Secluded just south of Spotswood, a sun caressed clearing in the woods, Helmetta was long a stop for the nomadic Lenape, making camp and hunting in the dense woods while on their way to the Raritan Bay. With the Lenape having been pushed west with the arrival of Europeans, the migratory procession which sculped, cultivated and upkept the land was replaced by the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the “iron horse” of civilization as it seemed to those colonial entrepreneurs. It was due to presence of the railroad that tobacco baron George Washington Helme chose this as the site for his flagship snuff mill. Opened in 1880, the mill was one of the most massive industrial complexes in the state, becoming the largest mill of its kind in the world, employing some 400 Jersians after its final expansion in 1934. Bearing the name of the mill’s owner, Helmetta was a quintessential turn-of-the-century company town, with the mill remaining operational for more than 100 years, finally closing its doors in 1993. It has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Now a quaint and cozy town, Helmetta is paradise for the working woodsmen of suburban New Jersey. Fish or swim in the shimmering waters of Lake Manalapan, Helmetta Pond, DeVoe Lake and Ireland Brook or trek through scenic Welsh Park, Jamesburg Park and Frost Woods Park, each renowned for their bustling wildlife and lush, virgin landscape. Kids will love splashing around Veterans Park Spray Ground or visiting Thompson Park Zoo. Just minutes from Jamesburg, Sayreville and Princeton and only an hour’s drive from New York City, one needn’t venture out far for endless shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. Picturesque and with a comprehensive school system, come home to Helmetta.

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