Middletown Township, New Jersey facts for kids
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Middletown Township, New Jersey
|Township of Middletown|
The Biggest Small Town in New Jersey
Map of Middletown Township in Monmouth County. Inset (left): Monmouth County highlighted within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Middletown Township, New Jersey
|Formed||October 31, 1693|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|• Type||Special Charter|
|• Body||Township Committee|
|• Total||58.72 sq mi (152.09 km2)|
|• Land||40.95 sq mi (106.06 km2)|
|• Water||17.78 sq mi (46.04 km2) 30.27%|
|Area rank||23rd of 565 in state
2nd of 53 in county
|Elevation||98 ft (30 m)|
|• Rank||16th of 566 in state
1st of 53 in county
|• Density||1,142.81/sq mi (441.226/km2)|
|• Density rank||321st of 566 in state
40th of 53 in county
|Time zone||UTC– 05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC– 04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||732 and 908|
|GNIS feature ID||0882604|
Middletown Township is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2020 United States Census, the township had a total population of 67,106, making it the most-populous municipality in the county and the state's 16th largest municipality by population, having seen an increase of 584 residents (0.9%) from its population of 66,522 in the 2010 Census.
Middletown is a bedroom community of New York City, located alongside of the Raritan Bay within the Raritan Valley region in the New York metropolitan area. Due to its affluence, low crime, access to cultural activities, public school system, proximity to the Jersey Shore and Raritan Bayshore, and central commuting location, Middletown was ranked in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2014 in the Top 100 in CNNMoney.com's Best Places to Live. Time magazine listed Middletown on its list of "Best Places to Live 2014".
In 2016, SafeWise named Middletown Township as the fifth-safest city in America to raise a child; the township was the highest ranked of the 12 communities in New Jersey included on the list.
Small communities of the Lenape Navesink tribe were common throughout the area when the first known European landing in what would become Middletown Township occurred in 1609. Sea captain and explorer Henry Hudson, in search of the mythical Northwest Passage in the service of the Dutch West India Company, anchored along the shores of Sandy Hook Bay in 1609, describing the area "a very good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see." While a patroonship was granted by the company in 1651 the land wasn't officially settled. Today's Shoal Harbor Museum and Old Spy House includes portions of a house constructed by Thomas Whitlock, one of the area's first European settlers (and a Reformed Baptist at Middletown) who arrived here as early as 1664, before the English conquest of New Netherland began in 1665 as part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Long-standing tradition had Penelope Stout, one of the first settlers, hiding in a tree from hostile Native Americans.
Shortly after the Dutch surrender of the New Netherland to the English in 1664 a large tract of land known as the Navesink Patent or Monmouth Tract was granted to Baptist and Quaker settlers from Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which soon thereafter became the townships of Middletown and Shrewsbury.
During the American Revolutionary War, Middletown and much of the rest of Eastern Monmouth County was held by the British. After the Battle of Monmouth, the British retreat from Freehold Township, New Jersey carried them down King's Highway in Middletown to their embarkation points at Sandy Hook in the bay, heading back to New York City.
Middletown Township was originally formed on October 31, 1693, and was incorporated as a township by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. Portions of the township were taken to form Atlantic Township (February 8, 1847, now Colts Neck Township), Raritan Township (February 25, 1848, now Hazlet Township), Atlantic Highlands (February 28, 1887), Highlands (March 22, 1900) and Keansburg (March 22, 1917).
Upon the completion of a railroad junction in 1875, the town grew more rapidly, eventually changing from a group of small and loosely connected fishing and agricultural villages into a fast-growing suburb at the turn of the 20th century. If Middletown ever had a recognizable town center or town square, it was lost in that rapid growth soon after World War II.
In May 1958, several Nike Ajax missiles exploded at Battery NY-53 in Chapel Hill, killing ten Army and civilian personnel. The accident was one of the worst missile-related disasters of the Cold War.
The Waterfront site of Naval Weapons Station Earle is located in Leonardo on Sandy Hook Bay, and is used to load ammunition onto ships on a finger pier that stretches for 2.9 miles (4.7 km), making it the world's second-longest such pier.
The "Evil Clown of Middletown" is a towering sign along Route 35 painted to resemble a circus clown, that currently advertises a liquor store. The sign is a remnant of an old supermarket that used to be at that location called "Food Circus". The clown and recent successful attempts from residents to save it from demolition have been featured in the pages of Weird NJ magazine, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in the Kevin Smith-directed film Clerks II.
The Indian Trails 15K road race is held each year in April to benefit the Monmouth Conservation Foundation and includes a 5K walk/run event for fun. The race, run on a combination on paved and dirt roads, includes many relatively steep hills and has been described as "the most challenging race in the state".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 58.735 square miles (152.122 km2), including 40.989 square miles (106.160 km2) of land and 17.746 square miles (45.962 km2) of water (30.21%).
Belford (2010 Census population of 1,768), Fairview (3,806), Leonardo (2,757), Lincroft (6,135), Navesink (2,020), North Middletown (3,295) and Port Monmouth (3,818) are all census-designated places and unincorporated communities located within Middletown Township.
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Browns Dock, Chapel Hill, East Keansburg, Everett, Fort Hancock, Harmony, Headdons Corner, Hendrickson Corners, Tiltons Corner, Town Brook, Waterwitch Park and Wilmont Park.
The Sandy Hook peninsula is also within Middletown Township, though it is not connected to the rest of the township by land. However, one could sail along Raritan Bay from the mainland to Sandy Hook and remain within Middletown Township.
The township borders the Monmouth County communities of Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck Township, Fair Haven, Hazlet Township, Highlands, Holmdel Township, Keansburg, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright and Tinton Falls.
|Climate data for Middletown Township, NJ|
|Average high °F (°C)||38
|Average low °F (°C)||27
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.50
1850 1870 1880–1890
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade
As of the census of 2010, there were 66,522 people, 23,962 households, and 18,235 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,622.9 per square mile (626.6/km2). There were 24,959 housing units at an average density of 608.9 per square mile (235.1/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 93.89% (62,456) White, 1.31% (869) Black or African American, 0.10% (67) Native American, 2.60% (1,730) Asian, 0.01% (8) Pacific Islander, 0.81% (537) from other races, and 1.29% (855) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.37% (3,569) of the population.
There were 23,962 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.5% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the township, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.5 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $96,190 (with a margin of error of +/− $2,818) and the median family income was $110,944 (+/− $3,794). Males had a median income of $78,739 (+/− $3,585) versus $52,752 (+/− $2,573) for females. The per capita income for the township was $42,792 (+/− $1,706). About 1.7% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Middletown has some of the largest emergency service departments in the area. The police and fire departments celebrated a joint 75th Anniversary in 2003. As of November 2016, Middletown Township switched their radio system over to county dispatch as part of an effort to save an estimated $1 million per year by eliminating 15 dispatchers.
The Middletown Township Fire Department (referred to as MTFD, Monmouth County agency prefix 31 and 71) consists of 11 fire companies plus additional specialized units spread throughout the town and is composed of 500 volunteers. It is commonly stated that the Middletown Township Fire Department is "The World's Largest All Volunteer Fire Department".
Fire companies, in order of creation, are as follows:
- Navesink Hook and Ladder Fire Company No. 1 on May 1, 1886
- Brevent Park & Leonardo Fire Company on October 16, 1903
- Belford Chemical Engine Company No. 1 on August 14, 1916
- Community Fire Company of Leonardo on September 9, 1922
- East Keansburg Fire Company No. 1 in 1922
- Port Monmouth Fire Company No. 1 in November 1922
- Belford Independent Fire Company in 1923
- Middletown Fire Company No. 1 in April 1924
- River Plaza Hose Company No. 1 on December 8, 1927,
For a time these companies acted separately until August 28, 1928, when all the individual companies were brought together to form the current fire department. Since then, two more companies have been formed:
- Lincroft Fire Company in May 1932
- Old Village Fire Company on September 7, 1955,
Later, the individual companies took on station numbers with regard to their creation date. Navesink becoming Station #1 and Old Village becoming Station #11.
There are other special units besides the main fire companies. The MTFD has its own Fire Police Unit, Air Unit, and Special Services Unit (SSU).
- MTFD Fire Police controls fire scenes and ensures that civilians are kept away
- The Air Unit provides service for firefighter SCBA equipment and also has a mobile air compressor truck to refill air bottles at the scene of a fire. This truck responds outside of Middletown to neighboring towns as requested.
- MTFD Special Services Emergency Response Team provides Level A hazardous material emergency response, technical and mass decontamination, structural collapse rescue, emergency shoring, high & low angle rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and various other technical rescue capabilities to Township of Middletown as well as neighboring towns as requested or under contract by certain towns.
- The Brevent Park and Leonardo Fire Company is the owner of a marine fireboat that can be requested throughout the Bayshore community for scenes on the water involving fire and water rescue.
There are five squads that make up the Township of Middletown EMS Department (EMS) and provide Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances to the township. They are:
- Middletown First Aid and Rescue Squad
- Fairview First Aid Squad
- Port Monmouth First Aid Squad
- Leonardo First Aid and Rescue Squad
- Lincroft First Aid and Rescue Squad
They are all volunteer as well. All except Port Monmouth have EMS rescue trucks with equipment to handle vehicle extrications and rope rescue. These squads also have boats and dive teams to perform rescue and recovery operations involving water which have been called out of town to assist with large area searches. Port Monmouth provides a bariatric unit, a converted ambulance, for severely overweight patients. It has been requested outside of Middletown Township as a back-up for MONOC's unit.
Advanced Life Support (ALS) or paramedics for the township and surrounding towns are provided by MONOC. The two primary paramedic units for Middletown Township are Medic 206 located at MTFD Station 8 (Middletown Fire Company No. 1) covering a majority of the town and Medic 201 located at South Aberdeen First Aid Squad in Aberdeen covering the Northwestern end of town. Other medic units from farther distances are dispatched when these are not available.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 350.16 miles (563.53 km) of roadways, of which 302.18 miles (486.31 km) were maintained by the municipality, 31.44 miles (50.60 km) by Monmouth County and 11.95 miles (19.23 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.59 miles (7.39 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The Garden State Parkway is the largest and busiest highway which passes through the township, connecting Tinton Falls in the south to Holmdel Township in the north. The township includes Parkway interchange 109 which is signed for County Route 520 to Red Bank / Lincroft and interchange 114 for Holmdel / Middletown. There are three toll gates on the Parkway located in Middletown, two of them are at Exit 109 (northbound entry, southbound exit), and two at Exit 114 (northbound entry, with the southbound toll exit in Holmdel). Routes 35 and 36 pass through Middletown.
CR. 516 travels through the northern part of the township and its eastern end is at Route 36 near Leonardo, while its western end is at Route 18 in Old Bridge. CR. 520 passes through the southern portion of Middletown, and leads to Sea Bright to the east, and turns into CR. 612 in Monroe Township to the west, making it a vital route for central New Jersey, by connecting sections of the state near the shore to inland sections of the state near the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 8A.
NJ Transit's provides rail service at the Middletown station which runs between New York City's Pennsylvania Station and Bay Head on the North Jersey Coast Line. NJ Transit is a major commuter rail system, with track-sharing agreements with Amtrak, Metro-North Railroad, Norfolk Southern, CSX Transportation, and Conrail Shared Assets.
NJ Transit offers local bus service on the 817, 833 and 834 routes.
Ferry service to and from New York City is available through the NY Waterway. The ferry slip is located in the neighborhood of Belford and is utilized by many Middletown residents for commuting to New York City. The roughly 50 minute trip on the ferry to West Midtown Ferry Terminal travels across the Lower New York Bay to enter Lower New York Harbor at The Narrows.
SeaStreak is another local ferry service, with its ferry slip in neighboring Highlands. SeaStreak offers ferry service to and from New York City with trips to Pier 11 (on the East River at Wall Street) and East 35th Street in Manhattan. The ferry service also offers seasonal travel, such as to the public beaches on Sandy Hook, baseball games at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, trips to Broadway matinees, Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, college football games at West Point, fall foliage in the Hudson Valley, and to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, among other excursions.
Hackensack Meridian Health has two hospitals in the area. Bayshore Medical Center in neighboring Holmdel and Riverview Medical Center in neighboring Red Bank. These are local hospitals for the Raritan Bayshore region and handles all but trauma cases. The closest major university hospitals to the area that handle trauma care are, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in nearby Neptune and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in nearby New Brunswick.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, founded in New York City in 1884, is the oldest cancer treatment and research center in the world. The cancer center has a regional center for Monmouth County located in Middletown. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of Monmouth is the first center outside of the main center in Manhattan to offer outpatient surgery.
The Middletown Township Public School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 17 schools, had an enrollment of 9,617 students and 792.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.1:1. The district consists of twelve K-5 elementary schools, three middle schools for grades 6–8, and two four-year high schools. Four elementary schools feed into each of the three middle schools. The facilities vary in age, architecture, size, and student population. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Bayview Elementary School (366 students in grades K-5), Fairview Elementary School (295; K-5), Harmony Elementary School (507; PreK-5), Leonardo Elementary School (274; K-5), Lincroft Elementary School (450; K-5), Middletown Village Elementary School (384; K-5), Navesink Elementary School (233; K-5), New Monmouth Elementary School (367; PreK-5), Nut Swamp Elementary School (572; K-5), Ocean Avenue Elementary School (294; K-5), Port Monmouth Elementary School (Now closed) (207; K-5), River Plaza Elementary School (286; K-5), Bayshore Middle School (626; 6–8), Thompson Middle School (1,005; 6–8), Thorne Middle School (677; 6–8), Middletown High School North (1,449; 9–12) and Middletown High School South (1,565; 9–12).
Middletown also hosts two public magnet schools, High Technology High School, on the property of Brookdale Community College, located in the Lincroft section of town, and the Marine Academy of Science and Technology located on Sandy Hook, which are part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District.
Middletown Township is home to two private high schools. Christian Brothers Academy is an all-boys College preparatory school with a focus on Christian education run by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, located in Lincroft. Mater Dei High School is a four-year Catholic coeducational high school located in the New Monmouth section and operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.
Saint Mary School (for PreK-8, founded in 1953) in New Monmouth and Saint Leo the Great School (a National Blue Ribbon School founded in 1960) in Lincroft both operate as part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. Oak Hill Academy is an independent school for PreK-8 in Lincroft, that was founded in 1981.
People who were born in, are residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Middletown Township include:
- Mary Kay Adams (born 1962), actress on Babylon 5.
- Joseph Azzolina (1926–2010), served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1966 to 1972, 1986–88, and from 1992 to 2006.
- Sebastian Bach (born 1968), heavy metal singer.
- Howard Barbieri (born 1987), former American football guard.
- Alyssa Beckerman (born 1981), former gymnast and balance beam national champion.
- Jon Bon Jovi (born 1962), musician.
- Vinnie Brand (born 1963), comedian.
- Nicole Byer (born 1986), comedian.
- Shilique Calhoun (born 1992), NFL defensive end.
- Pete Capella (born 1977), voice actor and comedian.
- Connie Chung (born 1946), TV journalist.
- Gary Cuozzo (born 1941), former quarterback who played in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Cardinals.
- James Dale (born 1970), gay rights activist best known for his role in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the landmark US Supreme Court case challenging the BSA's policy of excluding homosexuals from being scout leaders.
- Donald De Lue (1897–1988), sculptor.
- Billy Devaney (born 1955), general manager of the St. Louis Rams.
- Peter Dobson (born 1964), actor who had a cameo role in Forrest Gump as Elvis Presley.
- Dean Ehehalt (born 1964), head coach of the Monmouth Hawks baseball team.
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan (born 1961), former Saturday Night Live cast member.
- Vincent Favale (born 1959), co-founder of Comedy Central.
- Darren Fenster (born 1978), manager in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.
- John P. Gallagher (1932–2011), politician who served in the New Jersey Senate from the 13th Legislative District from 1982 to 1984.
- Amy Handlin (born 1956), represents the 13th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Tom Hanson (1907–1985), football halfback in the National Football League, mainly for the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he caught the first touchdown in franchise history.
- Robert Harper (1951–2020), stage, film and television actor.
- Judith Rich Harris (born 1938), psychologist and author of The Nurture Assumption.
- Debbie Harry (born 1945), singer-songwriter and actress, lead singer of the band Blondie.
- Jerry Holbert, editorial cartoonist.
- Kristopher Jansma, fiction writer and essayist.
- Ed Jones (born 1952), former defensive back for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League from 1976 to 1984, who won five Grey Cups for the Eskimos and was a CFL All-Star from 1979 to 1981.
- Bill Kunkel (1936–1985), former Major League Baseball pitcher and umpire.
- Jeff Kunkel (born 1962), former major-league shortstop.
- Joe Kyrillos (born 1960), politician who served in the New Jersey Senate from 1992 to 2018, where he represented the 13th Legislative District, and in the General Assembly from 1988 to 1992.
- Mike Largey (born 1960), former professional basketball player who played power forward for Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C. of the Israeli Basketball Premier League from 1984 to 1987.
- Jack Lawless (born 1987) musician who has been the drummer for the bands DNCE and Ocean Grove, as well as a live drummer for the Jonas Brothers.
- Rick Lovato (born 1992), long snapper for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).
- Brian Lynch (born 1973), writer and director of films including Big Helium Dog.
- Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Knowshon Moreno (born 1987), current Miami Dolphins running back and 1st round draft choice of the Denver Broncos.
- Michael Mulheren, actor.
- Phil Murphy (born 1957), financier, diplomat and Governor of New Jersey following the 2017 gubernatorial election.
- Tammy Murphy (born 1965), First Lady of New Jersey.
- Olivia Nuzzi (born 1993), political journalist.
- Christian Peter (born 1972), former NFL defensive tackle.
- Jason Peter (born 1974), former NFL football player.
- Maury Povich (born 1939), talk show personality.
- Geraldo Rivera (born 1943), television journalist.
- Richard Scudder (1913–2012), newspaper pioneer and co-founder of the MediaNews Group.
- Kevin Smith (from Highlands, NJ born 1970), filmmaker (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl, etc.), wrote and filmed Clerks at a Quick Stop in the Leonardo section of Middletown.
- Jon Stewart (born 1962) comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, media critic, and former host of The Daily Show.
- Penelope Stout (1622–1732), shipwrecked on Sandy Hook in 1640s and was a founder of Middletown.
- William Strickland (1788–1854), pioneering architect and civil engineer.
- E.W. Swackhamer (1927–1994), television director.
- Symphony X, progressive metal band.
- Bob Tucker (born 1945), former tight end in the NFL for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings.
- James van Riemsdyk (born 1989), drafted second overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, he has played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Trevor van Riemsdyk (born 1991), professional hockey player.
- Billy Van Zandt (born 1957), actor/playwright.
- Steven Van Zandt (born 1950), solo rocker, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and actor on The Sopranos.
- Claudia Vázquez (born 1990), footballer who has played as forward and midfielder for the Puerto Rico women's national football team.
- Bill Weber (born 1957), NBC sports broadcaster.
- Max Weinberg (born 1951), Late Night with Conan O'Brien band leader and drummer of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
- Jay Weinberg (born 1990), drummer for heavy metal band Slipknot, son of Max Weinberg.
- Tom Wilkens (born 1975), Olympic swimming medalist.
- Brian Williams (born 1959), Chief Breaking News Anchor on MSNBC, former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News.
Images for kids
The Seabrook-Wilson House was built in 1663 and is one of the oldest surviving structures in New Jersey.
Marlpit Hall was built in 1686 and is an example of New England-influenced saltbox architecture.
Home built in the Nantucket-style on Sandy Hook.
New York architect Edwin L. Howard designed this home in the early 20th century for the wealthy Huber Family. In 1974, the estate was donated to the Monmouth County Park System.
Middletown Township, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.