Red Bank is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, incorporated in 1908 and on the Navesink River, the area's original transportation route to the ocean and other ports. Red Bank is in the New York Metropolitan Area and is a commuter town of New York. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 12,206, reflecting an increase of 362 (3.1%) from the 11,844 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,208 (11.4%) from the 10,636 counted in the 1990 Census.
Red Bank was formed as a town on March 17, 1870, from parts of Shrewsbury Township. On February 14, 1879, Red Bank became Shrewsbury City, part of Shrewsbury Township; this lasted until May 15, 1879, when Red Bank regained its independence. On March 10, 1908, Red Bank was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature and was set off from Shrewsbury Township. The borough was named for the red soil along the Navesink River.
Red Bank has been occupied by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The area of modern-day Red Bank was the territory of the Algonquian-speaking Lenape Native Americans, also called the Delaware by the English. The Lenape lived in the area between the Navesink River and the Shrewsbury River in an area they called Navarumsunk. The Native Americans traded freely with European settlers from England and the Dutch Republic in the mid-17th century, who purchased land in the area.
Originally part of "Shrewsbury Towne", Red Bank was named in 1736, when Thomas Morford sold Joseph French "a lot of over three acres on the west side of the highway that goes to the red bank". English colonists settled Red Bank beginning in the 17th century and it became a center for shipbuilding. Its population grew rapidly after 1809, when regularly scheduled passenger ships were established to serve the route to Manhattan.
By 1844, Red Bank had become a commercial and manufacturing center, focused on textiles, tanning, furs, and other goods for sale in Manhattan.