03 September 2010

"...formerly known as Hillsboro"

On November 7, 2006, the village of Toms River swallowed Dover Township.  That was the day township voters approved a measure to change the name of their municipality from "The Township of Dover" to "Toms River Township".  Already generally known as Toms River by the public - and the Post Office - the change made sense.

Nearly 100 years ago, the village of Manville may have been on the verge of gobbling up Hillsborough.  Even though Manville didn't exist as an actual municipality until its separation from Hillsborough in 1929, the Boro was known as Manville right from the start.

Look at this newspaper ad from October of 1912.  This was before the Johns-Manville plant was even finished building.

At least Hillsborough, or "Hillsboro", gets top billing.
More telling is this newspaper story from the October 26, 1912 edition of the New Brunswick Times:

Terence P. Murphy, of this city, who is connected with the Brooks & Brooks Corporation of New York, which is developing the land at Manville, Somerset county, has arranged to take a number of people from this city to that place tomorrow, who are going there to look over lots. The car will leave this city tomorrow afternoon at 1.08 o'clock. At Bound Brook there will be a special train on the Lehigh Valley to run from that place to Manville. Tickets have been furnished to all those who are going to make the trip.  There have been factories recently erected at Manville at a cost of $8,000,000 and employing  3,500 people. Manville was formerly known as Hillsboro.
Check out the last sentence.

How do you think this played out with Hillsborough's farmers and villagers?  Was "Hillsborough" nearly wiped off the map?  Brooks & Brooks, who no doubt penned this press release-type story for the newspaper, obviously preferred their new name.  And I am sure Johns-Manville would have had no objection to the change either. 


  1. Any chance that this advertisement went to the north-east Pennsylvania area - Luzerne County (county seat Wilkes-Barre)?

  2. Hughes - I'm not sure. But every book or article I've seen on 1912-era Manville always says that job opportunities were advertised in the PA coal country. I think it's even in Kathye Quick's new book about Manville.