Cranbury Township, New Jersey

Cranbury Township, New Jersey
Cranbury Township, New Jersey
—  Township  —
Map of Cranbury Township in Middlesex County. Inset: Location of Middlesex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Cranbury Township, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°18′26″N 74°30′59″W / 40.30722°N 74.51639°W / 40.30722; -74.51639
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Middlesex
Incorporated March 7, 1872
 – Type Township (New Jersey)
 – Mayor Winthrop Cody (2011)[2]
 – Administrator Denise Marabello[3]
 – Total 13.5 sq mi (34 km2)
 – Land 13.4 sq mi (34.7 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation[4] 85 ft (26 m)
Population (2010 Census)[5]
 – Total 3,857
 – Density 285.7/sq mi (113.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08512, 08570
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 34-15550[6][7]
GNIS feature ID 0882160[8]

Cranbury Township is a Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 3,857.[5]

Cranbury CDP is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Cranbury Township. Its population was 2,181 as of the 2010 Census.[9] Despite the similarity in the name of the Township and the CDP, the two are not one and the same, as is the case for most paired Township / CDP combinations (i.e., a CDP with the same as the Township).



A deed for a sale of land and improvements dated March 1, 1698, is the earliest evidence of buildings constructed in present-day Cranbury. A home in Cranbury was used by Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette as a headquarters during the American Revolutionary War, and they were visited by General George Washington on June 26, 1778. As part of orders issued during the Presidency of George Washington, maps of Cranbury were made showing the presence of a church, a mill and 25 other buildings. During its earliest years, the location was usually spelled as "Cranberry". Rev. Joseph G. Symmes argued in 1857 that the name was spelled improperly and that the suffix "bury" was more appropriate, leading the name of the community and brook to be changed to "Cranbury" in 1869.[10]

Cranbury Township was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 7, 1872, from portions of both Monroe Township and South Brunswick Township. Portions of the township were taken on April 1, 1919, to form Plainsboro Township.[11]

George Washington's headquarters were located in Cranbury while planning for the Battle of Monmouth, a major turning point during the American Revolutionary War.[12]

Cranbury's Main Street and surrounding area is rather distinctive, as most of the buildings date to the 18th or 19th century. The entire downtown area is designated as a Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 as District #80002502.[13]

The township celebrated its tricentennial in 1998.[14]

Updike Parsonage Barn was relocated and reconstructed in 2010.[citation needed]


Cranbury Township highlighted in Middlesex County

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 13.4 square miles (35 km2), of which, 13.4 square miles (35 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.30%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 1,278
1940 1,342 5.0%
1950 1,797 33.9%
1960 2,001 11.4%
1970 2,253 12.6%
1980 1,927 −14.5%
1990 2,500 29.7%
2000 3,227 29.1%
2010 3,857 19.5%
Population sources:
1930 - 1990.[15]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 3,227 people, 1,091 households, and 877 families residing in the township. The population density was 240.6 people per square mile (92.9/km²). There were 1,121 housing units at an average density of 83.6 per square mile (32.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 88.78% White, 2.26% African American, 7.41% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.[16]

There were 1,091 households out of which 46.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.6% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 16.3% 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 2.92 and the average family size was 3.31.[16]

In the township the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.[16]

The median income for a household in the township was $111,680, and the median income for a family was $128,410. Males had a median income of $94,683 versus $44,167 for females. The per capita income for the township was $50,698. About 0.7% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over.[16]


Local government

Cranbury Town Hall, formerly the Cranbury School

Cranbury Township is governed under the Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee. The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one seat coming up for election each year.[1]

At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor. In 1990, the Cranbury Township Committee was expanded from three to five members. That same year, the Township Committee established the position of Township Administrator by ordinance.[18]

As of 2011, members of the Cranbury Township Committee are Mayor Winthrop Cody (whose term of office ends December 31, 2011), David Cook (2012), Glenn Johnson (2013), Daniel P. Mulligan, III (2013) and James Taylor (2012).[18] On November 8, 2011 Susan Goetz (2014) was elected to fill the Committee seat that will be vacated by Winthrop Cody.[19]

Federal, state and county representation

Cranbury Township is in the 12th Congressional district and is part of New Jersey's 14th state legislative district.[20] The legislative district was kept unchanged by the New Jersey Apportionment Commission based on the results of the 2010 Census.[5]

New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Rush D. Holt, Jr. (D, Hopewell Township).[21] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

14th district of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the Senate by Linda R. Greenstein (D, Plainsboro Township and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Daniel R. Benson (D, Hamilton Township) and Wayne DeAngelo (D, Hamilton Township).[22] The New Jersey Senate seat, which was vacant after the resignation of Bill Baroni, was filled by Tom Goodwin (R, Hamilton Township) on March 15, 2010. In a special election held to fill the remainder of Baroni's term, Goodwin lost re-election to then Assemblywoman Greenstein.[23] Benson was chosen to fill Greenstein's vacancy in the Assembly.[24] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[25] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[26]

Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2010 , Middlesex County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano (South River), Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios (Carteret), Carol Barrett Ballante (Monmouth Junction), Stephen J. "Pete" Dalina (Fords), H. James Polos (Highland Park), Mildred Scott (Piscataway) and Blanquita B. Valenti (New Brunswick). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (Old Bridge Township), Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (Piscataway) and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (New Brunswick).[27]


Primary and secondary education

Public schools

Children in public school for grades Kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Cranbury School. As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 596 students and 48 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.42.[28] For the 1996-97 and 2009-10 school years, Cranbury School was formally designated as a National Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor that an American public school can achieve.[29] During the 2009-10 school year, Cranbury School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence a second time.[30]

For grades 9 to 12, Cranbury students attend Princeton High School, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Princeton Regional Schools.[14][31] Cranbury Township is granted a non-voting seat on the Princeton Regional Schools Board of Education, with the designated representative only voting on issues pertaining to Princeton High School and district-wide issues.[32]

Colleges and universities

Cranbury is served by the Middlesex County College in Edison.

Cranbury is in close proximity to Princeton University.

Public libraries

The Cranbury Public Library serves Cranbury residents, sharing a facility with the Cranbury School.[14]


A few county routes traverse through Cranbury: 535, 539, 615, and 614.

Cranbury hosts U.S. Route 130 and a four-mile (6 km) section of Interstate 95 (the New Jersey Turnpike). Cranbury is accessible by the Turnpike in neighboring townships: Interchange 8 in East Windsor Township and Interchange 8A in Monroe Township. The Molly Pitcher Service Area is located at mile marker 71.7 on the southbound side.[33]

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is planning to widen the Turnpike (with the "dual-dual" setup) between Exit 6 in Mansfield Township and Exit 8A in Monroe Township by 2014. This widening would require the condemnation of part of the Molly Pitcher Service Area as well as construction of new overpasses that cross the Turnpike. New entrance & exit ramps would be constructed as well to access the service area.[34]

Corporate residents

Companies based in Cranbury Township include Blacklight Power, an alternative energy firm.

The Associated University Presses, an academic publishing company supplying textbooks to colleges and universities, is also based in Cranbury.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Cranbury include:

  • Melanie Balcomb, head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores Women's Basketball team.[35]
  • Todd Beamer (1968–2001), passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who uttered the words, heard by a phone operator, to fellow passengers with whom he was planning an assault on the terrorists in the cockpit -- "Let's roll".[36]
  • Jan Morris (born 1926), Welsh travel writer and historian, lived in Cranbury for several months in the 1950s whose impressions of the town are recorded in the book Coast to Coast: A Journey Across 1950s America.[37]


  1. ^ a b 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 70.
  2. ^ 2011 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Administrator, Cranbury Township. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Cranbury, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed June 13, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d 2011 Apportionment Redistricting: Municipalities sorted alphabetically, New Jersey Department of State, p. 2. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  8. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Cranbury CDP, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  10. ^ History, Cranbury Township. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 169-170.
  12. ^ Historic, Sparsely Settled -- and Loving It, The New York Times, March 16, 1997.
  13. ^ NEW JERSEY - Middlesex County, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed October 19, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c Cheslow, Jerry. "Historic, Sparsely Settled -- and Loving It", The New York Times, March 16, 1997. Accessed July 14, 2011. "The Middlesex County community is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the first documented European settlement in the area.... Cranbury pays tuition to send 106 high school students to nearby Princeton High School. According to Cranbury's Chief School Administrator, Robert J. Bartoletti, 87 percent of the town's youngsters go on to higher education.... As part of the addition, the 28,000-volume Cranbury Public Library, which shares space with the school library, is also being expanded to 6,000 square feet from 4,000 and the school's computers are to be enhanced through the networking of all of the classrooms into the library."
  15. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 2, 2009. Accessed July 6, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d e Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights: Cranbury township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  17. ^ Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Cranbury Township, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  18. ^ a b Township Committee, Cranbury Township. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  19. ^ Staff. "Local election results for Cranbury, Jamesburg and Monroe", The Cranbury Press, November 8, 2011. Accessed November 9, 2011. "There was one open seat on Cranbury Township Committee, and the candidates were Republican Karen Callahan and Democrat Susan Goetz. Ms. Callahan received 518 votes and Ms. Goetz received 574. These include absentee ballots."
  20. ^ 2011 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 56. Accessed July 8, 2011.
  21. ^ Municipalities, Congressman Rush D. Holt, Jr. Accessed June 29, 2008.
  22. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  23. ^ "Hamilton councilman wins N.J. Senate seat vacated by Bill Baroni". The Star-Ledger. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  24. ^ "Mercer freeholder Dan Benson chosen to fill 14th District Assembly seat". The Times (Trenton). 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  25. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  26. ^ "About the Lieutenant Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  27. ^ Elected County Officials, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 5, 2011.
  28. ^ Cranford School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  29. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education, p. 52. Accessed July 15, 2011.
  30. ^ 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools: All Public and Private Schools, United States Department of Education, p. 13. Accessed July 15, 2011.
  31. ^ Staff. "Cranbury trims 23 jobs in wake of aid reduction", The Times (Trenton), March 25, 2010. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Cranbury public schools serve about 600 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The district’s high school students attend Princeton High School."
  32. ^ Board of Education, Princeton Regional Schools. Accessed July 15, 2011.
  33. ^ Travel Resources: Interchanges, Service Areas & Commuter Lots, New Jersey Turnpike. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  34. ^ Widening Program Overview, New Jersey Turnpike. Accessed July 14, 2011.
  35. ^ Konick, Emery Jr. "Women's sports at center court", Home News Tribune, August 17, 2004. Accessed July 14, 2011. "Melanie Balcomb of Cranbury is the head women's basketball coach at Vanderbilt and one of the most successful young women's coaches in the nation."
  36. ^ 13-minute call bonds her forever with hero, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 22, 2001. "Beamer, 32, of Cranbury, N.J., was the only passenger who dialed zero for the Airfone operator."
  37. ^ Morris, Jan. "Once upon a time in America", Financial Times, May 9, 2008. Accessed August 27, 2008. "When I was resident in Cranbury more than half a century ago, it was a rustic haven in flat farmland country, with the remains of slave shacks, an 18th century inn, proud memories of the revolutionary war and a firehouse where firemen chewed the cud on kitchen chairs on the sidewalk outside, exchanging bucolic prejudices."

External links

Coordinates: 40°20′42″N 74°28′50″W / 40.345°N 74.48056°W / 40.345; -74.48056

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.