Remembering Sayreville’s Past

Remembering the Past by Diane Norek Harrisonby Diane Norek Harrison

SAYREVILLE-Did anyone read the May-Oct. 2008 issue of Weird N.J.? In this issue is a story titled “Tales of Fort Grumpy.” Fort Grumpy is the name of the borough’s recycling center located on Bordentown Avenue. It’s a very interesting read. Also, in this issue are other mentions of Sayreville, South Amboy, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge and Old Bridge. Who knew Middlesex County was so weird?

This is from own research from material dated 1920:

Sayreville Township was created in 1876 by act of the Legislature. The first chosen freeholders were Elias Rose and Richard S. Conover. Successors to them have been George Such, James Sweeney, John Hart, and James Blew. The first town committee was William E. Dayton, Issac Walling, James R. Morgan, Stephen Kelly and George Such.

The Borough of Sayreville was erected on January 1st of the present year [1920], and comprises the entire territory of the former township. The population is estimated at eight thousand. The following constitute the borough officers: Mayor and acting recorder, John J. Quaid; council-Francis Hartman, president; William A. Betzler, Charles J. Englehardt, Edwin F. Lockhart, Carl F. Bossong and Edward E. Meeker; Joseph J. Webber, clerk; Abram Feihle, assessor; Joseph J. Kupsch, collector and treasurer; Thomas H. Hagerty, counsel; Board of Education-Abram Feihle, president; Frederick S. Davis, district clerk; Francis Samsel, Francis Hartman, Walter Riddle, Charles Els, Samuel Disbrow, Benjamin Boden and Eben Rush; Michael Craven, overseer of the poor; and Thomas F. Dolan, postmaster.

The old inn that we all knew as the “Olde Spye Inn,” which was located Morgan, is written in this material as “Old Spey Inn” was presided over by Uncle Charley Applegate, better known as “Dad,” and many amusing tales are told of his words and ways. Many summer cottages have been built by devotees of the rod and reel, and during the season the place presents a bright and lively appearance. An excellent beach affords much pleasure to the lovers of bathing and swimming. When Morgan resident Frances Drake asked me for past information from the Morgan section of Sayreville I was unaware I had this at that time.

If you have your own memories or past material for the towns I write about you can email me at or send “copies” of your material to me in care of this newspaper.

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