Wenonah was founded in 1871 by Philadelphia businessmen as a country resort, drawn by its location along the Mantua Creek and on the West Jersey Railroad. Over the next 40 years, numerous dams were installed to create recreational lakes. From 1902 until the Great Depression, Wenonah Military Academy, a private military school, trained cadets there.
Throughout its history, Wenonah has been almost exclusively a residential area. Over 21% of the borough's land area is conservation land, which is protected by ordinance from development. There are more than 6 miles (9.7 km) of hiking trails are threaded around lakes and alongside waterways in these conserved areas.
Wenonah is a close-knit community with holiday events every season. Halloween brings the Wenonah Police Station to set up their "Halloween in the Park", a display of inflatable Halloween-themed lit decorations. Christmas means the Tree Lighting celebration in the park in the center of town. The grade school children sing, there are cookies and hot chocolate, and live music is played until a countdown to the official lighting of the town's tree for the season. Fourth of July features a variety of activities from a parade to fire truck rides to races. The Wenonah parade is famous around the area and has been ranked by travel magazines as one of the top-ten small town Fourth of July parades.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.983 square miles (2.547 km2), including 0.972 square miles (2.518 km2) of land and 0.011 square miles (0.029 km2) of water (1.12%).
The borough borders Deptford Township and Mantua Township.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,278 people, 829 households, and 649.1 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,342.8 per square mile (904.6/km2). There were 860 housing units at an average density of 884.4 per square mile (341.5/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.27% (2,193) White, 0.92% (21) Black or African American, 0.13% (3) Native American, 1.05% (24) Asian, 0.04% (1) Pacific Islander, 0.22% (5) from other races, and 1.36% (31) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.36% (31) of the population.
There were 829 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 33.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females there were 103.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 98.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $103,403 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,030) and the median family income was $112,891 (+/- $12,345). Males had a median income of $78,417 (+/- $11,006) versus $64,205 (+/- $16,821) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $47,743 (+/- $6,172). About 1.1% of families and 1.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 2,317 people, 844 households, and 652 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,380.3 people per square mile (922.3/km2). There were 860 housing units at an average density of 883.5 per square mile (342.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.546% White, 1.084% African American, 0.093% Native American, 0.65% Asian, and 0.652% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.731% of the population.
There were 844 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.7% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the borough the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $71,625, and the median income for a family was $82,505. Males had a median income of $57,381 versus $37,500 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $34,116. About 2.0% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Wenonah is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Wenonah, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, the Mayor of the Borough of Wenonah is Republican John R. Dominy, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Wenonah Borough Council are Council President Jack C. Sheppard Jr. (R, 2018), Daniel Cox (D, 2018; appointed to serve an unexpired term), Carl Hausman (R, 2017), Philipp E. Kaeferle (D, 2016), Paul Lader (R, 2017) and William Norris (R, 2016).
In May 2016, the Borough Council selected Daniel Cox to fill the vacant seat expiring in December 2018 that had been held by John F. Howard until his death the previous month.
Wenonah is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 5th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Wenonah had been in the 3rd state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 5th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D, Barrington) and in the General Assembly by Arthur Barclay (D, Camden) and Patricia Egan Jones (D, Barrington). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Gloucester County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis in partisan elections, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. At a reorganization meeting held each January, the Board selects a Freeholder Director and a Deputy Freeholder Director from among its members. As of 2016, Gloucester County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger (D, West Deptford Township; term ends December 31, 2018), Deputy Freeholder Director Giuseppe "Joe" Chila (D, Woolwich Township; 2018), Lyman J. Barnes (D, Logan Township; 2017), Daniel Christy (D, Washington Township; 2016), Frank J. DiMarco (D, Deptford Township; 2016), Heather Simmons (D, Glassboro; 2017) and Jim Jefferson (D, Woodbury; 2017). Constitutional officers elected countywide are County Clerk James N. Hogan, Surrogate Helene M. Reed (Monroe Township) and Sheriff Carmel Morina (Greenwich Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,748 registered voters in Wenonah, of which 571 (32.7%) were registered as Democrats, 461 (26.4%) were registered as Republicans and 714 (40.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 53.0% of the vote (727 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 45.1% (619 votes), and other candidates with 1.9% (26 votes), among the 1,383 ballots cast by the borough's 1,780 registered voters (11 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 77.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 53.3% of the vote (775 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 44.5% (647 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (19 votes), among the 1,455 ballots cast by the borough's 1,786 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.5%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 49.8% of the vote (715 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 47.9% (688 votes) and other candidates with 1.4% (25 votes), among the 1,436 ballots cast by the borough's 1,769 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 81.2.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 61.1% of the vote (563 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 36.3% (334 votes), and other candidates with 2.6% (24 votes), among the 933 ballots cast by the borough's 1,748 registered voters (12 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 53.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 44.3% of the vote (469 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 41.2% (436 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 12.3% (130 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (8 votes), among the 1,059 ballots cast by the borough's 1,775 registered voters, yielding a 59.7% turnout.
The Wenonah School District serves public school students in kindergarten through sixth grade at Wenonah Elementary School. As of the 2012-13 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 247 students and 21.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.28:1.
For seventh through twelfth grade, public school students attend Gateway Regional High School, a regional public high school that also serves students from the boroughs of National Park, Westville and Woodbury Heights, as part of the Gateway Regional High School District. As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 961 students and 81.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.9:1.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 15.42 miles (24.82 km) of roadways, of which 13.63 miles (21.94 km) were maintained by the municipality and 1.79 miles (2.88 km) by Gloucester County.
NJ Transit bus service between Sewell and Philadelphia is available on the 412 route.
The borough is the site of a planned stop on the Glassboro–Camden Line, an 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit light rail system projected for completion in 2019.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Wenonah include:Michael Capuzzo (born 1957), author of Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence and four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.
Edward Everett Grosscup (1860-1933), chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee from 1911 to 1919 and Treasurer of the State of New Jersey from 1913 to 1915.
Lauren Ward Larsen, author of ZuZu's Petals, about her life-changing experiences following a critical illness.
Katharyn Nicolle (born 1991), beauty pageant titleholder who held the title of Miss New Jersey 2011 and competed in the Miss America 2012 Pageant.
Isaac Pursell (1853-1910), architect.
Grover C. Richman Jr. (1911-1983), lawyer who served as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1951 to 1953 and New Jersey Attorney General from 1954 to 1958.
Adele Langston Rogers, first female recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal presented to her by President Nixon, October 15, 1973.
Joseph C. Salema, New Jersey Governor James Florio's former Chief of Staff who resigned in the Spring of 1993 amid accusations of accepting payments in a pay to play scandal.
Jack C. Sheppard Sr., longtime Wenonah Mayor of 24 years, the first chairman of the Gloucester County Utilities Authority, president and charter member of the Gloucester County Mayors Association, key creator of the Tri-County regional water supply group addressing critical needs in Gloucester, Camden and Burlington counties.
Steve Squyres (born 1957), astronomer and principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.
Tim Squyres (born 1959), film editor of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, Life of Pi and Syriana, among others.
Bob Steuber (born 1921), elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.