The Borough of Rumson is an upscale and historic community that caught the eyes of English settlers as far back as 1663. During the Victorian Age, it was the summer playground of New York's elite due to its proximity to New York City. Today Rumson is an upscale suburb, home to New York City commuters and celebrities alike.
Covering an area of 7.2 square miles, of which 2.0 square miles is water, it's a small town with a population of just 7,309 (as of 2009), which gives residents a population density of 986.4 people per square mile, a tiny village when compared to the Big Apple.
History Behind the Name
Legend has it that the borough's name is derived from early settlers who bought the piece of land now known as Rumson from the Native Americans. The cost of the land? You guessed it, rum. As far back as 1663, long before the area was officially named Rumson, Native Americans called it “Navarumsunk.” Over the years it was shortened to “Rumson” and in 1907, it was officially incorporated as a borough.
Rumson is known for its many sprawling turn-of-the-century estates located along the shores of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and along historic Rumson Road, which serves as one of Rumson's main thoroughfares. Rumson's many old estates were built as summer homes for wealthy New York bankers and industrialists. The oldest of Rumson's homes was the Tredwell House, named after a family that summered here for almost 100 years. The oldest part of the house being from 1670 and the estate once occupied 700 acres.
In the 19th century, Rumson became a summer colony for wealthy New Yorkers. These elite residents enjoyed many activities, such as swimming and boating in the adjacent Navesink River and the Atlantic Ocean, or taking a wagon ride. In winter, residents used the river for ice boating.