Homes in Edison

Moving fluidly between quaint neighborhoods and busy centers of commerce, Edison is the expansive, branching heart of Middlesex County, a vibrant tapestry woven along the curves of the Raritan River. Home originally to the Lenape, the indigenous peoples practiced careful stewardship of the land, cultivating fields for growing, clearings for deer and veining the forests with trails. It was not until the arrival of Europeans in the seventeenth century that these began being built over, with permanent settlements replacing the Lenape campgrounds and pushing the natives west. Having planted their flag, the settlers dubbed their expansive, loosely connected web of rural hamlets and shipping centers as Raritan Township. This incorporated not only todays Edison but also Woodbridge, Metuchen and Piscataway. The town we know as Edison today remained an unassuming agricultural community on the outskirts of New Brunswick until its technological transformation in the late nineteenth ce…

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Homes in Metuchen

An enclave of cobblestone streets and lively, emerging brush, Metuchen lays like a badge on the wide lapel of Edison, a town within a town. For centuries, Metuchen was the site of careful cultivation by the Lenape who maintained land for growing and clearings for deer. The famed Chief Matochshegan, a Lenape leader said to have commanded over a thousand warriors before the arrival of Europeans, was perhaps the earliest notable resident to the area and remains the towns namesake, the first British colonists approximating his name for their settlement. It was not until 1836 with the arrival of the New Jersey Railroad that industry came Metuchen’s way, bringing new residents and new opportunities. The town wasted no time, laying down roads and expanding public services continually throughout the nineteenth century, both to accommodate and attract new residents and business. By 1900, Metuchen had blossomed, becoming a commercial and cultural center for the county and finally rei…

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Homes in Highland Park

Seated patiently at the bend of the Raritan River, just beyond the high rises and bustle of New Brunswick, is Highland Park, a verdant hinterland of rolling hills and stately, spacious suburbs. Home originally to the Lenape, the area was for centuries the site of careful cultivation, the indigenous peoples maintaining clearings for deer within the forests and fields for growing atop the fertile, sun baked hills. It was here, in the orbit of New Brunswick, that the first European colonists chose to build ranches and plantations, placing permanent settlements where previously none had existed. From then on, generations of farmers would watch from these hills as the the sun rose behind them, settling above the river before silhouetting the skyline, the days final sun beams being sifted through the henge of buildings. The first real residential development took place beginning in the 1870s, with houses popping up along the Camden and Amboy Railroad, eventually branching out dee…

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Homes in Plainsboro

A verdant plain emerging from the dense woods of Central Jersey, Plainsboro rests at the edge of Middlesex County, dipping its toes in Carnegie Lake. Home originally to the Lenape, Plainsboro's fertile soil, some of the richest in the Garden State, made this the perfect spot for the cultivation of corn, squash, potato and tobacco, the staples of Lenape agriculture. When, beginning the mid-seventeenth century, Dutch and then British settlers began arriving in New Jersey, they found equal success farming in Plainsboro. Remaining rural for most of its history, Plainsboro was put on the map when the Walker-Gordon Laboratory Company opened its revolutionary dairy farm here in 1897. Designed to produce clean, high-quality milk in the days before pasteurization, the farm became the largest of its kind in the world by 1930 after inventing and installing its 50-stall, merry-go-round milking facility known as the Rotary Combine Milking System or “Rotolactor.” The whimsical and state-…

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Homes in Milltown

A lush, green clearing at the edge of Westons Mill Pond, the quiet village of Milltown sits cozily in the center of Middlesex County, moated by Lawrence, Sucker and Sawmill Brooks. Originally a Lenape settlement, the indigenous people would make camp in Milltown while traveling south to their summer camping grounds on the shores of the Raritan Bay. The Lenape were known to hunt in the dense brush around Milltown, as is evident in the myriad of arrow heads and other artifacts unearthed throughout the town and especially in and around Albert Avenue Park. Though the Dutch would claim New Jersey decades prior, it was not until the late seventeenth century that Europeans would first settle in Milltown. Thomas Lawrence, a British colonist and baker, would become the area’s first European resident in 1678 when he was granted a large tract of land around Lawrence Brooke. Here, he would establish the first of many mills which began operating in Milltown, eventually earning the area …

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Homes in Cranbury Township

A stunning tapestry of colonial architecture and amber waves of grain and corn, Cranbury is an eminently historic, almost anachronistic town at the edge of Middlesex Country, one of the most well preserved in the state. Home originally to the Lenape, the indigenous peoples hunted deer and turkeys in the lush wood and cultivated corn and squash on the warm, suntanned hills, enjoying also the wild cranberries for which the town is named. It was not until 1698 that Cranbury was first settled by Europeans, beginning with a single farm in what is now the center of town. It was here that Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette made their headquarters during the Revolutionary War, being joined by General George Washington himself during the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. Cranbury was also the site of the 1833 “Highstown” rail accident, a sad first in the history of rail travel: the first recorded fatal train accident. The ill-fated journey very nearly claimed the lives of several…

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Homes in Middlesex

Shaded beneath swaying trees, Middlesex sits at the border of Somerset, a wholesome suburban sprawl contained within the gentle curves of Green Brook. Home originally to the Lenape, Middlesex was long the site of carefully cultivated trails, old fields for farming and clearings for deer. No permanent settlement existed however until the arrival of Europeans in 1664. Aided by those diligent stewards of the land, British, French and Dutch settlers built farms here, a town eventually sprouting up around them. This humble agricultural community would be the site of numerous important skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, with generals George Washington and Charles Cornwallis both crossing through the area to resupply in the months leading up to the Battle of Monmouth. Remaining mostly rural for the next two centuries, Middlesex would see its first real develop during and directly after the Second World War, first with the federal government opening a sampling plant in the ar…

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Homes in Dunellen

An orderly clearing in the woods at the edge of Middlesex County, Dunellen is a quaint and spacious suburb set against the winding Green Brook which separates it from Somerset County. With meandering streams and verdant, outspread wood, the Lenape were known to hunt in the brush and farm in the rich soil, eventually selling the area no less than three different times: first to secretary of the Board of Proprietors of East Jersey William Dockwra, then to Sir George Carteret and finally to the township of Piscataway. These dubious deals however were not any attempt by the Lenape to cheat the incoming Europeans but the result of miscalculation on the part of the settlers and misunderstanding on the part of the Lenape who had no concept of permanent land ownership. Regardless, by 1735, a town had sprouted over Dunellen, populated primarily by French and Dutch farmers. This humble agricultural community would be the site of numerous important skirmishes during the Revolutionary …

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Homes in South River

Named for the banks of the river it rests on, South River is a dense yet quaint suburban enclave on the outskirts of the Brunswicks. Originally a Lenape settlement, the indigenous people would make camp in South River while traveling east to the Raritan Bay, hunting in the brush and fishing in the river. Though the Dutch would claim the area at the start of the seventeenth century, it was the British who would first build here in 1678. Known mainly as the town of Washington until 1870, South River came into its own in 1898, separating from East Brunswick and being reincorporated as a borough. While most neighboring towns remained rural until the 1950s, South River was a pioneering industrial town as early as 1905. Incoming waves of Russian and Polish workers immigrating here during the 1880s and 90s supplied enough labor that, by the turn of the century, South River was home to numerous brickworks, as well as garment and cigar factories, a little New Brunswick further down …

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Homes in New Brunswick

Hugging the curves of the Raritan River, New Brunswick is one of the state’s oldest urban agglomerations, a vital hub in the center of Central Jersey. Known to the Lenape as Piscopeek, the area was dubbed “New Brunswick” by incoming Europeans in 1714 in honor of the great German trade city of Braunschweig. Initial growth was spurred on by traders and passersby along the King’s Highway, as well as the Delaware and Raritan Canal, bringing goods and business to the area while travelling between New York and Philadelphia. New Brunswick was chosen to be the site of Queen’s College in 1766 and received one of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776, just five days after the document was ratified and only a few months before the city was occupied by the British. Peace would still not return to New Brunswick even after the end of the Revolutionary War, with agents of the Underground Railroad having to outsmart and outmaneuver police and slave ca…

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