Most Americans – or most baby boomers, anyway – know Rich “Uncle” Pennybags (later named Mr. Monopoly), the round old man in a top hat on the box containing the Monopoly game. He first appeared on Chance and Community Chest cards in 1936.
Avid players know a great deal of trivia about the game; but do they know that the streets were named after actual streets in Atlantic City? According to city lore, thousands of people each year come to Atlantic City, located in Atlantic County, New Jersey, to walk the streets they first met in the MONOPOLY game.
Atlantic City is the largest city in Atlantic County, founded in 1837. The county seat is Mays Landing. The county covers 671 square miles of land, and 110 square miles of water; its eight-mile long stretch of beach is a public park. The county has a population of 274,549.
Atlantic County is associated with, although not a part of, the Delaware Valley area as well as the Atlantic City metro area. Named as an official district in 1693, the area was once called Egg Harbor Township; it covered half of the original County of Gloucester. It was bounded on the north by the Little Egg Harbor River, now called the Mullica River, and on the south by the Great Egg Harbor River and its southern branch, the Tuckahoe River. Its western boundary was not fixed until much later.
Atlantic County is home to more than 250,000 residents. This is a diverse county with 68 percent of residents white, 18 percent black or African American, 12 percent Hispanic and the rest of other races. The median age is 37 years, and the median income for a household in the county is $43,933.
There have been some changes to the Monopoly board since the original: the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues changed from purple to brown, and the luxury tax increased from $75 to $100. Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. It was not until 1995 that Parker Brothers acknowledged this mistake and formally apologized to the residents of Marven Gardens for the misspelling.