History of Carteret
The Borough of Carteret is located in the northeast section of Middlesex County, on Staten Island Sound. It was part of Woodbridge Township until 1906, when by an Act of the Legislature, it became the Borough of Roosevelt. In 1922, the name was again changed to the Borough of Carteret.
The history of Carteret dates back to the pre-Revolution era.
As a naval captain, Sir George Carteret had gained a heroic reputation against North African pirates, liberating English, French, Dutch, and Spanish captives.
He had fought against the Parliamentarians under Cromwell, yet sought the aid of parliament when royalty wished to sell the Isle of Jersey to the French. He became a Knight and a baron. In February Charles I was executed. Carteret ordered Laurens Hamptonne to proclaim Charles II King. When the King rode in state into London on the day before his coronation, Carteret was with him. In 1664 King Charles II granted to James, Duke of York, land in the New World. James, in deeds of lease and release on June 23,24, 1664, gave the land now called New Jersey to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkely.
They Published "The Concessions and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of NOVA CAESAREA," granting the inhabitants representative government and religious freedom.
Sir Philip Carteret was appointed the First Lord Governor.
At the founding of NOVA CAESAREA in 1664, the Amerindians called this land Smoky Point. The Lenni-Lenape, in their farther landerings, came here to hunt, fish, bathe, relax, hold pow-wows. Oldest maps revealed orchards, farms, meandering streams, clean beaches along the Arthur Kill.
Here was peace among the Indian and the White Man.
On a direct route between New York and Philadelphia, Carteret became a favorite excursion area. It is likely that George Washington traveled over the Blazing Star Trail, the main route through this town in past centuries.
Early settlers in the area included the English, Dutch, Swedes, and Scots. The early history of New Jersey was marked with considerable confusion and quarrels over land and trade rights and trouble with the Dutch. Nevertheless, the population continued to increase and there was notable progress. Many farms were developed and they produced a variety of fruits, vegetables, poultry and cattle. The green crop was important enough to make New Jersey one of the "bread colonies." In 1686 Perth Amboy was the port of East Jersey and was selected as its capital. The County of Middlesex was one of the first counties created and a system of courts and grand juries was established.
Prior to the outbreak of the Revolution, the population of New Jersey was estimated at 138,000. The founding of the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University, and Queens College, now Rutgers University, made New Jersey the only colony with more than one college. The Revolutionary War proved a stimulus to agriculture, industry and commerce and a handsome profit was made trading with both the Continental Army and the British. In the early 1800's Carteret was an important community because of its roads leading inland along the waterfront. It was the landing place for ferries which provided transportation to and from New York.
This district was once known as Rahway Neck and was mostly a farming section, inhabited by 15 or 20 families. The splendid waterfront of Staten Island Sound began to attract manufacturing enterprise, and soon a settlement of sufficient importance was developed to warrant the location of a Post Office, which was called Carteret. In 1906 there were two post offices established in the Borough. One in Carteret and the other in the Chrome section. In Roosevelt the first was located at 575 Roosevelt Ave. In Chrome the first was located at 89 Chrome Avenue. In 1922 the two post offices were merged at 66 Cooke Avenue where it is located at present time. When the borough was being incorporated in 1906 cows still were driven to pasture along Roosevelt Avenue, then known as Rahway Avenue. The Ancestor of the bus was the trolley which entered the Carteret scene in the 1900's, the trolley appearing first as a horse drawn vehicle, in turn supplanted the stage coach. The Carteret school system had its beginnings as the first red brick schoolhouse which still stands in West Carteret section.
Carteret in 1906 was a community with front flower gardens surrounded by a countryside with charming scenery and reached by roads on which horse-drawn "road wagons" and family carriages were the mode of traffic.
It was in 1906 when the Borough became incorporated by an act of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey approved April 11, 1906 and accepted by vote of the people on May 1, 1906. Members of the First Governing Body in 1906 were; Mayor Joseph A. Hermann, Councilmem; John A. Bryan, Patrick A. Denlea, Christian Fishback, Herman Gerkel, Robert Jeffreys,William M. Radley and Municipal Clerk James A. Walsh. The name changed to "Borough of Carteret" by election held on November 27, 1922.
The first banking institution was established in 1906, the First National Bank today known as (Perth Amboy) opened its doors in the Chrome section where it did business during the greater part of its existence. They have since built their own building on Cooke Ave. The second banking institution was formed in 1923. The Carteret Bank and Trust Company began operations in a small store and a few years later erected its own building on Cooke Ave. In 1906 Borough Council approved an ordinance creating a police department. Eight men were appointed. Henry J. Harrington, one of the eight was elevated to Sergeant on July 9, 1908. He became the Borough's first police chief. March 1954 Mr. Harrington retired from the police force and George Sheridan, Jr. worked himself up from the ranks and succeeded him as chief. In the 1920's the Fire Co. had horse drawn fire apparatus. These same horses were used daily to haul garbage wagons during the course of the day. If the fire whistle blew they unhitched the horses and raced to the fire.
For years the steamboat, Thomas Hunt made a daily trip between New Brunswick and New York, stopping at Blazing Star and Union Landings in Carteret. Later the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey extended a branch of their road from Elizabeth port through Carteret, to Amboy. This became the favorite route of travel. After several important manufacturing concerns located here and the town exhibited a natural growth, the Central Railroad saw the advantage of having a spur into the heart of a thriving center of trade, Chrome. Hence, the Sound Shore Road was built from Bay Way through Carteret to Chrome.
Reference Material Carteret, New Jersey Bicentennial Showcase (1776-1976) Borough Hall Carteret, New Jersey [R-95 NJ 12 CV]