New Brunswick, New Jersey

New Brunswick
—  City  —
City of New Brunswick
Nickname(s): Hub City
The Healthcare City
Location of New Brunswick in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of New Brunswick, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°29′18″N 74°26′52″W / 40.48833°N °W / 40.48833; -74.44778
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Middlesex
Established December 30, 1730
Incorporated September 1, 1784
Government
 - Type Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)
 - Mayor James M. Cahill
Area
 - Total  dunams (14.9 km2 / 5.8 sq mi)
 - Land
 - Water
Elevation[1]
Population (2009)[2]
 - Total 51,579
 Density
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 08901, 08902, 08903
Area code(s) 732, 848
FIPS code 34-51210[3]
GNIS feature ID 0878725
Website www.cityofnewbrunswick.org

New Brunswick is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey. It is the county seat, and the home of Rutgers University. The city is located on the Northeast Corridor rail line, 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Manhattan, on the southern bank of the Raritan River. The 2006 United States Census Bureau population estimate of New Brunswick was 50,172. The city is also known as "the Healthcare City",[4][5] due to the concentration of medical facilities in Central Jersey, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter's University Hospital, as well as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The corporate offices or production facilities of several large pharmaceutical companies (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb) are also within city limits.

New Brunswick was formed by Royal Charter on December 30, 1730, within other townships in Middlesex County and Somerset County and was reformed by Royal Charter with the same boundaries on February 12, 1763, at which time it was divided into north and south wards. New Brunswick was incorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 1, 1784.[6]

New Brunswick is noted for its rich ethnic heritage. At one time, one quarter of the Hungarian population in New Jersey resided in the city. Today, much of that Hungarian community continues to thrive as well as a growing Hispanic community that has developed around French Street past Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Origins of the name

Originally inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans, the first white settlement at the site of New Brunswick was made in 1681. The settlement here was first called Prigmore's Swamp (1681–97), then Inian's Ferry (1691–1714). In 1714, the young village was given the name New Brunswick after the city of Braunschweig, in state of Lower Saxony, in Germany. Braunschweig was an influential and powerful city in the Hanseatic League, later in the Holy Roman Empire, and was an administrative seat for the Duchy (and later Principality) of Hanover. Shortly after the first settlement of New Brunswick in colonial New Jersey, George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Elector of Hanover, of the House of Hanover (also known as the House of Brunswick), became King George I of Great Britain (1660–1727).

During the Colonial and Early American periods

Centrally located between New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along an early thoroughfare known as the King's Highway and situated along the Raritan River, New Brunswick became an important hub for Colonial travelers and traders. New Brunswick was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784. It was occupied by the British in the winter of 1776-1777 during the Revolutionary War.

The Declaration of Independence (1776) received its third public reading in New Brunswick, after it was publicly read in Philadelphia following its promulgation by the Continental Congress.

The Trustees of Queen's College (now Rutgers University), founded in 1766, voted to locate the young college in New Brunswick, selecting this city over Hackensack, in Bergen County, New Jersey. Classes began in 1771 with one instructor, one sophomore, Matthew Leydt, and several freshmen at a tavern called "The Sign of the Red Lion" on the corner of Albany and Neilson Streets (now the grounds of the Johnson & Johnson corporate headquarters). Classes were held through the American Revolution in various taverns and boarding houses, and at a building known as College Hall on George Street, until Old Queens was erected in 1808. It remains the oldest building on the Rutgers University campus. The Queen's College Grammar School (now Rutgers Preparatory School) was established also in 1766, and shared facilities with the College until 1830, when it located in a building (now known as Alexander Johnston Hall) across College Avenue from Old Queens. After Rutgers University became the state university of New Jersey in 1956, the Trustees of Rutgers divested it of the Rutgers Preparatory School, which relocated in 1957 to an estate purchased from the Colgate-Palmolive Company in Franklin Township in neighboring Somerset County.

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary, founded in 1784, moved to New Brunswick in 1810 sharing its quarters with the fledgling Queen's College (Queens would close from 1810 to 1825 due to financial problems, and reopen in 1825 under the name Rutgers College). The Seminary, due to overcrowding and differences over the mission of Rutgers College as a secular institution, moved to a seven acre (28,000 m2) tract of land less than one-half mile (800 m) west, which it still occupies although the land is now in the middle of Rutgers University's College Avenue campus.

Hungarian community

New Brunswick began attracting a Hungarian immigrant population around the turn of the 20th century. Hungarians were primarily attracted to the city by employment at Johnson & Johnson factories located in the city. Hungarians settled mainly in what today is the second ward.

The immigrant population grew until the end of the early century immigration boom. During the Cold War, the community was revitalized by the decision to house refugees from the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution at Camp Kilmer, in nearby Edison. Even though the Hungarian population has been largely supplanted by newer immigrants, there continues to be a Hungarian Festival in the city held on Somerset Street on the first Saturday of June each year. Many Hungarian institutions set up by the community remain and active in the neighborhood, including: Magyar Reformed Church, Ascension Lutheran Church (Elso Magyar Evangélikus Egyhaz) St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church, St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church, Hungarian American Athletic Club, Aprokfalva Montessori Preschool (Aprokfalva Mindennapos Magyar Óvoda),Széchenyi Hungarian Community School & Kindergarten (Széchenyi Magyar Iskola és Óvoda), Teleki Pál Scout Home, Hungarian American Foundation, Vers Hangja, Hungarian Poetry Group, Bolyai Lecture Series on Arts and Sciences (Bolyai Kör),Hungarian Alumni Association (Magyar Öregdiák Szövetség - Bessenyei György Kör), Hungarian Radio Program, Hungarian Civic Association, Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations of New Brunswick, Csűrdöngölő Folk Dance Ensemble.

Several landmarks in the city also testify to its Hungarian heritage. There is a street and a recreation park named after Louis Kossuth, the famous leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The corner of Somerset Street and Plum Street is named Mindszenty Square where the first ever statue of Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty was erected. A stone memorial to the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution also stands near by.