The Lower Raritan River Corridor has played a vital role in North/Central Jersey’s history and commerce. From pre-Colonial times the corridor was an important transportation route. During the American Revolution, troops crossed the Raritan several times, and in 1777 a battle was fought over the Queens Bridge in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook. The Industrial Revolution brought mills and other manufacturing industries to the Raritan’s shores, and in the 1830’s the final segment of the D&R Canal was built along the Lower Raritan from Franklin Township to New Brunswick. Today, numerous historic buildings remain along the corridor, and the D&R canal and its remaining structures are preserved as a State Park. East Jersey Olde Town was created in Johnson Park, Piscataway, featuring a collection of original, replica and reconstructed 18th and 19th century structures.
Cornelius Low House & Middlesex County Museum, River Road/Busch Campus, Piscataway, co.middlesex.nj.us/culturalheritage/museum.asp.
East Jersey Olde Towne, Johnson Park, River Road at , Piscataway, www.co.middlesex.nj.us/culturalheritage/village.asp
Buccleuch Mansion, Buccleuch Park, Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njdar/Jerseyblue/mansion.html
Landing Lane Bridge, River Road between Piscataway and New Brunswick/Franklin.
New Jersey’s first covered bridge, and one of the earliest in the nation, was situated approximately one mile upstream from New Brunswick. It was erected in 1772 with private subscriptions led by John Duyckinck and Charles Suydam, although the total sum had to be augmented with equal funding from Middlesex and Somerset counties. In 1776 the bridge was partially burned by the Continental Army in order to slow the British pursuit of George Washington as he retreated from New York to Philadelphia. However, Lord Cornwallis’ quick attack prevented the Patriots from completely destroying the bridge. After its capture, the bridge was a mustering point for British troops. In the summer of 1777, the British withdrew and on the second anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—July 4, 1778—Washington led his troops along River Road, across Landing Lane Bridge to a celebration on the New Brunswick side of the river. In 1895 an iron and steel bridge replaced the wooden structure. This structure stood until the fall of 1991 when it was demolished and another one built. Description taken from the Raritan Millstone Guidebook, Piscataway #56, www.raritanmillstone.org/guidebook/piscataway.htm.
Stone Arch Railroad Bridge, Highland Park/New Brunswick.
Photo: Allan Williams
In 1836, the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company built a rail line that terminated on the Highland Park side of the Raritan River at a station named East New Brunswick, a nickname that stuck for many decades. In 1838, the Camden and Amboy Railroad built a bridge which eliminated the station stop. The two-tier, wooden railroad bridge carried pedestrians and wagons on its lower level. It was destroyed by fire in 1878. An iron truss bridge was quickly built upon enlarged stone piers, which in turn was replaced in 1902 by the 12-span stone arch railway bridge we see today. Description taken from Highland Park Borough website: www.hpboro.com/index.aspx?NID=106.
D&R Canal Locks in South Bound Brook, Franklin and New Brunswick. See the D&R Canal Commission and State Park website: www.dandrcanal.com/history.html.
|Five Mile Lock,
Easton Ave., Franklin Twp.
|Lock in South Bound Brook,
Canal Road, S. Bound Brook
|Canal Lock and Swing Bridge,
Boyd Park, Route 18, New Brunswick