The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. It was reincorporated on October 31, 1693. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as part of the initial group of 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Portions of the township were taken to form Rahway (April 19, 1858), Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison Township) and Roosevelt (April 11, 1906, now Carteret). The township is named after Reverend John W. Woodbridge (1613–1696) of Newbury, Massachusetts, who settled in the future township in 1664.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 24.507 square miles (63.473 km2), including 23.213 square miles (60.122 km2) of land and 1.294 square miles (3.350 km2) of water (5.28%).
There were 34,615 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 98.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $79,277 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,537) and the median family income was $88,656 (+/- $2,537). Males had a median income of $60,139 (+/- $1,971) versus $46,078 (+/- $1,635) for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,144 (+/- $717). About 3.8% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
There were 34,562 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the township the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $60,683, and the median income for a family was $68,492. Males had a median income of $49,248 versus $35,096 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,087. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Woodbridge Community Center has a gym, miniature golf course, batting cages, a pool, community rooms, a playground, and also has "The Arenas", which have a roller skating rink with arcade and an ice skating rink.
Woodbridge is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter law, under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government, with a directly elected mayor and a nine-member Township Council, all elected to staggered four-year terms of office on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The council consists of four members elected at-large and five members elected from each of the township's five wards. The at-large and mayoral seats come up together for vote followed two years later by the five ward seats. The Township Council is the legislative body of Woodbridge Township.
As of 2017[update], the Mayor of Woodbridge Township is DemocratJohn McCormac, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. McCormac was first elected on November 7, 2006, and sworn in on November 14, 2006. McCormac replaced Frank G. Pelzman, who became mayor on January 17, 2002, when former mayor James E. McGreevey resigned to become governor. Members of the Township Council are Council President Richard A. Dalina (D, 2017; Second Ward), Council Vice President Debbie Meehan (D, 2017; Fifth Ward), Kyle M. Anderson (D, 2019; at-large), Lizbeth DeJesus (D, 2019; at-large), Nancy Drumm (D, 2017; First Ward), Gregg M. Ficarra (D, 2019; at-large), Virbhadra N. Patel (D, 2017; Fourth Ward), Brian F. Small (D, 2019; at-large) and Cory S. Spillar (D, 2017; Third Ward).
In August 2015, the Township Council selected Cory Spillar from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the Third Ward seat that had been held by Council President Michele Charmello until her resignation the previous month to take a position in Pittsburgh. The council chose new leadership, promoting Nancy Drumm from vice president to president (to replace Charmello) and Rick Dalina as vice president.
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015[update], Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are
Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees),
Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration),
Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education),
Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance),
H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health),
Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management) and
Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services). Constitutional officers are
County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township),
Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway) and Surrogate
Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 54,674 registered voters in Woodbridge Township, of which 20,900 (38.2%) were registered as Democrats, 6,135 (11.2%) were registered as Republicans and 27,611 (50.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 28 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.2% of the vote (22,386 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 36.7% (13,200 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (386 votes), among the 36,301 ballots cast by the township's 55,262 registered voters (329 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 65.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.9% of the vote (21,590 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 42.0% (16,251 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (472 votes), among the 38,657 ballots cast by the township's 55,075 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.5% of the vote (19,662 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 45.1% (16,589 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (367 votes), among the 36,770 ballots cast by the township's 51,913 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 58.9% of the vote (12,122 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.7% (8,183 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (286 votes), among the 21,064 ballots cast by the township's 56,121 registered voters (473 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 50.1% of the vote (11,987 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 41.9% (10,029 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 7.2% (1,710 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (261 votes), among the 23,913 ballots cast by the township's 53,843 registered voters, yielding a 44.4% turnout.
East Jersey State Prison is a male prison facility in Woodbridge Township, on the border of Rahway. However, the mailing address is in Rahway and the facility was known until 1988 as Rahway State Prison, leading many to believe the facility was located there.
J. J. Bitting Brewing Co., established in 1997, was the first brewery to operate in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, since the repeal of prohibition in 1933. The three-story restaurant resides in a restored 100-year-old brick building that once housed the J. J. Bitting Coal and Feed Depot that serviced the farming community of Woodbridge.
^Cheslow, Jerry. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Woodbridge, N.J.; Many Roads and Trains and 10 ZIP Codes", The New York Times, August 25, 2002. Accessed January 25, 2016. " The 27-square-mile municipality, which is in Middlesex County, includes 10 distinct, but unincorporated, sections and stretches across an equal number of ZIP codes. Each of the 10 sections -- Woodbridge, Avenel, Colonia, Sewaren, Iselin, Fords, Menlo Park Terrace, Keasbey, Port Reading and Hopelawn -- has its own central business district; and throughout the town, strip malls abound."
^Coffin, Joshua. A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport and West Newbury, S.G.Drake, Boston, 1845. p.70
^Dally, Joseph W. (1989). Woodbridge and Vicinity. p. 44.
^Leonard, O. B. (1930). The Dunham Family (pp. 194-196), in Monnette, Orra Eugene (Eds.) First Settlers Of Ye Plantations Of Piscataway And Woodbridge, Olde East New Jersey, 1664-1714. The Leroy Carman Press, Los Angeles, CA.
^Anderson, Robert Charles (1995). The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633: Great Migration Study Project (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society).
^ abA Brief HistoryArchived 2015-10-16 at the Wayback Machine, Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. Accessed November 2, 2015. "The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in the state of New Jersey. It was settled in the early autumn of 1664 and was granted a charter on June 1, 1669 by King Charles of England. Joseph Dally, in his history of Woodbridge (Woodbridge and Vicinity, published 1873), records that it was so called in honor of Reverend John Woodbridge of Newbury, Massachusetts."
^Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 248, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 23, 2013. "Woodbridge is on the northeastern end of the county and contained in 1850, 5,141 inhabitants; and in 1870, 3,717. It is about ten miles long and nine miles in breadth. Uniontown and Woodbridge are in this township. The town of Woodbridge was first settled by emigrants from England who came over in 1665 with Governor Carteret. It was at one time a prominent place in the province." No population is listed in 1860.
^Russell, Suzanne. "Woodbridge welcomes new Council member", Courier News, August 7, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2015. "Cory Spiller, an Avenel fire official, was sworn in this week as a member of the Woodbridge Township Council. Spiller replaces Councilwoman Michele Charmello, who represented the Third Ward sections of Avenel and Port Reading. Charmello, who served as Council president, resigned from the Council last month to take a job working with an educational nonprofit in Pittsburgh, according to township officials."
^Capuzzo, Jill. "Changes to Cheer About. Really.", The New York Times, May 6, 2007. Accessed September 4, 2011. "To begin with, Rahway State Prison was renamed East Jersey State Prison 19 years ago. Then there is the fact that the prison is actually in Woodbridge, not Rahway. An arrangement made long ago between the Rahway post office and prison officials has trapped this Union County city in an embrace it has had a hard time loosening."
^Chere, Rich. "Colonia's Carlson likely a high draft pick", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, June 19, 2008. Accessed November 2, 2015. "His birth certificate says Natick, Mass., but don't be confused: John Carlson is a Jersey boy. He moved to Colonia when he was 5, and grew up playing hockey for the New Jersey Rockets while watching his favorite player, Scott Stevens, and his favorite team, the Devils, at the Continental Airlines Arena."
^Silber, Zach. "Craig J. Coughlin (D-Fords)", Politicker NJ, February 27, 2011. Accessed November 2, 2015. "Democrat Craig Coughlin, of Fords, was first elected to the New Jersey General Assembly on November 3, 2009."
^Staff. "Pro Wrestler Robbie E.", Living In Media, September 21, 2016. Accessed September 17, 2017. "Some people laughed because I was thin and only 160 pounds when I was at John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin."
^Dunleavy, Ryan. "Q&A with Big Ten Network analyst Glen Mason", Daily Record (Morristown), October 4, 2014. Accessed November 2, 2015. "Just as he was three weeks ago when Rutgers hosted Penn State, Mason, a Colonia native, will be in the television booth as a Big Ten Network analyst Saturday when Rutgers faces Michigan at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium."
^Michigan Historical Collections, Volume 17, p. 666. Michigan Historical Commission, 1910. Accessed November 2, 2015. "Our beloved friend, Joseph Moore, was born at Woodbridge in New Jersey, in the year 1732, of parents not professing with us"
^Giase, Frank. "Springfield native Claudio Reyna will retire today", The Star-Ledger, July 15, 2008. Accessed December 17, 2017. " Tim Mulqueen, who has served a number of roles with the U.S. Soccer Federation, has been named goalkeeper coach for the Olympic men's team. Mulqueen, a Fords native, will join assistant coach Lubos Kubik on coach Peter Nowak's staff."
^Martin, Douglas. "Dith Pran, Photojournalist and Survivor of the Killing Fields, Dies at 65", The New York Times, March 31, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Dith Pran, a photojournalist for The New York Times whose gruesome ordeal in the killing fields of Cambodia was re-created in a 1984 movie that gave him an eminence he tenaciously used to press for his people's rights, died on Sunday at a hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 65 and lived in Woodbridge, N.J."
^Garber, Greg. "Doctors: Wrestler had brain damage", ESPN The Magazine, December 9, 2009. Accessed March 20, 2012. "Dawn Marie, sitting in her Woodbridge, N.J., home, sounds like she is crying. With the help of a reporter, she is calculating the 'bumps' -- the euphemism wrestlers use to describe each choreographed fall -- to the head she took in five years of active professional wrestling."
^Kaplan, Sushi; and Kratz, Elizabeth. "Zack Rosen: Pro Ballplayer for Maccabi Ashdod From NJ Learning Off The Court", Jewish Link of New Jersey, August 14, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2015. "Zack Rosen, a basketball player for Maccabi Ashdod B.C. of Israel, didn't grow up religious. From Colonia, in the Woodbridge Township of New Jersey, he's now trying to make up for lost time this summer in New Jersey, as he learns part-time and stays in shape."
^Falkenstein, Michelle. "Around the Scene, a Whirl of Change", The New York Times, December 31, 2006. Accessed September 30, 2007. "Bruce Springsteen, who grew up in Freehold, served up the critically acclaimed "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" in April, and the singer Jon Bon Jovi, who was raised in Sayreville, and his band's guitarist Richie Sambora, from Woodbridge, will be immortalized as action figures next July by McFarlane Toys, it was announced in October."
^LaGorce, Tammy. "In Person; Gotcha! Stay Tuned", The New York Times, January 1, 2006. Accessed October 25, 2018. "'It's great when people you admire like what you're doing,' Mr. Scharpling, who grew up in Dunellen, writes for Monk in Summit and lives with his wife in Woodbridge, said before a recent Best Show."
^Duggan, Paul. "Neighbors Say Suspect Was Troubled", The Washington Post, April 20, 1993. Accessed November 2, 2015. "Swann's address was listed as an apartment complex in Iselin, N.J., but Ritchie said he used to work as a security guard in this area.... According to New Jersey license information obtained from police sources, the plate is registered to Swann in Iselin, which is in Woodbridge Township."