Cranbury is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 3,857, reflecting an increase of 630 (+19.5%) from the 3,227 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 727 (+29.1%) from the 2,500 counted in 1990.
Cranbury joins Bellmawr, Egg Harbor Township, Montclair and Woodbridge Township as one of the five municipalities (of 565 in the state) that have authorized dispensaries for the sale of medical marijuana.
A deed for a sale of land and improvements dated March 1, 1698, is the earliest evidence of buildings constructed in present-day Cranbury. A home in Cranbury was used by Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette as a headquarters during the American Revolutionary War, and they were visited by General George Washington on June 26, 1778. As part of orders issued during the Presidency of George Washington, maps of Cranbury were made showing the presence of a church, a mill and 25 other buildings. During its earliest years, the location was usually spelled as "Cranberry". Rev. Joseph G. Symmes argued in 1857 that the name was spelled improperly and that the suffix "bury" was more appropriate, leading the name of the community and brook to be changed to "Cranbury" in 1869. The name has been attributed to wild cranberries that grew in the area.
The so-called Hightstown rail accident occurred in or near Cranbury, in 1833. According to John Quincy Adams, who was aboard the train and who wrote in his diary about it, the train was 3 miles (4.8 km) from Hightstown when the disaster struck, putting the accident near what is now Cranbury Station. Among the passengers aboard were Tyrone Power and Cornelius Vanderbilt.