Belle Mead is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Montgomery Township, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 216.
Up until about 1875, Belle Mead, then named Plainville, was considered to be part of the community of Harlingen. It was a quiet farming region when about that time a New York City contractor named Van Aken bought up all the local farms and set out to develop a city. He had the farms laid out into lots, some streets put through and named after the style of New York. He donated land for the railroad station that had a dining room underneath (the station was torn down in February, 1940). There is an abandoned train station in Belle Mead. When Van Aken went broke, the property was sold to a U.S. Senator, John R. McPherson, who changed the name from Vanaken to Belle Mead in honor of his daughter, Edna Belle Mead McPherson, according to one popular story.
Woods Tavern in Belle Mead was a popular stop for travelers for more than 100 years and played an important social and political role. Horace Greeley spoke there in 1872 as part of his campaign for President of the United States. The tavern burned down in 1932.
James Baldwin, the 20th-century author and civil rights advocate, lived in Belle Mead in the early 1940s.