Incorporated in 1798, Middle Township encompassed an area approximately ten miles long and ten miles wide. Although the incorporation of Avalon, Stone Harbor, North Wildwood and Wildwood reduced the size to seventy square miles, Middle is the largest Township in Cape May County.
In contrast to Upper and Dennis Townships, there was more than one major landowner among the early settlers. Shamagar Hand purchased one thousand acres from Dr. Coxe, which included Cape May Court House and Dias Creek areas and southeast to the ocean. Christopher Leaming, Aaron Leaming and Arthur Cresse owned the land where Rio Grande is located. Burleigh and Whitesboro were once a part of the Cresse plantation. Richard and Jonathan Swain came to Cape May Court House in 1706. Samuel Matthews bought the land where the County park and zoo are located from the West Jersey Society in 1700. All of these settlers first came to this area as whalers and later moved inland as permanent residents.
The Delaware Bay communities of Kimbles Beach, Reeds Beach, Pierces Point and Del Haven along Route 47 follows one of the early Lenape Indian paths and camping sites. During the Revolution and War of 1812, these areas were some of the favorite landing places for British Raiding Parties.
Goshen's first settler was Aaron Leaming, who raised cattle in 1693. Early stagecoaches stopped in Goshen from Philadelphia to Cape May. Goshen's greatness and fame was contributed to shipbuilding and lumbering industries and flourished during the 19th Century. Today, Goshen is a very pleasant rural community.
Middle Township, in the heart of Cape May County, is rich in history and tradition. Through the years, Middle Township has developed into a popular area and has become an ideal residential community surrounded by popular resorts.