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Rio Grande is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Middle Township in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. Though located within Middle Township, a small section at the southern edge of the community, located in Lower Township, is sometimes called Rio Grande. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 2,670.HistoryAccording to Jeffrey M. Dorwart, Rio Grande was founded in the mid-nineteenth century around a country store owned by the Hildreth family. The community was originally called Hildreth for that reason.George F. Boyer and J. Pearson Cunningham explain that, during the colonial period, Aaron Leaming, the Hildreths and the Cresses had plantations in that area. Where the King's Highway crossed the road coming from Dennisville and Goshen a stage coach terminal was set up, and the spot became the center for trade for the local farming families. Boyer and Cunningham say that the area was known as "Leamings," for the prominent landholders, or as "Hildreth," the family who ran the local store. (p. 121-122) They continue, "The name, Rio Grande, was suggested by the seventh Aaron Leaming who thought this southern United States river had an attractive sound."GeographyAccording to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 2.490 square miles (6.450 km2), including 2.459 square miles (6.369 km2) of land and 0.031 square miles (0.081 km2) of water (1.26%).Use our United States road trip tool to arrange your visit to Rio Grande and other destinations in United States.
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