Cranbury Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey

Memorial Park and Brainerd Dam

Location
Memorial Park is located on South Main Street on the south side of Cranbury Brook, next to the Cranbury Firehouse.  Located across the street from Memorial Park is Brainerd Dam on Brainerd Lake.  Map. 

Directions/Parking
Both Memorial Park and Brainerd Dam are accessible on foot from South Main Street next to the lake and brook.  The only public parking is on South Main Street and North Main Street.

Acreage
Memorial Park consists of ½ acre of land. Brainerd Dam consists of the sidewalk area bordering South Main Street along Brainerd Lake.

Features
Amenities in Memorial Park include six benches and a memorial to World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans and a memorial to Civil War veterans. 

Brainerd Dam has four benches, from which scenic vistas of Brainerd Lake may be viewed, and a water fountain built by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

There are no restrooms.

Reservations
No reservations are required.

Description/History
Memorial Park is a small, landscaped park that was dedicated on May 30, 1949.  The park’s centerpiece is a monument and flagpole honoring the servicemen and women from World War I through the Vietnam War.  Benches and tended flowerbeds surround the monument.  A Civil War Monument was dedicated in 2010 by the New Jersey Civil War History Association.  Historical markers commemorating General George Washington’s visit to his soldiers along Cranbury Brook on their way to the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, and the site of the former Old Grist Mill, are also located in the park.  Each year, the park hosts a Memorial Day ceremony honoring our veterans.

Brainerd Dam was constructed in the 1800’s with rebuilding and repairs through the late 19th century.  It was built to divert the Cranbury Brook in order to supply power for the local saw and gristmills.  This open space area contains a stone fountain presented in 1907 by the WCTU.  This fountain also has separate troughs for horses and dogs.  The WCTU was opposed to alcoholic beverages and saloons, and established water fountains near saloons in order to encourage people to drink water instead of alcohol.  The Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society erected a Brainerd Lake sign replicating the original sign from the early 1900s.  More.