RECORD GROUP: Municipalities
RECORD SERIES #: 8600.22
SERIES: Hazlet Township
VOLUME: 32 volumes
The township of Raritan was officially created on February 25, 1848, as a result of an Act of the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey. This Act set it apart from Middletown Township and provided the authority for the township to initiate and develop its own local government.
At the time of its creation, the Township was much larger in size than today. It included what are now the municipalities of Holmdel, Aberdeen, Matawan, Keyport, Union Beach, and Keansburg. All the municipalities were created from time to time by similar legislative actions commencing in 1854 and ending in 1925, leaving the Township of Raritan about 5.5 square miles in size.
The decision for the name Raritan in 1848 seemed most appropriate since the new municipality had frontage along the Raritan Bay from Middletown to Old Bridge. However, the township lost the entire Raritan Bay frontage by the cessation of the municipalities. In later years, several other jurisdictions in New Jersey had the same name and it became an issue in the Township. In 1967, by a plurality vote at the general election, the name was changed to Hazlet Township.
The name Hazlet was chosen because in the mid to late 1800s there was a landowner by that name in the southern part of the Township, and a portion of their property was utilized for the new rail line. The name Hazlet was used for the new train station and the existing post office.
The area that comprises the present day Township was a rural farm area. For many years farm crops were transported by horse and wagon to the Raritan Bay docks at the foot of Broad Street in Keyport, loaded aboard boats, and taken to the metropolitan markets, mostly in New York City. About 1885, a railroad station stop at Holmdel Road greatly decreased the time for fresh farm products to be transported to markets and the boat business began its decline.
As each new municipality broke away there was a population decrease. By 1950, the Federal Census listed a population of 2,763 for the Township. The 1950s brought many changes. The Garden State Parkway was planned to cross through farmlands in the southerly part of the Township, and construction was completed in 1954. Developers of residential housing moved quickly to purchase farms in the area and construction of single family housing units moved forward at an unprecedented rate. The federal Census of 1960 listed a population of 15,287, an increase of 550 percent. From 1960 to 1970 the population increased about another 6,000.
With portions of Highways 35 and 36 lying within the Township, strip malls, stores and related businesses appeared along the frontage of both. Small housing developments, up to twenty units, have been the norm for the past twenty years. The Township is now over 95 percent developed.
The population explosion resulted in the school system being overloaded. To ease the situation, officials arranged for students to be bussed to available school facilities in Rumson, along with developers providing some new housing units for school use. By a unique agreement, developers funded the construction of a school on Beers Street and deeded it to the Township. School building plans were developed and a number of elementary schools were constructed along with the Township’s first high school.
Large scale development brought about water and sewage problems. A corporation bought the private water company that served a small area and expanded it to service the entire Township. Such was not the case for sewage disposal. After experiencing problems with individual septic systems, which were used throughout the Township, developers in Middle Road area constructed a sewer system and treatment plant, and all new developments were connected to it. A sewerage authority was formed around 1970, and under their supervision, sewers were progressively installed throughout the Township.
The purchase of about 225 acres of woods, vacant land, and a lake in the 1980s provided for the Natco Lake Park, an area protected by the State’s Green Acres Program. The Township’s Recreation Commission, who also supports and assists the senior citizen organization’s activities, supervises recreation programs. Your organizations within the Township promote various sports programs.
We face the new millennium with a full time police force of forty five, a three-station volunteer Fire Department, volunteer First Aid Squad with two stations, and a citizenry that supports and participates in the varied programs and offerings of a near fully developed community.
- 18 Minute Books, August 6, 1920 to December 29, 1970
- 1 Ordinance Index Book, December 18, 1901 to September 18, 1909
- 13 Ordinance Books, September 18, 1909 to December 15, 1998
Note that the records do not include ordinances from 1901 to September 18, 1909, only the index to them. There is overlap in dates between 1909 and 1920 in three ordinance books.
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan NJ 07726
Tel. (732) 308-3771