Holmdel Township was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 23, 1857, from portions of Raritan Township (now Hazlet). The origin of the township's name is unclear, with some sources indicating that is was named for the Holmes family, who were early settlers of the area, while others point to Dutch language words Holm and Del, meaning "pleasant valley".
Holmdel's picturesque beauty, proximity to New York City and main highways, award-winning public schools, large homes, rich history, PNC Bank Arts Center, and the presence of many high paying jobs within commuting distance led the township to be ranked the #1 "Six-Figure Town" by Money magazine and CNN for 2009.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 18.115 square miles (46.916 km2), including 17.896 square miles (46.35 km2) of land and 0.219 square miles (0.566 km2) of water (1.21%). Holmdel Township is located roughly 35 miles (56 km) south of Manhattan.
There were 5,584 households, of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.5% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.4% were non-families. 15.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the township, 25.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 17.8% from 25 to 44, 33.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $140,533 (with a margin of error of +/- $18,587) and the median family income was $154,360 (+/- $13,795). Males had a median income of $135,139 (+/- $15,633) versus $77,703 (+/- $13,861) for females. The per capita income for the township was $62,120 (+/- $6,232). About 3.0% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 1.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 Census, 9.97% of Holmdel Township's residents identified themselves as being of Chinese ancestry. This was the highest percentage of people with Chinese ancestry in any place in New Jersey with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 4,947 households out of which 47.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.1% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.5% were non-families. 11.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the township the age distribution of the population shows 28.5% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
According to the 2000 Census, the median income for a household in the township was $112,879, and the median income for a family was $122,785. Males had a median income of $94,825 versus $54,625 for females. The per capita income for the township was $47,898. About 2.7% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Holmdel Arboretum, covering 22 acres (8.9 ha) and established in 1963, offers examples of the trees, shrubs and plant life of Monmouth County.
Holmdel Park, initially established in 1962, covers 565 acres (229 ha) and includes the Historic Longstreet Farm (which offers a recreation of farm life in the 1890s) and the David C. Shaw Arboretum, along with athletic facilities and other amenities.
Holmdel Township is governed under the township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor. The Township Committee exercises control over the conduct of municipal business by means of legislation through ordinances or resolutions, approval and adoption of the annual budget and the formulation of policy to be carried out by the staff.
As of 2015[update], members of the Holmdel Township Council are Mayor Eric Hinds (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2016; term as mayor ends 2015), Deputy Mayor Gregory Buontempo (R, term on committee ends 2017; term as deputy mayor ends 2015), Thomas Critelli (R, 2015), Patrick Impreveduto (R, 2017) and Joseph Ponisi (R, 2016).
Deputy Mayor Serena Dimaso left office in January 2012 to fill the vacant seat of Robert D. Clifton on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Joseph Ponisi was selected to fill Dimaso's vacant seat and took office in January 2012, then was elected to the remainder of her term in the November 2012 general election.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 12,021 registered voters in Holmdel Township, of which 1,965 (16.3%) were registered as Democrats, 4,110 (34.2%) were registered as Republicans and 5,946 (49.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 61.8% of the vote (5,077 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 37.3% (3,063 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (75 votes), among the 8,261 ballots cast by the township's 12,425 registered voters (46 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 66.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 58.6% of the vote (5,403 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 39.2% (3,616 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (82 votes), among the 9,225 ballots cast by the township's 12,679 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.8%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 61.9% of the vote (5,522 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 37.1% (3,308 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (56 votes), among the 8,915 ballots cast by the township's 11,892 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.0.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 77.3% of the vote (3,587 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 21.4% (993 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (58 votes), among the 4,712 ballots cast by the township's 12,312 registered voters (74 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.3%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.8% of the vote (4,182 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 25.8% (1,590 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.2% (318 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (46 votes), among the 6,170 ballots cast by the township's 12,315 registered voters, yielding a 50.1% turnout.
Formally established in 1966, the Holmdel Township Police Department traces its origins to a part-time constable hired in 1947 who was named as the first police chief in 1952.
Holmdel Fire and Rescue Company # 2 is an all-volunteer department created in 2006 that serves Holmdel and surrounding areas.
Holmdel First Aid Squad is an all-volunteer organization that responds to medical emergencies in the township. Founded in 1969, the squad responds to an average of 1,500 calls each year, with no charge for medical services or transportation.
Holmdel High School was the 12th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 13th in 2012 out of 328 schools listed. The high school was ranked 20th in the state of New Jersey and number 723 overall by The Washington Post in its 2011 ranking of American high schools.
Holmdel High School became the center of a scandal due to a hazing incident at a football camp in 1988 that was reported in the press and received considerable notoriety.
A few major roads pass through the township. Major county routes that cross through include a short stretch of CR 516 in the north and CR 520 in the south. Route 34 passes through the western part while Route 35 goes through in the northern section. The Garden State Parkway passes through near the center with part of Exit 114 (the other half in Middletown Township) and Exit 116 (for the PNC Bank Arts Center) in Holmdel.
Bell Labs Holmdel Complex - Now vacant, but still owned by the Alcatel-Lucent Corporation, the buildings were constructed by architects Eero Saarinen and Sasaki, Walker and Associates from 1957 to 1962. The complex contained 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of space for its 6,000 employees, where five Nobel laureates and other Bell Labs staff developed many advances in communications technology in the facility that stands on a site that covers 472 acres (191 ha).
Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center - The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center opened in 1998 and is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The museum facility covers 5,000 square feet (460 m2) and was constructed at a cost of $3.5 million, opening as the first facility of its kind, intended to provide an even-handed depiction of the Vietnam War based on the experience of those who fought in Vietnam and those who remained in the United States.
^Penzias and Wilson discover cosmic microwave radiation - 1965PBS. Accessed July 13, 2011. "Bell Labs built a giant antenna in Holmdel, New Jersey, in 1960. It was part of a very early satellite transmission system called Echo.... Since Penzias, Wilson, and Dicke's work, all that has changed. The measurement of cosmic background radiation (as the Holmdel telescope's noise is now called), combined with Edwin Hubble's much earlier finding that the galaxies are rushing away, makes a strong case for the big bang. By the mid 1970s, astronomers called it 'the standard model.' Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1978."
^"Detective work leads to monument honoring the father of radio astronomy", Alcatel-Lucent press release dated June 3, 1998. Accessed July 13, 2011. "A lot of detective work by Tony Tyson and Robert Wilson will lead to a June 8 ceremony at Bell Labs Holmdel facility to honor Karl Jansky, the first person to hear radio waves from outer space. Jansky's discovery in 1931, which was not publicly discussed until a 1933 page-one article in the New York Times, spawned the field of radio astronomy."
^Staff. "Local Briefs", Asbury Park Press, May 4, 2006. Accessed July 13, 2011. "PNC Financial Services Group has retained the naming rights to PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel through 2011..."
^Ericson, Raymond. "New Names on the Map", The New York Times, May 26, 1968. Accessed July 13, 2011. "Almost completed at the former site is the Garden State Arts Center, which must be unique as the creation of a highway authority. An amphitheater accommodating 5,000, it was designed by Edward Durell Stone, and it is 25 miles south of Newark on the Garden State Parkway."
^ abGardner, Elysa. "Bruce Springsteen explores a time of 'Darkness'", USA Today, October 2, 2010. Accessed March 15, 2011. "Darkness also was haunted and enriched by Springsteen's struggle to come to terms with his success and with a growing sense of social awareness. He wrote most of the songs while living on a farm in Holmdel, N.J., not far from the working-class neighborhood where he was raised."
^Willis, David P. Phone Talk", Asbury Park Press, October 15, 2006. Accessed July 13, 2011. "It has been a memorable year for Vonage Holdings Corp the nation's largest Internet telephone company.... Vonage became one of the Jersey Shore's largest employers in late 2005 when it moved its headquarters from Edison to Holmdel. The renovated 350,000-square-foot building it occupies was once home to Prudential Financial Inc.'s property and casualty division."
^Davis, Mike. "Holmdel’s DiMaso wins freeholder seat Deputy mayor sworn in after two rounds of voting by county GOP", Atlanticville, January 19, 2012. Accessed February 23, 2012. "After 10 years on the Holmdel Township Committee, Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso has segued to a seat on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. At a special Jan. 14 election at Colts Neck High School, the Monmouth County Republican Committee elected DiMaso to fill the term of Assemblyman Robert Clifton (R-12th District), who resigned from the board before being sworn into his new role earlier this month."
^Sports hazing incidents, ESPN.com. Accessed June 21, 2007. "About 20 underclassmen reportedly played a nude game of Twister as about a dozen senior teammates urged them on. As a result of the incident, all of the school's 85 football players reportedly were ordered to undergo mental health counseling, and some coaches reportedly were disciplined."
^Our Philosophy, The New School of Monmouth County. Accessed July 13, 2011. "Approximately 18 students are enrolled in each of three 'family' age groups, so that each class spans a range of roughly three traditional grade levels. Students typically spend three years in each class for a total of nine years in the school, corresponding to grades K-8 in traditional schools."
^Sisario, Ben. "ALBUM REVIEWS; From Asbury Park To Hoboken", The New York Times, November 7, 2004. Accessed March 15, 2011. "Granian is the nom de disc of Garen Gueyikian, a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Holmdel who has steadily built a reputation as one of the hardest-working and most popular independent musicians in the region."
^Scheps, Leigh Dana. "Sally Ann Mosey: Little Miss Sunshine". LivingInMedia, October 25, 2008. Accessed February 2, 2011. "SallyAnn has been WNBC's weekend meteorologist since 2006, and resides in Holmdel with her husband, Jim, and four children, Mitchell, 13, Steven, 10, Mark, 6, and Katrina, 4."
^Caiazza, Tom. " Home sweet Holmdel; Saturday event to celebrate the history of Holmdel High School", Independent, May 17, 2006. Accessed December 10, 2014. "Michael Pomarico, a Holmdel resident and member of that fateful class that included Bob Roggy, the world-class javelin thrower and namesake for the school's football field, has put together an evening of reunion and history, legacy and future building that is meant to provide a link of past to the present."
^Plyler, Will. "Lorene Scafaria", Done Deal Professional. Accessed December 1, 2012. "Q. Where are you from and where did you grow up? A. I’m from a small suburban town in New Jersey called Holmdel. It’s home to the Garden State Arts Center, or as it is presently known, The PNC Bank Arts Center, and that’s about it."
^Obituary. "Antonio Spalliero", The Star-Ledger, December 22, 2010. Accessed February 23, 2012. "Antonio Spalliero, 68, of Holmdel passed away suddenly on Dec. 19 at JFK Medical Center in Edison."
^Tesoriero, Tobi Drucker. 'Felicia Stoler: Spreading Health With A Little TLC", living Marlboro, July 1, 2007. Accessed November 15, 2008. "Stoler calls both Holmdel and Marlboro home. She grew up in Marlboro, where she attended the Delfino (Central School), Marlboro Middle School, and Marlboro High School (her family still owns a home in town). Now she, along with her 9-year-old daughter Isabella and 6-year- old son Zachary, live in Holmdel."
^Feuer, Alan. "He's a Team Player. Just Ask His Neighbors.", The New York Times, March 28, 1999. Accessed February 23, 2012. "By all accounts, Mr. Valentin, who has an unpublished number in Holmdel and is now working out with the Red Sox in preparation for the baseball season, was a pleasure to deal with, Mrs. Flinn and others said."
^Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980, Editor Stig Lundqvist, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992. Autobiography. Accessed March 15, 2011. "We still live in the house in Holmdel which we bought when I first came to Bell Laboratories."
^Staff. "DR. HAROLD ZAHL, 68, ARMY RESEARCHER", The New York Times, March 12, 1973. Accessed June 30, 2014. "HOLMDEL, N. J., March 11 (AP) - Dr. Harold A. Zahl, former director of research of the Army's electronics laboratory and a noted physicist, died today at Riverview Hospital in Red Bank. He was 68 years old. Dr. Zahl, owner of the Hazienda Evergreen Plantation here, lived in this Monmouth County Community."
^History, Holmdel Community United Church of Christ. Accessed October 17, 2013. "Our historical ties go back to the Middletown Baptist Church (1668) and the Dutch Reformed congregation (1699), which became known as the Holmdel Baptist Church and the Holmdel Reformed Church with the separation of Holmdel from Middletown in 1836.... The present building, which was built in 1809 with beams from the earlier church, underwent considerable remodeling in the late 1800’s.