A Short History of the Borough of Englishtown

Englishtown Historical Committee
Lori Cooke
 

History of the Borough

The earliest record we have of Englishtown is that James Johnston, an Englishman, owned property in the area in 1688. Sometime before 1730 the English family came to Monmouth County and purchased a large tract of fertile land which was named Englishtown after the family.

During the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, Englishtown was the headquarters for the American Army. The Village Inn  (pictured here),  which was built in 1726, was headquarters for General Charles Lee who commanded the army of nearly 5,000 men. In the dining room of this inn, General Washington and Lord Stirling drew up the court martial papers citing Lee for his conduct during and after the battle. The inn served as a stage-coach stop offering food and lodging to the weary travelers between the cities of New York and Philadelphia. In later years it was renowned for it's excellent cuisine.

The night after the battle General Washington and his officers were invited to the home of Moses Laird to partake of a special "collation" prepared by his wife and daughters. This house is now the Hulse Memorial Home, Main Street, which was built by Moses Laird as a two room tavern before the revolution.

In 1777 one of the Monmouth County's main roads ran from Monmouth Court House, now Freehold, to Englishtown and on into Middlesex County. Because Englishtown was on a main highway it became a trading center for the surrounding country side.

In the middle of the eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, Englishtown was a busy, prosperous country town. Many of the houses in town were built in the later part of the eighteen hundreds, and a few remain that were built in the seventeen hundreds. One of these is believed to be the old Municipal Building which originally was a tavern.  On March 10, 2000, the old town hall was demolished to make way for a pocket park.

 

                                                                            Local Historical Sites
                                                            The Village Inn                       circa 1726
                                                            7 Main Street                         circa 1830

                                                            8 Main Street                         circa 1848

                                                          11 Main Street                         circa 1800
                                                          12 Main Street                         circa 1836
                                                          13 Main Street                         circa 1825
                                                          19 Main Street                         circa 1878
                                                          25 Main Street                         pre-revolution
                                                         
50 Main Street                         circa 1860
                                                         
17 Tennent Road                      circa 1850
                                                         
Sanford Park                                1910

Municipal Government
Englishtown is a borough form of government which is most prevalent among the 566 municipalities in the State of New Jersey. The governing body is composed of a mayor, elected for a four year term, and six councilpersons, elected for three year terms.
The mayor retains a veto power over certain resolutions and ordinances, presides over all meetings, and is permitted to vote only in the event of a tie.
The six councilpersons under the Borough Act possess most of the power and, accordingly, usually perform most executive and legislative functions. The Mayor usually divides the council into a number of standing committees, each with chairperson and co-chairperson, encompassing specialized categories depending upon the needs of the borough.
For additional information, see the section of the Borough Council page.


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