobile traffic down the Pike to towns beyond and the Jersey Shore, a new "gateway" was laid out and opened up in its present location. Around this time it appears that the "Old White Horse Pike" was officially renamed Colton Street, however, most everyone just called it Old White Horse Pike, and their the issue sat for many years.  

As indicated above, the Colton Street name appeared in the 1947 City Directory. A Sanborn Map from 1961 shows two names. "Old White Horse Pike" is the name attached to the section originating from Haddon Avenue, while "Colt" is the name given to the very short bend which intersects the present-day White Horse Pike. At some point the streets were again renamed, and it is now, according to Google Maps, called Venner Street. 

For those familiar with Haddon Avenue and Camden, it is the street that forks to the right from Haddon Avenue opposite Harleigh Cemetery. For many years two automobile dealerships dominated the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Colton Street. Haddon Motors, a De Soto dealership owned by Morris Puro, was on the western corner, while Randolph Chevrolet had its open air lot on the triangle at the eastern corner. In the 1970s Randolph Chevrolet changed hands and was known as Distasio Chevrolet for a few years before leaving Camden in the early 1980s. Avis Rent-A-Cat used the building as a service facility for a few years. The building was abandoned in the 1990s.

Shortly after World War I the George D. Weatherill Co. Inc. built a varnish factory on the southwest corner  of waht was then White Horse Pike and Haddon Avenue. The plant was badly damaged by a three alarm fire in June of 1929, but was subsequently rebuilt. 

Google Maps also shows that the "street" that runs through the PATCO High Speed Line station on the southern side of the railroad tracks that more or less parallel Colton Street is called "Colt Avenue". As best I can determine this is coincidental, and unless someone saw this on Google Maps, they would not know it. I have never seen a "Colt Avenue" street sign..

Do you have an Colton Street, Old White Horse Pike, or Venner Street memory or picture. Let me know by e-mail so it can be included here.

 Phil Cohen


Colton Street now known as Venner Street - 2014

 


September 1925 "Camden First"
Published Monthly by the Chamber of Commerce, Camden, N.J.
Walt Whitman Hotel Edition
PAGE 18 and PAGE 19
White Horse Pike, U.S.A.
"The Favorite Motor Way of a Nation"
The White Horse Pike
"Gateway"

Fifteen million automobiles passed through the gateway in 1924. Traffic in 1925 has increased- and when the Camden bridge opens in 19826 traffic on the White Horse Pike will be further increased- experts say, even doubled. J.T. Tucker, Camden Real Estate operator, thought so much of the location that he purchased all the 'gateway'.

Here's the new entrance to the White Horse Pike and Tucker sees both sides of the roadway lined with automobiles, rows of apartment hotels and theaters. He says that where traffic computation determines value these frontages are decidedly valuable.

Looking eastwards
from Harleigh Cemetery

The old entrance to the White Horse Pike is probably the best known to the motorists of the Nation who have motored to the shore. Its width and its winding made it inadequate to carry all the traffic- and now it is used as a one way entrance to the Pike. They say the gas station on the corner and those half way up the block set records in gallonage of gasoline.

From a point 360 feet down the Pike one can see the Triangle formed by the old and new pikes. The developer of the gateway will be able to insure harmonious development as Tucker controls both sides of the roadway. It seems as though Mr. Tucker wanted everything 'just so' at the famous gateway.

 

Intersection of
White Horse Pike & Colton Street
aka Old White Horse Pike aka Venner Street. Haddon Avenue and Harleigh Cemetery
can be seen in the background

Bottom Left
1721 Haddon Avenue

Looking down Haddon Avenue with the New entrance to the Pike in the foreground- and the old entrance in the background on can visualize the development that will take place here. Whether Tucker develops it or turns it over to others the future of this entrance to the White Horse Pike is assured.

A "neighbor to the gateway. this service station and salesroom of the Norman G. Wilson Motor Co., Dodge Distributors, proves beyond peradventure the future of business men who locate at the Gateway. When Wilson built here three or four years ago many shook their heads in doubt- today he has one of the most valuable motors and service organizations in South Jersey.

 


December 1967

The parking lot is where the George D. Weatherill Varnish Works once stood. The Building at bottom left is 1721 Haddon Avenue, the former Haddon Motors automobile dealership. The triangular building in upper center with the garage doors belonged to Randolph Chevrolet


Haddon Motors - 1789 Haddon Avenue - circa 1950

The grassy lot to the left of the dark blue car extended to the intersection of
Haddon Avenue & Colton Street (aka Old White Horse Pike, aka Venner Street)


Intersection of Haddon Avenue & Colton Street
aka Old White Horse Pike, aka Venner Street

The George D. Weatherill
Varnish Works Fire

June 27, 1929

Billowing clouds of toxic smoke rise above the Wetherill Varnish Works, southwest corner of Haddon Avenue and the Old White Horse Pike. Three alarms were sounded to control this fire.

 

 


Randolph Chevrolet - Circa 1955

The intersection of Haddon Avenue & Colton Street (aka Old White Horse Pike, aka Venner Street).
Colton Street is on the right


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