Township shrinks from area giant over 3 centuries

Discussion in 'Newspaper Articles' started by Ben Ruset, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    http://www.app.com/app/story/0,21625,886152,00.html

    Published in the Asbury Park Press 1/12/04
    By ED PRINCE
    STAFF WRITER
    Call it the incredible shrinking township. Once a geographic giant encompassing most of present-day Monmouth and Ocean counties, Shrewsbury Township has been whittled away over the centuries to one of the state's smallest towns, a village of three streets and a single store.

    One of the three original towns of Monmouth County, Shrewsbury Township was created in 1693 along with Middletown and Freehold townships.

    Monmouth, which had been formed in 1664, included most of present-day Ocean County. Middletown covered the northern part of the county, Freehold the west, and Shrewsbury the rest.

    Extending from the Navesink River to Little Egg Harbor, Shrewsbury Township soon began to splinter as settlers arrived and sought their own local governments.

    The first to secede was Upper Freehold Township, formed in 1730 from sections of both Shrewsbury and Freehold townships.

    Stafford -- including present-day Eagleswood and Waretown -- split off in 1749.

    Carved out in 1767, Dover Township included present-day Manchester, Berkeley, Lacey, Lakewood, Jackson and Plumsted townships, part of Brick Township, and the boroughs of Island Heights, Beachwood, South Toms River, Ocean Gate and Pine Beach.

    Howell Township was formed in 1801. Its own progeny would include Wall Township and the boroughs of Farmingdale, Belmar, Manasquan, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Brielle, South Belmar and Spring Lake Heights.

    Atlantic Township, which later changed its name to Colts Neck, left in 1847.

    Ocean Township, created in 1849, eventually gave rise to Eatontown, Oceanport, West Long Branch, Neptune Township, Neptune City, Bradley Beach, Asbury Park, Avon, Ocean Grove, Sea Bright, Deal, Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Interlaken and Loch Arbour.

    The process didn't stop after the 19th century.

    Shrewsbury broke off in 1926, and New Shrewsbury, a borough that later changed its name to Tinton Falls, left in 1950.

    All that was left of Shrewsbury Township was less than a square mile of military housing built for nearby Fort Monmouth -- an enclave of three roads with a single entrance off of Shrewsbury Avenue.

    Today the tiny township comprises three housing developments: the Alfred Vail Mutual Association, 265 units of former military housing built in the 1940s; the Shrewsbury Arms Apartments, which has 165 units, and the 120 town houses of Shrewsbury Woods. Total population: slightly more than 1,000.

    The final separation came with a twist on a slogan from the Revolutionary War.

    According to Joyce Fertig, deputy Shrewsbury Township historian, New Shrewsbury property owners resented that residents of the base housing did not have to pay property taxes.

    For a town that was already old when the battle cry "No taxation without representation" rang out, the final cut came with the cry of "No representation without taxation."
     
  2. BarryC

    BarryC Guest

    Hey, cool article. Thanks for posting it.
    Today, if memory serves, the largest municipality (city, township, borough, town) in the state is Hamilton Township, Atlantic County, where Mays Landing is. And Vineland is the largest city in the state, with 69 sq. mi. I'm not sure of the size of Hamilton Twp.
     
  3. JerseyJim

    JerseyJim Explorer

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    The town I live in is 100 square miles
     
  4. bach2yoga

    bach2yoga Guest

    Vineland is 68.7 sq miles.
    What town do you live in? I have always heard that Vineland doesn't have the largest population, but is the largest city in NJ, primarily because of all of the farms. But 100 beats 68.7 :p

    Renee
     
  5. BarryC

    BarryC Guest

    I'd say we can narrow it down to a township anyway. I'm curious.
    Galloway Twp. is pretty big too, but not like Hamilton.
     
  6. JerseyJim

    JerseyJim Explorer

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    I live in the town that is home to Great Adventure, can you guess? :wink:
     
  7. aserdaten

    aserdaten Scout

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    To JerseyJim ---

    For a former resident of Ocean County, you made that one too easy ... Jackson Township. I used to live in both Dover and Brick Townships in the '60's and 70's, before moving to suburban Trenton and finally Bucks County, PA. After retirement in '91 I spent three half-years (mid Spring thru mid Fall) in Whiting, Manchester Township, and eventually full time here in the Daytona Beach area.

    Used to do quite a bit of back road explorations in Jackson back in my younger years, including the Colliers Mills - Lake Success area. Also the perimiter fence around the game preserve at Great Adventure, which was diligently patrolled in those days by the men in the zebra-painted trucks. Interesting time in my life, but seems to be ages ago now.
     
  8. bach2yoga

    bach2yoga Guest

    I checked online and found,
    Hamilton township is the largest by AREA,
    Vineland the largest city by AREA,
    Newark followed by Jersey City largest cities by population.
    Don't know about township population.
    Renee
     
  9. JerseyJim

    JerseyJim Explorer

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    Hi Aserdaten,
    I used to own a house out in Whiting, I loved it out there, but now I bought a Condo where I am now. Sometimes I wish I never sold my house, but anyway I used to love riding my Mountain Bike around in the woods of Whiting, and I have expored behind Great Adventure myself. I also love exporing the Florida Everglades, I get down to Florida twice a year on avaerage.
    Jersey Jim
     
  10. aserdaten

    aserdaten Scout

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    To Renee --

    According to various sources, I believe populations of largest townships are:

    1) Edison, Middlesex Co., 97687
    2) Woodbridge, Middlesex, 97203
    3) Dover, Ocean County, 89706
    4) Hamilton, Mercer County, 87,109

    Am sure the top two are largest in NJ, but it is possible others might have larger populations than Dover or Hamilton.
     
  11. bach2yoga

    bach2yoga Guest

    I think someone just gave birth in Edison, making it 97688. :wink:
    Seriously, thanks, I was wondering!
    PS Got in the mapping book, love it!
    Renee
     
  12. BEHR655

    BEHR655 Piney

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    The town I live in is less than a square mile.
     
  13. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    The smallest town in NJ is Loch Arbor. 0.1 sq miles, population 200.
     
  14. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Ben,

    There is a smaller town in NJ, or I should say Boro. It is the Boro of Tavistock located right near my house. It started as a golf course between the town of Haddonfield and the Boro of Barrington and consists of 175 acres and that includes the golf course.

    http://www.state.nj.us/dep/gis/images/m4m/camco/tavistock_b.html

    One of the founders of the town was Norman Edmund who I worked for years ago. He started the Edmund Scientific company in Barrington in the mid 40's. There are less than thirty residents, and a recent census article in the paper said the population dropped a large percentage because the home owners kids went off to college. The homes are high priced going in the millions of dollars.

    Guy