This gristmill stone commemorates Cranberry Mills, the first industry in Cranbury - erected by Thomas Grubbs in 1737, on the south side of Cranbury Brook. The village, was once called Cranberry or Cranberry Town, changed its name to Cranbury late in the 19th century. The gristmill formed the nucleus for the development of the Village of Cranbury, drawing settlers, post houses, inns, churches and small businesses related to farming. A dam for waterpower was built, creating a roadway over the brook and creating a small lake, Brainerd Lake, so called in honor of the 18th century missionary, David Brainerd. The dam, roadway and gristmill were constructed at the intersection of two major Indian trails, one from South Amboy and one from New Brunswick.
In 1840, a water-powered sawmill was erected next to the gristmill but both were destroyed by fire, rebuilt and razed again by fire. After an 1860 blaze, the gristmill was rebuilt and a miller's house was erected south of the mill, at 6 South Main Street. Serving as Cranbury's Police Station from 1968 to 1985, the miller's house is now maintained by the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society as the Cranbury History Center. In 1939, the inactive gristmill was demolished and the area was named Memorial Park, dedicated in 1949 to Cranbury Veterans of World War I and subsequent wars.
This Historic Marker is a gift to the people of Cranbury from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 2009.