In 1687, Thomas Hutchinson acquired 2,500 acres "lying upon ye River Delaware above the falls" - the first land to be purchased in what is known today as Ewing Township. Hutchinson, his three sons, and one of his two daughters had come to America on the Welcome with William Penn in 1682, and first settled on 600 acres of land in Burlington County deeded to him by Penn. Hutchinson's built a manor house on the rise of land where Trenton Psychiatric Hospital now stands. In 1703, Thomas' son John gifted land for use as a burial ground to the Episcopalian leadership who built the first church erected in Mercer County on the site. (Years later, the location was selected personally by Dorothea Dix as the site for the NJ Lunatic Asylum (later, Trenton Psychiatric). The Hospital, built in 1848, represented the activist's first major victory in her nationwide campaign to humanize the treatment of the mentally handicapped or 'insane.' Dix spent her final years at the hospital, dying there in 1887.) In 1900, the Township returned a portion of this land to the City of Trenton.

Other early landowners included Dr. Daniel Coxe, Christopher Wetherill, Elizabeth Pope, John Watson, and Mahlon Stacy. Scudder, Howell, Reeder, and Jones families settled in shortly afterwards. Many were British immigrants, but several families relocated from Long Island, NY. Until 1714, this area was considered part of Hopewell Township in Burlington County. That year, Hopewell became part of the new Hunterdon County, and in 1719 the area now called Ewing became part of Trenton Township, Hunterdon County. It wasn't until 1834 when Ewing Township was legislated, named after Chief Justice Charles Ewing who had died a couple of years earlier.

The Township maintained a rural, agricultural identity, with only scattered population 'centers' in the villages of Birmingham, Brookville, Ewing, Ewingville, and Greensburg, until the end of the 19th century. A growing system of streetcars, trains, and trolleys allowed industrialists and workers the opportunity to live outside of the city environs, and by the early 20th century, Ewing Township became increasingly residential in character. With the introduction of major industries to the township, most notably, the construction of the General Motors plant in 1938, the township population exploded. As communities moved into the suburbs of Ewing, many of their institutions followed. One notable result of that movement is the Louis I. Kahn Bath House and Day Camp complex. Commissioned in 1954 as the new campus for the Trenton Jewish Community Center, the buildings today are considered a pivotal design by one of the acknowledged masters of modern architecture.

Township History Links
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Ewing Township Historic Sites
Benjamin Temple House (Old Ryan Farm, in the Drake Farm Park): 
   27 Federal City Road at Violet Cox Drive, Ewing 883-2455
Louis I. Kahn Bath House & Day Camp:
   999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing NJ
Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (has a display on founder Dorothea Lynde Dix in its main administration building)
West Trenton Station, Sullivan Way

on the National Registry, but not open to the public:
(William) Green House, Green Lane [on the College of New Jersey campus]
Green-Reading House, 107 Wilburtha Rd.

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