Chatham Borough

New Jersey

  • Population: 8962
  • Size: 2.46 sq miles (6.37 km2)
  • Established: 1897
  • Distance from NYC: 25
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 90
  • Distance from Newark: 15

Nearest Turpin Office

Turpin Realtors Chatham
(973) 635-5555

Chatham Borough, NJ real estate market

Market news - September 2017

Last month | Last year

*Source - Trendgraphix and Garden State MLS. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Sections

Chatham Borough Biography
History
Community Life
Parks
Education
Transportation
Real Estate
Local Attractions
Chatham Info
Related Communities

About Chatham Borough

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.  Nearby communities include Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Harding Township, Madison, Florham Park, Morristown, Short Hills, Millburn and Livingston.

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, volunteer ambulance squad, zip code and post office. Residents have been known to say the Township and Borough are really just like one town that happens to have two different governments.

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History

Thousands of years ago, the first people to settle in the area were the Minsi group of the Lenni Lenape Indians. It is believed that the Lenape migrated from as far away as Canada-- or possibly even Siberia--in search of a warmer climate.

When they arrived in this part of the state, the Minsis followed a path along the Passaic River through the Short Hills to the New Jersey shore in search of clams and oysters. That trail became known as the Minisink Trail and followed a route that includes what is now Main Street in Chatham Borough.
 
The Lenni Lenape forded the Passaic River at a shallow point east of Chatham at a place they called “the Crossing of the Fishawack in the Valley of the Great Watchung.” "Fishawack” and “Passaic” are two versions of the many ways early settlers tried to spell the name they heard the Indians call the river.

In 1680, Sir George Carteret purchased land from the Minsi Indians that included present-day Chatham. The area was named Chatham in 1773 to honor English Prime Minister Sir William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. He was an outspoken advocate of the rights of the Colonists in AmericaChatham citizens were staunch revolutionaries during the Revolutionary War, and troops were active in the area. In fact, the Borough was a resting spot for George Washington during the war.

In 1801, the Morris Turnpike was built connecting Elizabeth to Morristown through Springfield and Chatham. The Morris and Essex Railroad came to Chatham Borough in 1837.  

Chatham Borough was originally formed as a village within Chatham Township in 1892. It was officially incorporated as an independent borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1897.

The years between the Civil War and World War I were a period of quiet living and prosperity. Chatham became a center of the rose growing industry in the 1870s and 80s. The area’s reputation as a healthy place with fresh air brought the community a bustling trade in tourism at the turn of the century, many of whom stayed at the Fairview Hotel on Main Street, current site of the Library of the Chathams. The trains that brought vacationers to Chatham Borough also transported full-time residents to city jobs. 

Being just 2.4 square miles in area, Chatham Borough was almost fully developed well before World War II. Today it retains that small-town feeling, a place where many antique homes display the dates of their construction, some reaching as far back as Colonial times. 

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Community Life

Main Street in downtown Chatham is lined with quaint storefronts, picket fences, the town library, restaurants, cafés, shops and a village green with a gazebo. Residents of the Borough enjoy living in this pedestrian-friendly village where even those on the outer borders are within one mile of the train station and shopping. 

In addition to the excellent shopping and restaurants available along Chatham’s Main Street and at the Hickory Tree Shopping Center, there are vibrant downtowns in nearby Madison and Summit, as well as more extensive retail options at the Livingston Mall and The Mall at Short Hills.

Chatham’s biggest annual event just might be the Fishawack Festival held in June. The term “Fishawack” was the Lenni Lenape name for the Passaic River, and this community-oriented festival was founded in 1971. Proceeds from the one-day event are given to town agencies and organizations such as the volunteer first aid squad or community band. Local artists, authors, children’s activities, auto shows, food and entertainment are typically on the schedule.

Cultural opportunities in Chatham Borough include historical, art, garden and musical groups, as well as the facilities and programs at neighboring Drew and Fairleigh Dickinson universities.

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Parks

The largest recreation area in Chatham Borough (and all of Chatham) is the 14-acre Sheppard Kollock Park at the east end of Main Street off Parrott Mill Road. Named for the publisher of a Revolutionary War era newspaper founded in Chatham, the park has two baseball diamonds, a covered picnic shelter, a playground, a boat launch and a walking trail along the Passaic River.

In the center of Chatham Borough is the 87,000-volume Library of the Chathams, located in the eight-acre Memorial Park off Main Street. Dedicated to veterans of all United States wars, the park was created by local residents in 1924. Amenities at the park include a tree-covered playground, softball, basketball, picnic tables and a swimming pool.

The Chatham Borough Municipal Pool memberships are available to borough residents.  It opens on Memorial Day weekend and serves citizens through Labor Day.

Garden Park is adjacent to the Chatham Middle School and offers tennis practice boards, six tennis courts, basketball and playground areas.

Stanley Park on River Road has picnic areas, and Lum Field on Lum Avenue has a ballfield.  There are more recreational options at Shunpike Field, Nash Field, Esternay Field and Mountainview Field.

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Education

The Borough of Chatham and Chatham Township held elections in 1986 to consider joining their separate school districts. This proposal was supported by the voters of both municipalities and today they share a regionalized school district, the School District of the Chathams.

Public school students in kindergarten through grade three attend the Milton Avenue School, Southern Boulevard School or Washington Avenue School, depending on what part of Chatham they reside in. Grades four and five attend Lafayette School, and grades six to eight go to Chatham Middle School.

Chatham High School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education for the 2004-05 school year. It was ranked 20th among 328 public high schools in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine in 2012. The US News and World Report of Best High Schools ranked Chatham High School 9th in the state in 2013.

Saint Patrick School is a Roman Catholic school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. It was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence during the 2003-04 school year. Founded in 1872, it was named a STAR School by the Paterson Diocese in 2011.

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Transportation

Chatham Borough is a 35-minute drive or 45-minute train ride into midtown Manhattan. The New Jersey Transit train stops at the Chatham station to provide Midtown Direct commuter service on the Morristown Line, heading to the Hoboken Terminal or to Penn Station at 34th Street in New York City.

Lakeland Bus leaves from nearby Summit for a 40-minute one-way ride to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan.

Amtrak stops at Newark or Metropark in Edison, both are about 14 miles from Chatham.  Newark Liberty International Airport is about 16 miles from Chatham Borough.

Nearby local and interstate highways include Route 24 (Chatham is Exit 7), Route 124/Main Street, Route 10 and Interstates 78 and 287.

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Real Estate

Chatham Borough’s housing inventory runs the gamut from pre-Revolutionary dwellings and center hall antique Colonials to mid-century Cape Cods. There are many well-tended Victorians on winding roads lined with oak, maple and dogwood trees and accented with careful landscaping. The Borough’s historic section spans most of Main Street. A selection of luxury condominiums, town houses and garden apartment rentals also make up the real estate market. Vintage properties in Chatham Borough tend to be set amid lush green lawns and perennial gardens.

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Local Attractions

The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center located on 247 Southern Boulevard features exhibits, educational programs and hiking. The Nature Center houses a reference library, auditorium, two classrooms and natural history displays. Weekend family programming, trail walks and workshops are scheduled on a seasonal basis. A mile of trail, much of it on boardwalks, and an observation blind are among the attractions.

The Chatham Community Players at 23 North Passaic Avenue have been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. They continue a long tradition of being a vital cultural component of the Chatham community, Morris County and the surrounding area.

The Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market is held seasonally every Saturday through the end of October at the train station.  Selections include organically grown fruits and vegetables, cheeses, baked goods and more.

Fun Fact: Aaron Montgomery Ward, a pioneer in the mail order business, was a Chatham resident.

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Chatham Info

Size:  2.4 square miles

Incorporated: 1897

2010 Census Population: 8,962

Location: Morris County

Distance from New York City: About 25 miles

Distance from Newark: About  15 miles

Distance from Philadelphia: About 90 miles

Mass Transportation: New Jersey Transit train station in Chatham Borough, Lakeland Bus service from Summit, Interstate Highways 78 and 287.

Local Sites/Attractions: Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, The Chatham Community Players, The Chatham Borough Farmers' Market.

Housing: Antique homes, antique Colonials, luxury real estate, Cape Cods, Victorians, executive homes, custom homes, cul-de-sac homes, expanded ranch homes, townhomes, condominiums, contemporary designs and a variety of architectural styles spanning the centuries.

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