If the Elizabethtown & Somerville Railroad had not laid tracks through the area in 1840, Dunellen would not exist today. In 1867, the Central New Jersey Land Improvement Company founded Dunellen from a small slice of Piscataway. Their vision was to create a bedroom community for New York City that offered stores and services to support residents; in 1887, Dunellen was incorporated as a borough.
Called the “Emerald of the Plain,” Dunellen was promoted as a resort with stagecoaches taking tourists from the Railroad Depot to Washington Rock and other resort locations several times a day. By the turn of the century, Dunellen had become an industrialized community with companies specializing in steel fabrication, printing, and brick and concrete block production. Through vintage images, Dunellen chronicles the evolution of the community from its early history to today, coming full circle as a bedroom community known as “The Railroad Town.”
Highlights of Dunellen:
• The book chronicles the borough’s growth from 1656 to the late 20th century.
• The book takes a look at Dunellen’s homes, citizens, businesses, industries, schools, parks, churches, organizations and municipal services.
• Dunellen is celebrating their 125th anniversary.
John Triolo and Liz Marren-Licht, Dunellen natives and members of the Dunellen Historical Society, were inspired to write this book while on the organizing committee for their 50th class reunion. They have pulled images from the archives of many private residents, including the extensive collection of Wesley Ott.
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