|Freehold Township, New Jersey|
|Township of Freehold|
|Motto: Western Monmouth's Family Town|
Map of Freehold Township in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Freehold Township, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Established||October 31, 1693|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|o Body||Township Committee|
|o Mayor||Lester A. Preston Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2017)|
|o Administrator||Peter R. Valesi|
|o Municipal clerk||Terry Warner|
|o Total||38.727 sq mi (100.303 km2)|
|o Land||38.503 sq mi (99.723 km2)|
|o Water||0.224 sq mi (0.580 km2) 0.58%|
|Area rank||59th of 566 in state
4th of 53 in county
|Elevation||118 ft (36 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|o Estimate (2016)||35,623|
|o Rank||62nd of 566 in state
5th of 53 in county
|o Density||939.8/sq mi (362.9/km2)|
|o Density rank||393rd of 566 in state
45th of 53 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||732/848 and 908 (mobile)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882116|
Freehold Township is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 36,184, reflecting an increase of 4,647 (+14.7%) from the 31,537 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,827 (+27.6%) from the 24,710 counted in the 1990 Census.
Freehold Township was first formed on October 31, 1693, and was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. Portions of Freehold Township were taken to form Upper Freehold Township (c. 1731), so some wills and official records following the split referred to "Lower Freehold Township" although the official name has always been Freehold Township. Additional portions formed Millstone Township (February 28, 1844), Jackson Township (March 6, 1844), Atlantic Township (February 18, 1847; now Colts Neck Township), Marlboro Township (February 17, 1848) and Manalapan Township (March 9, 1848). Freehold town was formed within the township on March 25, 1869, and formally separated when it was reconstituted as a borough on April 15, 1919, including additional portions of the township.
The Lenni Lenape were the earliest known people to live in the area that became Freehold. The Lenape were a hunter-gatherer society. They were largely sedentary, changing campsites seasonally. They were prolific hunters of small game and birds. They were also skilled fisherman, and were known to harvest vast amounts of clams from the bays and inlets on the Jersey Shore. They also practiced some agriculture to augment their food supply. During this time, an important crossroad of two major Lenape trails was located in the area of Freehold.
In 1498, John Cabot became the first European to sight this land. The Dutch were the first to settle and develop the area. By the 17th century, the English had taken over the area. In 1664, the Duke of York (later James II & VII) granted a patent to Sir George Carteret to develop the area. In 1685, Scottish immigrants, fleeing religious persecution at home, became the first to settle the area. In 1693, Along with Middletown and Shrewsbury, Freehold was established by act of legislature as one of the three original towns in Monmouth County. The name of the township comes from the word Freehold, an English legal term describing fee simple property ownership.
In 1714, when the colonial government was deciding where to locate the county seat and courthouse, Freeholder John Reid, the first Surveyor General of East Jersey, wanted the county seat located in Freehold. Reid sold the property to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at a bargain price, and this may have been the deciding factor why Freehold was selected over Middletown and Shrewsbury. In return for the heavily discounted price, Reid placed a restrictive covenant in the deed that, should the property ever cease being used as a courthouse, ownership would revert to the Reid family. Direct descendants of John Reid still reside in Freehold Township.
Freehold was officially designated as the seat of the Monmouth County government, and a court house was commissioned to be built on the land purchased from John Reid. The Monmouth Courthouse opened in 1715. A small village quickly began to develop around the courthouse. At first, the village was called Monmouth Courthouse. Overtime, other government buildings opened near the courthouse, including a sheriff's office, a prison, and a post office. A number of homes and commercial businesses also sprang up in the village, including a blacksmith, a general store, a bank, a hotel, and saloon.
In the area surrounding Monmouth Courthouse, many successful farms began to appear. The farms in Freehold were particularly well known for the production of potatoes, beans, and rye, which were sold in the markets of nearby cities. Freehold also became known for its excellent horse farms. The differences within Freehold between the growing village around the courthouse and the surrounding farmland were the seeds for the eventually division of Freehold into two separate municipalities in the early 20th century.
As of 1745, the majority of families in Freehold were still Scottish immigrants. In modern Freehold today, many important streets bear the name of early colonial families, including Barkalow, Applegate, Rhea, Throckmorton, and Schanck.
Freehold was deeply impacted by the American Revolution. By the early 1770s, the Sons of Liberty were actively recruiting local members in Freehold, and were agitating the relationship between the British government and the colonists. In 1775, immediately after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Capt. Elias Longstreet recruited the first company of Freeholders to join the Continental Army. Freehold was a known center of patriot activity. The Declaration of Independence was publicly proclaimed, read aloud, from the steps of the Monmouth Courthouse just a few days after being signed in Philadelphia.
However, after British success at the Battle of Long Island, Freehold and all of Monmouth County fell under the control of Loyalists. The British government continued to operate the Monmouth Courthouse, and several people involved in revolutionary activities were arrested and tried for treason at the courthouse. The success of the Continental Army at the Battle of Trenton helped to weaken loyalist control of Freehold.
In June 1778, the British Army began a major strategic evacuation of the city of Philadelphia. They attempted to protect a long, slow moving column of loyalist families, equipment, and other supplies seized in Philadelphia, as they moved towards ships in New York Harbor. On June 28, 1778, the Continental Army intercepted the column in Freehold. The Battle of Monmouth was one of the largest battles of the Revolutionary War, involving over 25,000 soldiers combined in Continental, British, and Hessian forces. The Continental Army was able to repel the British forces, and held their ground on the battlefield. However, British forces were successful in completing their primary goal, the evacuation of Philadelphia. Both sides claimed victory in the battle.
Several famous figures from the Revolutionary War fought at the Battle of Monmouth. British forces were commanded by Sir Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis. The Continental Army was commanded by George Washington and Charles Lee. Charles Lee was later court martialed by the Continental Army for his actions at the Battle of Monmouth. Nathanael Greene, Alexander Hamilton, "Mad" Anthony Wayne, the Marquis de Lafayette and Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben also fought at the Battle of Monmouth for the Continental Army. Another famous figure at the Battle of Monmouth was Molly Pitcher, who manned a cannon during the battle after her husband was wounded.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Monmouth, Loyalist control of Freehold faltered. The town ceased to have a functioning municipal government, and the courthouse was closed until the end of the war. Minor clashes between loyalists and continentals flared up in town, with the violence peaking around 1780.Colonel Tye, was an escaped slave formerly named Titus, and the leader of a prominent loyalist guerilla force, which conducted several raids in and around Freehold. In one famous incident Joshua Huddy was captured and hung by British Loyalists under the direction of Richard Lippincott and Colonel Tye. Colonel Tye later died from injuries sustained during that raid. Patriots later cut down Huddy's body hanging from the gallows and buried it in Freehold, at Old Tennent Church. At the end of the war, the community was deeply divided, and nearly 120 loyalist families left Freehold, fearing persecution from their neighbors. Most of these families re-settled in Canada.
During the early 1800s, Freehold steadily grew in size. The village around the courthouse was now called Freehold, along with the surrounding farmland. In 1852, when long distance railroad systems were first being developed, a railroad station, with trains making regular stops, was built near the courthouse in Freehold. Freehold soon had public sewers in the village and in some of the outlying farmland. By 1883, there was an electrical grid and a telephone switchboard, at a time when these inventions were still brand new. These public advancements caused rapid economic growth in Freehold. The village of Freehold became an important commercial and industrial hub in central New Jersey. The farms in the rest of Freehold benefitted greatly by being able to sell their products more easily in New York and Philadelphia. Both the village and the farms prospered together, however the public policies sought by the two different communities continued to grow further apart. The municipal government was increasingly divided between the villagers and farmers.
In 1824, the American Hotel opened on Main Street in Freehold. It is still standing today, and is one of the oldest buildings in Freehold. In 1853, the Freehold Raceway opened. Though the original grandstand burned down in a fire, the racetrack is still open today, and is one of the oldest harness racetracks in America. The Great Fire of Freehold happened on October 30, 1873. The fire reportedly began in a commercial building on Main Street. It soon spread to engulf a large section of the village, and many wooden buildings, including Monmouth Courthouse, were burned down.
Freehold also has a relatively forgotten but important place in the history of the bicycle. Cycling champion Arthur Augustus Zimmerman resided in the town during his racing career in the 1880s and 1890s, and from 1896-1899 operated the Zimmerman Bicycle Co.; the company's bicycles were known as the "Zimmy." Today, Freehold Borough is home to the Metz Bicycle Museum, where the only extant "Zimmy" can be seen.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Freehold was an increasingly divided community. The issue of local tax dollars, used as funding for public works and infrastructure projects, was the primary point of contention. The Freeholders living in the downtown area, around the courthouse had very different ideas about how to spend public money compared to the Freeholders living in the surrounding farmland. Tension within the community increased greatly in 1916 when a severe polio epidemic swept through Freehold. After contentious public debate, a referendum was held to on the future of Freehold, and voters overwhelmingly decided to split the town into two separate municipalities.
On April 15, 1919, Freehold Borough formally separated from Freehold Township. Freeholders generally refer to the different municipalities simply as the Borough and the Township. The Borough, the downtown area around the courthouse, retained all the existing government buildings around Court Street and Main Street. The Borough also kept the designation as county seat. Freehold Township, the farming communities that surrounded the courthouse, set up a new town hall complex on Schanck Road. The Township completely encircles the Borough. On September 7, 1926, Freehold Borough annexed additional territory from the Township.
In the early 20th century, the farms in Freehold Township continued to be prosperous and successful, and the area steadily grew in population. However, after World War II, the Township experienced rapid growth. By this time, transportation systems had increased to a point to allow workers to commute daily to jobs in larger cities, such as Newark, Philadelphia, and New York City. Highways, including U.S. Route 9 and Route 33 helped to make it possible for commuters to live in Freehold and work in nearby cities. The township quickly developed large neighborhoods of suburban single family homes.
Soon, the Township began to grow commercial and industrial businesses that rivalled the Borough. Among the corporations that opened production factories in Freehold include Nestlé in 1948 and 3M in 1957. In 1971, a major medical complex, originally called Freehold Area Hospital, and today called CentraState Medical Center, opened in the Township. Not all industrial developments in the Township were positive. In 1983, the United States government designated the Lone Pine Chemical Site in the Township as a Superfund site, one of the worst environmental disasters in the country. In 1990, with the opening of Freehold Raceway Mall, the second-largest mall in the state, the Township become a primary commercial center for Central New Jersey.
As the Township grew, Route 33 which ran through the heart of Freehold, become increasingly congested, and study suggested construction of a new freeway. After several years, the new freeway was downsized to merely a bypass of Freehold. Construction from near Sweetmans Lane (CR 527) to U.S. Route 9 was finished in 1972. Eventually construction began again and the bypass was extended to Halls Mill Road in 1989. For decades traffic was detoured, and congestion just kept getting worse. The delay was lengthened when an endangered species was found in the path of the proposed roadway. Finally, after 32 years of waiting, the bypass was fully completed in January 2003, reducing congestion on Route 33 and Route 33 Business.
The Township has thousands of jobs located within the municipality, along with a growing numbers of commuters who work in neighboring cities such as New York City, Newark, Trenton, and Philadelphia. Five residents of the Township were killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and are listed on the county's 9/11 memorial.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 38.727 square miles (100.303 km2), including 38.503 square miles (99.723 km2) of land and 0.224 square miles (0.580 km2) of water (0.58%).
The township completely surrounds the borough of Freehold, making it part of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another. The township borders Colts Neck Township, Howell Township, Manalapan Township, Marlboro Township and Millstone Township in Monmouth County, and Jackson Township in Ocean County. The municipality of Upper Freehold Township is not connected, geographically or politically, to Freehold Township.
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Blue Ball, Burlington Heights,Georgia, Orchard Estates,Siloam, Smithburg, Southburg, Stonehurst East and Stonehurst West.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 36,184 people, 12,577 households, and 9,382 families residing in the township. The population density was 939.8 per square mile (362.9/km2). There were 13,140 housing units at an average density of 341.3 per square mile (131.8/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 84.32% (30,509) White, 5.34% (1,931) Black or African American, 0.13% (47) Native American, 7.03% (2,544) Asian, 0.02% (7) Pacific Islander, 1.47% (531) from other races, and 1.70% (615) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.76% (2,808) of the population.
There were 12,577 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the township, the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 30.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 96.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $94,735 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,749) and the median family income was $112,094 (+/- $4,124). Males had a median income of $85,099 (+/- $6,540) versus $48,926 (+/- $4,407) for females. The per capita income for the township was $40,504 (+/- $2,006). About 2.8% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 31,537 people, 10,814 households, and 8,283 families residing in the township. The population density was 820.2 people per square mile (316.7/km²). There were 11,032 housing units at an average density of 286.9 per square mile (110.8/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 87.09% White, 5.12% African American, 0.14% Native American, 5.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.19% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.19% of the population.
There were 10,814 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the township the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $77,185, and the median income for a family was $89,845. Males had a median income of $62,545 versus $36,668 for females. The per capita income for the township was $31,505. About 2.8% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Freehold Raceway Mall is a super-regional high-end shopping mall with a gross leasable area of 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2), making it the second-largest mall in the state, behind Westfield Garden State Plaza.
In 2004, the Freehold Township Senior League baseball team won the Senior League World Series. Led by manager Mike Brach of Freehold Township, the team became the first from Freehold Township to make it to the World Series, let alone win it.
In 2016, Freehold Township Little League 12u baseball team won the New Jersey state championship and made it to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament, the first team from the township to take the state title since 2003.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Turkey Swamp Park, and Michael J. Tighe Park (formerly known as Liberty Oak Park) are all located within the township and provide assorted recreational opportunities. Smaller parks in the township include Durand Park, Whittier Oaks Park, Opatut Park, Wynnefield Park, Stonehurst Park, Sandy Brook Park, Duchess Court Park, Greentree Park, Medford Park, Woodgate Park, Woodcrest Park, Orchard Hills Park and Sargent Park.
Michael J. Tighe Park was formerly known as Liberty Oak Park, the park having been renamed in 2001.
Freehold Township is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor.
The Township Committee enacts local ordinances, levies municipal taxes and conducts the affairs of the township. In almost all cases, it can review and approve the actions of other Freehold Township boards, committees and agencies. The Township Committee conducts all of its business during monthly meetings open to the public.
As of 2017Mayor Lester A. Preston Jr. (R, term on committee and as mayor ends December 31, 2017), Deputy Mayor David M. Salkin (R, term on committee and as deputy mayor ends 2017), Anthony J. Ammiano (R, 2018), Thomas L. Cook (R, 2018) and Barbara J. McMorrow (R, 2019)., the members of the Township Committee are
Freehold Township is located in the 4th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 11th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Freehold Township had been in the 12th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Freehold Township had been split between the 4th Congressional District and the 12th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Christopher Smith (R). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016-2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 11th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jennifer Beck (R, Red Bank) and in the General Assembly by Joann Downey (D, Freehold Township) and Eric Houghtaling (D, Neptune Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Monmouth County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director. As of 2014 , Monmouth County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township; term ends December 31, 2014), Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. (R, Spring Lake; 2014), Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City; 2016),John P. Curley (R, Middletown Township; 2015) and Serena DiMaso (R, Holmdel Township; 2016). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk M. Claire French (Wall Township), Sheriff Shaun Golden (Farmingdale) and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (Middletown Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 23,033 registered voters in Freehold Township, of which 5,014 (21.8%) were registered as Democrats, 5,058 (22.0%) were registered as Republicans and 12,949 (56.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 12 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 55.3% of the vote (9,204 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 43.5% (7,242 votes), and other candidates with 1.2% (192 votes), among the 16,715 ballots cast by the township's 23,974 registered voters (77 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 69.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 53.5% of the vote (9,480 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 44.2% (7,845 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (185 votes), among the 17,733 ballots cast by the township's 23,935 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 56.6% of the vote (9,260 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 42.2% (6,915 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (131 votes), among the 16,373 ballots cast by the township's 22,061 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.2.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 72.2% of the vote (7,009 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 26.0% (2,525 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (175 votes), among the 9,826 ballots cast by the township's 24,098 registered voters (117 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 40.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 65.5% of the vote (7,900 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 27.5% (3,317 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.7% (688 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (96 votes), among the 12,058 ballots cast by the township's 23,343 registered voters, yielding a 51.7% turnout.
Public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are educated by the Freehold Township Schools. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its eight schools had an enrollment of 5,958 students and 348.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 17.1:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Early Childhood Learning Center (PreK; 81 students), C. Richard Applegate School (K-5; 468), Joseph J. Catena School (K-5; 495), Laura Donovan School (K-5; 454), Marshall W. Errickson School (K-5; 462), West Freehold School (K-5; 532), Clifton T. Barkalow School (727; 6-8) and Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School (687; 6-8).
Students in ninth through twelfth grades attend either Freehold Township High School or Freehold High School (based on home address), as part of the Freehold Regional High School District. The district also serves students from Colts Neck Township, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Howell Township, Manalapan Township and Marlboro Township. Freehold Township High School is home to the Contemporary Global Studies Learning Center that admits students on a selective basis from all over the Freehold Regional High School District. As of the 2014-15 school year, Freehold Township High School had an enrollment of 2,111 students and 138.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 15.2:1, while Freehold High School had an enrollment of 1,505 students and 108.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 13.8:1.
High school students in Freehold Township have the opportunity of attending vocational schools such as Biotechnology High School, High Technology High School, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Communications High School, and the Academy of Allied Health & Science, which are part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District, which are available to all students in Monmouth County on a selective basis.
Several major roads pass through the township. Major state routes include US Route 9, Route 18, Route 33 (also known as the Freehold Bypass), and Route 79. Major county routes that pass through are County Route 524, 527, and 537.
Access to Interstate 195 is available in neighboring Howell via Route 9 or Jackson via CR 537. The Garden State Parkway entrance at exit 100 is about ten miles east on Route 33. The New Jersey Turnpike entrance at exit 8 is about ten miles west on Route 33.
NJ Transit provides bus service to communities along US Route 9 from Lakewood Township to Old Bridge Township and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City via bus routes 131, 135 and 139, to Newark on the 67 route, to Jersey City on the 64 and 67, as well as local service on the 833, 836 and 307 routes. Bus service is available from Route 9 to Wall Street in New York via the Academy Bus Line. Bus service is available to Philadelphia from Freehold Township via transfer in Lakewood. There are several bus stops to the points listed above located along Route 9 in the township. Freehold Township has two commuter parking lots available to residents of Freehold Township only located in the Freehold Mall Shopping Center and on Schibanoff Lane. The nearest train stations are located in Aberdeen-Matawan, Belmar, Long Branch and Princeton.
CentraState Medical Center is affiliated with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The facility has 284 beds and is part of CentraState Healthcare System, the county's fourth-largest employer.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Freehold Township include:
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