Well Hello There


One of the oddities of living in New Jersey are the comparative lack of townships when compared to the number of independent small towns.

I grew up in Springfield Township, PA 1 — which consisted of Oreland, Flourtown, Erdenheim, Wyndmoor, North Hills, and parts of both Lavrock and Lafayette Hill. The communities in the township had separate fire companies but shared most other municipal services. We had one police force, one school district, one government, and on down the line.

New Jersey is different. The towns have keep a separate as possible and each has it’s government, school district, police force, garbage collection, and other municipal services. When towns are part of a functioning township, such as the one in which I grew up, many native New Jerseyans will point out, “That’s not a real town, it’s a township.”

This leads me to chickens 2. My home lies on the border between the towns of Riverton and Palmyra. Riverton allows residents to have a chicken coop 3, Palmyra has fought against that notion. Even with no visible break between them, they are different towns, with different governments, and different laws 4. It seems a bit odd to my PA brain.

The picture below is of a friend’s chicken coop in Riverton, not a quarter mile from my home.

A chicken peers through a fence.
Nikon D7000 with 40mm Lens
ISO 400
1/160 sec

  1. Montgomery Country. 
  2. Bet you didn’t see that coming. 
  3. No roosters. 
  4. The “no farm animals” thing bums my wife out. She wants some chickens, and a couple of sheep to mow the lawn. 


  1. Jamison says:

    We have townships in Minnesota, but they’re usually akin to a single city, not a conglomeration of small cities. We don’t really have villages either. All of our townships are in rural areas, rarely getting over a thousand people or so.

  2. hawktheelfowl says:

    So THAT’S how they work in PA! I kept trying to ask coworkers to explain and they all failed. No wonder I’m so confused!

    1. wezlo says:

      Yup, and the towns in the townships ARE real towns.

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