Holmdel Township was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 23, 1857, from portions of Raritan Township (now Hazlet).
By area it is the 10th largest and it is ranked the 13th most populated town of the 53 municipalities that comprise Monmouth County. As of the 2010 census (most recent data), Holmdel’s population was estimated at 16,668, expected to increase in 2020.
The origin of the Township's name is unclear, however many sources indicate that it is from the Dutch words Holm and Del, meaning "pleasant valley”, a name also given to a small portion on the southwest side of Holmdel.
The Town is divided in half by the Garden State Parkway. The area north of the Parkway is more densely populated with hundreds of condos and three sizable shopping centers along the Route 35 corridor. The south side of the Town is more rural, with single family homes on large parcels and two huge commercial office spaces. The South also includes heavily travelled roads such as State Route 34 and County Route 520.
More toward the center of Town, Holmdel is the home to Bayshore Medical Center, one of only five hospitals in all of Monmouth County. Numerous medical office buildings support the hospital on North Beers Street.
For many decades, the Town was known for its agriculture. Crops such as soybeans, hay, potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, corn and apples. to name but a few. These were often sold from farm stands, especially along what is now State Highway 35.
The Township has been noted for its historical connection to Bell Laboratories where important evidence for the Big Bang was discovered on Crawford Hill located off Holmdel Road. In 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered cosmic background radiation, which provided substantial confirmation of the theory. They were subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. The Holmdel hill from which they made their observations is the highest point in Monmouth County with an elevation of 391 feet. The Bell Laboratories Building on Crawfords Corner Road, which was completed in 1962, was designed by the award-winning architect Eero Saarinen, who also designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. At over 2 million square feet, the building became the largest unoccupied office building in the United States but is now the thriving site of the Bell Works metroburb.
Due to our geography and location, during the height of the cold war, Holmdel was home to one of 14 Nike Missile anti-aircraft defense sites situated throughout NY/NJ. The site was located on what is now Phillips/Veteran’s Park, and consisted of the missile-launching site and over a dozen government-owned houses where the soldiers who were stationed there lived with their families.
Holmdel is less than 3 miles from the Raritan Bay, and boasts culturally important sites. It is home to the PNC Bank Arts Center (originally the Garden State Arts Center), a 7,000 seat amphitheater. In addition to the seats, the lawn area can accommodate 10,500 people, making it a 17,500-seat arena. Adjacent to the Arts Center is the NJ State Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum.
For recreation, Holmdel boasts six Township Parks and two County Parks, as well as the Holmdel Swim Club. While the north side parks are smaller in size, they are neighborhood oriented. The two largest Township parks are found in the south side of the Town. Bayonet Farm Park is known as a bucolic farm-like passive sanctuary and Cross Farms Park is home to active sports and recreation.
Holmdel public schools are highly rated. We are the home of two High Schools, Holmdel HS (public) and St. John Vianney HS (private).
This rich history and our dynamic community are what make Holmdel such a desirable place to live, work and visit.