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Matawan, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Matawan
The former Matawan Station
The former Matawan Station
Map of Matawan in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Matawan in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Matawan, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Matawan, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°24′40″N 74°14′12″W / 40.411042°N 74.236534°W / 40.411042; -74.236534Coordinates: 40°24′40″N 74°14′12″W / 40.411042°N 74.236534°W / 40.411042; -74.236534
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Monmouth
Incorporated June 28, 1895
Government
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
Area
 • Total 2.41 sq mi (6.24 km2)
 • Land 2.27 sq mi (5.87 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.37 km2)  5.89%
Area rank 381st of 565 in state
25th of 53 in county
Elevation
10 ft (3 m)
Population
 • Total 9,565
 • Rank 262nd of 566 in state
21st of 53 in county
 • Density 3,896.6/sq mi (1,504.5/km2)
 • Density rank 156th of 566 in state
15th of 53 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07747
Area code(s) 732
FIPS code 3402544520
GNIS feature ID 0885293

Matawan is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The borough is located near the Raritan Bay within the much larger Raritan Valley region. The borough is a part of the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2020 United States Census, the borough's population was 9,565, reflecting an increase of 755 (8.6%) from the 8,810 counted in the 2010 census, reflecting a decline of 100 (-1.1%) from the 8,910 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 360 (-3.9%) from the 9,270 counted in the 1990 Census.

Matawan is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area's economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, dense residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and the natural beauty of the Raritan Bayshore coastline.

History

The Lenape Native Americans called the area "Mechananienk", a Lenape language word meaning "where two rivers come together", which gave rise to the area being called "Matovancons" by Dutch settlers, from which derives the name "Matawan". which may derive from a Lenape word meaning "where two rivers come together". It may also originate from the Southern Unami Matawonge, "bad riverbank" or "bad hill", a possible reference to bluffs along Raritan Bay which were subject to erosion and collapse prior to the construction of a seawall in the 1970s. Another possible source is Matawan, Northern Unami for "bad fog", which may have referred to fog generated on Raritan Bay. Other possible meanings are "magician", "charmed skin" or "it arrives in a lake".

The community was established by Dutch settlers in the 17th century (Matawan celebrated a tricentennial in the 1980s). Scotch-Irish settlers from New Hampshire later named the town New Aberdeen. Neighboring Matawan Township reused the historic name in the 1970s when it changed its name to Aberdeen Township.

Matawan was formed as a borough on June 28, 1895, from portions of Matawan Township (now Aberdeen Township), based on the results of a referendum held that day. Matawan expanded with portions of Matawan Township in 1931 and 1933, and from Madison Township (now Old Bridge Township) in 1939.

Despite being 11 miles (18 km) from the Atlantic Ocean, Matawan was the site of three shark attacks on July 12, 1916, in Matawan Creek, causing two deaths. They closely followed an attack in Beach Haven on July 1 and one in Spring Lake on July 6 that were all part of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916.

Matawan played an important role in aviation navigation history. In 1944, the first operational Visual Aural Range (VAR) was installed at Matawan. Designed in 1937 at the Bureau of Air Commerce's research center, this system operated in the VHF band around 63 mHz and was an incremental improvement over prior aviation navigation systems such as the four-course radio range. VAR was later redeveloped into VOR.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.403 square miles (6.225 km2), including 2.261 square miles (5.856 km2) of land and 0.142 square miles (0.369 km2) of water (5.92%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Freneau and Oak Shades.

The borough borders Aberdeen Township and Marlboro Township in Monmouth County, as well as Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County. Matawan divides Aberdeen Township into two non-contiguous sections, with a small wedge-shaped exclave on the township's southwest corner separated from the rest of the township by a portion of Matawan located on the opposite side of Route 79.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,437
1890 1,491 3.8%
1900 1,511 1.3%
1910 1,645 8.9%
1920 1,910 16.1%
1930 2,264 18.5%
1940 2,758 21.8%
1950 3,739 35.6%
1960 5,097 36.3%
1970 9,136 79.2%
1980 8,837 −3.3%
1990 9,270 4.9%
2000 8,910 −3.9%
2010 8,810 −1.1%
2020 9,565 8.6%
Population sources:
1880–1890 1890–1920
1890–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,810 people, 3,358 households, and 2,280 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,896.6 per square mile (1,504.5/km2). There were 3,606 housing units at an average density of 1,594.9 per square mile (615.8/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 80.98% (7,134) White, 7.04% (620) Black or African American, 0.11% (10) Native American, 6.41% (565) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 2.77% (244) from other races, and 2.68% (236) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.77% (949) of the population.

There were 3,358 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 90.8 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–10 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $68,375 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,318) and the median family income was $85,677 (+/- $6,353). Males had a median income of $57,376 (+/- $10,034) versus $42,255 (+/- $14,121) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,773 (+/- $5,834). About 3.5% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States census there were 8,910 people, 3,531 households, and 2,376 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,909.1 people per square mile (1,508.8/km2). There were 3,640 housing units at an average density of 1,597.0 per square mile (616.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 82.35% White, 6.53% African American, 0.02% Native American, 7.99% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.45% of the population.

There were 3,531 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 36.4% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $63,594, and the median income for a family was $72,183. Males had a median income of $51,924 versus $37,113 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,320. About 3.8% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Matawan is the northern terminus of the middle segment of the Henry Hudson Trail, and the western terminus of the eastern section.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 31.45 miles (50.61 km) of roadways, of which 24.37 miles (39.22 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.50 miles (7.24 km) by Monmouth County and 2.50 miles (4.02 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Matawan is traversed by Route 34, Route 79 and County Route 516. The Garden State Parkway skirts the northern end of the borough (with the southbound lanes only passing through briefly); the nearest exits are exits 117A and 120.

Public transportation

In the late 20th century, Matawan became known for its heavily used train station at Aberdeen-Matawan on NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line, which attracts riders from all over western Monmouth County and provides service to New York City's Penn Station, either directly or via Secaucus Junction.

NJ Transit also provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 133 and 135 bus lines.

Community

Matawan was ranked by BusinessWeek magazine at #12 in the nation on their list of "The 50 Best Places to Raise Your Kids" in November 2007.

  • Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District's 2014–15 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education

Education

Matawan is part of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District (MARSD), which also serves students from the neighboring community of Aberdeen Township. The district is a comprehensive system comprising seven schools, which includes one preschool, three elementary schools grades K-3, one 4-5 school, one middle school grades 6–8, one high school grades 9-12. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of seven schools, had an enrollment of 3,827 students and 324.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Cambridge Park Developmental Learning Center (12 students; Preschool), Cliffwood Elementary School (320; K-3), Ravine Drive Elementary School (326; K-3 - in Matawan), Strathmore Elementary School (397; K-3), Lloyd Road Elementary School (614; 4-5), Matawan Aberdeen Middle School (888; 6-8) and Matawan Regional High School (1,112; 9-12 - in Matawan). The MARSD Central Offices are located at 1 Crest Way, in Aberdeen. Seats on the district's nine-member board of education are allocated based on the population of the constituent municipalities, with three assigned to Matawan.

Notable people

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

  • Doug Emhoff (born 1964), lawyer, first second gentlemen of the United States, married to Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • Monica Aksamit (born 1990), saber fencer who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the Women's Saber Team event.
  • Joseph D. Bedle (1821–1894), 23rd Governor of New Jersey, in office from 1875 to 1878.
  • Gerard Canonico (born 1989), stage actor.
  • Connor Clifton (born 1995), ice hockey defenseman for the Boston Bruins of the NHL.
  • Robert D. Clifton (born 1968), member of the New Jersey General Assembly who was Mayor of Matawan from 1996 to 2005.
  • Terry Deitz (born 1959), third-place finisher on Survivor: Panama.
  • Edward P. Felt (1959–2001), passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on his way who is believed to have made one of the last calls to 911 immediately prior to the fatal crash of the jetliner.
  • Philip Freneau (1752–1832), poet during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Elmer H. Geran (1875–1964), represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1925 to 1927.
  • Delores Holmes (born 1946), soul singer.
  • Erison Hurtault (born 1984), 400m Olympian track runner.
  • Jim Jeffcoat (born 1961), professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills from 1983 to 1997.
  • Howard Kremer (born 1971), comedian and comedic rapper.
  • Bob McKenty, poet.
  • Richard Reines, recording industry executive who is co-owner of Drive-Thru Records, a record label specializing largely in pop punk music.
  • Anthony Sesely (born 1983), racecar driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
  • William H. Sutphin (1887–1972) represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1931 to 1943, and was mayor of Matawan from 1915 to 1916 and 1921 to 1926.
  • Tammy Lynn Sytch, professional wrestling manager best known for her time in the World Wrestling Federation as the character, Sunny.
  • Thom Wasluck, musician and singer-songwriter who known for his music project Planning for Burial.
  • Jacqueline Walker (born 1941), politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1984 to 1986.
  • Greg Wyshynski (born 1977), sportswriter.

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