Stirling, New Jersey is a Somerset County township with a rich historical past. A multitude of events have taken place in and around the township that have impacted not just Stirling, but the entire state of New Jersey. Below are seven prominent historical events that have taken place in or near Stirling, NJ.
1. Washington’s Headquarters: In the winter of 1778, General George Washington and his troops camped at what is now known as the Middlebrook Encampment. During this time, Washington used the home of the John Van Horne family in Stirling as his headquarters. While there, Washington planned and executed the Battle of Monmouth, a significant American Revolutionary War Battle.
2. Astor Affair: The Astor Affair occurred in 1817 a few miles away from Stirling, NJ. William Astor III, the wealthiest man in America at the time, had been traveling from New York City to his estate in Astor Township when his stagecoach was stopped by three men. Astor was robbed of over $45,000 worth of cash, gold, and jewelry, marking one of the infamous robberies in American history.
3. Locomotive Explosion: On January 15, 1904, a locomotive on the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad exploded in Stirling. The engine's boiler exploded as it was traveling through the town, killing two people and injuring several others. This incident led to critical safety improvements being implemented on steam locomotives to prevent accidents from happening.
4. Mennen Company Establishes Headquarters: In 1930, Gerhard Mennen founded the Mennen Company, a leading manufacturer of personal care products such as deodorants and shampoos. The company's headquarters were established in Morristown, a few miles away from Stirling, NJ. the Mennen Company is now a subsidiary of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
5. St. Nicholas Church Opening: In 1941, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church opened in Stirling. The church was a welcoming sight for Greek immigrants in Stirling who were searching for a place to worship familiar customs and traditions.
6. Storm of the Century: The “Storm of the Century” hit Stirling in March of 1993, blanketing the town and the entire state with over two feet of snow. The storm brought New Jersey to a halt, closing businesses, schools, and roads for several days.
7. 9/11 Tragedy: On September 11, 2001, four hijacked planes attacked the World Trade Center in New York City, killing nearly 3,000 people. Several residents of Stirling lost their lives in the tragedy, forever changing the town's history and impacting the entire country.
In conclusion, Stirling, New Jersey is a township steeped in rich history, and these seven events are just a few examples of the many significant events that have taken place. From revolutionary war battles to natural disasters, Stirling has seen it all and continues to be an essential part of New Jersey's diverse tapestry of stories.
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