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Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Unincorporated community
A walking trail in Basking Ridge
Basking Ridge, New Jersey is located in Somerset County, New Jersey
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Location within the state of New Jersey
Coordinates: 40.7062122°N 74.5493233°WCoordinates40.7062122°N 74.5493233°W
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Somerset
Township Bernards
 • Total 13.46 sq mi (34.85 km2)
 • Land 13.44 sq mi (34.81 km2)
Elevation[1] 335 ft (102 m)
Population (2010 Census)[2]
 • Total 26,747
 • Density 2,000/sq mi (770/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07920, 07939[3][4]
Map of Basking Ridge ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) 07920

Basking Ridge is an unincorporated community located within Bernards Township in the Somerset Hills region ofSomerset CountyNew Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population for the ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) 07920 was 26,747.[2]

The area settled during colonial times. It was home to the old AT&T Headquarters, now owned by Verizon. Basking Ridge is the current headquarters for Verizon WirelessAvayaApplied Communication Sciences and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers.

The community of Basking Ridge is part of greater Bernards Township, which also includes LyonsLiberty Corner, andWest Millington.




Basking Ridge is located at40.7062122°N 74.5493233°W(40.7062122, -74.5493233).


As Basking Ridge is not an independent municipality, demographic data is based on the United States Census Bureaufigures for the ZIP Code Tabulation Area(ZCTA) for the 07920 ZIP Code.

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[5]there were 24,600 people, 9,300 households, and 6,517 families residing in the ZCTA. The population density was 1,137.1 people per square mile (1830.0/km²). There were 9,537 housing units at an average density of 440.8/sq mi (709.3/km²). The racial makeup of the ZCTA was 89.2% Caucasian, 1.4%African American, 0.1% Native American, 7.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[6]

There were 9,300 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15.[6]

In the ZCTA the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18 , 3.2% from 18 to 24 , 31.2% from 25 to 44 , 25.4% from 45 to 64 , and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.3 years.[6]

The median income for a household in the ZCTA was $105,471, and the median income for a family was $131,618. Males had a median income of $93,436 versus $60,101 for females. The per capita income for the ZCTA was $54,753. 1.4% of the population and 0.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.2% of those under the age of 18 and 2.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.[6]

Demographic Basking
Population 21,424 308,745,538[7]
Median Age 37.13 years 37.2 years[7]
Median Household Income $93,946 $51,144[8]
 % of Single Households 37.39% 30.22%
 % of Married Households 62.61% 69.78%
 % Families 70.72% 69.40%
Avg. Household Size 2.42 people 2.58 people
 % College or Higher 59.76% 26.46%
 % White Collar 82.53% 55.54%
Homes Owner Occupied 79.84% 57.72%
Avg. Dwelling Size 6 rooms 4.5 rooms


Basking Ridge was originally settled in the 1720s by British and Scottish people escaping religious persecution.[citation needed] The land was bought from the Lenape Native Americans.[citation needed]On December 13, 1776, General Charles Lee was captured by the British in his room in town. Lee had ranked next to Washington in command.

Historic sites[edit]

Historic oak tree, Basking Ridge, NJ (November 2012)
  • The Old Oak Tree is situated in the graveyard of thePresbyterian Church. This 600-year old white oak tree is a site where George Washington is said to have picnicked in the late 1770s. This tree did not sustain any damage from the October 2012 storm, Hurricane Sandy.
  • The Brick Academy was built as the Basking Ridge Classical School; its function was to prepare young men for the College of New Jersey (now known asPrinceton University). It has also served as a public school, a union hall, and a town hall. It now serves as a historic museum for Basking Ridge.
  • The Van Dorn Mill was built in 1768 as a wooden structure; it was rebuilt in 1843 as the finest stone structure in New Jersey. Thousands of stones were hauled from the hedgerows of nearby farms. Builders were paid one dollar per day to build the stone mill. Altogether, this amounted to $5,000, a large amount of money in the 1800s. However, the mill paid for itself in the first year of operation.
  • The Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church is a Greek Revival church built in 1839 and is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In the center of town is an oak tree that was recorded in General William Lane's diary during the American Revolutionary War. On its eastern side is engraved the letters "WL".[citation needed]
  • The Warren Kinney Memorial Oak Tree commemorates the life of a well-known dairy farmer and community leader from New Vernon, NJ. According to Mr. Kinney's 1975 obituary, he "helped lead a fight to prevent a jetport from being built on the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge inMorris County," and was "a founding member of the Madison Square Club, and trustee of the New York Zoological Society."[9]
  • The Devil's Tree is a solitary oak with some dead limbs growing in an undeveloped field on Mountain Road, opposite Emerald Valley Lane. Local legend, documented in Weird NJmagazine and the book based on it, tells that the tree is cursed or the property of the Devil. The Tree has also been a site of lynchings for the Ku Klux Klan in the past.[10]


Basking Ridge has an annual event in May called Charter Day. Many rides are set up in the Oak Street field such as a bounce house, inflatable race tracks, and spinning rides. In 2013, there was an airbrush tattoo stand as well. Also, in the center of the town hundreds of stands are set up mostly promoting school sports, but there are also many kettle corn stands, which is a traditional food children eat during Charter Day. At night, the traditional Battle of the Bands takes place, which many teenagers sign up for to play their favorite songs.


Ridge High School was originally founded by the Bernards Township Board of Education in 1924. When Bernardsville separated from Bernards Township, the schools still remained one system until 1947 when the original high school became the property of Bernardsville. From 1948, however, township students continued attending Bernardsville High School as tuition students.[11] In 1960 a contract was issued for the construction of a new Ridge High School and Cedar Hill School which were built on approximately 60 acres (24 ha) of land.

William Annin Middle School was originally named after a colonial patriot who settled in Basking Ridge in 1722. Construction started in 1968 and the school was dedicated on September 28, 1969 as William Annin Junior High School and contained grades 5 through 8. It became a middle school in 1982. It currently contains grades 6 through 8.[12] The school is one of the few in the United States to have a seismograph.[13][14]

There are four elementary schools in Basking Ridge.

  • Liberty Corner School was built for a farming community in 1905. It is the oldest school in the district. Part of the original building still remains today. It is located in the Liberty Cornersection of Bernards Township.[15]
  • Oak Street School was built in 1938, although it was completed late. It was dedicated on November 21, 1939 and opened on November 23, the day before Thanksgiving. Dr. Horatio Gates Whitnall originally owned the property on which Oak Street School was built. The land was used for farming and his home was what is now the Summit Bank. Over the years, the population rose rapidly. It serves downtown Basking Ridge which is the area around the Presbyterian Church and the Old Oak Tree.[16]
  • Cedar Hill School was built 1956. It is situated on land which was once the property of a succession of wealthy families: Owen, Lee, Bissell, and Astor. It was donated in the Mid 1950s by the Lees. It serves the area around William Annin Middle School and Ridge High School.[17]
  • Mount Prospect was built in 1999. The school was built because a new population rolled in by 2000. Basking Ridge was extended southward and a new subdivision was built: The Hills. Mount Prospect is the newest school in the district and serves the Hills.[18]



New Jersey Transit's Gladstone Branch runs through Basking Ridge. There are two stations that residents can use to get to New York City and Hoboken:


Lakeland Bus Lines (Route 78) provides service to and from Manhattan during peak commuting hours.


Two Interstates are located near Basking Ridge:

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

The Basking Ridge Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, it is district #94000817.[19] The Basking Ridge Classical School was added in 1976, it is building #76001185. The Alward Farmhouse was added in 1986, it is building #86000388.[20]

  • Alward Farmhouse, added March 13, 1986
  • Basking Ridge Classical School, added July 21, 1976
  • Coffee House, added November 7, 1977
  • Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, added December 31, 1974
  • Lord Stirling Manor Site, added June 22, 1978

Parks and recreation[edit]

There are several parks within the town. Four are county parks: Lord Stirling Park, Rebel Hill, Southard, and Harry Dunham. The fifth is Pleasant Valley Park which contains the town pool and miles of woodchip trails.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Basking Ridge include: