Rumson Municipal Records

RECORD GROUP: Municipalities
RECORD SERIES #: 8600.01
SERIES: Rumson
DATES: 1907-2006
VOLUME: Approximately 13 cubic feet

Provenance
 
Historical records from Rumson were 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 Rumson retains ownership of the records and that the Monmouth County Archives can provide access to them.  Additional records were received on May 4, 2009.
 
History
 
The following historical narrative about Rumson was prepared by Borough Historian George H. Moss, Jr., for the book, Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County (Freehold: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 2002):
 
Ancient Indian artifacts, found in Rumson, have been identified and indicate that the area was inhabited almost 4,000 years before the first English settlers arrived here in 1665.
 
Rumson, in historic Monmouth County, was settled in 1665 (the result of a land purchase from Native Americans) and officially declared a Borough in 1907.  It is a pleasant suburban residential community that is uniquely situated on a picturesque peninsula overlooking the ocean.  The Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers bound it.
 
Blessed with this unique location and a natural beauty, the Rumson Peninsula was obviously an attractive site.  Fortunately it has retained much of that natural beauty.  Through the years, it also has earned an unparalleled reputation for valuable and artistic landscaping, which has enhanced and complimented the exceptional architectural endeavors that still exist.
 
By the 1870s, to a great extent, farms gave way to formal estates.  It is these large estates with their magnificent homes and landscaped settings between 1870 and 1930 that underscore the importance of Rumson.  Eminent architects and landscape designers including Bruce Price, Stanford White, Thomas Hastings, and Nathan J. Barrett, designed a number of these estates.
 
In 1889 it was noted,"…the roads and walks throughout are kept in admirable order, the improvements made by summer visitors enhanced, rather than destroyed the natural beauty of this superb peninsula.
In 1903, additional comments stated, "...the famous Rumson Road, known far and wide as New Jersey's beautiful driveway was flanked by velvety lawns, well-kept hedges, luxuriant shrubbery, and flower displays."  It is still kept that way today.
 
Today, smaller homes throughout the Borough also neatly reflect the heritage of the town. Their gardens, trees, lawn, and hedges are a significant ongoing contribution to the natural beauty of Rumson.
Historically, on Rumson Road and Conover Lane, there is a landmark cemetery believed to have been established prior to 1700.  Records indicate that it contains more than 200 burials.  The oldest legible tombstone dates back to 1722.
 
Rumson is also the home of the Sea Bright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club, founded in 1878; it is listed on the National Register and is the oldest club of its type in continued use.
 
Rumson, in earlier times, was known by other names, including Port Washington, Black Point and Oceanic. Today, the Borough of Rumson consists of 5.2 square miles.  It contains 40 miles of roads including 133 streets and five county roads.
 
The Memorial Borough Hall and its property were a gift to the town by then Mayor W. Warren Barbour, in 1927, in memory of his parents.  A new addition named the Charles S. Callman Hall has greatly improved and expanded the use of the Borough Hall.
 
Bingham Hall, the Borough's 158 -year-old historic community center located at 40 Bingham Avenue, is used as a meeting place for various Borough activities, as well as for civic, charitable, and educational groups.
 
For recreational use there are six parks, six tennis courts, and one boat-launching ramp.  The Rumson Country Club is a private facility that includes an excellent golf course.  The Oceanic Bridge and the Sea Bright Bridge, each connecting the Borough to neighboring towns, offer beautiful views of the two branches of the Shrewsbury River and are pleasant places to walk on a summer's evening.
 
Today, the population of Rumson is over 7,000 residents.  There are two dedicated volunteer fire companies, The Oceanic Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, (first formed in 1879) and the Rumson Fire Company (formed in 1905).  Another important group is the dependable Volunteer First Aid Squad. This important organization was formed in 1949.  The Borough is also proud of its excellent Police Department of 17 well-trained officers and three dispatchers.
 
There are four religious institutions in town.  The Episcopal Church of St. George's-by-the-River, The Catholic Church of Holy Cross, the Rumson Presbyterian Church, and the Synagogue Congregation B'nai Israel.
 
Schools in town are four in number including the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Forrestdale/Deane-Porter public elementary school, a Catholic school (Holy Cross), and a private school (Rumson Country Day School).
 
Another significant part of the Rumson Community is the Oceanic Free Library that has been in existence since 1920.

Scope and Content
 
The records consist of one box of microfilm and 15 boxes of mostly textual materials.  The microfilm reels are duplicates for which the masters are stored in the vault at the Records Center of the New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management in Trenton.  The original books from which the microfilm was made are stored in the Rumson Borough Hall.
 
Box 1:
  • Minute Books, 1907-2004, 15 reels
  • Ordinance Books, 1908-2004, 3 reels
  • Election Informative Book, 1907-2006, 1 reel
 
Box 2:
 
  • Rumson Borough Bulletin, Fall, 1974 to Fall 2007
  • Rumson Master Plans, 1978, 1988, 2002, 2005 and amendments
  • Copy of CD with photographs of Rumson mayors
  • Rumson Centennial Booklets, Postcards, Letterhead, and Invitations, 1907-2007
  • History of Rumson, 1665-1944. Rumson: Historical Committee Appointed by Board of Education, Samuel W. Laird, Chairman, 1944.
  • History of Rumson, New Jersey, 1665-1965. Rumson: Rumson Improvement Association, 1965.
The following records consist of 50 volumes received May 4, 2009.  The books are not in strict chronological order by series due to grouping by size, either in record cartons or in two different sized flat boxes.
 

Box

Contents

Dates

Box Type (Record Carton-RC or Flat Box - FB)

3

Cash Book Tax Receipts 1943; 1944; 1945; 1948; 1952; 1954 RC

4

  1958; 1959; 1960; 1961; 1962 RC

5

  1963; 1964; 1965; 1966 RC

6

  1967; 1968; 1969; 1970 RC

7

  1971; 1972; 1973 RC

8

  1974; 1975 RC
  Disbursements 1990; 1991 RC

9

Cash Receipt Books 1925; 1926 FB

10

Cash Book Tax Receipts 1926-1927; 1928-1929 FB

11

Cash Books #2 and #3 1914, Feb.-1919, Dec.; 1920-1921 FB
  Cash Book 1925, July-1928, Dec. FB

12

  1925, Jan.-1936, Dec. FB
  Voucher Book #2 1915, Aug.-1919, Dec. FB
  Voucher Book #3 1920, Jan.-1924, Dec. FB

13

Collector’s Receipts 1916, Dec.-1919, Dec. FB
  Assessment Receipts 1925, Aug.-1983, Dec. FB
  Cash Book Sidewalk Assessments 1925, July-1953 FB

14

Cash Book Tax Receipts 1920, Jan.-1921, Dec.;1922, Jan.-1923, Dec.; 1924;1930 FB

15

  1931; 1932; 1933 FB
  Daily Receipt Book 1931, Apr.-Oct. FB

16

Cash Book Tax Receipts 1934; 1936; 1937 FB
Use
 
There are no restrictions on the use of the material.
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