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Bound Brook, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Bound Brook
Bound Brook Hotel on Main Street
Bound Brook Hotel on Main Street
Map showing location of Bound Brook in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map showing location of Bound Brook in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bound Brook, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Bound Brook, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Somerset
Incorporated February 11, 1891
Named for Bound Brook (Raritan River)
Government
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
Area
 • Total 1.70 sq mi (4.39 km2)
 • Land 1.66 sq mi (4.30 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)  2.00%
Area rank 432nd of 565 in state
18th of 21 in county
Elevation
43 ft (13 m)
Population
 • Total 10,402
 • Estimate 
(2019)
10,180
 • Rank 236th of 566 in state
10th of 21 in county
 • Density 6,269.6/sq mi (2,420.7/km2)
 • Density rank 79th of 566 in state
3rd of 21 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
08805
Area code(s) 732
FIPS code 3403506790
GNIS feature ID 885166
Website
Queen'sbridgeBB
Queen's Bridge over the Raritan River

Bound Brook is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States, located along the Raritan River. At the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 10,402, reflecting an increase of 247 (+2.4%) from the 10,155 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 668 (+7.0%) from the 9,487 counted in the 1990 Census.

Bound Brook was originally incorporated as a town by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 24, 1869, within portions of Bridgewater Township. On February 11, 1891, it was reincorporated as a borough, based on the results of a referendum held on the previous day.

History

The area was first settled in 1681 and a community was established near the Bound Brook stream of the same name, which flows into the Raritan River via the Green Brook on the eastern side of the borough. The brook, which was mentioned as a boundary in a Native American deed, provides the source of the borough's name.

A wooden bridge over the Raritan River was erected as early as 1761 and named Queen's Bridge in 1767. Later, it became a covered bridge. During the American Revolutionary War, the bridge was used repeatedly by both sides including during the Battle of Bound Brook in 1777. In 1875, the wooden bridge was replaced by a steel pipe truss bridge. More than 100 years later, that bridge was itself replaced by a steel girder bridge in 1984, still using the old pillars. The bridge was renovated and repaved in 2007.

The Battle of Bound Brook, one of the battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign during the American Revolutionary War, occurred on April 13, 1777, and resulted in a defeat for the Continental Army, who were routed by about 4,000 troops under British command.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.695 square miles (4.389 km2), including 1.659 square miles (4.297 km2) of land and 0.036 square miles (0.092 km2) of water (2.10%).

The borough borders the municipalities of Bridgewater Township and South Bound Brook in Somerset County; and Middlesex Borough in Middlesex County.

Since the southern portion of the borough (including the downtown area) is a low-lying natural flood plain of the Raritan River, Bound Brook has suffered occasional severe flooding after heavy rain. Extensive flood control measures were put into place during 1999–2015 to provide protection from 150-year floods.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 556
1880 934 68.0%
1890 1,462 56.5%
1900 2,622 79.3%
1910 3,970 51.4%
1920 5,906 48.8%
1930 7,372 24.8%
1940 7,616 3.3%
1950 8,374 10.0%
1960 10,263 22.6%
1970 10,450 1.8%
1980 9,710 −7.1%
1990 9,487 −2.3%
2000 10,155 7.0%
2010 10,402 2.4%
2019 (est.) 10,180 −2.1%
Population sources: 1870–1920
1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010

Bound Brook prides itself on having a diverse community. It has many thriving small businesses, including restaurants, small markets and hosts a farmer's market during the summertime in the parking lot of the Bound Brook train station.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,402 people, 3,586 households, and 2,435 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,269.6 per square mile (2,420.7/km2). There were 3,816 housing units at an average density of 2,300.0 per square mile (888.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 69.73% (7,253) White, 5.74% (597) Black or African American, 0.54% (56) Native American, 2.57% (267) Asian, 0.05% (5) Pacific Islander, 17.48% (1,818) from other races, and 3.90% (406) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 48.66% (5,062) of the population.

There were 3,586 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.1 years. For every 100 females there were 109.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 108.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $67,056 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,450) and the median family income was $68,315 (+/- $7,489). Males had a median income of $33,462 (+/- $4,681) versus $35,261 (+/- $7,245) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,015 (+/- $2,011). About 3.4% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over.

The borough had one of the highest Costa Rican percentages of any municipality in the United States and third-highest in New Jersey (population 500+), with 3.4% of residents in the 2010 Census reporting that they were of Costa Rican birth.

Transportation

2021-07-20 12 01 14 View west along U.S. Route 22 from the overpass for Somerset County Route 527 (Mountain Avenue) in Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey
US 22 in Bound Brook, the largest and busiest highway in the borough.

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 25.37 miles (40.83 km) of roadways, of which 20.56 miles (33.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.73 miles (4.39 km) by Somerset County and 2.08 miles (3.35 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Clock at roundabout in Bound Brook
Clock at roundabout viewed from south

Route 28 travels east–west through the center of Bound Brook, while U.S. Route 22 clips the northern portion of the borough. County Routes 525, 527, 533 also pass through.

Interstate 287 is accessible to the west via Route 28 in bordering Bridgewater Township.

Public transportation

The borough is served by the Bound Brook train station, which offers NJ Transit service on the Raritan Valley Line to Newark Penn Station. The historic station building on the north side of the tracks is located at 350 E. Main Street and was constructed in 1913. It is now a restaurant; the other station building on the south side is now privately owned. A pedestrian tunnel connects the south and north sides of the tracks. There are also Conrail tracks going past the station, used for freight trains to and from Newark.

NJ Transit offers bus service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 114 and 117 routes, along with local service to Newark on the 65 and 66 routes.

Somerset County offers DASH, CAT, and SCOOT routes, providing service to destinations including Franklin Township, New Brunswick, Raritan, Manville and Hillsborough Township, as well as Bridgewater Commons and Raritan Valley Community College.

Bound Brook Cycling Classic

Every year, the Borough of Bound Brook hosts a nationally competitive bicycle race, the Bound Brook Cycling Classic, that on the same weekend, precedes the neighboring final purse contest, as part of the 3-day Tour of Somerville, held annually on Memorial Day Weekend. The contest in Somerville, founded in 1940 by Fred “Pop” Kugler, is the oldest professionally competitive race in the United States.

Flooding

Boundbrook041607
Downtown after April 2007 nor'easter, before completing Bound Brook portion of Green Brook Flood Control Project

The lower downtown area of Bound Brook has been infamous for flooding of the Raritan River. In September 1999, many structures near the commercial zone were damaged or destroyed by record Raritan floods resulting from Hurricane Floyd. This disaster reinvigorated a long-planned effort called the Green Brook Flood Control Project that would protect Bound Brook from up to a 150-year flooding event from the Raritan River and its tributaries, the Middle Brook and Green Brook that comprise the western and eastern boundaries of the town. During 1999–2015, the United States Army Corps of Engineers implemented extensive flood control measures to provide protection from future floods.

The highest flooding level since 1800 in Bound Brook was reached during Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 -- 42.13 feet (12.84 m), according to the United States Geological Survey—nearly matched by Tropical Storm Doria in August 1971, the April 2007 nor'easter and Hurricane Irene in August 2011. Main Street was also flooded in July 1938, September 1938, August 1955, August 1973, October 1996, and March 2010.

Bound Brook's downtown flooding led to several out-of-control fires over its history, including the fires of 1881 and 1887 which led to the formation of the Bound Brook Fire Department, and another major fire in 1896. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, a fire began in Otto Williams Harley Davidson on Main Street. With the building cut off by flood water, the fire spread quickly to two other structures before the Bound Brook Fire Department could contain it, then under the command of Chief Richard S. Colombaroni. Using fire boats from the New York City Fire Department as well as extensive help from mutual aid companies, the fire was stopped before two other buildings on Main Street and others nearby on Mountain Avenue, could be affected.

Education

The Bound Brook School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of five schools, had an enrollment of 1,924 students and 148.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2017–18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Bound Brook Elementary Schools (including LaMonte-Annex Elementary School with 388 students in grades PreK-1, Lafayette Elementary School with 282 students in grades 2-3 and Smalley Elementary School with 377 students in grades 4-6), Community Middle School with 251 students in grades 7-8 and Bound Brook High School with 601 students in grades 9-12.

Students from South Bound Brook, New Jersey, attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the South Bound Brook School District. At the beginning of the 2011–12, the school joined the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, which allows students from other area communities to attend the Bound Brook schools. In the 2011–12 school year, the high school started a biomedical program from Project Lead the Way in addition to the existing engineering academy program.

There was an Interparochial Catholic School in the borough, Holy Family Academy (for pre-K to grade 8) serving the local and surrounding communities with an estimated enrollment of 150 prior to closure. The school was one of three in the area closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen at the end of the 2010–11 school year, with plans to feed remaining students to a school facility in South Plainfield.

In 2018, Stephen Kovacs founded and thereafter owned Kaprica United Fencing Academy in Bound Brook, where he was head coach. He died in January 2022.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Bound Brook, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bound Brook include:

  • Isaac Blackford (1786–1859), Indiana Supreme Court Justice.
  • Margaret Bourke-White (1904–1971), photographer.
  • Jeffrey Chiesa (born 1965), 59th Attorney General of New Jersey and interim United States Senator from New Jersey.
  • John G. Demaray (1930–2015), medievalist.
  • Margit Feldman (1929–2020), public speaker, educator, activist, and Holocaust survivor
  • Patrick X. Gallagher (1935–2019), mathematician and Columbia University professor.
  • William P. Gottlieb (1917–2006), jazz musician and photographer.
  • Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), Presbyterian minister and inventor of the Graham cracker.
  • William Griffith (1766–1826), judge who served on the United States circuit court.
  • William H. Johnson (stage name Zip the Pinhead; 1857–1926), freak show and circus performer.
  • George M. La Monte (1863–1927), businessman, politician, and philanthropist.
  • Dick Lynch (1936–2008), NFL defensive back who played for the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.
  • James Augustine McFaul (1850–1917), Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton from 1894 to 1917.
  • Ronald Naldi, singer at the Metropolitan Opera.
  • William E. Ozzard (1915–2002), President of the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
  • George Pfister (1918–1997), Major League Baseball executive.
  • Jason Ryan (born 1976), MLB pitcher who played for the Minnesota Twins.
  • Upton Sinclair (1878–1968), Pulitzer-winning author.
  • Samuel Swan (1771–1844), physician and U.S. Congressman.
  • Henry Trefflich (1908–1978), wild animal importer and dealer.
  • Perry Wilson (1916–2009), actress who appeared in the film Fear Strikes Out.

See also

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