Frenchtown, New Jersey
|Frenchtown, New Jersey|
|Borough of Frenchtown|
Harrison Street in Frenchtown
Map of Frenchtown in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Frenchtown, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 4, 1867|
|• Mayor||Warren E. Cooper (term ends December 31, 2015)|
|• Clerk||Brenda S. Shepherd|
|• Total||1.361 sq mi (3.524 km2)|
|• Land||1.263 sq mi (3.271 km2)|
|• Water||0.098 sq mi (0.253 km2) 7.17%|
|Area rank||465th of 566 in state
19th of 26 in county
|Elevation||220 ft (70 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2013)||1,356|
|• Rank||521st of 566 in state
21st of 26 in county
|• Density||1,087.2/sq mi (419.8/km2)|
|• Density rank||371st of 566 in state
8th of 26 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885227|
Frenchtown is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,373, reflecting a decline of 115 (-7.7%) from the 1,488 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 40 (-2.6%) from the 1,528 counted in the 1990 Census.
Frenchtown is located along the banks of the Delaware River on the Hunterdon Plateau. Various names have been applied to this settlement, after the many ferry operators residing on both sides of the river. Alexandria Ville, Sunbeam, and Frenchtown were the names by which this community was known over the years. The Borough was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 4, 1867, from portions of Alexandria Township. Additional territory was acquired from Kingwood Township in 1876.
The first bridge across the Delaware at Frenchtown was a six-span covered wooden bridge built in 1841 on the five piers that still stand today, and the community became a gateway to Pennsylvania. The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge, a free Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission bridge over the Delaware River connects Frenchtown to Uhlerstown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
In 1757, three joint owners of a tract purchased from the West Jersey Land Society began laying out streets and building lots at Calvin's Ferry. The developing town was to be called "Alexandria" in honor of William Alexander, Lord Stirling, one of the three owners. In 1776, the three sold the settlement to Thomas Lowrey, a Flemington speculator.
In 1794, Lowrey sold the tract to Paul Henri Mallet-Prevost, a Swiss fugitive from the French Revolution. He and other early settlers were French speaking, leading some to begin calling the place "Frenchtown."
The town grew substantially in the next four decades. A trade in grain and other farm products developed. Boatmen and river men helped fuel Frenchtown's growth through their buying of cargo and food, and hiring of pilots. In the years after Henri Mallet-Prevost's death, his sons sold off portions of their property; no longer was the town privately owned.
The arrival of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad in 1853 sparked continued growth in Frenchtown. Steam-powered industry became widely developed, and by the 1860s, mills were being converted into larger factories. Around the same time, the town had three major hotels, The Lower Hotel (Present day Frenchtown Inn), The Middle Hotel (no longer existing), and the Upper Hotel (The National Hotel). In 1889, Britton Brothers Big Brick Store, which sold a variety of goods, opened on Bridge Street.
In the early 20th century, growth was spurred by the arrival of Frenchtown Porcelain Works, the establishment of the Milford plant of the Warren Paper Company, and the rise of the poultry industry.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.361 square miles (3.524 km2), of which, 1.263 square miles (3.271 km2) of it was land and 0.098 square miles (0.253 km2) of it (7.17%) was water.
|Population sources: 1880-1920
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,373 people, 596 households, and 365.9 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,087.2 per square mile (419.8/km2). There were 656 housing units at an average density of 519.4 per square mile (200.5/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.65% (1,327) White, 0.80% (11) Black or African American, 0.36% (5) Native American, 0.95% (13) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.07% (1) from other races, and 1.17% (16) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.10% (70) of the population.
There were 596 households, of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the borough, 20.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 34.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,574 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,339) and the median family income was $76,250 (+/- $12,807). Males had a median income of $62,500 (+/- $7,602) versus $34,886 (+/- $5,656) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $33,966 (+/- $5,364). About 4.9% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 1,488 people, 613 households, and 375 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,160.7 people per square mile (448.8/km2). There were 630 housing units at an average density of 491.4 per square mile (190.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.97% White, 0.40% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 1.34% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.62% of the population.
There were 613 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $52,109, and the median income for a family was $62,132. Males had a median income of $42,321 versus $30,952 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $27,765. About 2.4% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 1.4% of those age 65 or over.
Frenchtown is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Frenchtown, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2014[update], the Mayor of Frenchtown is Democrat Warren Cooper, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2015. Cooper won election on November 8, 2011, defeating 16-year incumbent Ronald Sworen. Members of the Borough Council are Seth A. Grossman (D, 2015), Catherine Leach (D, 2016), Michele Liebtag (D, 2014), Bradley Myhre (R, 2014), Jack Opdyke (R, 2016; appointed to replace Councilman Robb Arent in August 2013) and William E. Sullivan III (R, 2015).
Federal, state and county representation
Frenchtown is located in the 7th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Frenchtown had been part of the 12th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).
For the 2014-2015 Session, the 23rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Michael J. Doherty (R, Washington Township, Warren County) and in the General Assembly by John DiMaio (R, Hackettstown) and Erik Peterson (R, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Hunterdon County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who serve three-year terms of office at-large on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as the board's Director and another to serve as Deputy Director. As of 2015[update], Hunterdon County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director John King (R; Raritan Township, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Suzanne Lagay (R; Holland Township, 2016), J. Matthew Holt (R; Clinton Town, 2015), John E. Lanza (R; Flemington, 2016) and Robert G. Walton (R; Hampton, 2017). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Mary H. Melfi (R; Flemington, 2017), Sheriff Fredrick W. Brown (R; Alexandria Township, 2016) and Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman (R; Kingwood Township, 2018).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 931 registered voters in Frenchtown, of which 289 (31.0%) were registered as Democrats, 270 (29.0%) were registered as Republicans and 370 (39.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 59.6% of the vote (439 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 38.3% (282 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (9 votes), among the 737 ballots cast by the borough's 953 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 57.1% of the vote (392 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 42.4% (291 votes) and other candidates with 1.4% (13 votes), among the 686 ballots cast by the borough's 914 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.1.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 48.3% of the vote (247 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 40.9% (209 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.2% (42 votes) and other candidates with 1.4% (7 votes), among the 511 ballots cast by the borough's 943 registered voters, yielding a 54.2% turnout.
The Frenchtown School District serves public school students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade at Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 163 students and 15.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.65:1.
Public school students in ninth through twelfth grades attend the Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, which serves students in western Hunterdon County. Students from Alexandria, Holland and Kingwood Townships along with the boroughs of Frenchtown and Milford attend the high school, which is part of the Delaware Valley Regional High School District.
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 10.32 miles (16.61 km) of roadways, of which 7.50 miles (12.07 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.36 miles (3.80 km) by Hunterdon County and 0.34 miles (0.55 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.12 miles (0.19 km) by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Frenchtown include:
- James Agee (1909–1955), author, editor and poet, he lived in Frenchtown with second wife Alma from 1938–1939 and wrote Let Us Now Praise Famous Men during that time.
- Elizabeth Gilbert (born 1969), author of Eat, Pray, Love.
- Shea Hembrey (born 1974), conceptual artist.
- Lois Hunt (1925–2009), soprano opera singer who toured for decades with baritone Earl Wrightson.
- Anne Kursinski (born 1959), top show jumping competitor.
- Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883–1939), Rosicrucian author, occultist and mystic.
- J. Linus McAtee (1897–1963), thoroughbred horse racing jockey.
- Billy Pauch (born 1957), race car driver.
- Nathanael West (1903–1940), novelist, screenwriter and satirist, author of Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, boarded at the Frenchtown Inn during the 1930s.
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- Look Up a ZIP Code for Frenchtown, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed November 14, 2012.
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- The Alexandrian Era, Frenchtowner.com. Accessed February 20, 2013. "In 1744, James Alexander purchased 10,000 acres in and around Frenchtown NJ. In 1757, William Alexander and two partners planned out the streets and building lots of our village."
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- DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Frenchtown borough, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 21, 2012.
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- Mustac, Frank. "Challenger Cooper defeats Frenchtown's longtime incumbent mayor Sworen", Hunterdon County Democrat, November 8, 2011. Accessed November 10, 2011. "There’ll be a new mayor in the borough, and his name is Warren Cooper. Cooper, a Democrat, unseated longtime incumbent Ron Sworen, who at the end of his tenure will have served four consecutive terms for a total of 16 years."
- Posted By Warren Cooper on Aug 28, 2013, Frenchtown, NJ. Accessed July 9, 2014. "On Friday, Aug. 23, Borough Council appointed Jack Opdyke to take the seat left vacant by the resignation of Robb Arent."
- Council Members, Frenchtown, NJ. Accessed August 21, 2013.
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- District information for Frenchtown School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 11, 2014.
- Delaware Valley Regional School District 2013 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed July 9, 2014. "The Delaware Valley Regional High School District provides a full range of educational services, programs, and activities appropriate for students with and without special needs in grades nine through twelve. Our school is located in beautiful, bucolic Hunterdon County and serves approximately 1,000 students from the five constituent municipalities of Alexandria Township, Frenchtown Borough, Holland Township, Kingwood Township, and Milford Borough."
- About Us, Delaware Valley Regional High School. Accessed November 14, 2012. "Our high school, established in 1958-1959 for students residing in Alexandria, Frenchtown, Holland, Kingwood, and Milford, offers students a comprehensive academic program in preparation for a successful future."
- Chief School Administrators/Sending Districts, Hunterdon County Superintendent of Schools. Accessed October 18, 2014.
- Hunterdon County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
- James Agee (1909-1955)Chronology of his Life and Work, Agee Films. Accessed July 9, 2014. "1938 Spring - Moves to 27 Second Street, Frenchtown, New Jersey."
- David Madden and Jeffrey J. Folks, ed. (1997). Remembering James Agee. University of Georgia Press. p. 66.
- Rich, Motoko. "Eat, Pray, Love. Then What? Get Married.", The New York Times, August 19, 2009. Accessed November 14, 2012. "'It is and isn’t a sequel,' Ms. Gilbert said in a telephone interview from near their home in Frenchtown, N.J."
- Corbett, Sara. "One Hundred Artists Rolled Into One Man", The New York Times, December 16, 2011. Accessed August 21, 2013. "Shea Hembrey is tall and lanky with a wispy beard and dark hair that flops boyishly to either side of his face. He was born and reared in rural Arkansas, but these days he lives in the hamlet of Frenchtown, N. J., in the second-story apartment of a well-kept Victorian cottage on a street filled with the same."
- Grimes, William. "Lois Hunt, Half of Popular Operatic Duo, Dies at 84", The New York Times, July 28, 2009. Accessed November 14, 2012. "Lois Hunt, whose operatic lyric soprano blended seamlessly with Earl Wrightson’s baritone in a partnership that lasted nearly 40 years and brought the classics of the American musical theater to audiences through concerts, tent musicals and record albums, died Sunday in Manhattan. She was 84 and lived in Frenchtown, N.J."
- Cosdon, Christina K. "Kappler lands 2nd Invitational", St. Petersburg Times, March 30, 2003. Accessed August 12, 2007. "Anne Kursinski, 43, of Frenchtown, N.J., and Eros placed third for $26,000."
- Harvey Spencer Lewis - Introduction. The Global Oneness Commitment. Accessed June 2, 2008.
- Kieran, John. "Sports of the Times; The Golfer on Horseback.", The New York Times, March 23, 1931. Accessed November 14, 2012. "'I'm 32 years old. Be 33 in October. Born Oct. 5, 1898, at a place called Frenchtown in New Jersey, but we moved to Baltimore when I was pretty small.'"
- Staff. "Pauch wins for the 72nd time at NES", The Times of Trenton, April 27, 2009. Accessed July 28, 2009. "Billy Pauch of Frenchtown proved just why he is the all-time leading winner at the New Egypt Speedway."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frenchtown, New Jersey.|
- Municipal website
- Hunterdon County web page for Frenchtown Borough
- Frenchtown Elementary School
- Frenchtown School District's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Frenchtown School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- Delaware Valley Regional High School District
- Frenchtown NJ
- Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance