Named for the red soil banks of the Navesink River, Red Bank was purchased from the Lenape by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century. At the time, the river was more important than the land. It was not until 1736 that Red Bank, then a part of Shrewsbury Township, formed as a small but important port town on the way to Manhattan. By the early 1800s, the town had expanded into an industrial and commercial center which no longer just serviced ships, but built and stocked them with locally produced textiles, furs and other goods. As the town grew and transportation improved, a daily commute to New York City became possible and so, by the 1850s, steamboats were ferrying workers and businessmen to and from the city several times a day. In 1870, Red Bank formed its own township, only to rejoin Shrewsbury in 1879 and leave once again less than a year later. Red Bank formed as a borough finally in 1908. During the First and Second World Wars, Red Bank’s factories reached peak productivity helping with the war effort; and in the post-war era, developers built throughout rural Red Bank what would become some of New Jersey’s most affluent suburbs.
Today, where once factories billowed, restaurants and shops abound, offering world class dining, shopping and entertainment. While walking the streets of downtown Red Bank, one can browse the boutiques, nosh on five star cuisine, unwind at the spa or even swing by Jay and Silent Bob’s famous Stash. Red Bank is a proud center of the arts, boasting two professional theaters, the Two River Theater and the historic Count Basie Center for the Arts. When not on the town, enjoy fishing and boating along the scenic Navesink, as well as countless fairs and festivals which attract Jerseyans from miles away. Life the high life here in Red Bank!