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Before European settlement, the land that comprises Flemington was occupied by the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. In 1712, the Flemington area was acquired by William Penn and Daniel Coxe. The surrounding fertile farmland dictated that the beginnings of Flemington were agricultural. Early German and English settlers engaged in industries dependent on farm products. As time passed poultry and dairy farms exceeded crops in agricultural importance. In 1785, Flemington was chosen as the County Seat of Hunterdon. Fire destroyed the old courthouse in 1826. Flemington remained the County Seat and the Courthouse which stands today on Main Street was built.
Flemington was originally formed as a town by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1870, within portions of Raritan Township. It became a village as in 1894 within Raritan Township. Flemington was incorporated as an independent borough in 1910, and was formally separated from Raritan Township.
In 1856, the Hunterdon County Agricultural society purchased 40 acres of land that would accommodate the people, exhibits and livestock for the County Fair., whose purpose was to promote competition between farmers, stock raisers and machinery manufacturers. The fair was held every year at the Flemington Fairgrounds which also was the site of Flemington Fair Speedway. From 1992 through 1995, the speedway hosted the Race of Champions, and a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was held from 1995 to 1998. In 2003, the County Fair adopted a new name, The Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair, and moved to the South County Park in East Amwell Township.
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