REPOSITORY: MONMOUTH COUNTY ARCHIVES
RECORD GROUP: COUN8600.03
VOLUME: Approximately 13 cubic feet
Historical records from Marlboro were first placed on deposit in the Monmouth County Archives and Records Center on March 12, 2008, pursuant to a municipal resolution and a depository agreement which provide that Marlboro retains ownership of the records and that the Monmouth County Archives can provide access to them. On December 14, 2012, Robyn Miller of the Marlboro Public Library, with the approval of the Marlboro Municipal Clerk, deposited one box of Addison Hobart certificates. Municipal Clerk Alido Manco deposited three boxes of minutes, 1999-2010, on June 2, 2014.
The following historical narrative about Marlboro was prepared by Township Historian Nathan Handlin, for the book, Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County (Freehold: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 2002):
Marlboro Township was created by an act of the State Legislature on February 17, 1848. Marlboro had been part of Freehold Township since the English, Scotch, and Dutch farmers settled in the area in 1693. The early farms and the roads linking them to one another were carved out of the wilderness by the settlers on land granted to them by the Proprietors of New Jersey and purchased from the Lenni‑Lenape people.
The English and Scotch settlers were predominantly of Quaker persuasion. They established a meetinghouse and a cemetery on what is now Topanemus Road. The church later changed its affiliation to the Episcopal faith and became St. Peter's Episcopal Church which is now located in Freehold. The old burial ground still remains on Topanemus Road. In 1692 those of the Presbyterian Faith built a church and burial ground on what is now Gordons Corner Road. The church eventually moved to Tennent where it became known as the Old Tennent Church and played a role in the Revolutionary War. The old Scots Cemetery still remains at its original site.
The Dutch settlers established a Dutch Reformed Church in 1699. The site for its present building on Rte. 520 was acquired in 1709 and the present edifice was erected in 1826. It has been in continuous operation since that time.
Until fairly recently, Marlboro remained a rural agricultural community composed of a number of small hamlets with names like Morganville, Robertsville, Wickatunk, Bradevelt, Topanemus, Hillsdale, Montrose, Bucktown, and Pleasant Valley. Although each had small inns or taverns, the hub of activity centered on what is still referred to as Marlboro Village. This is the area around the intersection of Main Street (Route 79) and School Road.
The name Marlboro came from the discovery of marl on a farm just east of the village in 1768. Marl is composed of the remains of prehistoric fish, clams, etc., from the period when New Jersey was part of the ocean bed. Farmers used marl to improve productivity of the soil in the days before commercial fertilizers were available. The heavy demand for marl from all parts of the country spawned one of Marlboro's first industries.
During the Revolutionary War, Marlboro was the scene of many skirmishes between British troops and the Monmouth militia. The British often foraged for food in the area around Pleasant Valley Road. The area was referred to as the "Hornet's nest" because of the intensity of the militia's attacks on the British. Beacon Hill (of present day Beacon Hill Road) had a commanding view of Raritan Bay and was one of three Monmouth County sites where beacons were placed to warn the residents and the Continental forces if the enemy should approach by the bay. There was also considerable activity in the Montrose area of the Township as British troops, retreating from the Battle of Monmouth, tried to wind their way to ships lying off Sandy Hook.
One of the leading military officers of Monmouth County was Col. Asher Holmes. Not only did he head up the Monmouth County militia, but he and his men participated in battles in other areas as well. Holmes later served as sheriff of Monmouth County and lived on Pleasant Valley Road in Marlboro for thirty years.
At the time of its incorporation as a township in 1848, Marlboro had a population of about 1,500. By the time of the Census of 1880, the population had grown to 2,000. Dairy farming and the growing of potatoes, tomatoes, and apples were the mainstays of Marlboro's economy. Following its incorporation, roads were improved and a railroad line was laid connecting the Township of Freehold on the south and to Matawan and New York on the north. This was a boon to local farmers who now had better access to the larger marketplaces.
After World War II, as the State and the County started to build new roads and improve on existing ones, the Township began to change from a rural to a suburban community. The first large‑scale housing development was built in the 1960s and building continued at a rapid pace. By the 1990 Census the population had grown to 28,000 and is today estimated to be close to 40,000.
In the latter part of the 19th century and the 20th century there was an influx of Irish and Italian immigrants who continued to farm the land. For the most part, they were Roman Catholics that led to the establishment of St. Gabriel's R.C. Church now located on Route 79. Previously, a Methodist Church had also been established on Route 79 in the Morganville section of the Township. As the Township began to change from a rural to a suburban community, Jewish residents began to settle in the area, leading to the construction of one synagogue in the 1970s and one in the 1980s.
The Township, with convenient access to Route 9 on the west and Route 34 on the east, is also bisected by Route 79 north and south and by Route 18 running from northwest to the southeast. Since 1963 the Township has operated under the Mayor‑Council form of government.
Scope and Content
The records consist of ten record cartons of textual material, of which more than 90% are minutes of the town council. Most of the items in the following list are bound but some are in folders.