Freehold Borough

Official Site

Freehold was originally named Monmouth Courthouse. In 1714, John Reid, the first Surveyor General of East Jersey, wanted the county seat located in Freehold Township and thus sold the property to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at a bargain price, what may have been the deciding factor in Freehold’s competition with Middletown and Shrewsbury for the site. In return for the heavily-discounted price, Reid placed a restrictive covenant in the deed that, should the property ever cease being used as a courthouse, ownership would revert back to the Reid family. Direct descendants of John Reid still reside in Freehold Township.

Freehold Borough also has a relatively forgotten but important place in the history of the bicycle. Cycling champion Arthur Augustus Zimmerman resided in the town during his racing career in the 1880s and 1890s, and from 1896-1899 operated the Zimmerman Bicycle Co.; the company’s bicycles were known as the “Zimmy.” Today, Freehold Borough is home to the Metz Bicycle Museum, where the only extant “Zimmy” can be seen.