Other NJ News

What History Lives in Your Backyard? In New Brunswick, Quite a Bit

Credits: New Brunswick City Hall
Trinkets from the 1920s and '30s are featured on the third floor of New Brunswick City Hall. Credits: New Brunswick City Hall
A sign details the history of the New Brunswick Free Public Library outside 60 Livingston Ave. Credits: New Brunswick City Hall
Framed photos and articles hang on the walls of the third floor of New Brunswick City Hall. Credits: New Brunswick City Hall

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Did you know that the city’s first residents were members of the Lenni Lenape tribe? Or that the tycoon Andrew Carnegie paid $50,000 toward the construction of the New Brunswick Free Public Library?

Bits and pieces of history remain throughout the Hub City—if you know where to look.

To that end, the City of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Development Corporation, or Devco, have teamed up to post a number of signs marking historical sites around the community. The effort is meant to better highlight New Brunswick’s “rich history” to residents and visitors, according to a press release from City Hall.

Sign Up for E-News

“The phrase ‘History Lives Here’ anchors this project in recognition of the many significant stories that have taken place right here in our town,” Mayor Jim Cahill said in a written statement. “We are proud to be able to showcase the history of our community in this new way and look forward to sharing these stories with all who live, work and visit in the City of New Brunswick.”

So far, workers have installed signs at eight historical sites in the city. More signs are slated to be posted in the future.

New Brunswick is also celebrating its historical roots in another way.

In celebration of its 90th birthday, City Hall now hosts a public exhibit that highlights the city in the 1920s. That was the first decade in which City Hall opened its doors.

The mayor’s office and the Art at City Hall program have spearheaded the project, which is set on the second and third floors of the building. The exhibit features photographs, newspaper articles and artifacts from 1920s New Brunswick, all of which come from archives and private collections of residents, according to the city.

A photograph of the exhibit shows old milk bottles from local dairies, a business card from Chester W. Paulus—who headed the city for a number of years in the mid-1900s—and a bowl used to scoop items like dried fruits, malt and coffee at a local business that once occupied the site of New Brunswick’s Health Sciences and Technology High School.

Members of the public may view the exhibit from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall.

The building itself, opened in 1927, largely resembles its original incarnation, according to the city. Original marble wainscoting, granite steps, record vaults and lighting remain, as do the wooden pews in council chambers and other furnishings.

Historians have traced the name “New Brunswick” to 1724, according to the sign outside City Hall. The municipality received its charter in 1730.

But New Brunswick’s history extends beyond its formation. Native Americans in the Lenni Lenape tribe first inhabited the area. European settlers, meanwhile, arrived in 1681, according to the city.

Revolutionary War battles and settlements took place in the city, as well. Of course, the establishment of Rutgers University and New Brunswick’s positioning on the Raritan River, once a bustling trade route, have further cemented its place in history books.

Historical signs mark the following areas: City Hall, 78 Bayard St.; New Brunswick Theological Seminary, 35 Seminary Pl.; Henry Guest House, 58 Livingston Ave.; Gray Terrace, the former home of Robert Wood Johnson I and the current site of The Yard; New Brunswick Free Public Library, 60 Livingston Ave.; Revolutionary War site on Holy Hill, Seminary Place; Christ Church Episcopal, 5 Paterson St.; and First Reformed Church, 9 Bayard St.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, June 22, 2:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield



Fri, June 22, 3:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Petra's Musical Zoo


Sat, June 23, 12:00 PM

Rushmore Pool, Plainfield

Pool Openings: Rushmore

Community Calendar Sports

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 18, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

North Plainfield Mom Maggie Grabko Gets Life-Saving Liver Transplant, Warren Fundraiser Set for Sunday

June 18, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ — Maggie Grabko, a North Plainfield mom of two, underwent a successful liver transplant on June 13, according to an update on the family’s GoFundMe page by her husband, Shawn Grabko. The Watchung Hills Elks are hosting a fundraiser, the Maggie Grabko Dinner and Music Fundraiser, at 1 Elks Trail in Warren on June ...


June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Empleando Nuestra Juventud 

Querido Plainfield, 

Todos esperan el verano; los días son más calientes y largos, y la madre tierra se pone su mejor vestido mientras las frutas se maduran en el sol y las flores ondean un alegre "hola". La gente comienzan los paseos de la playa o piscina, y las juntas de barbacoa en los patios son necesarios en los fines de semanas.

Aquí en la ciudad de ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)


I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...