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Chatham Township, New Jersey

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This article is about a township in New Jersey, for an adjacent borough, see Chatham. For more information about their shared services, including school and library systems, see The Chathams.
Chatham Township, New Jersey
Township of Chatham
Chatham Township highlighted in Morris County. Inset map: Morris County highlighted in the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Chatham Township, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40.717255°N 74.438789°WCoordinates40.717255°N 74.438789°W[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Morris
Incorporated February 12, 1806
 • Type Township
 • Mayor Nicole Hagner (term ends December 31, 2013)[3]
 • Administrator Thomas E. Ciccarone[4]
 • Clerk Gregory J. LaConte[5]
 • Total 9.358 sq mi (24.236 km2)
 • Land 8.978 sq mi (23.253 km2)
 • Water 0.380 sq mi (0.983 km2)  4.06%
Area rank 213th of 566 in state
17th of 39 in county[2]
Elevation[7] 249 ft (76 m)
Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10]
 • Total 10,452
 • Estimate (2012[11]) 10,626
 • Rank 235th of 566 in state
19th of 39 in county[12]
 • Density 1,164.2/sq mi (449.5/km2)
 • Density rank 360th of 566 in state
26th of 39 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07928[13][14]
Area code(s) 862/973[15]
FIPS code 3402712130[16][2][17]
GNIS feature ID 0882194[18][2]

Chatham Township is an area governed by thetownship form of government in Morris County,New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 10,452,[8][9][10] reflecting an increase of 366 (+3.6%) from the 10,086 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 725 (+7.7%) from the 9,361 counted in the 1990 Census.[19]



Chatham Township was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 12, 1806, from portions of Hanover Township andMorris Township.[20] At the time Chatham Township was created, it included the communities of ChathamGreen Village, and Bottle Hill (Madison), and the extensive rural areas surrounding these communities, with each community retaining its own distinct existence and identity. Before the close of that century however, the township would lose all except one of the villages put under its jurisdiction, as they were able to chose other new forms of government allowed in the evolving new American state.

A community settled in the early eighteenth century as Bottle Hill, and located in Morris Township when the area was within the EnglishProvince of New Jersey, became subject to governance by the new township. Bottle Hill changed its name to Madison in 1834 to honor President James Madison.[21] On December 27, 1889, Madison was incorporated as an independent borough and its former village boundaries were expanded between 1891 - 1899 with annexed portions of rural lands that had formerly been within the township.[20]

The village of Chatham had been settled in 1710 as John Day's Bridge and, in 1773 when New Jersey was an English province, adopted the name of Chatham to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.[22] This village also had been within the English Morris Township and it was an active community in the Revolutionary War. On August 19, 1892, Chatham seceded from the new township that had taken its name and adopted the village form of government established in the United States for the new state of New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, Chatham adopted the borough form of government on March 1, 1897.[20]

Florham Park was formed from portions of the township on March 20, 1899.[20][23]

Most of Green Village has always been within the township's jurisdiction.


In 1773, the village John Day's Bridge, a community governed by the English township of Morris since its settlement in 1710, was renamed as, Chatham, in honor of Sir William Pitt, a British prime minister and the first Earl of Chatham, who was most favorable toward the colonists of theProvince of New Jersey in issues with the British government.[22] Participation in the Revolutionary War was significant by the residents of Chatham. Nearby Morristown was the military center of the revolution, where the winter headquarters were established twice, and revolutionary troops were active in the entire area regularly. When the governing bodies within the new state of New Jersey were evolving in the new United States, a township was formed that took its name from this largest village that would be included in the area Chatham Township would have jurisdiction over.

The township form of government is the oldest form of municipal government in the state of New Jersey following the revolution. That form of local government dates back to New Jersey's Township Act of 1798. During a reorganization of Morris County in 1806 and taking its name from one of the historic settlements it would govern, Chatham Township was formed on February 12, 1806, to have jurisdiction over several colonial communities and settlements, including some that had been made part of previously existing townships. A great deal of open, swampy, and mountainous land was included with the hamlets.

For a while, the new township included what are now MadisonChatham Borough and Florham Park, as well as all of Green Village and all of the lands still governed by Chatham Township, but soon the principal villages began to secede because of contention over insufficient funding of their projects. Disposition of funds from taxes was perceived as inequitable to the settled areas given their needs versus that of the rural areas, causing them to form their own taxation and governance systems.[24]

Of the pre-revolutionary settlements included in its jurisdiction when it was formed, only portions of Green Village have remained governed by Chatham Township, which has never had a community center.

On December 27, 1889, based on the results of a referendum passed three days earlier, the village of Madison seceded from Chatham Township and adopted the borough form of government in order to develop a local water supply system for its population of 3,250. Madison annexed additional portions of Chatham Township in 1891, and annexed more each year from 1894–1898, followed finally, by an exchange of some lands in 1899 with Chatham Township.[20]

In the midst of these changes, in 1892 "...Chatham Village found itself at odds with the rest of the township. Although village residents paid 40 percent of the township taxes, they got only 7 percent of the receipts in services. The village had to raise its own money to install kerosene street lamps and its roads were in poor repair. As a result, the village voted on August 9, 1892, to secede from the township."[22]

The village that is now Florham Park first was part of Hanover Township, before being included in the township formed in 1806 as Chatham Township. When it seceded from Chatham Township, it incorporated as a borough as Florham Park on March 20, 1899.[20][23]

The boundaries of Chatham Township have remained unchanged since 1899.

Post-World War II suburban development ensued in the 1950s when farm lands, greenhouses, and flower nurseries began to be sold off.[24] Families moved out to this rural suburban area as ownership of automobiles increased dramatically.

The township experienced even more extensive residential development, starting with the 1960s and 1970s, when rezoning enabled residential development of the open spaces and several farms and woodlands were sold off to developers.[25] For several generations, the largest, the Schwartz Farm had produced dairy products that were sold in local stores and schools and that were delivered to homes on scheduled routes. Former rose farms became two major shopping centers near the corner of Shunpike Road and Southern Boulevard. The corner was known as Hickory Tree, named for a hickory tree planted during President Madison's term.[24][25]

Heyl Roses in Green Village was the last and oldest commercial rose and cut flower grower in New Jersey, until its closure in 1999.[26]


Chatham Township is located at 40°43′02″N 74°26′20″W (40.717255,-74.438789). According to theUnited States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 9.358 square miles (24.236 km2), of which, 8.978 square miles (23.253 km2) of it is land and 0.380 square miles (0.983 km2) of it (4.06%) is water.[1][2]

Green Village is an unincorporated community that is also partially in Harding Township. Green Village is the site of the Rolling Knolls Landfill, a landfill identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site. The landfill is bordered on two sides by theGreat Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and was formerly known as Miele's Dump, after owner Robert Miele. In operation from the 1930s until the late 1960s, the landfill accepted a wide variety of waste material from municipal and industrial sources, including residential septage and pharmaceutical materials. In 2010, the township designated the site as a redevelopment zone, with the possibility that the area could be remediated as a solar farm.[27]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1810 2,019  
1820 1,832   −9.3%
1830 1,874   2.3%
1840 2,138   14.1%
1850 2,469   15.5%
1860 2,968   20.2%
1870 3,715   25.2%
1880 4,276   15.1%
1890 4,681 * 9.5%
1900 620 * −86.8%
1910 812   31.0%
1920 735   −9.5%
1930 1,115   51.7%
1940 2,026   81.7%
1950 2,825   39.4%
1960 5,931   109.9%
1970 8,093   36.5%
1980 8,883   9.8%
1990 9,361   5.4%
2000 10,086   7.7%
2010 10,452   3.6%
Est. 2012 10,626 [11] 1.7%
Population sources:
1810-1920[28] 1840[29] 1850-1870[30]
1850[31] 1870[32] 1880-1890[33]
1890-1910[34] 1910-1930[35]
1930-1990[36] 2000[37][38] 2010[8][9][10]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[20]

Census 2010[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,452 people, 3,915 households, and 2,721 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,164.2 inhabitants per square mile (449.5 /km2). There were 4,128 housing units at an average density of 459.8 per square mile (177.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 90.84% (9,495) White, 0.75% (78)Black or African American, 0.08% (8) Native American, 6.36% (665) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 0.38% (40) from other races, and 1.58% (165) from two or more races. Hispanic orLatino of any race were 3.34% (349) of the population.[8]

There were 3,915 households of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.2% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.29.[8]

In the township, 28.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 31.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.3 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Surveyshowed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $127,679 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,764) and the median family income was $182,216 (+/- $30,473). Males had a median income of $144,400 (+/- $29,559) versus $61,912 (+/- $8,237) for females. The per capita incomefor the borough was $78,905 (+/- $6,319). About 1.2% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 1.5% of those age 65 or over.[39]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[16] there were 10,086 people, 3,920 households, and 2,771 families residing in Chatham Township. The population density was 1,081.0 people per square mile (417.4/km2). There were 4,019 housing units at an average density of 430.8 per square mile (166.3/km2). The racial makeup was 93.71% White, 0.45% African American, 0.06% Native American, 4.81% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.[37][38]

There were 3,920 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.11.[37][38]

The population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.[37][38]

The median income for a household was $106,208, and the median income for a family was $131,609. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $58,750 for females. The per capita income was $65,497. About 1.9% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 2.9% of those age 65 or over.[37][38]


Local government[edit]

Chatham Township is governed under the township form of government with a five-member Township Committee. The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year.[6] At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as mayor. The ceremonial mayor serves as the chair of the township committee and has powers vested in the mayor's office by general law.

The township committee is the legislative branch of the community's government and establishes policies for the administration of the various departments. The committee appoints the township administrator who is responsible for carrying out those policies and overseeing the day to day operations. Subcommittees of the township committee are public safety; public works; planning, engineering, and land use; parks and recreation; general administration; and finance. Two members of the township committee serve on each and provide oversight to the departments.[40]

As of 2013, members of the Chatham Township Committee are Mayor Nicole Hagner (R), Deputy Mayor Robert Gallop (R), Katherine Abbott (R), Bailey Brower, Jr. (R) and Kevin Sullivan (R).[41]

Federal, state, and county representation[edit]

Chatham Township is located in the 11th Congressional District[42] and is part of New Jersey's 27th state legislative district.[9][43][44] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Chatham Township had been in the 21st state legislative district.[45]

New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (RHarding Township).[46] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (DNewark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[47][48] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[49][50]

The 27th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate byRichard Codey (DRoseland) and in the General Assembly by Mila Jasey (D, South Orange) andJohn F. McKeon (D, West Orange).[51] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (RMendham Township).[52] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[53]

Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year.[54] As of 2011, Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director William J. Chegwidden (Wharton),[55] Deputy Freeholder Director Douglas R. Cabana (Boonton Township),[56]Gene F. Feyl (Denville),[57] Ann F. Grassi (Parsippany-Troy Hills),[58] Thomas J. Mastrangelo (Montville),[59] John J. Murphy (Morris Township)[60] and Hank Lyon (Montville Township),[61][62]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,354 registered voters in Chatham Township, of which 1,498 (20.4%) were registered as Democrats, 2,826 (38.4%) were registered as Republicans and 3,026 (41.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.[63]

In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 53.8% of the vote here (3,259 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 44.6% (2,699 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (59 votes), among the 6,053 ballots cast by the township's 7,639 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.2%.[64] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 59.3% of the vote here (3,499 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 39.5% (2,334 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (48 votes), among the 5,905 ballots cast by the township's 7,614 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.6.[65]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.7% of the vote here (2,583 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 29.1% (1,236 votes), Independent Chris Daggettwith 9.5% (405 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (13 votes), among the 4,252 ballots cast by the township's 7,407 registered voters, yielding a 57.4% turnout.[66]

Shared services[edit]

Chatham Township shares various joint public services with Chatham Borough: the recreation program, the library (since 1974), the school district (created in 1986), the municipal court, and medical emergency squad (since 1936).

Chatham Township became a member, with Chatham Borough, Madison, and Harding Township, of a joint municipal court, which was created in 2010 and is located in Madison.[67][68][69]


Public schools[edit]

Chatham Borough and Chatham Township held elections in November 1986 to consider joining their (at the time separate) school districts. This proposal was supported by the voters of both communities and since then, the two municipalities have shared a regionalized school district, theSchool District of the Chathams.

For the 2004-05 school year, Chatham High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon SchoolAward of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[70] the highest award an American school can receive. The school was the 20th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 8th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[71]

Private school[edit]

Chatham Day School, founded in 1998, is a private coeducational day school located in Chatham Township, serving students in preschool through eighth grade. The school has a total enrollment of 115 students. Originally founded in 1998, the school changed its name from The Darcy School after finding a permanent campus in Chatham Township in 2005.[72]


New Jersey Transit stops at the Chatham station to provide commuter service on the Morristown Line, with trains heading to the Hoboken Terminal and to New York Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. It is a short drive from most of the township to the stations in Madison and Chatham, and for the southern part of the township, the Murray Hill station is closer still.

New Jersey Transit local bus service is provided on the MCM3 and MCM8 routes.[73]

Mail service[edit]

The Chatham Post Office provides rural mail delivery to some portions of the township

Having been rural for most of its existence, Chatham Township has never had a federal post office. Its residents receive mail service through the post offices for Green Village and Chatham Borough. Green Village, an early town that dates to colonial times, remains partially within the jurisdiction of Chatham Township, but has a separate post office and ZIP code. The Green Village post office is at 372 Green Village Road and its ZIP code is 07935. Some portions of Chatham Township are provided with post office services by the Chatham Borough post office, whose ZIP code is 07928. The main Chatham post office is now at 219 Main Street, across from the library, and its annex is in the old post office, around the corner at 19 Railroad Plaza facing the fire station (see image). The residents of Chatham Borough receive door-to-door delivery of mail. Its post office only provides rural delivery to roadside mailboxes in the portions of Chatham Township not served by Green Village.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Chatham Township include:

External links[edit]