Millstone Township is 37.36 square miles of rolling country-side located in the "HEART" of New Jersey in the western portion of Monmouth County.
About 130 years ago in Trenton, it was decided to take a portion of Upper Freehold Township and Freehold Township in Monmouth County and a part of Monroe Township in Middlesex County and put them together and call it Millstone Township. Shortly after the 68th General Assembly passed the Act creating Millstone Township on February 28, 1844, the first town meeting was held in the "Inn of Ezekiel Davison." The building where this meeting took place still stands where Prodelin Way and Baird Road meet the Perrineville Road and is presently being used as a private home.
It is said that Clarksburg was settled in Pre-Revolutionary days by an English tanner by the name of Clark. The Quakers and Dutch people followed. The Methodist Church was built in Clarksburg in 1845. The oldest religious congregation of the Township is the Presbyterian, which was established in Perrineville about 1786 and preaching began under the direction of Dr. Woodhull of the Tennent Church. The original church burned down and the present structure was built in 1884. The early settlers of the Perrineville area were Dutch, Scotch, and English. In 1860 there was an influx of Irish to the area. In 1879 St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was built and the priest traveled by horseback or buggy from Hightstown for Sunday Mass.
Many of the Township road names reflect the names of persons and places in Millstone Township's history. For instance, Rising Sun Tavern Road, Stage Coach Road, and Fairplay Road have historic meaning, just to name a few. During the American Revolution, General George Washington had an outpost of men at the Rising Sun Tavern in Clarksburg. This tavern was later to be called the Willow Tree Tavern. Only the foundation can be found today where Rising Sun Tavern Road (Route 571) meets Stage Coach Road (Route 524) in Clarksburg. The Stage Coach Road is the route taken by the Long Branch to Philadelphia Stage, and Willow Tree Tavern was a relay house. In the later days of the stage line, the present day Clarksburg Inn was a well known stage stop.
The Fairplay Road meets the Perrineville Road about where the Fairplay school stood about 100 years ago. It was only one of seven schools in the township at that time. Although this building no longer stands, two others that were in use at that time are still in existence and are being used as private homes now. They are located on the Stage Coach Road next to the Methodist Church and on the Yellow Meeting House Road.
Another point of historical interest is the fact that two time Governor of New Jersey, Joel Parker, was born in 1816 in what is now the Shteir home at the intersection of 527 and 537 at Smithburg. He served as Governor of New Jersey from 1863-1866 and again from 1872-1875. History records his domicile as Freehold.
President "Teddy" Roosevelt was a frequent visitor to the area. He maintained a presidential retreat in the Disbrow Hill area of the Battleground Road. This mansion house burned only 25 years ago.
Interestingly enough, Millstone Township had increased in population by only about 400 people over the past 100 years.
Stop for a few minutes, take a good look around you and you will discover Historic Millstone Township. Much more history and many more historic sites are to be found in Millstone Township. To assist you in locating such places, the under the direction of Mrs. Jean Mount who lives in the Township on Stage Coach Road, is trying to mark as many as possible of the buildings 100 years old or older.
If you know of such a building that has not been marked, please contact Mrs. Mount, or any member of the committee. Much is to be learned in researching and authenticating old buildings and the area of their location.