About Bound Brook, NJ
Bound Brook, NJ only “dances” with the physical NJ Route 22 for about half a mile or so, just to the east of Bridgewater. And it represents the easternmost point of our NJ Route 22 Central Zone (at Mountain Ave.)
Also cutting through the borough is Route 28, as well as an NJ Transit Station (Bound Brook). We’ll see what noteworthy things we can scope out in this small town.
Below, see the “encyclopedia” entry:
Bound Brook, New Jersey
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.
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 paved 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.695 square miles (4.389 km), including 1.659 square miles (4.297 km) of land and 0.036 square miles (0.092 km) of water (2.10%).
As 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.
At the 2010 United States Census, 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/km). There were 3,816 housing units at an average density of 2,300.0 per square mile (888.0/km). 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. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 48.66% (5,062) of the population.
There were 3,586 households, 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, 22.6% of the population were 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 age 18 and over, 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.
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.
The borough is served by the Bound Brook train station, which offers New Jersey 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 through this station, used for freight trains going to Newark.
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 U.S. 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, according to the U.S. 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 being stopped by the efforts of the Bound Brook Fire Department, 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 St. and others nearby on Mountain Avenue, could be affected. During the April 2007 Nor’easter, the BBFD stopped another fire from spreading through an area of close residential construction. Under the command of Chief James Knight, and again with the assistance of mutual aid companies including the Finderne Fire Department, fire loss was restricted to three residential buildings.
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 (1906–1971), photographer.
- Robert Florczak (born 1950), artist/illustrator.
- 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 1894–1917.
- 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), author.
- Samuel Swan (1771–1844), physician and U.S. Congressman.
- Henry Trefflich (1908–1978), wild animal importer and dealer.