All of Monmouth County
In 1609, the English navigator, Henry Hudson, and his crew aboard the Dutch vessel Half Moon spotted land in what is now Monmouth County, most likely off Sandy Hook; Among the first European settlers and majority landowners in the area were Richard and Penelope Stout. Penelope miraculously survived her wounds from a native attack in Sandy Hook and further lived to the age of 110. Additionally, a group of Quaker families from Long Island who settled the Monmouth Tract, an early land grant from Richard Nicolls issued in 1665. They were followed by a group of Scottish settlers who inhabited Freehold Township in about 1682–85, followed several years later by Dutch settlers. As they arrived in this area, they were greeted by Lenape Native Americans, who lived in scattered small family bands and developed a largely amicable relationship with the new arrivals.
At the June 28, 1778, Battle of Monmouth, near Freehold Township, General George Washington's soldiers battled the British under Sir Henry Clinton, in the longest land battle of the American Revolutionary War. It was at Monmouth that the tactics and training from Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben developed at Valley Forge during the winter encampment were first implemented on a large scale.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 665.32 square miles (1,723.2 km2), including 468.79 square miles (1,214.2 km2) of land (70.5%) and 196.53 square miles (509.0 km2) of water (29.5%).
Much of Monmouth County remains flat and low-lying even far inland. However, there are some low hills in and around Holmdel Township, and one of them, Crawford Hill, the former site of a radar facility, is the county's highest point, variously listed at 380 to 391 feet (116 to 119 m) above sea level. The top portion of the hill is owned by Alcatel-Lucent and houses a research laboratory of Bell Laboratories. The northeastern portion of the county, in the Locust section of Middletown Township and the boroughs of Highlands and Atlantic Highlands, are also very hilly. The lowest point is sea level.
Along with adjacent Ocean County, Monmouth County is a mecca of boating and fishing. Its waterways include several rivers and bays that flow from the Raritan Bayshore into Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean. The Manasquan Inlet is located in the county, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the estuary of the Manasquan River, a bay-like body of saltwater that serves as the starting point of the Intracoastal Waterway, which attracts as many as 1,600 boats each weekend during the peak season.
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