County News

Behind the Seal - July 9, 2019

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Somerset County, N.J.

Somerset County was founded in 1688. The first Board of Chosen Freeholders was not elected until 1714. An accidental courthouse fire in 1737 destroyed all official records regarding the design and creation of the county seal.

A county publication from the early 1980s described the seal as symbolizing “the origin of Somerset County government — to provide justice in an agricultural area.”

In the unofficial explanation of the seal, the scale on the top half represents justice.

The lower half of the seal features a plow and represents agriculture, which was the main industry in the county during colonial times.

The stars in the garland surrounding the plow represent the 13 original colonies

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