Maple Shade Township is located in Burlington County New Jersey, United States. What is now Maple Shade was originally formed as Chester Township on November 6th 1688. Chester was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21st 1798. The name was changed to Maple Shade Township as of November 6th 1945, based on the results of a referendum passed that same day.
Maple Shade Township was first settled by the Roberts family in 1682 and developed in the early years, before the independence of the colonies, as primarily agricultural. For its first one hundred years, only Kings Highway served the area, providing poor travel, and residents chose travel by boat rather than overland as a result, until 1794 when the road that was to be Main Street was constructed to connect Kings Highway with the Cooper River ferry. Afterwards, new settlers and the families of the original settlers encouraged the division and sharing of the large plantations into smaller holdings, still agricultural in nature.