Franklin Township is located in the Southeast corner of Somerset County and is approximately 46.8 sq. miles in size. The township was incorporated on February 21, 1798 as one of the first 104 New Jersey’s townships. The community is extremely diverse both culturally and economically. Franklin Township has also played an important part in the history of the United States. In 1930 the population of Franklin Township was 6,039 residents and has grown to 50,903 in 2000 and continues to grow every year.
In 1777 during the Revolutionary War, soldiers of the Continental Army engaged British troops at the mill on the Millstone River at Weston driving off a party of 600 troops. General George Washington composed his farewell address in 1783 while staying at Rockingham in the Kingston section of the township.
The construction of the Deleware & Raritan Canal in 1834 became one of the most important developments in the townships history. During the Civil War up to 200,000 tons of freight were hauled through Franklin on its 22 mile journey between New York City and Philadelphia. With the introduction of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854 the use of the canal began to decline. Today the canal serves as a source of drinking water and recreation for residents.
Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor who developed a radio telegraph system, built a high-powered transatlantic transmission station in 1914. In 1918 the station transmitted President Woodrow Wilsons famous Fourteen Points speech across the Atlantic Ocean during World War I. The speech was given at a joint session of Congress assuring the country that fighting in The Great War was for a moral cause and became the basis for the German Army surrender.
Today the township is the home of many world corporations, manufacturing facilities, storage facilities, a convention center, numerous hotels and many more diverse businesses.