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Palmyra is a borough in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough’s population was 7,398, reflecting an increase of 307 (+4.3%) from the 7,091 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 35 (+0.5%) from the 7,056 counted in the 1990 Census.
Palmyra was originally incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 19, 1894, from portions of Cinnaminson Township and Riverton. On February 20, 1923, Palmyra was reincorporated as a borough.
The area that is now Palmyra was settled in the late 17th century by Swedes, marking the northernmost border of New Sweden. A farmhouse built in 1761 by the third generation settlers still remains as the oldest house in Palmyra. Farming was the primary use of land in Palmyra and the surrounding area until after the construction of the Camden and Amboy Railroad in 1834 with a station in the area, after which railroad workers built homes on lots they purchased along the railroad right of way. The community was originally known as Texas, but a local landowner, Isaiah Toy, a descendant of the original Swedish settlers and a stockholder in the Camden and Amboy Railroad, who wanted to have a post office established in the community, convinced the railroad to change the name of the station in 1849 to Palmyra, which came from his love of ancient history. Palmyra was the name of an ancient trading center located in central Syria. The post office was established in 1851. Palmyra, along with Bordentown, Burlington, Moorestown Township, and Mount Holly Township, established its high school in the late 1890s, making it one of the oldest high schools in Burlington County and in New Jersey.
The community was laid out in 1850, when Joseph Souder’s land was broken up into building lots to pay his debts, with the street names matching those of Center City, Philadelphia – Market, Arch, Race, and Vine (from south to north), and Front Street and numbered streets from the Delaware River. What is now Palmyra was part of Chester Township (now Maple Shade Township), which was created in 1694 and was one of the original 104 townships in New Jersey incorporated in 1798. Palmyra became a part of Cinnaminson Township when that township was set off from Chester in 1860. Palmyra Township was set off from Cinnaminson in 1894, and Palmyra was incorporated as a borough in 1923.