Founded in 1697 as Maidenhead, the Township of Lawrence was renamed in 1816 in honor of naval hero Capt. James Lawrence, who commanded the frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. Situated in the heart of Mercer County, the township has served as a stopping point along several transportation routes, including road, rail, and canal, linking New York and Philadelphia. During the 1800s, the town saw the construction of the Delaware and Raritan Canal and two railways, including the Camden & Amboy Railroad, within its borders. Once an agricultural town, Lawrence grew during the 20th century from a village of about 1,000 residents to a thriving suburb of the state capital with a population of almost 30,000. Along the way, the township became the home of multinational corporations, the Lawrenceville School, and Rider University. The images featured in this book tell the story of how a growing population created a thriving community through educational institutions, religion, social endeavors, and public service.
About the Author
The Lawrence Historical Society has been promoting the exploration of Lawrence’s history for over 35 years and is pleased to present this visual history, culled from the township’s archives.