shrewsbury history rick geffken don burden

shrewsbury history rick geffken don burdenAuthors Update & Expand Story of Historic Monmouth County Town

Shrewsbury, NJ – The Shrewsbury Historical Society announces the publication of The Story of Shrewsbury Revisited, 1965-2015 (ISBN 978-1-5136-0351-3), by Rick Geffken and Don Burden. Monmouth County Historian Randall Gabrielan praises the book as “Perhaps the final event in the celebration of New Jersey’s 350th anniversary. It takes an unprecedented approach of updating the classic 1964 The Story of Shrewsbury by Richard Kraybill, much in demand and long out of print, by including a reprint of that work inside a volume depicting the town’s past half-century.”


As co-author Rick Geffken pointed out, “This new book is the fascinating history of the second oldest town in Monmouth County, established in 1665. We’ve included a careful expansion of the subjects Kraybill wrote about, and added new research about the impact of the first European contacts with the Native American Lenape culture. We made a point to write about each of Shrewsbury’s historic Four Corners which Gabrielan has referred to as ‘the most historic acre in Monmouth County.’”When originally founded, Shrewsbury comprised a huge area from the Navesink River, then south to Little Egg Harbor. It included all of what is today’s Ocean County. Readers will be fascinated to learn intriguing, often-ignored historical information such as the primary and very early role of the Shrewsbury Friends, the Quakers, in the abolition of slavery in the United States. The compelling life of the Reverend Samuel Cooke is recounted – he built the famous Christ Church Episcopal at the Four Corners prior to the Revolutionary War; and was later stripped of all his real estate and personal possessions because of his loyalty to the British Crown. The Allen House and the Wardell Estate – the oldest, still extant buildings in town – are recalled for their crucial importance in colonial times.

The Story of Shrewsbury Revisited, 1965-2015 recognizes the uniqueness of the Shrewsbury community beyond its inherent natural beauty.  More recent changes to the Borough’s look and feel – new businesses, new homes, and open spaces – are documented. Geffken and Burden outline a vision of continuity and balance for the future of this unique small town. The many illustrations in the new book show historic prints and maps as well as photographs of Shrewsbury’s famous citizens. Profiles of more than thirty prominent Shrewsbury residents – attorneys, historians, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, politicians, and medical innovators – reveal their breadth of accomplishment and diversity. Co-author Don Burden notes “We are gratified by the initial reaction to the book and its format. We’re happy people find our format agreeable and relevant.”

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of Monmouth County and Shrewsbury’s place as one of the most important colonial settlements.

To order The Story of Shrewsbury Revisited, 1965-2015, remit $30 per hard cover version ($20 for soft cover), plus $5 for shipping & handling, to:

Shrewsbury Historical Society

Mr. Donald Burden, President

419 Sycamore Avenue

PO Box 333

Shrewsbury NJ 07702


To arrange speaking engagements, contact:

Rick Geffken at 732-492-9444, or rickgØ[email protected]

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Muriel J. Smith

Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, in...