BOUND BROOK - Home of the Graham Cracker
In 1829. the Graham Cracker was developed right here in Bound Brook by an eccentric Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Sylvester Graham to cure the dread fever of lust.
Reverend Graham was raised by a succession of relatives and worked as farm hand, clerk and teacher before embracing the ministry due to ill health. He preached a strict vegetarian diet, recommended hard mattresses, open bedroom windows, chastity, cold showers, loose clothing and vigorous exercise.
He felt that a strict diet devoid of meat and rich in fiber would combat rampant desire. He was convinced that eating meat and fat led to sinful sexual excess and that the use of mustard and ketchup would cause insanity.
Rev. Graham had many adherents during his lifetime. Graham-boarding houses sprang up in New York and Boston as part of the health craze he inspired.
Even during his life time, most people thought the Reverend Graham was absolutely wacky but Bound Brookites contentedly munch their s'mores and bake their pie crusts, many not even aware that the first Graham Crackers was made right here.
Bob Billian And Billian Legion Park
To many, Billian is just the name of a park at the east end of town.
To some, Bob Billian was a hometown boy who made good and gave
us lots of money. To old timers, he was an imp with a streak of mischief
and hunger for adventure who flew a B-17 Bomber during the war and
later was a pilot for TWA for 33 years.
BUT THESE BARE FACTS DO NOT BEGIN TO TELL THE STORY.
A FEW GOOD STORIES ABOUT THE BILLIAN BOYS
Cast of Characters - The Billian Boys – Harold, Alfred, Bob and Doug
Jamie King – Eagle Scout – BB Troop #41
In 1926, or thereabouts, Jamie was riding his bike down Union Avenue when he heard a kid hollering for help. He stopped on the bridge over the swollen Greenbrook and saw this kid splashing around. Rushing down the creek, he pulled Harold, the oldest Billian Boy, out of the water only to be told that Harold's little brother, Alfred, was under the water with only his cap showing. Jamie saved them both and got a gold medal for heroism.
Bob and Doug made a white canvas Kayak that ran on roller skate wheels. Using broom handles with shingles attached as paddles, they made their way down the rain swollen Raritan River halfway to New Brunswick where they encountered a dam. Fortunately they made it to shore. Sometime after dark, Dad picked up the boys in his 1934 Plymouth and got the kayak onto the roof. Doug remembered the ride home as very quiet.
Billian-Legion Park used to be the city dump, a place where rats found plenty to eat. Only one of the large trees that Doug and Bob used to climb remains but from its branches, Doug and Bob would shoot those moving targets with their 22 rifles. Both felt that it was great practice for earning their riflery merit badges in Boy Scouts.
One Friday afternoon during Dance period at the High School, Bob buzzed BBHS in his shining new B-17 while enroute to England to serve with the 8th Air Force.
BOUND BROOK THE PLACE TO DWELL
In 1909, the Bound Brook Board of Trade published Bound Brook, The Place to Dwell.
Looking back you will see that much of Bound Brook has changed, but so much has remained the same. We are a small town, we are close-knit, and we care. From the long time business owner to the lifelong resident and all those in between, we have what many towns lack - community. We are poised once again for great things.
On page seven of this book you will read, ~ A wise man says, "He wants to live in a place that not only was alive one hundred years ago, but is alive and growing today." 106 years later, we are still alive and growing. We are still the place to dwell!