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Neshanic is located near the South Branch of the Raritan River. The name comes from a tribe of the Raritan Indians who lived along the river. Community life for the Dutch farmers who settled there began around 1750 and centered around a church, a school, a grist mill and a tavern owned by John Bennett, which historians say was most instrumental in forming the village. The first mill was built by Burguon Woff around 1770 and there was also a tannery which supplied leather to the people of the village as well as to the nearby town of New Brunswick. At one time the area surrounding the Shirk farm and extending along the Sourland Mountains was the greatest peach producing region in the State.

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