The History of Township of Millstone, New Jersey
Millstone Township is located in the southwestern section of Monmouth County New Jersey. The residents still enjoy the beautiful landscape our town's forefathers enjoyed centuries ago. Our first residents were the Lenape Indians. Later the Europeans came to clear land for homesteads, which in turn became our farmlands of today. Our town is named after the Millstone River that originates in the Township. The river was first named by the Lenape Indians as the Mattawong and later renamed by early settlers as Millstone River. Seven waterways originate in this area. Millstone River, Rocky Brook, Ivanhoe Brook, Manalapan Brook, Assunpink Creek, Toms River and Doctors Creek.
Many acts of legislature took place to carve out our boundaries, as we know them today. Millstone Township was formed from surrounding boarders from Freehold, Monroe and Upper Freehold Townships. The municipality was formed and incorporated by an act of legislation on February 28, 1844. It contains a grand total of 23,700 acres or 37.36 miles of rolling countryside located in the heart of New Jersey. It is in the middle of Monroe Township in Middlesex County, Manalapan, Freehold and Upper Freehold in Monmouth County, and Jackson in Ocean County and the borough of Roosevelt and East Windsor in Mercer County.
The Township, in its infancy, was comprised of several historic villages. They were known as Cars Tavern, Holmeson, Smithburg, Sweetman, Bergen Mills, Bairdsville, Stone Tavern, Clarksburg, and Perrineville. The last two remain today as a witness to our past heritage. Clarksburg was said to be settled in the pre-Revolutionary era by an English tanner named Clark. John Perrine purchased a large tract of land north of Clarksburg, which became known as Perrineville.
Our Township is rich in history and we take pride in boasting about our past. During the American Revolutionary War our Township held a secret post for the Continental army. It was called Signal Beacon #21. That was made possible because our landscape contains many high hills. General George Washington used the Rising Sun Tavern as an outpost during the war. The British General Sir Henry Clinton made his headquarters here also. The tavern was our first place of business, accommodating such travelers as Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Bonaparte. Unfortunately, this historic building was lost to age many years ago, and now only exists in pictures and words. It was located on a Stagecoach route and used by many weary travelers as a main route to Philadelphia and a direct route to Freehold. Our two time Governor of New Jersey, Joel Parker, was born in our area. Another piece of history is the fact that President Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed our countryside surrounding so much; he had a presidential retreat here. Our surrounding roads contained stories and folklore filled with riches of our past. One such road is called Paint Island Spring. It was named early in the 1800’s for it’s now long forgotten spring that rest on the side of the road. At one time it was use by the Indians for the attractive colors it produced. Later doctors prescribed its waters for medicinal purposes. It was once so visited that it became a park for all to enjoy.
Today we take an active role in saving our town's heritage. We have two buildings that are listed on the National Register of historic places. They are the Clarksburg Episcopal Methodist Church that was built in 1845 and now owned by the Township. The second is the Clarksburg four-room schoolhouse that was built in 1923 and presently is the new home for all the municipal offices.
Our Township boards and commissions take an active role in keeping safe the principals of what makes Millstone unique among our neighbors. We work hard to keep an equal balance between our farmland and new development. We do our best to save the old along with the new and to keep our countryside green and our waters free from pollution. We call ourselves an "environmentally concerned community", a standard we try very hard to live up to. We also hold that high standard in our school system, and it shows in the fine students and grades it produces. Its no wonder this area is a very desirable place to raise a family. Whether it's preserving the land or the past, we strive to protect the precious gift we call home.