Established in 1973
The Holmdel Historical Society is a non profit organization that serves the citizens of
Holmdel Township and surrounding area.
We are dedicated to Recording our History, Educating the Community and Preserving our Heritage

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The Holmdel Historical Society (HHS) was established in 1973 by founder Elaine M. Frey.  We incorporated as a non-profit organziation in 1974. ​​
 
Mission - Members share an interest in preserving the history of Holmdel Township.   The Society continues as a private, non-profit, non-political organziation run by volunteers.  Members research, collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit items of Holmdel.  Items include artifacts, manuscripts, photographs - all things related to the history of its people, places and events.  Holmdel Historical Society (HHS) encourages the study of our town history and offers these resources to the public.

Support - The Holmdel Historical Society appreciates  financial support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governmental agencies. Based on an assessment of our Church, we are in need of support for the renovation of our facility.

We welcome any historical items from Holmdel including old pictures of people, buildings and places, letters, notes, artifacts, school yearbooks, collectibles and anything else relating to Holmdel's past. 

Volunteers - We are always looking for interested people from our community to volunteer, If you have any questions or wish to volunteer please contact us by phone at 732.768.7583 or email - holmdelhistoricalsociety@gmail.com. The membership dues are $25 per year.
Some Historical Sites in Holmdel, NJ

  1.   St. Catharine's Church
  2.   Dr. Cooke's Medical Office
  3.   Veterans Memorial
  4.    Longstreet Farmhouse
  5.    Holmdel Cemetery
  6.    Hendrickson's Farm House
  7.    Ackerson's Cemetery
  8.    Bayonet Farm

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR CALENDAR
Holmdel Historical Society
Members of the Holmdel Historical Society enjoy preserving the history of our town.  We are interested in the people, places and events of Holmdel's past. Members pay dues ($25) and volunteer their time.  The Society accepts charitable donations.  We are always looking for people to volunteer their time to help.  We currently need people with construction experience to restore Old St. Catherine's Church on Stillwell Road.  The renovations are expensive and we need help funding these projects.

Holmdel Historical Society (HHS) welcomes your historical items from Holmdel - old pictures of people and places, letters, notes, artifacts, school year books, collectibles - anything connected to Holmdel's past - please don't throw them out.  Please contact us!


ABOUT  HOLMDEL
Holmdel is an interior township, with the following boundries:  on the north by Raritan Township, east by Middletown Township, south and southwest by Atlantic Township and west by Marlboro and Matawan Townships.  Hop river is its chief stream and marks part of its western boundary from Marlboro and all of the southwestern boundary from Atlantic Township.  Wakake Creek flows northwardly through Raritan Township into Raritan Bay.  The only railroad that runs through Holmdel is the New York & Long Branch Line which crosses the northeastern part.  The territory was taken from Raritan Township in 1857.

The Township is thought to be named after the Holmes Family,  having been large land-owners and influential citizens in this region.  For two centuries they have married with the old families of the county and perhaps one-quarter of the inhabitants who are descendents of the English Baptists, the Quakers, the Dutch, French Huguenots and Scottish settlers are connected by ties of blood with the Holmes ancestor, Rev. Obadiah Holmes, who emigrated from England in 1638 and became the pastor of the Old Baptist Church at Newport , Rhode Island.  He was one of the Monmouth patentees to who Governor Nicoll granted the territory of nearly the whole of Monmouth County.  Like several other patentees, he never actually settled here, but made occasional visits and helped to organize this old Baptist Church at Middletown, the first of that denomination in New Jersey. Two of his sons, Obadiah and Jonathan settled on the Patent, the first named only remaining here a few years and returning to Rhode Island.  Jonathan located here permanently and was one of the first officers elected at a meeting of the inhabitants of "Middletown, on Newasunk Neck", and "Shrewsbury or Navarumsunk Neck" on December 19, 1667.

The only village in the township is Holmdel, situated in the southwestern corner.  In "Gordon's Gazetteer" of 1834 it is mentioned as "Holmdel or Baptistown", with the following note:-

"It contains a Baptist Church, an academy, two stores and eight dwellings."

Few people are aware of the fact that the little hamlet which afterward became Baptistown and is now Holmdel, was the original village of Freehold and bore that name probably three-quarters of a century before the shire town now known as Freehold was so called.  

Daniel Holmes had a store in the Academy buildng prior to 1830 and Aaron Longstreet, John Hance, Thomas Swords and William H. Smock were merchants at a later date.  The post office was established in 1836, the postmaster being Dr. Robert W. Cooke.  He was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York and a pupil of the celebrated Dr. Valentine Mott.  Dr. Cooke commenced his practice in the county in 1820 and continued to do so during the remainder of his life.

A half-mile fron the Village is the Van Mater mill site, said to have been used for mill purposes since 1788, the first mill having been erected by one of the Holmes family.  Ely's Mills, on Hop River, was in the southwest corner of the Township and at the intersection of the Township lines of Holmdel, Atlantic and Marlboro.  About two hundred yards below Ely;s Mill, in 1710, Jacob Van Doren built a grist mill on a tract of 776 acres.  It remained in the family until 1829, when it was passed to the Ely Family.

The Baptist Church has a history dating back more than two centuries, however, no clue to its ancient origin is found either in its name or the date of its recognition.  The Middletown Church had, in its beginning, two centers, at each of which the Baptist settlers predominated and where they built meeting houses to worhsip and to do church business.  One of these was Middletown Village and the other Baptisttown, designated as the Upper and Lower congregations.  The names of Bowne, Holmes, Stout, Crawford, Mott, Ashton, Bry and others appear on the record.  On September 1, 1836, the two congregations divided, the Middletown Church retaining the name and organization of the original body.  The Holmdel Church taking the title of the Second Middletown church; in 1849 the name was changed to Holmdel.  Among the pastors have been  Rev. W. D. Hires, William J. Nice, C.E. Wilson, T.S. Griffith and W.W. Case.  In 1882, the parsonage, in use for about seventy years, was torn down and a new building erected upon the site.

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    Vietnam Veterans Memorial
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    Vietnam Veterans Memorial
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    Dr. Cooke's Medical Office
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    Dr. Cooke's Medial Office
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