Located amid the gently rolling hills of Hunterdon County along the South Branch of the Raritan River, Clinton Township encompasses 39-square-miles which encircle Lebanon Borough and border High Bridge and the townships of Franklin, Union, Lebanon, Tewksbury, Readington and Raritan. The township includes the rural hamlets of Annandale, Allerton, Readingsburg and part of Cokesbury.
Clinton's charming Victorian era village attracts visitors and locals with its historic shopping area, flowering cherry tree-lined streets and scenic river and waterfall views. The antique truss bridge constructed in 1870 crosses the South Branch of the Raritan River and overlooks a 200-foot wide waterfall separating two old grist mills: Clinton's landmark Red Mill, home of the Hunterdon Historical Museum, and the Stone Mill, which houses the Hunterdon Museum of Art.
Often described as a quintessential American small town, Clinton has drawn the attention of Hollywood stars and movie producers over the years. Scenes from In and Out with Kevin Kline, One True Thing with Renée Zellweger and Meryl Streep, My Giant with Billy Crystal and Turbulence with Ray Liotta have all been shot in Clinton.
In the late 1700's the area was known as Hunt's Mill for Daniel Hunt-- who built several mills on one side of the river-- and for his son, Ralph, who built a woolen mill on the other side. Clinton was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1841. In 1865, the town of Clinton became incorporated as a separate entity. When the post office was established in 1929, the town was named for DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York.
The Red Mill is one of New Jersey's most instantly-recognizable landmarks. Located just below the confluence of Spruce Run and the South Branch of the Raritan River on the west end of Main Street, the mill and its surroundings have played host to a succession of industries and activities spawned by the region's rich agricultural history.
Clinton's one-square-mile shopping district is known for its eclectic dining and retail options. Boutiques, coffee houses, tea rooms, restaurants, an ice cream parlor, bake shops, art galleries, museums and even a retro five-and-ten are among the offerings.
Special events in the community have included a Tour of Historic Clinton Houses, Spring Pansy Festival, Antique Shows, Car Shows, Summer Shakespeare festival, Christmas Parade, Dickens' Days in November and a Blacksmith Hammer-In. At the end of October, the mill is transformed into a haunted house, attracting visitors from all over the east coast.
Houses of worship, youth sports leagues, a municipal recreation department and a lively senior citizens group serve Clinton's growing population. A branch of the Hunterdon County Library is located at Halstead Street.
The Clinton Township School District serves local students from pre-kindergarten through grade eight. Students are spread among three schools in the district, which are Spruce Run Elementary School (kindergarten to grade two), Patrick McGaheran School (grades three to five) and Round Valley Middle School (grades six to eight).
Students in grades nine through 12 attend North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, part of the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District. North Hunterdon High School also serves students from Bethlehem Township, Franklin Township, Lebanon Borough and Union Township.
There is a New Jersey Transit railroad station for the Raritan Valley Line in the Annandale section of Clinton Township providing service to Newark, Hoboken or Penn Station in Manhattan. Trans-Bridge Lines' bus service from the Park and Ride along Route 31 ends at Port Authority in midtown Manhattan, a trip that takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Some routes also stop at Newark and JFK International Airports. Interstate 78 and Route 31 both pass through Clinton Township.
Fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival, Colonial, Late 19th and 20th Century Revival and Victorian architecture abound in Clinton. There are also a select number of townhouses, condominiums, estate homes, antique homes, farm houses, historic properties, water view homes, Cape Cod styles, modern, contemporary, renovated barns and mid-century houses to choose from.
The Red Mill Museum Village at 56 Main Street contains the circa 1810 Red Mill, the Mulligan Quarry and its outbuildings, the Bunker Hill Schoolhouse and a replica log cabin. All permanent exhibits are open to visitors. The Mill, the outbuildings and the grounds are on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Since early times, the mill and the adjoining Mulligan Quarry have produced building materials, textiles, baskets, and food. Starting in1963, the museum used its National Historic Site status to tell of the region's rural heritage. Special exhibits, concerts, Civil and Revolutionary War re-enactments and Living History Days are frequently on the calendar. Educational tours and programs are available for adults and students.
Hunterdon Museum of Art at 7 Lower Center Street offers exhibitions of contemporary art, classes and education programs for children, adults, schools, summer art camps and other groups, as well as a unique museum shop.
The Clinton Book Shop at 33 Main Street is one of the state's leading independent book shops and is located in the heart of the historic shopping district. Clinton Book Shop and the Clinton Business Guild host many community-oriented events throughout the year including author appearances, sidewalk sales and a spring celebration when the cherry trees lining Main Street are in full bloom.
Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve on Old Mountain Road offers 380 acres in Clinton and Readington Townships for mountain biking, hiking/nature trails and nature study. Cushetunk Mountain is a ring-shaped mountain located within Clinton Township. Once an active volcano, the mountain was formed 160 million years ago. The Lenape called the mountain "Cushetunk" meaning "place of hogs" after the wild hogs found there. In the 1960s, the valley was filled with water to create Round Valley Reservoir in this popular recreational area.
Round Valley Recreation Area on Lebanon-Stanton Road offers wilderness camping, beaches, trails, fishing and boating.
Hunterdon County Arboretum is a 63-acre park with greenhouse and formal gardens.
South Branch Reservation contains 1,347 acres of mountain biking, hiking/nature trails and nature study. Part of the Hunterdon County Park System, it offers fishing, canoeing, cross country skiing and picnic sites.
Spruce Run State Park Recreation Area on Van Syckel's Road is open year round. Its 1,961 acres have areas for picnicking, boating, fishing and seasonal camping.
The Landsdown Trail was once a spur line for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Now a graded rail trail, the trail starts about two miles south of Clinton on Landsdown Road and enters Clinton town center near the lumber yard.
Fun Fact #1: The historic Red Mill is known across the country as a photogenic symbol of early America's rural industry. The familiar red building can be found everywhere, including official New Jersey tourism posters, roadmaps and postcards. It is the most photographed spot in New Jersey, and one of the top ten most photographed buildings in the United States.
Size: 39 square miles
Incorporated: Clinton Township, 1841; Town of Clinton, 1865
2000 Census Population: 12,957
Location: northern Hunterdon County
Distance from New York City: About 55 miles
Distance from Newark: About 37 miles
Distance from Philadelphia: About 47 miles
Parks: Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve, Round Valley Recreation Area, Hunterdon County Arboretum, South Branch Reservation and Spruce Run State Park Recreation Area.
Local Sites/Attractions: The Red Mill Museum Village, Hunterdon Museum of Art, shops in historic downtown Clinton.
Mass Transportation: New Jersey Transit's train station in the Annandale section of Clinton Township. Trans-Bridge Bus Lines' provides service to midtown Manhattan.
Housing: Antique farmhouses, antique Colonials, luxury real estate, Cape Cods, Victorians, executive homes, custom homes, cul-de-sac homes, new homes, bungalows, four square styles, ranch homes, cottages, contemporary designs and a variety of architectural styles spanning the centuries.
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