16 June 2009

Basilone Boro?

What do you think of the recent suggestion that the Borough of Raritan change its name? The idea was pooh-poohed in the pages of the Courier News, but I believe it has merit.

The borough is one of two remaining Raritans in New Jersey. The Middlesex County Township of Raritan changed its name to Edison in 1954 and the Monmouth County Raritan changed to Hazlet in 1967 - too late for the new high school built in 1962, which retains the former name. In each of these instances, the town took the name of a notable past resident. Would it be so unthinkable for Raritan Borough to do likewise?

South Belmar became Lake Como in 2004, and Dover Township changed to Toms River Township in 2006. The changes were made to end confusion and help differentiate each town from similarly named municipalities.

It hasn't been as easy for the six Washingtons (5 townships, 1 borough), or the five Franklins (4 townships, 1 borough) scattered throughout New Jersey. Each of those communities is ALREADY named for someone famous - and proud of it. Who would cast a vote against George Washington or Benjamin Franklin?

But Raritan? It's named after a river. Changing the name of the borough won't dishonor the river, but would instead honor a hometown hero who became a national hero.

What do you think?


I wrote about Raritan's confusing name last year. Click here to read.

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