South Bound Brook is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough’s population was 4,563, reflecting an increase of 71 (+1.6%) from the 4,492 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 307 (+7.3%) from the 4,185 counted in the 1990 Census.
What is now South Bound Brook was originally formed as a town within Franklin Township. On March 16, 1869, the name of the community was changed to Bloomington, which lasted until May 29, 1891, when the name reverted to South Bound Brook town. South Bound Brook was incorporated as an independent borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 11, 1907, based on the results of a referendum held on May 1, 1907.
The area was first settled in 1681 and a community was established near the Bound Brook stream of the same name, which flows into the Raritan River via the Green Brook on the eastern side of the borough. The brook, which was mentioned as a boundary in a Native American deed, provides the source of the borough’s name.
The area was originally a Dutch community with apple orchards and just west peach orchards. The Abraham Staats House (c. 1740), located on the south side of Main Street, served as the headquarters of Baron Von Steuben during the American Revolutionary War. The house today is privately owned.
A wooden bridge over the Raritan River was erected as early as 1761 and named Queen’s Bridge in 1767. Later, it became a covered bridge. During the Revolutionary War, the bridge was used repeatedly by both sides including during the Battle of Bound Brook in 1777. In 1875, the wooden bridge was replaced by a steel pipe truss bridge. More than 100 years later, that bridge was itself replaced by a steel girder bridge in 1984, still using the old pillars. The bridge was renovated and paved in 2007.
At this spot in what on January 4, 1777, General Washington decided to move his troops to Morristown for the winter, thus ending the victorious Trenton-Princeton campaign, rather than attack New Brunswick.
The Battle of Bound Brook, one of the battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign during the American Revolutionary War, occurred on April 13, 1777, and resulted in a defeat for the Continental Army, who were routed by about 4,000 troops under British command.
At dawn on April 13, 1777, Hessian Captain Ewald’s assault over the Queens Bridge spanning the Raritan River between South Bound Brook and Bound Brook was pinned down by “murderous fire” from the American soldiers stationed at half-moon battery. Advancing North along present day Easton Avenue, Hessian Colonel Donop pushed aside American outposts and arrived 15 minutes after Ewald’s attack had faltered. Advancing over the Queens Bridge, Donop’s troops engaged the Americans causing them to retreat from the battery. Donop, Ewald’s, and General Grant’s troops pursued the American troops as they fought through the streets of Bound Brook.
The Reformed Church, also on Main Street (near borough hall) was built in 1848 and has been declared a local historical site by the borough council. Originally called the Dutch Reformed Church of Bound Brook, it has gone through very few changes over the years. A pipe organ received from Andrew Carnegie has been removed, and the stained-glass windows, which had been added well after the original construction. The Reverend Thomas DeWitt Talmadge was a member and preached at the church.
Originally part of Franklin Township and named Bloomington, South Bound Brook was incorporated as a borough by the New Jersey Legislature in 1907.
The main downtown street in South Bound Brook, known as Main Street, has been refurbished with new sidewalks, lighting, signage, and a number of newly renovated stores.
A roofing material manufacturing facility known as GAF Manufacturing was in South Bound Brook for over a century, located along Main Street. The site was dormant for about two decades and sat as an eyesore and reminder of the town’s industrial past. New townhomes have been built on the GAF Manufacturing site, alongside the Delaware and Raritan Canal, which provides the downtown area a new modern look and many new residents.
A new condominium development along Elizabeth Street in the central part of town was finished in 2010.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article South Bound Brook, NJ, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.