About This Place
Rahway ( /rɔːweɪ/) is a city in southern Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the New York metropolitan area, being 15 miles southwest of Manhattan and five miles west of Staten Island. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 27,346.
Rahway and the surrounding area were once the home of the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, and tradition states that the city was named after Rahwack, a local tribal chief. Formal European settlement began in 1664 with the purchase by the English from the Lenape of the Elizabethtown Tract, which encompassed lands from the mouth of the Raritan River and included all of present-day Union County as well as parts of Somerset, Middlesex, Morris and Essex counties. The Seventeenth Century Clark House is one of the oldest buildings in the state.
Rahway saw limited action during the American Revolutionary War because of its proximity to Staten Island, Elizabethtown and Perth Amboy. In January 1777, rebels were victorious against the British in the Battle of Spanktown, which resulted in the death of some 100 British troops. The battle was named this after Rahway's original name given to it by the first settlers, Spanktown.