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Freehold Township, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freehold Township, New Jersey
Township of Freehold
Walker-Combs-Hartshorne Farmstead
Walker-Combs-Hartshorne Farmstead
Official seal of Freehold Township, New Jersey
Seal
Motto(s): 
Western Monmouth's Family Town
Map of Freehold Township in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
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
Census Bureau map of Freehold Township, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°13′28″N 74°17′57″W / 40.224382°N 74.299051°W / 40.224382; -74.299051[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyMonmouth
EstablishedOctober 31, 1693
IncorporatedFebruary 21, 1798
Government
 • TypeTownship
 • BodyTownship Committee
 • MayorLester A. Preston Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2020)[3][4]
 • AdministratorPeter R. Valesi[5]
 • Municipal clerkSanabel Abouzeina[6]
Area
 • Total38.88 sq mi (100.71 km2)
 • Land38.65 sq mi (100.11 km2)
 • Water0.23 sq mi (0.59 km2)  0.59%
Area rank59th of 565 in state
4th of 53 in county[1]
Elevation118 ft (36 m)
Population
 • Total36,184
 • Estimate 
(2019)[12]
34,624
 • Rank62nd of 566 in state
5th of 53 in county[13]
 • Density939.8/sq mi (362.9/km2)
 • Density rank393rd of 566 in state
45th of 53 in county[13]
Time zoneUTC– 05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC– 04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)732/848 and 908 (mobile)[16]
FIPS code3402525230[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID0882116[1][19]
Websitetwp.freehold.nj.us

Freehold Township is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The township is located within the Raritan Valley region and is a bedroom suburb for New York City commuters in the much larger New York Metropolitan Area and a regional commercial hub for Central New Jersey.[20] The township is located roughly 35 miles (56 km) away from Manhattan and about 15 miles (24 km) away from Staten Island.[21][22] As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 36,184,[9][10][11] 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.[23]

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.[24][25] 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.[26]

The Battle of Monmouth was fought in June 1778 in what has been preserved as Monmouth Battlefield State Park, which is in Freehold Township and Manalapan Township.[27]

History

Early history

The Lenni Lenape Native Americans were the earliest known people to live in the area that became Freehold.[28] 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.[29]

In 1498, John Cabot became the first European to sight this land.[28] By the late 17th century, the English had begun to take 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 Presbyterians from Scotland, along with English Baptists and Quakers from New England fleeing religious persecution at home, became the first to settle within the area.[28][30] In 1693, Along with Middletown and Shrewsbury, Freehold was established by act of legislature as one of the three original townships in Monmouth County.[31] The name of the township comes from the word freehold, an English legal term describing fee simple property ownership.[32]

Colonial Freehold

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's offer to sell the property to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at a heavily discounted price may have been the deciding factor in choosing Freehold—rather than Middletown or Shrewsbury—as the site of the county seat. As part of the deal, 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.[33]

Moore's Tavern in the historic district of West Freehold. A mainstay in the township since 1787
Moore's Tavern in the historic district of West Freehold. A mainstay in the township since 1787

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.[34] A small village quickly began to develop around the courthouse. At first, the village was called Monmouth Courthouse. Over time, 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.[35]

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.[29] The differences within Freehold between the growing settlement 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.[36] In modern Freehold, many important streets bear the name of early colonial families, including Barkalow, Applegate, Rhea, Throckmorton, and Schanck.[36]

The Revolutionary War in Freehold

This 18th Century home, also known as the Craig House, was quartered by British troops during the Battle of Monmouth[37]
This 18th Century home, also known as the Craig House, was quartered by British troops during the Battle of Monmouth[37]

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.[38] In 1775, immediately after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Capt. Elias Longstreet recruited the first company of Freeholders to join the Continental Army.[39] 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.[36]

However, after British success at the Battle of Long Island, Freehold and all of Monmouth County fell under the control of Loyalists.[40] 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.[40] The success of the Continental Army at the Battle of Trenton helped to weaken loyalist control of Freehold.[41]

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.[42] 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.[42]

Molly Pitcher fighting at the Battle of Monmouth in Freehold, New Jersey
Molly Pitcher fighting at the Battle of Monmouth in Freehold, New Jersey

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.[43] Another famous figure at the Battle of Monmouth was Molly Pitcher, who manned a cannon during the battle after her husband was wounded.[43]

In the aftermath of the Battle of Monmouth, Loyalist control of Freehold faltered. The township 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.[44] Colonel Tye, was an escaped slave formerly named Titus, and the leader of a prominent loyalist guerrilla 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.[45] Patriots later cut down Huddy's body hanging from the gallows and buried it in Freehold, at Old Tennent Church.[46] 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.[47]

19th-century Freehold

During the early 1800s, Freehold steadily grew in size. The village around the courthouse was now called Freehold, along with the surrounding farmland.[48] 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.[48] 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 benefited greatly by being able to sell their products more easily in New York and Philadelphia.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]

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 to 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.[52]

Town Hall in Freehold Township, located on Schanck Road
Town Hall in Freehold Township, located on Schanck Road

Freehold divided

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.[53] 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.[54] 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.[26] 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.[55] 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.[55]

The Township in the 20th century

Freehold Township 911 Memorial located near Town Hall on Schanck Road
Freehold Township 911 Memorial located near Town Hall on Schanck Road

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[56] and 3M in 1957.[57] In 1971, a major medical complex, originally called Freehold Area Hospital, and today called CentraState Medical Center, opened in the Township.[56] Not all industrial developments in the Township were positive. In 1983, the United States Environmental Protection Agency designated the Lone Pine Chemical Site in the Township as a Superfund site, one of the worst environmental disasters in the country.[58] In 1990, with the opening of Freehold Raceway Mall, the second-largest mall in the state, the Township became a premier commercial center for Central New Jersey.[59]

As the Township grew, Route 33 which ran through the heart of Freehold, became increasingly congested, and studies suggested the 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 continued to worsen. 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.[60][61]

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.[62]

Geography

Lake Topanemus during the autumn months
Lake Topanemus during the autumn months

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 38.88 square miles (100.71 km2), including 38.65 square miles (100.11 km2) of land and 0.23 square miles (0.59 km2) of water (0.59%).[1][2]

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.[63] The township borders Colts Neck Township, Howell Township, Manalapan Township, Marlboro Township and Millstone Township in Monmouth County; and Jackson Township in Ocean County.[64][65][66] The municipality of Upper Freehold Township is not connected, geographically or politically, to Freehold Township.

East Freehold (2010 Census population of 4,894[67]) and West Freehold (13,613 as of 2010[68]) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places located within Freehold Township.[69][70]

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Blue Ball, Burlington Heights,[citation needed] Georgia, Orchard Estates,[citation needed] Siloam, Smithburg,[citation needed] Southburg, Stonehurst East[citation needed] and Stonehurst West.[citation needed][71]

The West Freehold neighborhood of Freehold Township
The West Freehold neighborhood of Freehold Township

Ecology

According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Freehold Township, New Jersey would have an Appalachian Oak (104) vegetation type with an Eastern Hardwood Forest (25) vegetation form.[72]

Major bodies of water

Due to the township's location in New Jersey, it is the home of numerous headwaters for various important rivers, brooks, and streams that flow throughout the state. The township is located on a ridge within the geographic heartland of New Jersey,[73][74][75][76][77] as most sections of the township fall within the hillier terrain and fertile soil found in the Inner coastal plain, while the southeastern sections of the township fall within the more flat terrain and sandier soil found in the Outer coastal plain.

The township is located within the much larger Raritan Valley region (as many of its brooks and streams flow into the aforementioned river), while also being located relatively close to the Raritan Bay. The township is also closely tied to the Jersey Shore region, being located about 16 miles (26 km) west of Asbury Park.[78] The township also encompasses some of the northern-most stretches of the Pine Barrens. Notable bodies of water within the township include:

Lakes

The 17 acre lake at Turkey Swamp Park
The 17 acre lake at Turkey Swamp Park

Rivers

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
17903,785
18104,784
18205,1467.6%
18305,4816.5%
18406,30315.0%
18502,642*−58.1%
18603,81144.2%
18704,23111.0%
18801,870*−55.8%
18902,16515.8%
19002,2343.2%
19102,3294.3%
19201,498*−35.7%
19301,72014.8%
19402,45943.0%
19503,44240.0%
19604,77938.8%
197013,185175.9%
198019,20245.6%
199024,71028.7%
200031,53727.6%
201036,18414.7%
2019 (est.)34,624[12][88][89]−4.3%
Population sources:
1800–1920[90] 1840[91] 1850–1870[92]
1850[93] 1870[94] 1880–1890[95]
1890–1910[96] 1910–1930[97]
1930–1990[98] 2000[99][100] 2010[9][10][11]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[26]

2010 Census

The 2010 United States Census counted 36,184 people, 12,577 households, and 9,382 families 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 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.[9]

Of the 12,577 households, 36.7% had children under the age of 18; 61.4% were married couples living together; 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present and 25.4% were non-families. Of all households, 21.7% 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.[9]

24.3% of the population were 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, the population had 97.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 96.9 males.[9]

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.[101]

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] 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.[99][100]

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.[99][100]

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.[99][100]

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.[99][100]

Economy

Shopping plaza in Freehold
Shopping plaza in Freehold

Due to suburbanization within the township, its convenient location near the Jersey Shore, and location to cities such as New York City, Trenton, and Philadelphia, the township has been a longtime premier shopping destination in the Central Jersey region.[59]

Agriculture

Battleview Orchards
Battleview Orchards

Despite suburbanization in recent decades, the township's agricultural roots have still been preserved. There are numerous crop farms, thoroughbred farms, nurseries, and orchards in the township. Notable farms in the township include Brock Farms,[102] Battleview Orchards,[103] Clayton Family Farm,[104] Crawford Farms,[105] the historic Oakley Farm,[106] and Wemrock Orchards.[107] There are also wineries that are nearby the township, including Four JG's Orchards & Vineyards in Colts Neck, Cream Ridge Winery in Cream Ridge, and Working Dog Winery in Robbinsville Township.

Commerce

Foot traffic at Freehold Raceway Mall on a weekday afternoon. Pictured Late 2019
Foot traffic at Freehold Raceway Mall on a weekday afternoon. Pictured Late 2019

Established in 1853, making it the nation's oldest half-mile harness racing track, Freehold Raceway offers horse lovers and bettors an opportunity to see harness racing.[108]

Across from the Freehold Raceway over U.S. 9 is the Freehold Raceway Mall, a super-regional high-end shopping mall with a gross leasable area of 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2),[109] making it the second-largest mall in the state, behind Westfield Garden State Plaza.[110]

Outside of the Freehold Raceway Mall, the township itself has many other shopping malls and plazas. Diane & Co. is a dress shop that has been featured on the Oxygen Network's show Jersey Couture.[111]

iPlay America is an indoor family entertainment and event center that opened in November 2011, offering rides, arcade and carnival games, laser tag, and shops and restaurants.[112][113]

Main Street

Freehold Borough (which the township surrounds) is home to Downtown Freehold, located on East and West Main Street (County Route 537). This downtown section has various eateries, bars, boutiques, historical sites, and other excursions. Within this section of town, there have been plans to revitalize the downtown area, as outlined in the Freehold Center Core Revitalization Plan (2008),[114][115] in which NJ Transit has sponsored a project in transforming the Freehold Center Bus Station into a Transit Village.[116] This new designation would foster in the creation of a transit-oriented development zoning district around by the Freehold Center Bus Station between West Main Street (County Route 537) and Throckmorton Street (County Route 522). This would have a huge positive impact to the Freehold area economy.

There are many other shopping destinations right outside of the Freeholds region, including the Manalapan EpiCentre (formerly, the Manalapan Mall) in Manalapan and the Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson.

Sports

Youth of Freehold playing soccer
Youth of Freehold playing soccer

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.[117]

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.[118]

Parks and recreation

Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Monmouth Battlefield State Park

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.[119]

The southernmost segment of the Henry Hudson Trail also starts in the township and is used by walkers, runners and bicyclists.[120]

Michael J. Tighe Park was formerly known as Liberty Oak Park, the park having been renamed in 2001.[121]

Government

Local government

Freehold Township is governed under the Township form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 141 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form, the second-most commonly used form of government in the state.[122] The Township Committee is comprised of five members, who are 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.[7][123] 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.[124]

As of 2020, the members of the Township Committee are Mayor Lester A. Preston Jr. (R, term on committee and as mayor ends December 31, 2020), Deputy Mayor Thomas L. Cook (R, term on committee ends 2021; term as deputy mayor ends 2020), Anthony J. Ammiano (R, 2021), Maureen Fasano (R, 2022) and Alan C. Walker (R, 2020; appointed to serve an unexpired term).[3][125][126][127][128][129]

In January 2020, the Township Committee appointed Alan C. Walker to fill the seat expiring in December 2020 that had become vacant following the resignation of David M. Salkin.[130]

Federal, state and county representation

Freehold Township is located in the 4th Congressional District[131] and is part of New Jersey's 11th state legislative district.[10][132][133] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Freehold Township had been in the 12th state legislative district.[134] 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.[134]

For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Chris Smith (R, Hamilton Township).[135][136] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[137] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[138][139]

For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 11th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Vin Gopal (D, Long Branch) and in the General Assembly by Joann Downey (D, Freehold Township) and Eric Houghtaling (D, Neptune Township).[140][141]

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.[142] As of 2020, Monmouth County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2022; term as freeholder director ends 2021),[143] Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley (R, Hazlet Township, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2021; term as deputy freeholder director ends 2021),[144] Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township, 2020),[145] Nick DiRocco (R, Wall Township, 2022),[146] and Patrick G. Impreveduto (R, Holmdel Township, 2020)[147].

Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon (R, 2020; Ocean Township),[148][149] Sheriff Shaun Golden (R, 2022; Howell Township),[150][151] and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (R, 2021; Middletown Township).[152][153]

Politics

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.[154]

In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 55.6% of the vote (9,972 cast), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 41.3% (7,410 votes), and other candidates with 3.1% (560 votes), among the 17,942 ballots cast by the township's voters. 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%.[155][156] 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%.[157] 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.[158]

In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Republican Kim Guadagno received 57.7% of the vote (6,060 cast), ahead of Democrat Phil Murphy with 40.4% (4,246 votes). 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%.[159][160] 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.[161]

Education

Public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are educated by the Freehold Township Schools.[162] As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of eight schools, had an enrollment of 3,737 students and 329.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1.[163] Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[164]) are Early Childhood Learning Center[165] (97 students; in grades PreK), C. Richard Applegate School[166] (424; K-5), Joseph J. Catena School[167] (488; K-5), Laura Donovan School[168] (436; K-5), Marshall W. Errickson School[169] (435; K-5), West Freehold School[170] (501; K-5), Clifton T. Barkalow School[171] (661; 6–8) and Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School[172] (686; 6–8).[173][174]

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 (FRHSD)[175] The district also serves students from Colts Neck Township, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Howell Township, Manalapan Township and Marlboro Township.[176][177] Freehold Township High School is home to the Contemporary Global Studies Learning Center and Freehold High School hosts the Medical Sciences Learning Center; each program admits students on a selective basis from all over the Freehold Regional High School District.[178] of the 2018–19 school year, Freehold Township High School had an enrollment of 2,043 students and 137.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.9:1,[179] while Freehold Borough High School had an enrollment of 1,422 students and 103.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.7:1.[180] The FRHSD board of education has nine members, who are elected to three-year terms from each of the constituent districts.[181] Each member is allocated a fraction of a vote that totals to nine points, with Freehold Township allocated one member, who has 1.4 votes.[182]

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.[183]

Rutgers University, in partnership with Brookdale Community College offers several bachelor's degree completion programs at Brookdale's Freehold Campus.[184]

Infrastructure

Transportation

Roads and highways

US 9, the largest and busiest highway in Freehold Township
US 9, the largest and busiest highway in Freehold Township

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 200.13 miles (322.08 km) of roadways, of which 158.62 miles (255.27 km) were maintained by the municipality, 26.49 miles (42.63 km) by Monmouth County and 15.02 miles (24.17 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[185]

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 522, 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 in Tinton Falls. The New Jersey Turnpike entrance at exit 8 is about ten miles west on Route 33 in East Windsor.

Public transportation

The railroad that ran through Freehold Borough and Freehold Township was originally a Central Railroad of New Jersey branch connecting the still-active former Penn Central line from Jamesburg to CNJ's Seashore Branch and the New York and Long Branch line (now owned by NJ Transit) at Matawan. The Central Railroad of New Jersey went into bankruptcy in the early 1970s and entered into Conrail on April 1, 1976. Freight service on the rails from Freehold to Matawan was terminated in 1979 and the rails removed in 1980. Today, it is mostly a rail-trail. The Monmouth Ocean Middlesex Line is a New Jersey Transit proposal to restore passenger service to the region.

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 Liberty International Airport and the City of Newark at large on the 67 route, to Jersey City on the 64 and 67, as well as to Six Flags Great Adventure and shopping via local service on the 833, 836 and 307 routes.[186] 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.

Healthcare

CentraState Medical Center is affiliated with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The facility has 284 beds and is part of CentraState Healthcare System, the county's fourth-largest employer.[187]

Points of interest

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Freehold Township include:

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  137. ^ About Cory Booker, United States Senate. Accessed January 26, 2015. "He now owns a home and lives in Newark's Central Ward community."
  138. ^ Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "He currently lives in Paramus and has two children, Alicia and Robert."
  139. ^ Senators of the 116th Congress from New Jersey. United States Senate. Accessed April 17, 2019. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
  140. ^ Legislative Roster 2018-2019 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 22, 2018.
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  143. ^ Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  144. ^ Freeholder Susan M. Kiley, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  145. ^ Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  146. ^ Freeholder John P. Curley, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  147. ^ Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed February 18, 2018.
  148. ^ The Monmouth County Clerk, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  149. ^ Members List: Clerks, Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  150. ^ About Sheriff Shaun Golden, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  151. ^ Members List: Sheriffs, Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  152. ^ About the Surrogate, Monmouth County New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
  153. ^ Members List: Surrogates, Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey. Accessed May 18, 2020.
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  163. ^ District information for Freehold Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
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  165. ^ Early Childhood Learning Center, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
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  167. ^ Joseph J. Catena School, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
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  169. ^ Marshall W. Errickson School, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  170. ^ West Freehold School, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  171. ^ Clifton T. Barkalow School, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  172. ^ Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School, Freehold Township Schools. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  173. ^ County School List E-G, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  174. ^ New Jersey School Directory for Freehold Township Schools, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
  175. ^ FRHSD Attendance Boundaries; Which High School Will My Child Attend?, Freehold Regional High School District. Accessed May 31, 2020. "The following is a list of streets, by municipality, that are assigned to a Freehold Regional District high school outside of their hometown."
  176. ^ Freehold Regional High School District 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 31, 2020. "The Freehold Regional High School District, the largest regional high school District in New Jersey, has six high schools with over 11,000 students and over 1,500 employees and spans 200 square miles. District members include the townships of Colts Neck, Freehold, Howell, Manalapan, and Marlboro, and the boroughs of Englishtown, Farmingdale, and Freehold."
  177. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Freehold Regional High School District, New Jersey Department of Education, June 30, 2019. Accessed May 31, 2020. "Geographically, the District is comprised of the Townships of Colts Neck, Freehold, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro and the Boroughs of Englishtown, Farmingdale and Freehold. Established in 1953, the District's total area is 198 square miles. As of the October 2019 student count, there were 10,587 resident students."
  178. ^ Specialized Learning Centers, Freehold Regional High School District. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  179. ^ School data for Freehold Township High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  180. ^ School data for Freehold Borough High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  181. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Freehold Regional School District, New Jersey Department of Education, June 30, 2018. Accessed January 19, 2020. "The Freehold Regional High School District is a Type II District located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The School District is an instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, established to function as an educational institution. The Board of Education of the Freehold Regional High School District, comprised of nine elected individuals, is the primary governing authority of the District."
  182. ^ Vilacoba, Karl. "Marlboro files challenge to FRHSD voting system", Central Jersey Archives, September 26, 2002. Accessed January 19, 2020. "Under the current weighted FRHSD vote apportionment, a nine-point voting system is in place. Howell has two board members for a combined 2 voting points; Marlboro, Manalapan and Freehold Township each have one vote worth 1.4 points; Colts Neck and Freehold Borough each have one vote worth 0.9 points; and Englishtown and Farmingdale each have one vote worth 0.5 voting points."
  183. ^ About, Monmouth County Vocational School District. Accessed September 8, 2013.
  184. ^ Brookdale, Rutgers University. Accessed December 17, 2011.
  185. ^ Monmouth County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 24, 2014.
  186. ^ Monmouth County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 26, 2010. Accessed July 15, 2016.
  187. ^ Who We Are, CentraState Medical Center. Accessed March 20, 2020.
  188. ^ Home page, Maplewood Cemetery, Freehold, New Jersey. Accessed December 4, 2012. "Maplewood Cemetery was established in the late 1800s and serves as the final resting place of two NJ Governors, Joel Parker and Joseph D. Bedle. Many Union Army officers, including Edwin Applegate and Peter Vredenburgh Jr. rest here as well."
  189. ^ Danny Bohn Finds New Home With Fleming Family for 2016 Southern Modified Season Race Chaser Online. Accessed July 29, 2019.
  190. ^ Staff. "Brach's no-hitter paces Hawks' win", Atlanticville, April 19, 2007. Accessed January 6, 2017. "Brad Brach did something no Monmouth University pitcher has done in 17 years, pitch a no-hitter.... The Hawks' ace, a junior from Freehold Township, was two outs from a perfect game when he issued a walk to the Blackbirds' Dan Etkin with one out in the ninth on a 3–2 pitch...."
  191. ^ DiComo, Anthony; and Langs, Sarah. "Brach joins Mets, says 'the fit's really good here'", Major League Baseball, August 9, 2019. "In a low-risk gamble to improve their bullpen, the Mets on Thursday signed veteran right-hander Brad Brach to a Major League deal. Brach, a Freehold, N.J., native and Monmouth University alumnus, was a Mets fan in his youth and even attended the 2015 World Series after the Orioles were eliminated earlier that season."
  192. ^ Morris, Tim. "Freehold Twp. grad Brikowski catches on with Arena Football", News Transcript, July 25, 2012. Accessed July 13, 2016.
  193. ^ Carino, Jerry. "He overcame cancer, now fights for others", Asbury Park Press, February 23, 2016. Accessed January 14, 2019. "As Dave Cantin remembers it, the diagnosis was delivered in the strangest of manners.... 'I thought, "How can cancer be hitting the lotto?"' the Freehold Township native said."
  194. ^ Danielle Colaprico, Virginia Cavaliers. Accessed June 7, 2016.
  195. ^ Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars. Accessed June 7, 2016.
  196. ^ Maurer, Mark. "'Parks and Recreation' co-producer, writer Katie Dippold: Making people laugh", The Star-Ledger, February 15, 2012. Accessed June 22, 2015. "Parks and Recreation co-producer and staff writer Katie Dippold, a Freehold Township native and Rutgers alumna."
  197. ^ Bios Archived August 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Houghtaling & Downey for Assembly. Accessed August 2, 2016. "A resident of Freehold Township, Joann sees opportunities to make Monmouth County more affordable for middle-class families, preserve and protect our open spaces and clean water, and ensure the future viability of our roads and transportation network to grow our economy to support new jobs."
  198. ^ "Assemblywoman Clare M. Farragher". Archived from the original on February 25, 1998. Retrieved 1998-02-25. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Accessed June 2, 2010.
  199. ^ Celano, Clair Marie. "Freehold Township woman making a run at Survivor title", Atlanticville, April 26, 2016. Accessed May 26, 2016. "Fitzgerald, 25, of Freehold Township, decided at the age of 10 that someday she would be on Survivor and attempt to navigate her way through 39 days of physical and mental challenges against other men and women in a bid to win a $1 million prize."
  200. ^ Morris, Tim. "Gallo captures third Born to Run crown", Central Jersey Archives, December 2, 2009. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Lindsey Gallo was back on familiar terrain for the Born to Run 5-Mile Run in Freehold Borough on Nov. 27. When she was starring at Howell High School and winning state titles, Gallo used to train on the roads near her Freehold Township home that are now used for the Born to Run course."
  201. ^ Staff. "Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal To Seek Beck's Senate Seat", The Monmouth Journal, January 2, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017. "Born in Neptune Township and raised in Freehold Township, Gopal says that it is time for new leadership to tackle New Jersey's grave fiscal problems."
  202. ^ HENDERSON, Thomas, (1743–1824), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 24, 2013.
  203. ^ Howell, William Barberie, Federal Judicial Center. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Born July 5, 1865, in Freehold, NJ"
  204. ^ Monarrez, Carlos. "Ex-Lions running back Dan Lewis dies at 79", Detroit Free Press, March 9, 2015. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Lewis was born in Freehold Township, N.J., but his son said he would be buried in Detroit."
  205. ^ Celano, Claire Marie. "Young author offers tips to audience at workshop: Caren Lissner says love of writing should be first ingredient toward success" Archived March 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, News Transcript, July 30, 2003. Accessed August 25, 2008. "Lissner, 31, grew up in Freehold Township and attended the Laura Donovan School and the Barkalow Middle School.... She later graduated from high school in Old Bridge."
  206. ^ "On the Cover", Asbury Park Press, May 9, 2008. Accessed May 21, 2020. "Speed Racer revs up the thrills (page 9) thanks to special effects and a cast that includes Paulie Litt, 13, of Freehold Township."
  207. ^ "Several factors have led to township's LL success: League has produced three state champions in last two years" Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, News Transcript, August 20, 2002. Accessed June 8, 2007. "The camp not only features Piccola and an outstanding coaching staff, but ex-Township Little Leaguers, such as Val Majewski who is now playing in the Baltimore Orioles minor league chain in Fredericksburg, Va., who come back and instruct the kids the same way they were instructed."
  208. ^ Catello Manzi Profile, United States Trotting Association. Accessed October 16, 2013.
  209. ^ Hanson-Firestone, Dana. "10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rebecca Metz", TVOvermind. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Rebecca was born on September 29, 1974, in Freehold Township, New Jersey.... Freehold Township also happens to be the hometown of singer Bruce Springsteen."
  210. ^ History of the Burlington Path, Township of Freehold. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Joel Parker, who was twice governor of the State of New Jersey, was born in the Smithburg Tavern, which is on the corner of Siloam Road and Route 537. Governor Parker served from 1863–69 and again from 1873–75."
  211. ^ via Associated Press. "Freehold's Kal Penn to work as White House liaison", The Star-Ledger, July 6, 2009. Accessed July 6, 2011. "Actor Kal Penn started a job today as a liaison between the White House and Asian communities. The Indian-American actor from Freehold Township is taking a break from Hollywood to work as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison, with a focus on connecting President Obama with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as arts groups."
  212. ^ Staff. "Freehold Twp. resident to lead state department", Tri-Town News, July 14, 2005. Accessed October 27, 2016. "Freehold Township — A township resident has been named by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey to head up the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA). On July 8, Codey announced the appointment of Charles A. Richman as acting commissioner of the DCA."
  213. ^ John Anderson Scudder (1759–1836), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Scudder, John Anderson, a Representative from New Jersey; born in Freehold, Monmouth County, N.J., March 22, 1759"
  214. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Bravo's 'Jersey Belle' educates people above and below the Mason-Dixon line with new book", The Record, August 1, 2016. Accessed August 2, 2016. "Many Americans first met the loud, funny, outspoken Jaime Primak Sullivan in the 2014 Bravo docu-series Jersey Belle, which followed the Freehold Township-bred entertainment publicist as she navigated life in an upscale Alabama suburb — with the help of Southern-belle friends she'd made there."
  215. ^ John Conover Ten Eyck (1814–1879), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Ten Eyck, John Conover, a Senator from New Jersey; born in Freehold, Monmouth County, N.J., March 12, 1814"
  216. ^ Scannell, John James; and Sackett, William Edgar. Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens: Biographies and Portraits of the Notable Living Men and Women of New Jersey, with Informing Glimpses Into the State's History and Affairs, Volume 2, p. 469, J. J. Scannell, 1919. Accessed December 17, 2020. "William H. Vredenburgh - Freehold - Jurist (Photograph published in Vol. 1, 1917). Born at Freehold, August 19th, 1840; son of Peter and Eleanor (Brinckerhoff) Vrendenburgh"
  217. ^ Emily Wold, Team USA. Accessed August 9, 2019. "Birthplace: Englewood, N.J. Hometown: Freehold, N.J. High School: Freehold Borough High School '12"

Sources

External links

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