From the days when Native Americans roamed the land to today, Freehold Township has a rich history. It started with the Lenni Lenape, who traveled around the area hunting small game and harvesting clams from various sources of water on the Jersey Shore.
In 1498, Venetian Sailor John Cabot became the first European to see this land. Europeans wouldn’t settle in Freehold until the Dutch started to develop the area in the early-1600s.
By 1714, the town would become so populated that it was designated the county seat of Monmouth County. A court house would be opened in 1715 on land bought from John Reid, the first Surveyor General of East Jersey. The court house would spur further population growth in the township and more government building would be built. During this time, the village was known for its horse farms and for growing potatoes, beans, and rye, which would be shipped to New York and Philadelphia.
The town was also the site of a well-known Revolutionary War battle: The Battle of Monmouth. At this battle every major American military leader was there, including George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and Alexander Hamilton.
While the farms in town no longer grow potatoes, there are two well-known pick-your-own farms, Wemrock Orchards and Battleview Orchards, both located on Wemrock road. Wemrock is known for its pumpkin picking and hayrides, whereas Battleview is known for its larger selection of pick-your-own fruit. Freehold Township is also home to Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Turkey Swap Park, and Michael J. Tighe Park. It boasts the second largest mall in New Jersey, the Freehold Raceway Mall, and one of the oldest horserace tracks in the country, the Freehold Raceway.
Besides being home to recreational activities, Freehold residents send students to the town’s 5 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Both high schools have magnet programs, which admit the best students district-wide into rigorous specialized programs. Freehold Township High School houses the Animal Botanical Science and Global Studies programs, while Freehold High School houses the Medical Sciences Learning Center, Computer Science Academy, and Culinary Arts Academy programs. Freehold is also home to a campus of Brookdale Community College that offers bachelor’s degree programs through Rutgers University.
Residents of Freehold like to point out that the town calls Bruce Springsteen one of its own. The Boss was raised in town and still occasionally attends local events.