Arts & Entertainment

10 ​Fun ​Facts You ​May Not Know About New Brunswick

3995e7c4a4d5b769d735_best_crop_698a96e913a02d31b9e0_New_Brunswick_NJ_Skyline_at_Sunset__1__2x.jpg
Credits: Wikimedia Commons
3995e7c4a4d5b769d735_best_crop_698a96e913a02d31b9e0_New_Brunswick_NJ_Skyline_at_Sunset__1__2x.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - With centuries of history, the Hub City is home to all sorts of best kept secrets and quirky facts. Some of them are hiding in plain site, while others take a bit of digging to find out.

We’ve put together a list of ​what we think are the Top 10 fun facts you might not have known about ​the city  where you live or work. But don’t let us stop you; if there’s anything you didn’t find on the list, ​and we bet there is, ​shoot us an email ​at dmunoz@tapinto.net​. ​

​So, ​How the City G​e​t its Name​?​

Sign Up for E-News

The word “Brunswick” is derived from the German language. There’s the city of Braunschweig, located in the German state of Lower Saxony. There’s also the Duchy of Brunswick-Luneburg, which is located in modern-day northern Germany. A number of towns and states across the world bear the name “Brunswick,” such as the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

And, of course, who doesn't know East Brunswick?​

Constitutional Convention

The current version of New Jersey’s Constitution was drafted during a days-long convention in 1947 in the Rutgers College Avenue Gym. Delegates from New Jersey’s 21 counties met at the gym over the ​hot ​summer to hammer out of the details.​ Let's assume they were dodging basketballs.​

Port New Brunswick?

Nearly a century ago, barges and small boats would drop off and pick up goods at the docks of New Brunswick, as they traversed the Delaware and Raritan Canal to go back and forth between the Delaware River and Raritan Bay. The canals were abandoned eventually, though a portion of them reopened as Boyd Park, and another portion as the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, with one of the trails starting at the Landing Lane Bridge. 

​What is a ​Middlesex?

The name Middlesex County, which New Brunswick is a part of, first started popping up in the English language over a thousand years ago, and referred to southeast England, where one of the first Middlesex Counties was founded.

“Middlesex” referred to the land of the Middle Saxons, while Essex referred to the land of the East Saxons, Sussex referred to the land of the South Saxons and Wessex referred to the land of the West Saxons.

Congressional Redistricting

Following the ​federal​ 2010 Census, state officials convened in the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick to draw up new lines for New Jersey’s congressional districts. The commission was tasked with reducing the number of districts from 13 to 12, ​somehow navigating New Jersey's famous political waters.​

The Healthcare City

The Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Company was founded by Robert Wood Johnson I, along with his brother, Edward Mead Johnson, in the mid-19th century. Years later, Robert Wood Johnson II took the reins of the company, becoming its president and chairman of the board. You’re right to think the name sounds​ downright​ ​ubiquitous, I​n 1986, ​for example, ​the Middlesex General Hospital was renamed the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, in the family’s honor.

Laughing Stock of the Town

The Stress Factory Comedy Club has been a hosted to a great many comedians, who’ve either started at New Brunswick or passed through the city. They include comedians like Jim Nortan, Andrew Dice Clay, Drew Carey and Chris Rock.

​A Streetcar Named New Brunswick

Before the automobile took over, the city used to boast an impressive number of streetcar routes across the city, which were also known as trolleys. Rather than take ​a ​ Rutgers​ or city​ bus, one might hop aboard a trolley, which traveled along rail lines laid down on the street itself. In their earlier days, the trolleys were powered by horses, but they became electrified later on.

Rutgers’ Own Observatory

At the corner of Hamilton and George Street, right by the Old Queens building, you might notice a peculiar eight-sided, white structure perched atop a small hill. That building is the Daniel S. Schanck Observatory, named after a New York City businessman of the same name. The building was erected in 1865 in the spitting image of the Tower of Winds, a marble clock-tower in Athens built thousands of years ago.

The observatory followed Greek and Roman revival architectural trend, which was common for buildings at the time. In its heyday, the observatory boasted an array of telescopes and astronomy equipment, though the structure hasn’t been used as an observatory in decades.

Weird New Brunswick?

Venture into the back parking lot of AMC Lowes in Route 1 and you might ​discover a strange site - a concrete block topped with a chain link fence and housing a tombstone, overlooking the Raritan River. The site is the resting place of Mary Ellis, whose sister owned the land in the years following the Revolutionary War.

As legend has it, Ellis had fallen in love with a sea captain and former Revolutionary War officer. One day, the captain set sail for the open sea and vowed to Ellis that he’d return. But as fate would have it, the captain never did. In this tragic tale, Ellis spent the remainder of her life on that property, looking out to the Raritan awaiting her lover’s return. Ellis passed away some years later, and was buried there, along with her family.

​You can now visit her grave with a fresh bucket of movie popcorn.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - May 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Sex can be an almost-religious experience, but it seems a bit excessive to copulate under a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic church's outdoor prayer garden. Yet, that's where ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 22, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


MANVILLE - If marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey, here's another town where you won't be able to buy it: Manville. The mayor and council unanimously voted to prohibit any sale of weed - recreational and medicinal - within Manville's borders. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

MOUNTAINSIDE - Oh, where to begin describing this 46-page lawsuit against two Mountainside cops? A detective sergeant placing his testicles on co-workers' food. And throwing poop-smeared toilet tissue at them. And defecating in someone's boots. And taunting with a dildo dubbed "Big Blue" he liked to wave in cops' faces, as he chased ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ATLANTIC CITY - Happy days are here again, as the state's once gasping gaming resort is expecting sports betting will rake in $150 million to $175 million a year in new, glorious profits - courtesy of your pals on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, ecstatic Stockton University officials believe, this recharged gambling mecca will bring in a whole new ...

Rutgers Athletics Signs Dyehard Fan Supply to New Multi-Year Agreement

May 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Rutgers Athletics has selected Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company, as the official merchandising partner for the Scarlet Knights in a new multi-year agreement.Dyehard will handle game day and event merchandising for Rutgers Athletics.

“We’re excited to expand gameday merchandising options and elevate ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Rutgers center battles noise pollution nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

Police Investigate Rabbit "Tale"

May 11, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital. 

According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced ...

OPINION

Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

May 1, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick:

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting ...

"Itʼs Time for New Leadership" Say Middlesex County Republicans

May 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ  - On Tuesday, June 12th, elected county committee members of the Middlesex County Republican Organization will have a choice on who will be their next County Chair and party executive board.

Sharon D. Hubberman, former Middlesex County Freeholder Candidate, and current Perth Amboy Republican Chair has announced she will accept her nomination for the ...