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Community Information for
Berkeley Heights NJ Real Estate

Berkeley Heights is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 13,407.

What is now Berkeley Heights was originally incorporated as New Providence Township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 8, 1809, from portions of Springfield Township, while the area was still part of Essex County. New Providence Township became part of the newly-formed Union County at its creation on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township were taken on March 23, 1869, to create Summit, and on March 14, 1899, to form the borough of New Providence. On November 6, 1951, the name of the township was changed to Berkeley Heights, based on the results of a referendum held that day.

In Money magazine's 2007 Best Places to Live rankings, Berkeley Heights ranked 45th of out of a potential 2,800 places in the United States with populations above 7,500 and under 50,000.


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History for
Berkeley Heights New Jersey

The earliest construction in Berkeley Heights began in an area that is now part of the 1,960 acre (7.9 km²) Watchung Reservation, a Union County park that includes 305 acres (1.2 km²) of the township.

The first European settler was Peter Willcox, who received a 424 acre (1.7 km²) land grant in 1720 from the Elizabethtown Associates, a group that bought much of northern New Jersey from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans in the late 17th century. Mr. Willcox built a grist and lumber mill across Green Brook.

In 1793, a regional government was formed. It encompassed the area from present-day Springfield Township, Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights, and was called Springfield Township. Growth continued in the area, and by 1809, Springfield Township divided into Springfield Township and New Providence Township. New Providence Township included Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights.

In 1845, Mr. Willcox's heirs sold the mill to David Felt, a paper manufacturer from New York, who built a small village called Feltville around the mill. It included homes for workers and their families, dormitories, orchards, a post office and a general store with a church above it.

In 1860, Feltville was sold to sarsaparilla makers, after which it was used for a number of manufacturing operations, before going into bankruptcy in 1882. When residents moved away, it became known as Deserted Village, the remains of which consist of 130 acres on which there are seven houses, the store, the mill and a barn.

The site, on the National Register of Historic Places, is under restoration by the Union County Parks Department, with grants of almost $2 million from various state agencies. Deserted Village, in the Watchung Reservation, is open daily for unguided walking tours during daylight hours. Please note that if you would like to learn more about Feltville, you may be able to join the "Friends of Feltville" Yahoo! group by requesting membership from Matt Tomaso, MA, RPA, ABD, Acting Director, Center for Archaeological Studies, Montclair State University.

In 1869, Summit seceded from New Providence Township. The Borough of New Providence and the City of Summit both incorporated in 1899. Present day Berkeley Heights remained as New Providence Township, (a name it kept until 1952) but also chose to incorporate in 1899. Many of the townships and regional areas in New Jersey were separating into small, locally governed communities at that time due to acts of the New Jersey Legislature that made it economically advantageous for the communities to due so.

Early life in Berkeley Heights is documented in the Littell-Lord Farmhouse Museum & Farmstead (31 Horseshoe Road in Berkeley Heights), an 18-acre museum surrounding two houses, one of which was built in the 1750's and the other near the turn of the century. The museum is open 2-4 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month from April through December, or by appointment. Call (908) 464-0961 for more information.

Among the exhibits are a Victorian master bedroom and a Victorian children's room, furnished with period antiques. The children's room also has reproductions of antique toys, which visitors can play with. The museum, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, also includes an outbuilding that was used as a summer kitchen, a corncrib dating to the 19th century and a spring house, built around a spring and used for refrigeration.

Although the origin of the township's name has never been completely established, it is believed that the name Berkeley refers to Lord John Berkeley, one of the two proprietors who jointly held all of New Jersey by grant. The term "Heights" probably refers to the hilly section of the township. The township owes its rural character to its late development. Until 1941, when the American Telephone and Telegraph Company built its Bell Laboratories research facility in the township, it was a sleepy farming and resort community. According to a history compiled by the League of Women Voters in 1963, the population mushroomed to 9,500 in 1962 from 2,194 in 1940.


Demographic Information for
Berkeley Heights New Jersey

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 13,407 people, 4,479 households, and 3,717 families residing in the township. The population density was 826.9/km² (2,140.7/mi²). There were 4,562 housing units at an average density of 281.4/km² (728.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the township was 89.65% White, 1.11% African American, 0.08% Native American, 7.87% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.68% of the population.

There were 4,479 households out of which 41.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.1% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.0% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the township the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $107,716, and the median income for a family was $118,862. Males had a median income of $83,175 versus $50,022 for females. The per capita income for the township was $43,981. About 1.5% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

 

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