Borough of Brielle Offices
601 Union Ave.
Brielle Borough Hall
Brielle Fire Company # 1
509 Longstreet &
Brielle Police Department
601 Union Avenue
Chamber of Commerce
Fred Wittenberg, President
PO Box 162
412 Higgins Ave
610 South Street
Brielle Elementary School
K through 8th Grades
Manasquan High School (732) 528-8820
9th through 12th Grades
Broad St. Manasquan, NJ
Brielle Green Acres Park
Union Lane & South Street
Leslie and Green Avenues
Bayberry Garden Club
The Curtis House
644 Union Lane
Boy Scouts Troop 63
Oakhurst, N.J. 07755
242 Adelphia Rd. Farmingdale, N.J. 07727
Spring Lake-Brielle Rotary Club
P.O. Box 458
Spring Lake, NJ
Meets Thurs. 7:30 A.M.
Paramount Diner, Manasquan
The Union Landing Historical Society
P.O. Box 473
VFW Post 3495
The Women's Club
President - Susan Stenson 732-292-1988
Colfax Plaza • 2510 Belmar Blvd., Suite I-17, Wall, NJ 07719 • Phone: 732-280-8800
Brielle has quite a history which lead back as far as the 1600's as early explorers reach the New Jersey shore line in hopes of finding a new place to colonize. Henry Hudson, a Dutch explorer, first laid eyes on this area in September of 1609 while sailing his ship the "Half Moon." The local Indians were quite surprised as he landed his ship in what is now Monmouth County. His mate, Robert Juet wrote in his log: " This is a very good land to fall in with and land to see."
When the Europeans came here to what is now New Jersey, the native people inhabiting these lands called themselves "Lenni Lenape," which means "original people." They came to be known by the Europeans as "the Delawares," which came from the river along which many of them lived. These Indians set up most of their communities in the western part of New Jersey. It is believed that the Lenni Lenape Indians were the first people to come to the area, now known as Brielle, as the first summer visitors. Brielle was a heavily wooded area with a well-worn trail which lead back to West Jersey.
Brielle has always been part of Monmouth County. In 1682, four counties were established in New Jersey. Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex, and Bergen. Brielle has fallen under many local jurisdictions before chartering its own identity as a borough in 1919. Originally, what is now Brielle, was part of Shrewsbury. It later became part of Howell, then, prior to 1919, Wall Township.
The settling of Brielle takes us back to the late 1600's and into the 1700's. After taking New Amsterdam (now New York), King Charles II gave his brother the land between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. The Duke then gave his land to two of his court members, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. They began to call this area New Jersey in honor of the Isle of Jersey, where Sir George Carteret served as governor.
In 1676, New Jersey was divided into two halves (East and West Jersey). Sir George Carteret retained the east half of New Jersey. Carteret then sold his land in East Jersey to twenty-four proprietors. After making peace with the Lenni Lenape Indians, the eastern half of New Jersey was ready to be settled.
Col. Lewis Morris set up a bog-iron furnace in what is now Tinton Falls. Col. Lewis Morris was an influential person in this community. The land around this little settlement became known as Monmouth at the urging of Col. Morris. This name was derived in honor of his native county of Monmouthshire in Britain.
People started to migrate to the area now known as Brielle in the later part of the 1600's. This area was nice: it provided easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and fine soil for farming. Due to the poor, and often impassable roadways, Brielle was a great place to be. Since there was a natural surrounding of waterways, travel and trade was made easily to places as far away as New York and Philadelphia. Up until the revolutionary war, Brielle served as mainly a farming community with a small woodcutting industry. Upon the onset of the revolutionary war, there became a need for a new industry. The Union Salt Works was founded in Brielle to produce table salt and sodium chloride by the laboring task of evaporating sea water.
In 1778,a British raiding party burned the Union Salt Works as well as most of the buildings in this area. Derrick Longstreet owned a house on what is now Union Lane at this time. It is believed that this house was the only home not burned by the British in Brielle. This house still stands at 532 Union Lane today.
Union Lane, once known as Union Road, was the main thoroughfare in Brielle. This road led from the Manasquan River, inland to the post road (now route 70. From here travel could lead you to Freehold, the County Seat, or to Philadelphia. This road then, as it does now, terminated at the Manasquan River, which gave access to the water by means of a landing. The local people of this area began calling their homeland "The Landing," then more simply put, it was known as "Landing." Then in honor of the Colonial movement towards "union and independence" the inhabitants of this area began to call there homeland "Union." Because many places took on the name "Union" during this time, the area residents then found a new name, "Union Landing", for the homeland they inhabited.
By now, the early 1800's, Union Landing consisted of a few, very large farms. Samuel Allen, William Brown, James H. Green, Derrick Longstreet, Abraham Osborn, and James Rankin were among the names of the early land owners of Union Landing. These names may now be familiar if you look around at the names on some of current Brielle streets.
In 1881 Mr. Mellen, a Jersey City businessman, encouraged 7 of his friends to join him in purchasing land in Union Landing since he found it to be a fine place to vacation. They purchased the area from Union Avenue, to Glimmer Glass, to Woodland Avenue. Mr. Mellen told his friends that this area reminded him of a town in the Netherlands which sits on the River Maas. It had a similar harbor and since the farmers here in Union Landing had windmills on their farm, it seemed just like the Netherlands town. This town in Netherlands was called Brielle. This group named their development "The Brielle Land Association." These lots sold for between $150-$250. As a result of this development Union Landing people began calling this area Brielle. This was probably due to advertising by the land group to sell their plots of land.
In April 19, 1919 this area broke away from the municipality of Wall Township. It was granted a charter from the State of New Jersey as a borough and developed its own government. This borough became known as the Borough of Brielle which remains the official name of the town to this day. The days of calling the area Union Landing would be all but forgotten if not for the Union Landing Restaurant which stands at the foot of Union Lane, the original location of the Landing and the Union Salt Works.
Brielle has been the host of many notable visitors in its history. Ulysses S. Grant visited Brielle during his pre-presidential days. Fred and Adele Astaire danced their way to Brielle when they came to Three Cedars Tea House in Brielle. Johnny Carson frequented the Bimini Yacht Club restaurant and Col. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second person to set foot on the moon, visited his parents here in Brielle. Not that this has anything to do with Brielle's history but it's neat trivia, The maiden name of Buzz Aldrin's mother was "Moon" which shows a little irony that life throws.
Brielle used to have an airport of its own which was located on the border of Brielle and Wall Township. This airport consisted of a landing strip 2,000 feet by 500 feet. This landing strip was at 100 feet above sea level. The land, which once was home to this airstrip, is now being developed by the K. Hovanian housing development company. Many of the residents of the area learned to fly in this airport which was known as Brielle Airport before it closed. The Brielle area is still served by an airport which is located on Route 34 in Wall Township.
This story is just a summary of the fascinating, rich history the Borough of Brielle has experienced. There are more stories of the early farms, inns, people, roadways, and railways of this area. To get a better idea of where Brielle came from and how it became the town it is today contact: The Union Landing Historical Society P.O. Box 473 Brielle, N.J. 08730 The Union Landing Historical Society produced a great book which details the history of the area. This summary was written from excerpts from this book. Please take the time to follow the links below to view some of the photos taken from the book which documents further historical facts and images from this area.