Pitman is governed by an elected Mayor and Council. The Mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term and Council is at-large, three-year terms. All are volunteer positions.
Gloucester County Methodist ministers wanted to have a permanent location for an annual camp meeting. The New Jersey Camp Meeting Association purchased land from the Jessup family for that purpose. The land was located in Mantua Township. The location was “convenient and desirable”, with chestnut and oak trees for shade and the railroad nearby for easy access.
The Association built an auditorium in the center of the Grove. A circular street surrounded the auditorium. Twelve streets spread out from this circle, like spokes on a wheel. This wheel design allowed all avenues access to the central preaching area. The areas between the avenues were set aside as tree filled parks. The first Pitman Grove Camp Meeting was held in August 1871. Since there was no town at the time, the first attendees stayed in tents. There were 600 tents during the first meeting.
In 1873 the Association began to sell lots. On these lots, people built the first permanent homes (cottages) in Pitman Grove. These early homes were simple. Soon cottages began to reflect the Victorian architectural style of that time, which had beautiful gingerbread latticework.
The Pitman Grove Camp Meeting grew each year, leading to more development. By 1890 the area of Pitman Grove had become well established and included graveled walkways, stores, restaurants, and over 400 permanent homes.
In the early 1900s many residents felt the community had grown large enough to be its own town and petitioned for it. On May 24, 1905, Governor Edward C. Stokes signed the bill authorizing the incorporation of Pitman Borough. The word “Grove” had been inextricably dropped.
Pitman Grove and the Pitman Grove Auditorium were entered in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on July 20, 1976 and in the National Register of Historic Places on August 19, 1977. To preserve the Grove's uniqueness, the Borough adopted a historic district ordinance.
To preserve the Grove's uniqueness, an historic district ordinance has been adopted. Before any exterior changes can be made, property owners within the district must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Building Inspector's Office in Borough Hall or call 589-2433.
The business section of Pitman runs along Broadway. Many stores line both sides of this street. One can find antiques shops, clothing stores, book stores, card and gift shops, convenience stores and more. The Broadway Theater is also located on Broadway; This theater is known for its elaborate architecture, chandeliers and old fashioned balcony and seating boxes. It was built in the early 1920's. The Pitman Chamber of Commerce is composed of over 120 local businesses.
Pitman is a walking district; it uses no buses to transport students. There are three neighborhood elementary schools serving students in grades K to 5, one middle school for students in grades 6 to 8, and a high school for students in grades 9 to 12. The student enrollment is approximately 1,700. The schools are run by an elected seven member school board, who serve without pay. The board offices are located on Hudson Avenue. The school district has its own Website!