NJ debate: The most northern town in South Jersey (Opinion)
Here's a question for you: what is South Jersey's absolute most northern town?
And yes, I know how much of a loaded question that is. Where South Jersey ends is right up there with asking if New Jersey should have self-serve gas.
So, how do you define South Jersey's boundaries? It's not as easy as you think it is.
For starters, let's define the mentality of South Jersey. I love this definition of South Jersey from urbandictionary.com.
Southern half of New Jersey where the area codes are 609 or 856. You love and represent Wawa as your convenience store, and all Philly teams, despite those who come here and try to root for NY/NJ teams. You go away to school your 1st year or 2 but then realize that South Jersey is where you need to be and transfer to Stockton or Rowan. The sub/hoagie thing is disputable (sub closer to the beaches, hoagie closer to Philly), but it's NEVER a hero or a grinder. We have our South Jersey accent and we're damn proud of it.
As someone who grew up around here, I totally agree with that.
I grew up in Gloucester County, so embedded deep within my DNA is the idea that Interstate 195 cuts the state in half. Anything south of 195 is South Jersey and anything above it is North Jersey. And as a Gloucestercountian, that's where the north versus south way of thinking splits, as far as I'm concerned.
Seems simple. But it's not.
Where you are in South Jersey will change your definition of South Jersey.
For example, I've seen people in Cape May call anything outside of Cape May County "North Jersey." That's a bit extreme. Along that line of thinking, Hammonton is in North Jersey. That's ridiculous. However, for some people in Cape May, Toms River might as well be a foreign country that you need a valid passport to get into.
If you're in Salem County (the part along Delaware Bay that looks more like Nebraska than New Jersey), anything that's about an hour up the New Jersey Turnpike is North Jersey to you.
So, I think it's safe to say that we're not drawing a straight line on a map to determine this.
Back in 2015, writers with NJ.com tried to tackle this very subject. Using feedback from over 90,000 people, they determined parts of Burlington County are South Jersey while lower parts of Ocean County are in Central Jersey ("Central Jersey" always has to make things more difficult).
So now we have South Jersey being more north than Central Jersey, or Central Jersey below South Jersey. And looking at that map, folks in North Jersey are laughing at us.
As remarkable as that is, that is true.
There can't be one answer to this question, so here are two.
I, along with the data from NJ.com, agree with the idea that Florence, by definition, is the absolute northernmost town in South Jersey. Once you get above Florence, you're into Trenton and there aren't many people that believe Trenton is South Jersey. Beyond that, Florence is greatly influenced by the Philly sports teams and people there watch the Philly TV stations, which helps define South Jersey.
As for the second answer to the question, if you draw a line from Florence down to Berkeley Township in Ocean County, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would (roughly) be the mid-point. Therefore, I would consider the base to be the average northernmost point of South Jersey (technically, the Fort Dix portion of Pemberton Township).
Do you agree or disagree? E-mail me your thoughts!