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Sayreville, New Jersey
Borough of Sayreville
Washington Road (CR 535) in Sayreville descending into the South River valley
Washington Road (CR 535) in Sayreville descending into the South River valley
Location of Sayreville in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
Location of Sayreville in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Sayreville, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Sayreville, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°28′02″N 74°19′10″W / 40.467357°N 74.319351°W / 40.467357; -74.319351Coordinates: 40°28′02″N 74°19′10″W / 40.467357°N 74.319351°W / 40.467357; -74.319351
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Middlesex
Incorporated April 6, 1876 (as township)
Reincorporated April 29, 1919 (as borough)
Named for James R. Sayre Jr.
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 18.704 sq mi (48.442 km2)
 • Land 15.842 sq mi (41.030 km2)
 • Water 2.862 sq mi (7.412 km2)  15.30%
Area rank 154th of 566 in state
8th of 25 in county
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total 42,704
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 47th of 566 in state
9th of 25 in county
 • Density 2,695.7/sq mi (1,040.8/km2)
 • Density rank 233rd of 566 in state
18th of 25 in county
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP codes
08871, 08872
Area code(s) 908, 732 and 848
FIPS code 342365790
GNIS feature ID 0885386

Sayreville is a borough located on the Raritan River, near Raritan Bay in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 42,704, reflecting an increase of 2,327 (+5.8%) from the 40,377 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,391 (+15.4%) from the 34,986 counted in the 1990 Census.

Sayreville was originally incorporated as a township on April 6, 1876, from portions of South Amboy Township. On April 2, 1919, the borough was reincorporated as the Borough of Sayreville and ratified by a referendum held on April 29, 1919.


Native Americans were the first settlers of Sayreville. Tribes of the Navesink lived along the South River where Jernee Mill Road is located today. This was noted on a 1656 New Netherland map by Adriaen van der Donck, a Dutch surveyor and map maker. During the 20th century, amateur archaeologists found thousands of Indian artifacts at the location shown on the map.

Predating the incorporation of Sayreville, the Morgan Inn (later known as the Old Spye Inn) was established in 1703 in what is now the Morgan section of Sayreville. Charles Morgan III and his descendants, including Major General James Morgan and Lieutenant Nicholas Morgan, played significant roles in the Revolutionary War. The Morgan family lived in the area for over 200 years and many family members, including Evertsons, are buried in the privately owned Morgan Cemetery, which overlooks Raritan Bay. The Morgans were said to be related to the famous pirate, Captain Henry Morgan, who is said to have visited the Inn on more than one occasion.

It was from an episode during the Revolutionary War that the Morgan Inn gained its new name, the Old Spye Inn. According to local legends, a local British loyalist, Abe Mussey, was captured by Continental Army troops in 1777 while signaling to British ships in Raritan Bay. He was tried as a spy at the Inn, convicted in a one-day trial, and sentenced to death by hanging. Mussey's execution was carried out using a tree near the Inn's entrance. Mussey was reported to be buried behind the Inn in an unmarked grave. The Inn was destroyed by fire in 1976, but its ruins remain on the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally known as Roundabout (for the river bends in the area) and then as Wood's Landing, the community was renamed in the 1860s for James R. Sayre Jr. of Newark, who co-founded Sayre and Fisher Brick Company in the 1850s together with Peter Fisher. It was one of the many companies that took advantage of the extensive clay deposits that supported the brick industry from the early 19th century until 1970. From its inception, Sayre & Fisher quickly grew into one of the largest brick-making companies in the world. Production grew from 54 million bricks annually in 1878, to 178 million bricks a year in 1913, and had reached a total of 6.2 billion bricks in the 100 years through its centennial in 1950.

In 1898, DuPont began production of gunpowder at its plant on Deerfield Road, and later off Washington Road. The company later built additional facilities in Sayreville for the production of paint and photo products.

At one time the Raritan River Railroad passed through Sayreville and had several spurs to service Sayre & Fisher and other local industries. A train running on the line was featured in "The Juggernaut," a 1914 episode of the silent movie serial The Perils of Pauline. The episode was staged on the line, including the construction of a bridge over Ducks Nest Pond in Sayreville. The fishing pond is located in the back of Bailey Park, near the DuPont and Hercules factories.

In 1918 during World War I, Sayreville was heavily damaged by TNT explosions at the Gillespie Shell Loading Plant. The disaster killed dozens and injured hundreds of local victims, damaged hundreds of buildings, required an emergency declaration of martial law, and scattered wide areas of ammunition remnants that continue to surface occasionally.

Sayreville's clay deposits have earned scientific notice as one of the world's major sources of museum-quality fossils found in amber (see New Jersey amber). This prehistoric tree resin managed to encase over a hundred species of insects and plants from approximately 90 million years ago, when Sayreville had a tropical climate. The fossils have been extensively researched and published by David Grimaldi, curator of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 18.704 square miles (48.442 km2), including 15.842 square miles (41.030 km2) of land and 2.862 square miles (7.412 km2) of water (15.30%).

The borough is located on the southern bank of the Raritan River across from Woodbridge Township and Perth Amboy, and is bordered on the southwest and south by Old Bridge Township. The borough also borders East Brunswick Township, Edison, South Amboy, and South River in Middlesex County, and Staten Island in New York City.

Low-lying areas near the Raritan River are subject to flooding associated with storm surges. The borough is approximately 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Lower Manhattan, 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Staten Island and 57 miles (92 km) northeast of Philadelphia. Area codes 908, 732 and 848 are used in Sayreville.

Sayreville uses four ZIP codes. 08871 and 08872 are post offices located in the borough itself. 08879 is the South Amboy ZIP code serving the Morgan and Melrose sections of Sayreville, the City of South Amboy, and the Laurence Harbor neighborhood of Old Bridge Township. 08859 is the Parlin ZIP code, which serves adjoining portions of Sayreville and Old Bridge Township.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names within the borough include: Crossmans, Ernston, Gillespie, Laurel Park, MacArthur Manor, Melrose, Morgan, Morgan Heights, Phoenix, Runyon, Sayre Woods, Sayreville Junction, Sayreville Station, and Whitehead Dock.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,930
1890 3,509 81.8%
1900 4,155 18.4%
1910 5,783 39.2%
1920 7,181 24.2%
1930 8,658 20.6%
1940 8,186 −5.5%
1950 10,338 26.3%
1960 22,553 118.2%
1970 32,508 44.1%
1980 29,969 −7.8%
1990 34,986 16.7%
2000 40,377 15.4%
2010 42,704 5.8%
2015 (est.) 44,920 5.2%
Population sources: 1880-1920
1880-1890 1890-1910
1910-1930 1930-1990
2000 2010

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 42,704 people, 15,636 households, and 11,414 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,695.7 per square mile (1,040.8/km2). There were 16,393 housing units at an average density of 1,034.8 per square mile (399.5/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 67.04% (28,630) White, 10.71% (4,573) Black or African American, 0.23% (100) Native American, 16.12% (6,882) Asian, 0.04% (18) Pacific Islander, 3.50% (1,495) from other races, and 2.36% (1,006) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.31% (5,258) of the population.

There were 15,636 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 92.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $71,808 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,796) and the median family income was $84,929 (+/- $6,096). Males had a median income of $63,523 (+/- $3,061) versus $46,180 (+/- $3,434) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $32,259 (+/- $1,187). About 4.4% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


Although the borough remains an industrial community, the addition of many technology companies and a growing residential population has changed the landscape of this central New Jersey town.

Randy Corman, Executive Director of the Sayreville Economic and Redevelopment Agency (SERA), has been heading up the development of the parcel of land commonly referred to as the National Lead Site / Amboy Cinemas lot since about 2000. This new development would clear woods, trees, and wetlands and install an entire city complete with commercial, industrial, residential, and recreational facilities, all near the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (Sewerage Authority) and the Middlesex County Fire Academy. There has also been much litigation as to the makeup of the members and public opinion about this project has never been put to a ballot. In addition, closed-door meetings have been accused of going against the Sunshine Open Meeting Act.

The master plan of the area was finalized in 2012, with plans to create a mixed-use development which includes a shopping center, luxury mall, apartments, town homes, offices, and multiple marinas. Phase 1 of the plan has begun construction as of 2013. The first major tenant, Bass Pro Shops, will have a store open at the location in late 2014, as part of The Landing, which represents the first phase of The Point development. It is known as Luxury Point, and is currently proceeding with land development, beginning major construction in Spring 2013. Plans include a luxury mall with 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of space, 620,000 square feet (58,000 m2) of luxury shopping, entertainment, restaurants and groceries, a 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) Bass Pro Shops, a 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) regional power center, 1,400 apartments and 600 homes, along with waterfront dining, hotels and office space.

Flood plain

Following extensive flooding near the river during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many residents accepted an offer funded by the federal government in 2013 to buy out 250 houses in the floodplain.


Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 130.58 miles (210.15 km) of roadways, of which 101.75 miles (163.75 km) were maintained by the municipality, 17.93 miles (28.86 km) by Middlesex County, 6.17 miles (9.93 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.73 miles (7.61 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Sayreville is near several major roadways: the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), Interstate 287 which becomes Route 440 (providing access to Staten Island and Long Island), U.S. 1, U.S. 9, Route 18, Route 34, Route 35 and Route 36.

Three highway bridges span the Raritan River from Sayreville. The Edison Bridge on U.S. 9 and the Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway connect Woodbridge on the north with Sayreville on the south. The Victory Bridge carries Route 35, connecting Sayreville with Perth Amboy.

Public transportation

NJ Transit offers service between the borough and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan via the 131 and 139 bus routes. Service within New Jersey is offered to Newark on the 67, to Jersey City on the 64, and to other local destinations on the 815 and 817 routes. Academy Bus provides additional weekday rush-hour service for commuters to Manhattan.

The Raritan River Railroad provided passenger service to Sayreville's Parlin Station from 1888 through 1938.


Sayreville is home to the Starland Ballroom concert venue that opened in December 2003.

The community is home to the Faith Fellowship Ministries World Outreach Center, a non-denominational "megachurch" founded in 1980 that has a weekly attendance over 10,000, which was ranked 44th by Outreach magazine on its 2013 list of the "100 Largest Churches in America", and is the largest church in New Jersey.

Sayreville has two community football and cheerleading teams, the Sayreville Leprechauns and Morgan-Parlin Panthers.

Sayreville has a newly constructed Skate Park, located in Kennedy Park, for skaters and bikers all around New Jersey.

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