Franklin Township Forty-Six Square Miles of Diversity

Usually, when the word "diverse" is used to describe a place, it's in reference to the ethnic makeup of the population. We tend to think of many different races or cultures living together, expressing and celebrating their cultural identities and traditions with language, dress, food, religious observations and holidays from their various nations of origin.

Franklin Township in Somerset County certainly has ethnic diversity, boasting substantial populations of different races. However, the community's diversity goes beyond culture to many very different types of living: urban, suburban, and rural.

A Little History

Around 1650, seven Dutch families, along with one Huguenot family, discontented with the growing English influence on Long Island, were the first settlers in the area that would one day become Franklin Township. They settled this area by trading and bargaining for land with the Raritan Indians. The area remained a farming community and a backwater of its larger neighbor, New Brunswick, until the early 1800s.

Figuring prominently in the Revolutionary War, Franklin was the scene of many raiding parties along Route 27, which was then known as the King's Highway. In 1776 and 1777, these raiding parties ravaged the Franklin area, tearing down barns and using the scavenged materials to construct bridges over the Raritan River.

After trying to lure George Washington and his troops from their nearby encampment, Generals Cornwallis and DeHeister of the British forces withdrew their troops to Staten Island, laying waste to even more farms on their way.

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