During the Cold War, the United States military developed a missile defense system intended to protect the country's major commercial, political, and population centers. This initiative, called Project Nike, is a testament to the level of fear and perception of imminent danger that existed at the time. Today, this missile program is pretty much a relic, but Marlton residents can get a taste of history from this period by visiting the Nike missile site PH-32, which is located in the area. The site had fallen into disrepair over the years, but a cleanup effort has returned it to relevancy.
White settlement in this area began around 1672, when English Quakers established Evesham Township, which was likely named after the colonists' original home in England. The name "Marlton" likely came from early 19th-century use of the term "marl," which refers to a clay-based substance that was sourced from this area up until the 1930s, when the local marl pits were closed. Today, the sites of these pits have been repurposed, with one serving as a recycling center. Though Marlton is now technically part of Evesham Township, some people consider the two town names to be interchangeable.