Where does the Perth come from? By 1684, when the Earl of Perth became Lord High Chancellor under King James II, Gawen Lawrie arrived here as deputy governor with instructions from the proprietors to refer to Amboy as the town of Perth. The Earl of Perth was also one of the members of the Board of Proprietors. Even though he was arrested upon the abdication of King James II in 1688, the town was still referred to as Perth Amboy even though the Earl was confined until 1693.
Perth Amboy is home to the only official Royal Governor’s Mansion still intact since
Perth Amboy is also home to the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the
Although City Hall was renovated in 1826, 1872 and 2006, some of the 1717 structure still remains. The current structure is Victorian with a mansard roof and several new wings. A City Hall Park was also developed with a historic statue of
From about 1800 to 1870, City Hall Courthouse housed the public school classes. In 1870 Perth Amboy's first public school opened on State Street.
During the early 1800's, Perth Amboy's waterfront was a bustling business center. It contained warehouses, eateries, rooming houses, stores with imported and local products, an outdoor produce market and docks. For many years, ferry service played an integral role in Perth Amboy for those looking to go to and from Staten Island. Begun in 1709, service finally stopped in 1963. Currently, ferry service is about to be restored for the first time in nearly 40 years.
By the late 1890's Perth Amboy also had a trolley line, the Raritan Traction Co., which ran within Perth Amboy. Around 1900 the trolley line was extended to Fords Corner, then Metuchen, Sewaren, and Woodbridge.
Perth Amboy has also made many interesting contributions to culture and commerce. In 1853, Marcus and
Since its beginning Perth Amboy has been a place of interesting facts. For example, did you know...
- In 1752, the first professional play staged in New Jersey was performed by an English touring company in Perth Amboy.
- In 1760, Samuel Neville of Perth Amboy edited the first magazine published in America, The American Magazine, under the pen name "Sylavanus Americanus".
- From 1848-1849, Lawrence Kearny of Perth Amboy was still on active duty as Commodore in the Navy while mayor of his hometown ... this is the only time such a thing has happened.
- In 1865, The Raritan Yacht Club was established. Still in use, it is the second oldest yacht club in America.
- In 1896 the first submarine, which was designed by John
Hollandof Paterson, was perfected at the Industrial Iron Works and Machine Shop in Perth Amboy.
- On July 4, 1912 the first air mail delivery was made to Perth Amboy from South Amboy. The five minute flight was made by hydroplane.
- Perth Amboy was selected as the site for the Naval Military Academy in
the Stateof New Jersey.
- Perth Amboy used to be famous for its fresh water springs... one of which still exists.
- All the Vaseline in the world once originated in Perth Amboy when the company Cheeseborough Ponds was located here.
Perth Amboy was also home to a number of distinguished artists...
- John Watson (1685-1768) came to Perth Amboy in 1715. He is known as the first portrait painter in America. He started the first art gallery in the country.
- William Dunlap (1766-1839) was born in Perth Amboy. He not only was an artist, and painted a portrait of
George Washington, he was also a writer and play producer. His paintings can be found in numerous museums including but not limited to... the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Detroit Museum of Art, Michigan; the Worchester Museum, Massachusetts; Yale UniversityMuseum, Connecticut; and the Newark Museum New Jersey.
- George Inness (1825-1894) was primarily a landscape painter. He lived in Perth Amboy for some time after becoming acquainted with
Rebeccaand Marcus Spring, of the Eagleswood Mansion. Some of his artwork is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
- Edward Kemeys lived for several years at Eagleswood in Perth Amboy. He was regarded as the greatest animal sculptor in America. He modeled sculptors for the Chicago Art Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, New York, and Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Harry Tierney (1891-1965) was a native to Perth Amboy. He was the composer of many Broadway musicals and a popular songwriter.
- Ruth White (1919-1969) was born and died in Perth Amboy. She was a talented character actress. She appeared in Broadway shows including The Happiest Millionaire, Happy Days, and Birthday Party. In 1964 she won an Emmy Award as best supporting actress in Little Moon of Alban. She was also in movies such as
To Kill a Mockingbird, and Naked City. Her brother Charles White was also a distinguished actor, both in film and on stage.
The one constant in Perth Amboy has been change, and we are still enjoying the process of evolution.