Remembering the Past: Early Sayreville History

By Diane Norek Harrison

SAYREVILLE-The following is some of my research from the year 1882: It is probable that settlement began in Sayreville as early as 1770, and it is possible some one may have located there prior to that time. After it had begun it was slow, and until the brick and clay industries brought numerous laboring men within its borders the township was sparsely inhabited. There was no town of any size near it that was not isolated by water. The land was low and sandy, and not well adapted to agriculture. Surely there was little to attract pioneers.

It is believed that not far from the date above mentioned Elijah Disbrow made an opening in the forest about midway between the site of the present Sayreville and Washington (now South River) bridge and the locality of the Burt’s Creek settlement. He had two sons, Andrew and Stacy who inherited their father’s property and lived and died there. Both married. The wife of Stacy was a Miss Applegate, who survives him, aged ninety-five. The children of Stacy Disbrow were named Gamaliel, William, Elijah, Henrietta, Maria, Sarah, Margaret and Eliza.

Roundabout Landing (Sayreville), as a landing on a projecting point of land between South River and the Raritan has come to be known, was the place selected by Ebenezer Price for his future home. He was one of the earliest settlers in the township, and his house stood within its present boundaries of Wood’s brickyard. It was built there considerably earlier than 1800. Many of his descendants are living in Middlesex County (in 1822.) Xerxes, Ebenzer and Maria were the names of his children.

Xerxes Price married Nancy, daughter of Francis Letts, and located on land near his father.

On a portion of the Morgan estate, near the mouth of Cheesquake Creek, the father of Gen. James Morgan was a very early resident. Some of his descendants are well known citizens of South Amboy.

For some time Xerxes Price was engaged in the manufacture of pottery in Sayreville Township, and he was well known to the businessmen of the vicinity during his active career.

If you have your own memories or past information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at or send copies of your material to me at CMD Media, P.O. Box, 1061 Rahway, N.J. 07065.

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