Bernardsville

New Jersey

  • Population: 7,707
  • Size: 13 sq miles (33.67 km2)
  • Established: 1924
  • Distance from NYC: 40
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 74
  • Distance from Newark: 30

Nearest Turpin Office

Turpin Realtors Bernardsville
(908) 766-6500

Featured listing: 130 Mount Harmony...

Four seasons of spectacular forested views on 40± farm assessed woodland acres await in a glorious mountainside retreat just five minutes from Bernardsville's charming village. Peaceful privacy surrounds the architect-designed main home, vintage guest cottage and spring-fed pond on the tranquil property, a contemplative setting ideal for use as a writer's retreat, artist's muse, or anyone inspired by the natural world. A recent price reduction makes this Bernardsville custom home for sale even more enticing. […]

The post Featured listing: 130 Mount Harmony Road, Bernardsville appeared first on Turpin.

Bernardsville, NJ real estate market

Market news - July 2016

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

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Sections

Bernardsville Biography
History
Bernardsville Mountain
Education
Transportation
Real Estate
Bernardsville Info
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About Bernardsville

Located in northern Somerset County, historic Bernardsville Borough is bordered by Mendham, Harding, Peapack-Gladstone, Bedminster and Basking Ridge/Bernards Township. Established after seceding from Bernards Township in 1924, Bernardsville has the distinction of being the only town with that name in the United States.

Bernardsville'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. Back to top

History

Rich in historical significance dating back to pre-Revolutionary times, Bernardsville has a resounding and colorful past. In its early days, the borough was located in a section of Bernards Township known as Vealtown. The town was re-named Bernardsville in 1840, a tribute to Sir Francis Bernard, a Colonial-era governor of New Jersey from 1758 to 1760.

The origin of Bernardsville's Old Army Road is linked to General George Washington's troops, who were quartered at nearby Jockey Hollow. The road reportedly became a well-worn path made by Continental soldiers as they trekked through the woods from their camp to enjoy a drink and a meal at Vealtown Tavern, which was built in 1730 and was part of the original Bernardsville Library.

Local lore says the old Bernardsville library (formerly the Vealtown Tavern) is home to the ghost of Phyllis Parker, the daughter of Captain John Parker, who owned the tavern. After her lover was hanged after being convicted of spying for Britain in the Revolution, Captain Parker tried to guard his daughter's feelings by having his coffin brought into the tavern late at night. He was awakened that night by Phyllis' screams and the smashing of the coffin's wooden lid as she was found "wild-eyed and insane" upon the discovery of her dead lover. There have been reports of librarians and visitors seeing her apparition or hearing the rustling of a long dress along the stairs. 

Several churches, buildings and businesses in the borough are over 100 years old, and many are listed on the National and State Registers. Some of the older structures in town include the 1843 Bernardsville Methodist Church, St. Bernard's Episcopal Church and Bernardsville News building, both built in 1897, the 1898 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, and the Olcott School opened 1905.

The Bernardsville Borough Hall is housed in another historic building, the circa 1844 Bunn cider mill built by John Bunn. It operated in various capacities until 1914, later falling into disrepair. In 1950, the building was renovated for use as municipal space.

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Bernardsville Mountain

The railroad line built through Bernardsville in 1872 played an important role in the borough's expansion and development. In the years following the Civil War, wealthy New Yorkers discovered the area, initially as summer visitors and later settling in as year 'round residents of the Bernardsville Mountain Colony. The railroad line transformed Bernardsville from a rural village to a world-class destination for prominent bankers, merchants and industry leaders who built lavish mansions and estates using European craftsmen, first-rate materials and innovative architectural designs.

By the 1890s, residents of the Bernardsville Mountain were known for their extravagant lifestyles. Polo matches, private racetracks, opulent balls and elaborate horse-drawn carriages arriving at the railroad station added to the mountain colony's allure. The town grew as European artisans, gardeners and servants settled in the village to work at some of the grand estates. 

Among those who owned mountain estates were Prudential Insurance Company founder Forest Dryden, brewer J. Herbert Ballantine, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Charles Pfizer. Even Hollywood was drawn to this picturesque setting; scenes for "Madame Butterfly," a silent movie starring Mary Pickford, were shot at the Pfizer estate.

In the 1920s the illustrious mountain colony was hit hard in by the Depression, and in subsequent years, many of the large estates were sold or subdivided. However, today it is once again a highly desirable section of the borough, where many new and historic mansions dot the landscape.

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Education

Public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 attend schools in the Somerset Hills Regional School District, which also serves students from Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone. Each of the three schools in the district are located in Bernardsville: Marion T. Bedwell Elementary School (kindergarten-grade 4), Bernardsville Middle School (grades 5 - 8) and Bernards High School.

According to their website, Bernards High School is ranked in the top 1/2 percent of high schools in the country. Noteworthy alumni include Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and rock musician John Geils Jr. of the J. Geils Band.

Private schools in the borough include the School of St. Elizabeth, a Catholic school for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 8 and the Palmer School, and early education facility for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

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Transportation

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, New Jersey Transit's Bernardsville train station is part of the Gladstone Branch of the Morristown Line. It offers connecting service to New York's Penn Station, Newark or Hoboken Terminal. Lakeland Bus provides commuter service to midtown Manhattan's Port Authority.

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Real Estate

Olcott Square in the center of the business district is within walking distance to many of the borough's in-town residences. Gracious Victorians, center hall Colonials, bungalows, Cape Cods,  and a variety of other charming architectural styles are set back from the streets along sidewalks, just minutes from shops and the train station. The Bernardsville Mountain takes up a majority of the borough's land area, where large estate-caliber homes typically sit on lot sizes of five acres or more. Many of these luxury homes have sweeping views of the Somerset Hills from elevated vantage points.

Fun Fact:  Swing-era bandleader Tommy Dorsey and another famous New Jersey resident, Frank Sinatra, were known to occasionally join the locals in a friendly softball game. A local himself, Tommy Dorsey lived at Tall Oaks, a stately red brick mansion in Bernardsville, from 1931 until 1941. Other noteworthy local residents through the years have included Brooke Astor, Millicent Fenwick, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Mike Tyson.

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Bernardsville Info

Size: 12.85 square miles

Established: 1924 when it split from Bernards Township

2000 Census Population: 7,345

Location: Somerset County, north-central New Jersey

Distance from New York City: About 40 miles

Distance from Newark: About 25 miles

Parks: There are several parks in the borough, the largest is the 30-acre Polo Grounds directly behind the Marion T. Bedwell Elementary School and Bernardsville Middle School. The park has a football and soccer field, two softball diamonds and one baseball diamond. Adjacent to the Polo Grounds is the Olympic-size municipal pool.


Local Historic Sites: Bernardsville Train Station, U.S. Route 202; John Parker Tavern, (old Bernardsville Library) 2 Morristown Road; Reynolds Scherman House, 71 Hardscrabble Rd (private residence).

Major Roads: Local highways include Routes 202, 206; short distance to Interstates 287, and 78.

Mass Transportation: New Jersey Transit service to Manhattan, Newark or Hoboken from Bernardsville Station, local bus service to New York's Port Authority.

Housing: Historical mansions, antique farmhouses, Colonials, early and mid-20th century homes, cottages, manor homes, luxury dwellings, Victorians, estate properties, villas, equestrian farms, and a wide range of other architectural styles.

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