Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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John Ogden
b.1782 - d.?

John Ogden was born January 21, 1782 to David and Abigail, prominent members of Cumberland County society and the Whig party.

In 1809, John married Charlotte Jones.

Ogden's history is intrinsically linked to Coffee Jones, the Philadelphia coffee merchant who, in 1810, bought what was then called Dallas' Ferry and renamed it Port Norris. Ogden lived in a tavern Jones built at the far east end of Main Street, in an area known as "Peek of the Moon". Ogden and Norton Harris ran the tavern as well as a Jones' cord wood business, supplying ships bound for Philadelphia from a nearby wharf.

Main Street at that time was a dirt road that led to the ferry landing. In the early years, it was a not-uncommon venue for horse racing.

Coffee Jones put his land up for sale in parcels sold at a lottery after a disastrous storm and and ensuing flood swept away most of Jones' sheep. Ogden drew the tavern in this lottery, and it remained in his family for generations.

Charlotte drowned on September 26, 1834.

An 1834 newspaper described Port Norris as " a landing and storehouse, with a tavern and six or eight dwellings." Ogden was one of those responsible for the early development of Port Norris. The beams from the original tavern are said to have been used to build the current structure that stands on the end of Main Street - a home referred to as Norm Jeffries' house.

On November 22, 2009, John Ogden was recognized as a Legend of Port Norris.