Edison Historical Timeline

  • 1651 A large tract of land from the Raritan River to the Passaic, including what is now Edison Township, was deeded by the Dutch King to Augustine Herrmanns, a Dutch settler. 
  • 1689 First School established in Oak Tree Section. 
  • 1689 Stelton Baptist Church formed in spring. 
  • 1693 'Mary Jones' is buried - the oldest marked grave in Middlesex County. 
  • 1724 St. James Episcopal Church built (used as a British barracks and hospital during the Revolutionary War). 
  • 1732 Col. John Dunham Estate built. 
  • 1777 The Revoltionary War Battle of the Short Hills/Oak Tree Engagement took place in Edison on June 26
  • 1778 George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and some of their troops ate a breakfast in the Dunham Estate home. 
  • 1789 Old Post Road, the earliest public road in eastern New Jersey, is used by George Washington as he traveled through the state to his inauguration in New York City. 
  • 1795 Raritan Bridge (now known as the Albany Street Bridge on Route 27) built. 
  • 1830 Forman Martin Home built. 
  • 1835 St. James Episcopal Church destroyed by a tornado. Rebuilt by Joseph Foulke, using as much of the original fittings and fixtures as possible. 
  • 1849 New Dover United Methodist Church founded. 
  • 1870 Raritan Independent begins publication. 
  • 1870 The township, formed from parts of Woodbridge and Piscataway townships was incorporated originally as "Raritan Township" in March. 
  • 1875 Bonhamtown Grace Reformed Church is built.  
  • 1876 Thomas Alva Edison established his Menlo Park laboratory.  
  • 1879 Thomas Edison illuminates his 45-acre laboratory site with his incandescent lamps. 
  • 1881 Clara Barton (and friends) formed the American Association of the Red Cross. 
  • 1887 The Yelencsics Homestead is built. Birthplace and family residence of Edison's longtime mayor, Anthony M. Yelencsics. 
  • 1900 Metuchen incorporates as a separate borough, leaving the Township. 
  • 1905 Highland Park incorporates as a separate borough, leaving the Township. 
  • 1908 Bonhamtown School built. 
  • 1913 Piscatawaytown School built. Would become the first school in the township with a telephone. 
  • 1917 Edison's Fire Department is started. 
  • 1921 Clara Barton School opens. 
  • 1923 Stelton Elementary School (now the Stelton Community Center) built. The school is known to have been the first to provide a school lunch program. 
  • 1923 Edison Police Department formed with four men and a Model-T Ford. 
  • 1924 Raritan Engine Company No. 2 formed. 
  • 1925 H.K. Fire Company established. 
  • 1926 Oak Tree Fire Company founded. 
  • 1927 Edward E. Meeker becomes first official township mayor. 
  • 1927 The first public library in Raritan Township opens.
  • 1933 Middlesex Junior College established. 
  • 1935 Roosevelt Hospital opens. 
  • 1935 Raritan Township Safety Council formed. 
  • 1936 Second First Aid Squad (now known as Edison First Aid Squad No. 2) formed. 
  • 1937 The Edison Memorial Tower was erected to commemorate the years Edison spent at Menlo Park. 
  • 1941 Menlo Park Volunteer Fire Company built a new firehouse. 
  • 1941 Middlesex Junior College closed. 
  • 1951 Clara Barton First Aid Squad formed. 
  • 1954 Citizens propose a name change from Raritan Township-The name the voters selected was Edison. 
  • 1955 Raritan Township Safety Council renamed to Edison First Aid and Rescue Squad No. 1. 
  • 1956 Thomas A. Edison High School opened (township's first public high school). 
  • 1958 Groundbreaking ceremony for the Edison Post Office. 
  • 1960 "Edison Times" published in Edison. 
  • 1964 John P. Stevens, Edison's second public high school, opened. 
  • 1965 Raritan Arsenal sold to Frank and Vincent Visceglia, and Raritan Center was formed. 
  • 1966 Middlesex County College opens. 
  • 1967 John F. Kennedy Medical Center established. 
  • 1970 Exit 10 on the New Jersey Turnpike opened. 
  • 1979 Metuchen-Edison Review began publication. 
  • 1981 Township's current Municipal Complex dedicated. 
  • 1982 Clara Barton School Closed. 
  • 1982 Stelton School Closed. 
  • 1983 Edison Township Historical Society formed. 
  • 1986 The Edison Township Historical Society erects 12 period street lamps surrounding the Edison Tower to commemorate the illumination of Christie Street. 
  • 1989 Mayor Anthony Yelensics dies in office. In two stints, Yelensics served more than 23 years as mayor, the most of any mayor in township history.
  • 1990 Minnie B. Veal Recreation Center dedicated. 
  • 1996 Edison Township Online is opened to the public. 
  • 1996 The Edison Television Network begins broadcasting. 
  • 1997 The Edison Township Web Site www.edisonnj.org goes online. 
  • 2005 Jun H. Choi is elected mayor at age 34, becoming the youngest mayor in Edison history.
  • 2007 Township honors Space Shuttle Commander and J.P. Stevens graduate Mark Polansky with a day in his honor.
  • 2007 The Edison Summer Music Festival is launched and township-sponsored 4th of July fireworks return for the first time in more than three decades.