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A Guide To Its Present And Past
Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey
American Guide Series

Originally published in 1939
Some of this information may no longer be current and in that case is presented for historical interest only.

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Tour 18
Junction with US 1–Woodbridge–Perth Amboy–Freehold–Lakewood–Toms River–Tuckerton–Cape May; US 9,

WOODBRIDGE, 1.1 miles (30 alt., 8,331 pop.), a dormitory for hundreds of workmen in nearby factories of Perth Amboy and Carteret and for commuters to northern New Jersey cities and New York, has for almost l00 years been sustained by the clay deposits of the surrounding area. Local pay envelopes depend on the demand for terra cotta, firebrick, hollow tile, and ordinary brick.

The community was settled by 1665 by Puritans from Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire. In 1751 James Parker established here the first press in New Jersey. His periodical, the American Magazine, on sale seven years later, succumbed after two years because of lack of patronage. Parker was fined and even jailed for exercising his right to run a free press.

Transatlantic sailing vessels once docked at Woodbridge, but silt from the claypits has converted Smith Creek into an inconsequential brook. Until the 1880's, Woodbridge was a fashionable watering place. The Arthur Kill is now so polluted by oil and sewage that even gulls avoid it.

South of Woodbridge the road swings past hills scarred by clay digging. The low-lying green hills of STATEN ISLAND are (L) beyond Arthur Kill.

At 2.2 miles US 9 bears R., following in turn Convery Blvd., Cleveland Ave., and Convery Pl.

At 3.2 miles is the junction with a paved road.

Left on this road to OUTERBRIDGE CROSSING, 1.7 miles (toll: 50 car and passengers) (see PERTH AMBOY).

At 4.5 miles on US 9 is the junction with Smith St.

Left on Smith St. to the business center of PERTH AMBOY, 3.8 miles (117 alt., 43,516 pop.) (see PERTH AMBOY).

Points of Interest: The Westminster, Parker Castle, St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church, Atlantic Terra Cotta Co., and others.

US 9 crosses Raritan River on Victory Bridge. Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay are L. Beyond is the low-lying peninsula of Sandy Hook rising barely above water level at the foot of Atlantic Highlands; R. along the river banks are brick and ceramic factories.

At 5.9 miles the highway swings R. at a large traffic circle, uniting with State 35 (see Tour 22), to by-pass the business district of South Amboy. The hills are bright in patches with the yellow pottery clay that underlies the region.

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