- Also see: Freehold Township.
Freehold Borough is a Borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 10,976. It is the county seat of Monmouth County.
What is now Freehold Borough was originally incorporated as a town by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 25, 1869, from portions within Freehold Township. The town became independent of the township in 1888. On April 15, 1919, Freehold was incorporated as a borough, including all of Freehold and additional portions of Freehold Township, based on the results of a referendum held on July 8, 1919. Additional portions of the Freehold Township were annexed on September 7, 1926.
Freehold is located at (40.260143, -74.275428). It is situated in the heart of Monmouth County
at the northern edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens
and about 15 miles west of Asbury Park
on the Jersey Shore
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), all of it land.
Freehold Borough has an elevation of 100 feet above sea level (according to a sign on West Main Street).
As of the census
of 2000, there were 10,976 people, 3,695 households, and 2,571 families residing in the borough. The population density
was 5,501.1 people per square mile (2,118.9/km²). There were 3,821 housing units at an average density of 1,915.1/sq mi (737.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 71.02% White
, 15.83% Black
, 0.55% Native American
, 2.45% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 6.64% from other races
, and 3.49% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 28.07% of the population.
There were 3,695 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96 and the average family size was 3.39.
In the borough the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 106.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $48,654, and the median income for a family was $53,374. Males had a median income of $35,855 versus $30,377 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,910. About 7.7% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.
Freehold operates under the Borough
form of New Jersey municipal government, and is governed by a mayor and a six-member borough council. The mayor is directly elected by the voters to a four-year term of office. Borough council members serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year. The governing body is empowered to adopt local ordinances and pass resolutions. The governing body conducts all of its business during monthly meetings open to the public.
The Mayor of Freehold Borough is Michael Wilson (elected in 1985, and the longest-serving mayor in Freehold Borough history). Members of the Freehold Borough Council are Council President Michael J. DiBenedetto, Kevin A. Kane, Marc LeVine, George Schnurr, Sharon Shutzer and Jaye Sims.
Federal, state and county representation
Freehold Borough is in the 4th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 12th Legislative District.
Freehold Borough's nearly 1,400 students in public school for grades pre-K through 8 attend the Freehold Borough Schools
. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 school enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics
) are Freehold Learning Center
Pre-K through grade 5 (515 students),
Park Avenue Elementary School
K - 5 (423 students) and
Freehold Borough Intermediate School
grades 6 - 8 (381 students).
Students in public school for grades 9-12 attend Freehold High School, as part of the Freehold Regional High School District. The Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) also serves students from Colts Neck Township, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Township, Howell Township, Manalapan Township and Marlboro. FRHSD also has a set of specialized learning programs, each one focusing on a certain topic (business, engineering, cooking, etc.) and is for students who are talented in that topic and wish to study it in college.
Freehold Borough was awarded a research grant in 2004 by the National Institute of Justice, a research branch of the United States Department of Justice. The grant was entitled "Teacher-Parent Authentication Security System II: The Next Generation of Iris Recognition Technology in Schools" and was awarded to the Freehold Borough Board of Education in the amount of US$369,998.
Freehold was originally named Monmouth County Courthouse. In 1714, John Reid, the first Surveyor General of East Jersey, wanted the county seat located in Freehold Township and thus sold the property to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at a bargain price, what may have been the deciding factor in Freehold's competition with Middletown and Shrewsbury for the site. In return for the heavily-discounted price, Reid placed a restrictive covenant in the deed that, should the property ever cease being used as a courthouse, ownership would revert back to the Reid family. Direct descendants of John Reid still reside in Freehold Township.
Freehold Borough also has a relatively unknown connection with the bicycle. Due to the large quantity of bicycles once produced in Freehold in the 1880s and 1890s, the town was known as the "Bicycle Capital of the World." The borough is home to the "Bicycle Museum" located on Main Street just across the street from Rita's Italian Ice and the fire department.
U.S. Route 9
passes through Freehold Borough, as do Route 33 Business
, Route 79
, County Route 522
and County Route 537
. The Henry Hudson Trail
runs north along an abandoned rail line to Matawan
New Jersey Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 131, 135 and 139 routes, Newark on the 67, Jersey City on the 64 and 67 lines, and local service on the 833 and 836 routes. 307 has service between Freehold and Six Flags Great Adventure.
was located near the western boundary of Freehold Borough near the Freehold Raceway
. The circle carried traffic between US 9
, Business Route 33
and Manalapan Avenue (CR 24
); it was eliminated in the 1980s due to the increased traffic load caused by a boom in commercial and residential development. Most notable of the commercial development is the Freehold Raceway Mall
, which is just south of the old circle on US 9. The former circle now features several jughandles
, and most Manalapan Avenue traffic must use a connector road to Business Route 33 to reach the main intersection, but it is still known by locals as Freehold Circle.See also
Noted current and former residents of Freehold include:
- Scott Conover (1968-), former Detroit Lions offensive tackle and author of the children's book Can I Play Too? was raised in Freehold.
- Danny Lewis (1936-), NFL running back from 1958-66, playing for the Detroit Lions, the Washington Redskins, and the New York Giants.
- Craig Mazin (1971-), screenwriter, producer and director.
- Tim Perry (1965-), former NBA player, most notably with the Phoenix Suns.
- Darrell Reid (1982-), defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts.
- J.R. Smith, professional basketball player currently playing for the Denver Nuggets, was born in Freehold.
- Bruce Springsteen (1949-), rock musician, was raised in Freehold Borough. The borough is the subject of his song "My Hometown", from the Born in the U.S.A. album, which described racial and economic tensions in the 1960s (the "textile mill being closed" was the A & M Karagheushian rug mill at Center and Jackson Streets). Springsteen has also performed the humorous song "In Freehold" about the town. The song can be found on some bootleg live recordings.
- [Carol Ann Sherman] 1951-, artist , was born in Freehold.