Frenchtown (NJ)

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Frenchtown is a Borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 1,488.

Frenchtown Borough is located along the banks of the Delaware River. Various names have been applied to this settlement, after the many ferry operators residing on both sides of the river. Alexandria Ville, Sunbeam, and Frenchtown were the official names by which this community was known over the years. The Borough was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 4, 1867, from portions of Alexandria Township. Additional territory was gained from Kingwood Township in 1865.

The first bridge across the Delaware at Frenchtown was a six-span covered wooden bridge built in 1841 on the five piers that still stand today, and the community became a gateway to Pennsylvania. The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge, a free Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission bridge over the Delaware River connects Frenchtown to Uhlerstown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.


In 1757, three joint owners of a tract purchased from the West Jersey Land Society began laying at streets and building lots at Calvin's Ferry. The developing town was to be called "Alexandria" in honor of William Alexander, one of the three owners. In 1776, the three sold the settlement to Thomas Lowrey, a Flemington speculator.

In 1794, Lowrey sold the tract to Paul Henri Mallet-Prevost, a Swiss fugitive from the French Revolution. He and other early settlers were French speaking, leading some to begin calling the place "Frenchtown."

The town grew substantially in the next four decades. A trade in grain and other farm products developed. Boatmen and river men helped fuel Frenchtown's growth through their buying of cargo and food, and hiring of pilots. In the years after Henri Mallet-Prevost's death, his sons sold off portions of their property; no longer was the town privately owned.

The arrival of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad in 1853 sparked continued growth in Frenchtown. Steam-powered industry became widely developed, and by the 1860s, mills were being converted into larger factories. Around the same time, the town had three major hotels. In 1889, Britton Brothers Big Brick Store, which sold a variety of goods, opened on Bridge Street.

In the early 20th century, growth was spurred by the arrival of Frenchtown Porcelain Works, the establishment of the Milford plant of the Warren Paper Company, and the rise of the poultry industry.


Frenchtown is located at (40.527820, -75.060953).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.5 km²), of which, 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (4.48%) is water.

Frenchtown borders Kingwood Township and Alexandria Township. Frenchtown also borders the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is south of Milford borough.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,488 people, 613 households, and 375 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,160.7 people per square mile (448.8/km²). There were 630 housing units at an average density of 491.4/sq mi (190.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.97% White, 0.40% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 1.34% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.62% of the population.

There were 613 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 28.9% 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 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the borough the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $52,109, and the median income for a family was $62,132. Males had a median income of $42,321 versus $30,952 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $27,765. About 2.4% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 1.4% of those age 65 or over.

According to the NJSP Website there are no registered sex offenders located in Frenchtown in 2007.


Local government

Frenchtown is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.

The Mayor of Frenchtown Borough is Ronald M. Sworen. Members of the Frenchtown Borough Council are Deborah Hearty, Adam Liebtag, Gerry St. Onge, Christopher Poh, Sargent Russell and John Wagner.

Federal, state and county representation

Frenchtown is in the Twelfth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District.


The Frenchtown School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School had an enrollment of 133 students in the 2005-06 school year.

Public school students in grade 9 - 12 attend the Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, which serves almost 1,000 students in western Hunterdon County. Students from Alexandria, Holland and Kingwood Townships along with the boroughs of Frenchtown and Milford attend the high school. The school is part of the Delaware Valley Regional High School District.


Frenchtown is the northern terminus of Route 29, the western terminus of Route 12, and the southern terminus of Route 513.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Frenchtown include:


External links

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