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Basking Ridge in Bernards Township Back to top

Basking Ridge in Bernards Township has retained its small-town charm for over 200 years. Most of the shops, restaurants, and services along tree-lined South Finley Avenue are located in historic 19th-century houses. In fact, the downtown area has so much history that it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

The town has two commuter train stations to New York City making it an ideal suburban town. Pleasant Valley Park, built with Lady Byrd Johnson’s Green Acres funding, provides a wonderful community pool, recreation fields and outdoor amphitheatre. Basking Ridge is home to The Somerset Hills YMCA and Wellness Center.

Bedminster Back to top

Bedminster Township in northern Somerset County consists of 26 square miles of charming hamlets with antique homes, expansive equestrian estates, lavish townhouses, and rolling farmland in the heart of Somerset County’s legendary hunt country. This quiet area experienced unprecedented growth during the 1980s when The Hills, a master planned community east of Route 287, opened its doors and the population soared from 2,500 to 8,000-plus residents today. Yet much the township retains its peaceful feeling; many unpaved lanes are ideal for bicyclists, horseback riders, hikers, and dog walkers.

Berkeley HeightsBack to top

Berkeley Heights is a community of comfortable homes and quiet tree lined streets, providing an ideal setting for enjoying life. Residents enjoy spacious parks and outstanding recreational programs for all ages. Berkeley Heights is an easy commute by train to New York City for work or play and provides access to other locations by nearby major highways.

BernardsvilleBack to top

Located in northern Somerset County, historic Bernardsville Borough’s bustling downtown district winds along Route 202 and offers shops, services, boutiques, a movie theater, two supermarkets, several restaurants and a New Jersey Transit train station for service to New York.

Bernardsville was originally a section of Bernards Township (Basking Ridge) known as Vealtown. In 1840, Vealtown became Bernardsville, named after Sir Francis Bernard, Colonial governor of New Jersey from 1758 to 1760. After the Civil War, many wealthy and prominent New Yorkers moved to the area, first as summer visitors, then as permanent residents of Bernardsville Mountain including the Stevens, Pfizer and Ballantine families. The New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites recommended the creation of the Olcott Avenue Historic district in 2009. The area’s appeal and historic significance remembers the story of the rise of the middle class in Bernardsville and how this particular location impacted the entire region from downtown, Little Italy and even the Mountain Colony areas.

The ChathamsBack to top

When CNN and Money magazine ranked Chatham ninth on its list of The 100 Best Places to Live in the United States in 2005, they described it as more like a "small" New England town than a bustling Big Apple "burb." Indeed, Chatham's vintage architecture, strategic location 25 miles from Manhattan and abiding sense of community make it a desirable destination in southeastern Morris County.

Chatham Borough and Chatham Township share a common heritage and are sometimes jointly referred to as The Chathams. Although the two are actually separate municipalities, they do share a library, school district and post office.

Cultural opportunities in Chatham include historical, art, garden and musical groups, as well as the facilities and programs at neighboring Drew and Fairleigh Dickinson universities. A stroll down Main Street reveals many restored and converted buildings, as well as more modern facilities. While the Borough occupies approximately 2.3 miles and is described as having a village feel, the Township, which is more spread out, approximately 9.1 miles, has no equivalent of Main Street and businesses are located mostly at Hickory Tree Mall.

Chester BoroBack to top

The Borough of Chester is located in southwestern Morris County, at the intersection of State Highway 24 and U.S. Highway 206. The Borough enjoys a flourishing commercial area while most of the land area in the 1.45 square miles of the community is devoted to single family housing. Chester itself was established as a separate political entity in 1799, at which time "Chester" meant the area of both the Township and the downtown Village area which came to be the Borough. The Borough of Chester was incorporated in 1930, and is today a separate municipality surrounded by Chester Township.

Chester TownshipBack to top

Chester Township, thanks in large part to the mission of its first Planning Board in the late 1950's, has become a premier open space repository, setting aside over one-third of its thirty square miles in public ownership. The Borough and the Township, while separate communities, continue to enjoy a close relationship and share schools, fire protection, first aid squad, athletic programs, a community pool, and service clubs. A few active farms attract local residents and visitors to purchase their wares. Chester Township remains an attractive community offering a "country" atmosphere together with good schools, excellent services, a downtown village business area, large parks, recreational facilities, and easy access to cultural centers.

Far HillsBack to top

Far Hills encompasses five square miles in Somerset County. It shares a public library, a community pool, athletic programs, civic organizations and a school system with Bernardsville. It also shares a fire department and first aid squad with neighboring Bedminster. Far Hills maintains the characteristic of its community through 10-acre (40,000 sq. meter) minimum zoning laws. Large private properties and homes surround the small village center which was the creation of a wealthy New York businessman in the late 1800s. The beginning of rail service to nearby Bernardsville in 1870 opened the area to city people seeking a respite from the heat and hurry of urban life.

Anticipating the demand for country properties was Evander H. Schley, a land developer and real estate broker from New York State. He bought several thousand acres of farmland, some of it sight unseen, in Bedminster and Bernards townships in the 1880s. One day in 1887, Schley’s brother, Grant and his wife Elizabeth, arrived by horse-drawn carriage to see Evander&s farms. Elizabeth is said to have remarked on the beautiful vista of the &far hills&, thus giving the name to this lovely town before a village was built.

Harding Township and New VernonBack to top

Established in 1922, Harding Township was named for then-President Warren G. Harding. Its location 45 minutes from New York City belies the pastoral scenery; where horses, sheep, and cows graze in meadows and open fields. There are about 50 miles of bridle trails winding throughout Harding Township, which are maintained by the Harding Township/Green Village Bridle Path Association. This atmosphere is ensured for future generations since 40% of the township is protected open space.

New Vernon and Green Village are two sections of Harding, in southeastern Morris County. Forbes magazine ranked New Vernon as ’one of the 25 most expensive zip codes’ in the country in 2006.

Long Hill TownshipBack to top

Much of the Township remains undeveloped and within the Great Swamp Wildlife Preserve. In addition, the Long Hill Mountain Ridge traverses the Township and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. This 12.1 square-mile township was first settled in the early 1700's by Scotch Presbyterians. It was later the site of cigar factories, and silk and grist mills. Today there are few industries in Long Hill Township, and the town is characterized by new subdivisions of colonial, split level and ranch homes built beside stately older homes, some as old as 250 years.

Two major east-west roads connect the township's four population centers; I-78 and Route 22 / Stirling, Millington, Gillette, and Meyersville. Bus service and the New Jersey Transit Railroad offer residents commutation throughout the metropolitan area.

MadisonBack to top

Madison is characterized by the cultural and academic influences of local universities, and a colorful local history. Located about 26 miles west of Manhattan, its picturesque downtown has over 50 buildings listed on the state and national registers of historic places.

Contributing to Madison's appeal is the fact that it's a livable, friendly and walkable community. Most downtown buildings offer retail space at the street level with residential units above. Many residents walk to shops, houses of worship, schools, parks and public transportation. Also downtown is a New Jersey Transit train station to NYC.

Drew University's tree-lined campus is in Madison, while the Madison-Florham Park Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, are adjacent to town. A portion of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located on the former Madison estate of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombly.

Known for its lively cultural offerings, Madison is home to the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Playwrights Theater of New Jersey and the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts.

The MendhamsBack to top

Mendham Township and the smaller Mendham Borough are commonly referred to as Mendham. The township was founded in 1749 and measures about 18 square miles. The borough was created from a six square mile portion of the township in 1906. Both have a truly New England feel, with vintage homes, small farms and a charming village center sharing their beautiful surroundings.

Morris TownshipBack to top

Morris Township was originally formed in 1740 and now has over 22,000 residents on over 15 square miles. Known as the "doughnut" as it surrounds the town of Morristown and completely encapsulates it, Morris Township has at least five times the area. Residents have easy access to nearby Morristown and Madison shopping and town centers while enjoying wooded residential areas and a well-designed business district. The charming Convent Station train station provides easy access for NYC commuters.

New ProvidenceBack to top

Nestled in the Watchung Mountains, New Providence is home to 12,000 residents within 3.6 square miles in northwestern Union County and known for its beautiful residential neighborhoods and wonderful recreation facilities.

New Providence is conveniently located roughly 15 miles west of Newark and approximately 28 miles west of New York City. Traveling is simple and convenient with two easily accessible train stations within New Providence, as well as close proximity to I-78, the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Newark International Airport.

Peapack-GladstoneBack to top

The Borough of Peapack Gladstone, consisting of two villages joined in 1912, was originally part of Bedminster Township. It is home to slightly more than 2,580 residents and is a leafy green, historic town nestled in a quiet eddy of the beautiful hills of northern Somerset County. It is blessed with historic homes, spectacular vistas and pristine trout streams. It has retained its small town environment and rural atmosphere, continuing its very successful efforts to preserve magnificent open spaces, farms and wooded hills. It is within easy access to New York City by rail and major highways, and is a highly desirable residential community.

SummitBack to top

Summit has a long reputation as a culturally active town with many art and historic .. Summit’s Downtown Business District is a tapestry of retail and commercial businesses with an abundance of specialty and gift shops, clothing stores, home furnishings, restaurants, bakeries, fine wine outlets, movie theatre and ample free parking all within short walking distances. and boasts an attractive town center offering many boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants catering to a variety of tastes. The New Jersey Transit station is a central hub to NYC, affording residents an easy commute to the city.

Older family homes and beautiful large center hall colonials adorn Summit’s distinctive tree lined streets. There is also a large section of condos, many situated in comfortable older buildings within walking distance of downtown, and some conveniently located in younger developments

WarrenBack to top

Warren Township is nestled in the Watchung Mountains. Once described as ’the greenest place in New Jersey’, it is less than 35 miles to Manhattan. The town center boasts many businesses including restaurants, retail and office occupancies. Businesses and residents alike chose Warren as their home because of the access to major roads and resources. Warren is positioned between route 78, route 22 and route 287. It is close to major shopping centers and great restaurants.

WatchungBack to top

The Borough of Watchung was organized on April 20, 1926 and covers an area of approximately 6.2 square miles. Watchung was settled in the early eighteenth century and grew slowly until recent years. In 1960 the population was 3,312 and in 2000 it was 5,613. The name Watchung comes from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, meaning ’high hills’. It is from the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains that George Washington surveyed the British troops in Perth Amboy many miles southeast.

Watchung is roughly a 40 minute drive to New York City and a 30 minute drive to Newark.

(c) Erica Levey: All Rights Reserved

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