East Brunswick, New Jersey

This article is about the township in New Jersey. For the suburb in Melbourne, Victoria see Brunswick East, Victoria.

East Brunswick is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The township is considered a suburb of New York City, and to a lesser degree Philadelphia, and is located on the southern shores of the Raritan River, and is directly adjacent to the city of New Brunswick. According to the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 47,512, reflecting an increase of 756 (+1.6%) from the 46,756 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,208 (+7.4%) from the 43,548 counted in the 1990 Census.

East Brunswick was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1860, from portions of both Monroe Township and North Brunswick Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Washington town within the township (February 23, 1870; became independent as South River on February 28, 1898), Helmetta (March 20, 1888), Milltown (January 29, 1889) and Spotswood (April 15, 1908).

As of the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau calculated that New Jersey's center of population was located a few hundred feet east of Nenninger Lane, near the New Jersey Turnpike. Based on the results of the 2000 Census, the state's center of population was located on Milltown Road in East Brunswick.


East Brunswick, New Jersey

The general area of central New Jersey was once occupied by the Lenape Native Americans. According to a 1677 bill of sale now in the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas Lawrence, a New York baker, purchased thousands of acres of land from local Native Americans named Querameck, Kesyacs, Isarick, Metapis, Peckawan, and Turantecas. In this document, the area is called Piscopeek, which later become known as Lawrence Brook, after its purchaser. Around the late 17th century, settlers began arriving in the northern part of East Brunswick, and by the mid-19th century, a small village had formed in the southeastern part, known as the Old Bridge section of the town, an area that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

The area today known as East Brunswick was incorporated in 1860 from parts of North Brunswick and Monroe townships, including the community of Old Bridge. Originally a farming community, suburban settlement started in the 1930s with improved road access. Large scale housing and road construction, especially after World War II, transformed East Brunswick into a more suburban community. The extension of the New Jersey Turnpike to East Brunswick in 1952 led to a sharp spike in population growth, with the 1950 Census population of 5,699 more than tripling to 19,965 as of the 1960 enumeration.

In the early 1970s a citizens group Concerned Citizens of East Brunswick sued the New Jersey Turnpike Authority over a proposed major widening project. The citizens group effectively won this case gaining concessions in turnpike design, scale and mitigation measures for noise and air quality. The citizens group presented technical data from their own experts and prevailed in what was one of the earliest technical confrontations regarding urban highway design related to environmental factors in U.S. history.

East Brunswick was also the site of the gunfight at Turnpike exit 9 shortly after midnight on May 2, 1973, in which a car being driven by Zayd Malik Shakur (born James F. Costan), with Assata Shakur (formerly JoAnne Chesimard) and Sundiata Acoli (born Clark Squire) as passengers, was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike State Trooper James Harper, backed up by Trooper Werner Foerster in a second patrol vehicle. After Zayd Shakur was asked to step out of the car to address a discrepancy in his identification, a shootout ensued in which Trooper Foerster was shot twice in the head with his own gun and killed, Zayd Shakur was killed, and both Assata Shakur and Trooper Harper were wounded.


East Brunswick, New Jersey

East Brunswick is located at 40°25′34″N 74°25′06″W (40.426247,-74.418244). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 22.270 square miles (57.679 km2), of which 21.699 square miles (56.200 km2) was land and 0.571 square miles (1.479 km2) of it (2.56%) was water.

The township lies on exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike. Its Municipal Building, named for 1970s Mayor Jean Walling, is located 31 miles (50 km) southwest of New York City's Times Square and 49 miles (79 km) northeast of Center City, Philadelphia. It takes approximately 45â€"60 minutes to reach New York City and Center City, Philadelphia, depending on traffic and destination within the cities. Route 18 runs through the eastern part of the township.

Lawrence Brook, a tributary of the Raritan River, runs along the western border of the township. Farrington Lake and Westons Mill Pond are sections of the Lawrence Brook that have been widened by the presence of man-made dams.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names within the township include Brookview, Dunhams Corner, Fairview Knolls, Farrington Lake Heights, Gillilandtown, Halls Corner, Herberts, Herberts Corner, Herbertsville, Jamesburg Park,, Lawrence Brook, Lawrence Brook Manor, Newton Heights,, Old Bridge, Orchard Heights, Patricks Corner, Paulas Corner, Tanners Corner, Washington Heights and Westons Mills.



2010 Census

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 47,512 people, 16,810 households, and 13,179 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,189.6 per square mile (845.4/km2). There were 17,367 housing units at an average density of 800.4 per square mile (309.0/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 69.36% (32,954) White, 3.98% (1,890) Black or African American, 0.10% (48) Native American, 22.80% (10,835) Asian, 0.01% (6) Pacific Islander, 1.68% (798) from other races, and 2.06% (981) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 6.70% (3,184) of the population.

There were 16,810 households, of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the township, 24.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.5 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $100,655 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,929) and the median family income was $110,948 (+/- $3,838). Males had a median income of $80,527 (+/- $3,109) versus $54,162 (+/- $2,066) for females. The per capita income for the township was $41,518 (+/- $1,366). About 3.0% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 46,756 people, 16,372 households, and 13,081 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,129.7/mi2 (822.4/km2). There were 16,640 housing units at an average density of 758.0/mi2 (292.7/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 77.56% White, 2.83% African American, 0.09% Native American, 16.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.12% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. 4.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 16,372 households, 40.5% included children under the age of 18, 68.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.1% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the township the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $75,956, and the median income for a family was $86,863. Males had a median income of $60,790 versus $38,534 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,286. 2.8% of the population and 2.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 3.1% of those under the age of 18 and 5.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Ancestries included Italian (15.0%), Irish (13.8%), Polish (11.5%), German (10.6%), Russian (7.8%), United States (4.2%).


Local government

The Township of East Brunswick was established in 1860. Since January 1, 1965, the Township has operated under the Mayor-Council Plan E form of government pursuant to the Faulkner Act, Chapter 69A of Title 40 of the New Jersey Statutes.

The Mayor serves part-time as the chief executive of the community who is chosen for a four-year term in an election at the same time as the regular Presidential election in November. The Mayor votes only in the case of a tie on a vote by the Township Council. The Mayor can veto ordinances, but vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the Council. The five-member Township Council is the legislative body. There are five members elected at large for staggered four-year terms at the general election held in even-numbered years. The Council adopts ordinances; adopts a budget after review and revisions; makes appropriations; sets taxes and bond issues; creates and abolishes jobs via ordinance; sets salaries and establishes municipal policy. The Council has the authority to initiate hearings for the purposes of gathering information for ordinance making, airing public problems and supervising the spending of its appropriations.

As of 2015, the Mayor of East Brunswick Township is Republican Party David Stahl, whose term of office ends December 31, 2016. Members of the Township Council are Camille Ferraro (R, 2018), Michael Hughes (R, 2018), James Wendell (R, 2018), Denise Contrino (D, 2016) and Michael Spadafino (D, 2016). In a March 2013 announcement, Mayor Stahl switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and announced that he would be running for the nomination in the 18th Legislative District seat currently held by Barbara Buono.

Republicans took the Town Council for the first time in 14 years in 2010, as Camille Ferraro, Mike Hughes and James Wendell swept the three seats that were up for election, with voter sentiment focused on controversy over a redevelopment plan for a parcel of land known as the "Golden Triangle". Hughes, the youngest council member ever elected, said the stalled project was keeping property taxes disproportionately high on residents and called for revitalization of business.

Federal, state and county representation

East Brunswick Township is located in the 12th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 18th state legislative district.

New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).

For the 2014-15 Session, the 18th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Peter J. Barnes III (D, Edison) and in the General Assembly by Patrick J. Diegnan (D, South Plainfield) and Nancy Pinkin (D, East Brunswick). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).

Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015, Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees), Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration), Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education), Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance), H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health), Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management) and Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township), Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway) and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 31,297 registered voters in East Brunswick Township, of which 9,957 (31.8%) were registered as Democrats, 5,298 (16.9%) were registered as Republicans and 16,024 (51.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 18 voters registered to other parties.

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.9% of the vote (11,848 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 42.8% (9,064 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (275 votes), among the 21,332 ballots cast by the township's 31,870 registered voters (145 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 66.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.3% of the vote (12,817 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 43.0% (9,967 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (238 votes), among the 23,187 ballots cast by the township's 32,144 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.8% of the vote (12,016 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 45.1% (10,069 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (163 votes), among the 22,348 ballots cast by the township's 30,364 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 73.6.

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 62.3% of the vote (7,849 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 36.4% (4,589 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (164 votes), among the 12,731 ballots cast by the township's 31,870 registered voters (129 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 39.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 52.7% of the vote (7,805 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 39.1% (5,799 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.8% (1,007 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (128 votes), among the 14,824 ballots cast by the township's 31,116 registered voters, yielding a 47.6% turnout.


The East Brunswick Public Schools serve students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. All students in kindergarten through grade 5 attend the elementary school closest to them. Schools in the district (with 2013-14 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Bowne-Munro Elementary School (grades K-5; 212 students), Central Elementary School (PreK-5; 426), Murray A. Chittick Elementary School (K-5; 453), Robert A. Frost Elementary School (K-5; 423), Irwin Elementary School (K-5; 459), Lawrence Brook Elementary School (PreK-5; 426), Memorial Elementary School (PreK-5; 499), Warnsdorfer Elementary School (PreK-5; 440), Hammarskjold Middle School for grades 6 and 7 (1,353), Churchill Junior High School for grades eight and nine (1,317) and East Brunswick High School for grades 10-12 (2,238). In the 2012 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the district's high school was ranked 45th in New Jersey, after being ranked 48th statewide in 2011.

Hatikvah International Academy Charter School, a Hebrew language charter school that offers an International Baccalaureate program opened in September 2010 for grades K-2, with plans to add a new grade each year until an eighth grade is offered. A lottery is held each year, with separate draws for residents of East Brunswick Township and non-residents, to allocate the limited number of positions available for each class. The school plans to build a permanent structure as part of the Campus for Jewish Life (formerly known as the YM-YWHA of Raritan Valley) to replace its current facility the school has rented located near Trinity Presbyterian Church. Concerns have been raised regarding the funding for the school, which will come from the East Brunswick Board of Education budget, including $1.34 million for the 2010-11 school year, and that the district will not be able to reduce expenses by the amount that will be paid to the charter school. Hatikvah school officials emphasize that charter schools can often educate students at a lower cost than traditional public schools and that "taxpayers do not pay an extra penny for having a charter school in town, period". The school received $75,000 in grants from foundations to cover the costs of applying for a charter and for getting the school operational. Hatikvah budgeted $11,033 per student for the 2010-11 school year, while the East Brunswick Public Schools budgeted $12,782 per pupil for that same year.

Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley, a Conservative Jewish day school, closed its doors before the start of the 2013-14 school year in the wake of sharply lower enrollment and financial difficulties. During the 2009-10 school year, the school was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.


Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 205.94 miles (331.43 km) of roadways, of which 176.11 miles (283.42 km) were maintained by the municipality, 19.65 miles (31.62 km) by Middlesex County, 5.48 miles (8.82 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.70 miles (7.56 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Route 18 passes through East Brunswick, and is an important artery connecting New Brunswick, U.S. Route 1, the Jersey Shore, and the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 95 (which also passes through the township). Route 18 connects with exit 9 of the Turnpike around mile marker 83.43. Currently, there are 15 lanes at the 9 toll gate. The Turnpike's Joyce Kilmer service area is located between interchanges 8A and 9 northbound at milepost 78.7. Major county roads that pass through include CR 527 and CR 535. Other limited access roads are accessible outside the township, such as the Garden State Parkway in neighboring Sayreville and Old Bridge, and Interstate 287 in neighboring Edison Township.

The Turnpike's "dual-dual" configuration (car-only and truck lanes) was extended from exit 10 in Edison Township to just south of exit 9 in 1973, then to exit 8A in 1990, and finally to exit 6 in 2014.

Public transportation

New Jersey Transit bus service is provided on the 138 route to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 68 to Jersey City, and on the 811, 815 and 818 local routes. The MCAT shuttle system also provides local service.

Suburban Transit operates to New York City every 10â€"15 minutes from both the Transportation Center and Tower Center; it takes about 30â€"50 minutes depending on traffic. Service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal is available on Line 100 from Princeton and on Line 400 from the Transportation Center, to 59th Street and Madison Avenue on Line 300, to the United Nations on Line 500, and to Wall Street on Line 600.

East Brunswick is 22 miles (35 km) from Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth, via the New Jersey Turnpike. John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens is 33.7 miles (54.2 km) away, traveling via the Belt Parkway after crossing through Staten Island. LaGuardia Airport is 34.3 miles (55.2 km) miles away.

The former Raritan River Railroad, now part of Conrail, runs through the town, where two businesses still receive weekly freight shipments of plastic. There have been proposals to turn the line into a light rail corridor.


  • The Tower Center complex includes two 23-story office towers, a 15-story Hilton Hotel and a Holiday Inn Express hotel, located near the intersection of the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 18. The two towers are among the tallest structures in Central Jersey, and can be seen for several miles.
  • Playhouse 22, East Brunswick's Community Theatre and Performing Arts Center, resides in the multi-purpose Community Arts Center at Heavenly Park, East Brunswick's newest park. Recognized in 2000 as Community Theatre of the Year in New Jersey, Playhouse 22 has staged many hit musicals, dramas, comedies and original works.
  • Farrington Lake and Westons Mill Pond, two segments of Lawrence Brook, are available to canoeists, kayakers and nature lovers.
  • The town also has a public golf course (Tamarack), operated by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority; as well as the Giarmese Farm. The County Fair Grounds, located on Cranbury Road (County Route 535), is where the Middlesex County Fair is held every August for seven days, providing festivities and food for families throughout Central Jersey and surrounding regions.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with East Brunswick include:

  • Jeanie Bryson (born 1958), singer.
  • Catch 22, ska punk band.
  • Chris Cimino, WNBC weatherman.
  • Wally Dallenbach Sr. (born 1936), professional car racer.
  • Steve Dildarian (born 1969), creator, writer, producer, and the voice of HBO's The Life & Times of Tim.
  • Marc Ecko (born 1972), clothing designer.
  • Hallie Kate Eisenberg (born 1992), actress.
  • Jesse Eisenberg (born 1983), actor, starred in The Squid and the Whale, Zombieland, Adventureland and The Social Network.
  • Skott Freedman (born 1979), musician who Billboard Magazine dubbed a "star-in-waiting", and who has released five albums.
  • Irving Freese (born 1903), mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut, and the third Socialist mayor elected in the United States.
  • Margaret Kemble Gage (1734â€"1824), who allegedly spied on her husband General Thomas Gage in order to supply military intelligence to the American Revolutionary Army.
  • God Forbid, heavy metal quintet.
  • Steven Goldman (born 1970), author, columnist for YES Network and Baseball Prospectus.
  • Greg T The Frat Boy, radio personality on Z100.
  • Peter I. Haskell, radio broadcaster on WCBS 880 radio.
  • Dulé Hill (born 1975), actor who has appeared on The West Wing and the USA Network series Psych.
  • Tomas Kalnoky (born 1980), singer and guitarist of Streetlight Manifesto and formerly Catch 22.
  • Mindy Kleinberg, one of the "Jersey Widows" who were vocal in demanding an official investigation into the intelligence failures which led to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Coleman Mellett (1974â€"2009), jazz guitarist.
  • Anne Milgram, New Jersey Attorney General from June 2007 to January 2010.
  • Josh Miller (born 1970), NFL Super Bowl-winning punter.
  • Ari Ne'eman (born 1987), autism rights activist.
  • Heather O'Reilly (born 1985), three time Olympic games gold medalist as a member of the United States women's national soccer team.
  • Jack Petruzzelli, guitarist and singer with The Fab Faux, a Beatles tribute band.
  • Matt Pinfield (born 1966), MTV VJ and writer for Rolling Stone.
  • Badal Roy (born 1945), tabla player.
  • April Saul (born 1955), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles written for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Brian Selznick (born 1966), author and illustrator of children's literature.
  • Jack Sinagra (born 1950), former mayor of East Brunswick and New Jersey State Senator.
  • Philip Streczyk, World War II hero.
  • Streetlight Manifesto, ska punk band.
  • J. C. Thom (1835â€"1898), artist.
  • Cenk Uygur (born 1970), host of The Young Turks on Current TV.
  • Jim Vallely, Emmy Award winning writer from Arrested Development.
  • Lorie Van Auken, one of the "Jersey Widows" who were vocal in demanding an official investigation into the intelligence failures which led to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Lenny Veltman (born 1967), contestant on The Apprentice.
  • Stefan Weisman (born 1970), composer.
  • Dave Wohl (born 1949), Assistant General Manager of the Boston Celtics.
  • Henrietta Christian Wright (1854â€"1899), writer.
  • Aaron Yoo (born 1979), actor who starred in the film 21.


External links

  • East Brunswick, New Jersey
  • East Brunswick Public Schools
  • East Brunswick Public Schools's 2012â€"13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
  • School Data for the East Brunswick Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
  • East Brunswick Public Library
  • East Brunswick History
  • Local History - Facsimile of the 1677 Bill of Sale
  • East Brunswick Directory
  • East Brunswick Rescue Squad
  • East Brunswick Fire District #1
  • East Brunswick Independent Fire Company/Fire District #2
  • East Brunswick Fire District #3
  • East Brunswick Police Department
  • Tower Center complex
  • Scenic Lawrence Brook(pictures)
  • EastBrunswickLiving.com A community website for East Brunswick.
  • Playhouse 22, East Brunswick's own community theatre

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