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Cranbury: Volume II

Cranbury: Volume II

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Cranbury: Volume II

228 pagine
55 minuti
Sep 18, 2012


One of New Jersey's oldest and most historic communities, Cranbury celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1997. Following the fantastic reception of Cranbury, an Images of America publication released in 1995, authors Peggy S. and Frank J. Brennan Jr. have developed the rich heritage of this community further in a marvelous second volume. The Brennans, Cranbury residents, reviewed more than 400 photographs to produce this vivid and thoroughly researched companion to the first book. They invite you to view the homes, churches, and public buildings that reflect a bygone era and discover the people, places, and events that contributed to life in Cranbury from the early nineteenth century through 1975. With its tree-lined Main Street and white, clapboard homes, old Cranbury brings to mind a simpler way of life in a younger, simpler America.
Sep 18, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

With Hightstown and East Windsor, authors Peggy and Frank Brennan have presented selected glimpses of the communities from 1834 to 1950. Using images drawn primarily from the collections of local residents, the Hightstown-East Windsor Historical Society, and the Peddie School, the Brennans offer a brilliant illustration of what life was like for residents of these communities in the past. The authors' hope is that this book, like their popular history of the town of Cranbury, will provoke nostalgic recollection in the minds of longtime residents, and stimulate the interest of newcomers in the history of their area.

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Anteprima del libro

Cranbury - Peggy S. Brennan


Cranbury is one of the oldest towns in New Jersey, having celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1997. It derived its name from the brook on whose banks it had its beginnings. During its early history, the settlement was situated on a Native-American trail and later, the village became an important stop on a main thoroughfare between the northern and southern colonies.

It is generally held that there were settlers in Cranbury as early as 1680, but the first written record of a land sale with improvements was in 1698. The nucleus of the village grew around a gristmill built on Cranberry Brook and owned by John Collins, who bought it from Thomas Grubbs in 1741.

The legendary David Brainerd preached and ministered to the Lenape Indians of the area in 1747. The Brainerd name lives on with the cemetery located on the site where 80 Revolutionary War soldiers are buried, the lake formerly known as Cranberry Brook, and the Institute, which was at one time a private boarding and day school.

In 1869, the village was renamed Cranbury. Presently, it lies adjacent to principal north-south highways and is surrounded by retirement, research, and industrial developments. Although it has experienced gradual growth and change, Cranbury retains the flavor of years gone by. In 1979, the village was declared a State Historic District and in 1980 it was designated a National Historic District.

This book is a visual record of Cranbury from 1833 to 1977, with snapshots and captions that attempt to present some aspects of village life during these years. Within the chronological scope of this book, some of the buildings, many of the occupations, and much of the lifestyle illustrated by the early photographs have virtually disappeared. The dirt streets are now paved; the shops and other landmarks of the period can be recaptured only by means of photographs, sketches, and recollections.

We anticipate that the book will launch an adventurous trip into the past for those who are too young to recognize firsthand the subjects of these images. At the same time, we hope that this collection will provide nostalgic recall for those who lived in Cranbury during the periods encompassed by the work.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, identifications of individuals in photo captions are in the usual order, from left to right.



ELIZA GRIGGS REED’S PLACE (1881). This meticulously staged photo includes four generations of the Reed family. The house is located at the top of Bunker Hill. Unfortunately, few, if any, of the descendants are known to be living in the area at present. In her 1916 Reminiscences, Frances Bradley L’Hommedieu identified this home as the big square house across the street. Inside was a ballroom the length of the house, a center hall, living room, sewing room, dining and sitting rooms. The food was prepared in the basement which had white walls, carpet, table, chairs, cabinets, and a cook stove. When food was to be served, it went up on a dumbwaiter to a first floor closet with doors opening into the dining room. Upstairs (second floor) there were six or seven rooms. On a wide and spacious back porch, enclosed in a wood casing was the well; water was pulled up with a pail on a rope. On the grounds were barns, a brick smoke house, an art studio, and a building with a tub for the farmhands to take baths. (The Merrill Family)

OLD PARSONAGE (1833). Built in the 1750s for Charles McKnight, the first pastor of the Presbyterian church and a trustee of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), this home was probably the birthplace of his son Charles, surgeon general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. It was originally located on 150 acres of church farmland. Tradition has it that the Reverend David Brainerd was a frequent guest in this house. The house was rebuilt in 1798 and remained the parsonage until 1914. (Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society)

ISABELLA PERRINE (C. 1855). Isabella Bergen (1828–1895) married Derrick Perrine in 1853. Their four children were John Bergen (1854–?), Jane (1857–1861), Samuel (1859–?), and Symmes Henry (1862–1943). One of Derrick and Isabella’s grandsons was Spenser Perrine, who lived his entire life on his grandfather’s farm on the north side of what is now known as Route 130. (Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society)

JERNEE HOMESTEAD (MID-1860s). This image is a tintype of the home built c. 1860 by Samuel Jernee. He is possibly the person in the white shirt standing in the foreground. Located on Liberty Street, which became Park Place in 1912, this Italianate-style home has double windows with oval tops under the cornices. The Italianate style had become far and away the most fashionable architectural style in America by the 1860s. In 1892, George B. Mershon purchased the home from Jernee. (Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society)

SAMUEL JERNEE (1860s). Little is known of Samuel, builder of the house pictured at the top of the page, but his son William J. (d. 1910) was the postmaster of Jamesburg. (Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society)

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