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Cranbury, NJ

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Cranbury, NJ

Cranbury Township, New Jersey
Township of Cranbury

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′48″N 74°31′13″W / 40.313448°N 74.520224°W / 40.313448; -74.520224Coordinates: 40°18′48″N 74°31′13″W / 40.313448°N 74.520224°W / 40.313448; -74.520224[1][2]

Country United States
State New Jersey
County Middlesex
Incorporated March 7, 1872
 • Type Township
 • Mayor Glenn Johnson (term ends December 31, 2013)[3]
 • Clerk Kathleen Cunningham[4]
 • Total 13.397 sq mi (34.697 km2)
 • Land 13.247 sq mi (34.309 km2)
 • Water 0.150 sq mi (0.389 km2)  1.12%
Area rank 181st of 566 in state
9th of 25 in county[2]
Elevation[6] 82 ft (25 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9]
 • Total 3,857
 • Estimate (2012[10]) 3,886
 • Rank 417th of 566 in state
24th of 25 in county[11]
 • Density 291.2/sq mi (112.4/km2)
 • Density rank 481st of 566 in state
25th of 25 in county[11]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08512[12][13]
Area code(s) 609 and 732[14]
FIPS code 3402315550[15][2][16]
GNIS feature ID 0882160[17][2]

Cranbury Township is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 3,857,[7][8][8] reflecting an increase of 630 (+19.5%) from the 3,227 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 727 (+29.1%) from the 2,500 counted in the 1990 Census.[18]

Cranbury CDP (2010 Census population of 2,181[19]) is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated community located within Cranbury Township.[20][21] Despite match between the name of the Township and the CDP, the two are not one and the same, as was the case for most paired Township / CDP combinations (i.e., a CDP with the same as a township) before the 2010 Census, when most such CDPs were coextensive with a township of the same name.


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.[22]

The so-called Hightstown rail accident occurred in or near Cranbury, in 1833. According to John Quincy Adams, who was aboard the train and who wrote in his diary about it, the train was 3 miles (4.8 km) from Hightstown when the disaster struck, putting the accident near what is now Cranbury Station.[23][24] Among the passengers aboard were Tyrone Power and Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Cranbury 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.[25]

George Washington's headquarters were located in Cranbury while planning for the Battle of Monmouth, a major turning point during the Revolutionary War.[26]

Many buildings on Cranbury's Main Street and in the surrounding area 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.[27]

The township celebrated its tricentennial in 1998.[26]

Updike Parsonage Barn was relocated and reconstructed in 2010.


Cranbury township is located at 40°18′48″N 74°31′13″W / 40.313448°N 74.520224°W / 40.313448; -74.520224 (40.313448,-74.520224). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 13.397 square miles (34.697 km2), of which, 13.247 square miles (34.309 km2) of it is land and 0.150 square miles (0.389 km2) of it (1.12%) is water.[1][2]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20123,886[10]0.8%
Population sources:
1880-1920[28] 1880-1890[29]
1890-1910[30] 1910-1930[31]
1930-1990[32] 2000[33][34] 2010[7][8][9]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[25]

Census 2010

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $131,667 (with a margin of error of +/- $21,076) and the median family income was $146,250 (+/- $24,045). Males had a median income of $122,566 (+/- $25,917) versus $60,781 (+/- $22,066) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $55,236 (+/- $5,718). About 3.1% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.[35]

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] 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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]


Local government

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.[5] 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.[36]

As of 2013, members of the Cranbury Township Committee are Mayor Glenn R. Johnson (whose term of office ends December 31, 2013), David Cook (2015), Susan J. Goetz (2014), Daniel P. Mulligan, III (2013) and James Taylor (2015).[36] On November 8, 2011, Susan Goetz was elected to fill the Committee seat vacated by Winthrop Cody.[37]

Federal, state and county representation

Cranbury Township is located in the 12th Congressional District[38] and is part of New Jersey's 14th state legislative district.[8][39][40]

New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Rush D. Holt, Jr. (D, Hopewell Township).[41] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark)[42] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[43][44]

The 14th district of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Linda R. Greenstein (D, Plainsboro Township and in the General Assembly by Daniel R. Benson (D, Hamilton Township, Mercer County) and Wayne DeAngelo (D, Hamilton Township, Mercer County).[45] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[46] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[47]

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. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2013, Middlesex County's Freeholders (with committee chairmanship, residence and term-end year listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano (Ex-officio on all committees; South River, term ends December 31, 2013),[48] Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios (County Administration; Carteret, 2015),[49] Carol Barrett Bellante (Finance; Monmouth Junction in South Brunswick, 2014),[50] H. James Polos (Public Safety and Health; Highland Park, 2015),[51] Charles E. Tomaro (Business Development and Education; Edison, 2014)[52] and Blanquita B. Valenti (Community Services; New Brunswick, 2013).[53] The seat of Stephen J. "Pete" Dalina (D-Fords, Woodbridge) – Chairperson, Infrastructure Management Committee[54], is vacant following his death in October 2013 after serving 23 years in office as the longest-serving freeholder in the county.[55] Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (Old Bridge Township),[56] Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (Piscataway)[57] and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (New Brunswick).[58][59]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,768 registered voters in Cranbury Township, of which 836 (30.2%) were registered as Democrats, 684 (24.7%) were registered as Republicans and 1,246 (45.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.[60]

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 53.0% of the vote here (1,153 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 45.3% (986 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (29 votes), among the 2,176 ballots cast by the township's 2,777 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.4%.[61] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 50.8% of the vote here (1,044 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 48.0% (987 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (23 votes), among the 2,055 ballots cast by the township's 2,510 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 81.9.[62]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 54.6% of the vote here (901 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 35.5% (585 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.7% (144 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (11 votes), among the 1,649 ballots cast by the township's 2,711 registered voters, yielding a 60.8% turnout.[63]


Main article: Cranbury School

Children in public school for grades Kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Cranbury School. As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 586 students and 45.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.96:1.[64] 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.[65] During the 2009-10 school year, Cranbury School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence a second time.[66]

For ninth through twelfth grades, Cranbury students in public school attend Princeton High School, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Princeton Regional Schools.[26][67][68] 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.[69]

Public libraries

The Cranbury Public Library serves Cranbury residents, sharing a facility with the Cranbury School.[26][70]


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.[71]

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.[72]

Corporate residents

Cranbury is host to many warehouses along Route 130 and the roads leading to the NJ Turnpike. A company making the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby cars is also here. Cranbury was noted for a used Rolls-Royce dealership located in the center of town, but it has gone out of business. The alternative energy business Blacklight Power, which occupies a building formerly occupied by Creative Playthings, is in fact located in East Windsor, in an area served by the Cranbury Post Office.

The Associated University Presses is an academic publishing company supplying textbooks to colleges and universities.

Notable people

Notable current and former residents of Cranbury include:


Further reading

  • Chambers, John Whiteclay. Cranbury: A New Jersey Town From the Colonial Era to the Present (Rivergate Books / Rutgers University Press; 2012) 272 pages

External links

  • Cranbury Township Official Website
  • Cranbury Public Library Website
  • Cranbury Township School
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • Princeton High School
  • Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society
  • Cranbury Forums
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