Far Hills encompasses five square miles in Somerset County, bordered by Bedminster Township, Peapack-Gladstone, Bernards Township and Bernardsville. It shares a public library, a community pool, athletic programs, civic organizations and a school system with Bernardsville. It also shares a fire department and a first aid squad with neighboring Bedminster Township.
The story behind Far Hills' name comes from an observation made by one of the town's early visitors. One day in 1887, area land developer and town founder Evander H. Schley's brother, Grant, and his wife, Elizabeth, arrived by horse-drawn carriage to see Evander's farms. Elizabeth is said to have remarked on the beautiful vista of the "far hills," thus giving a name to the place, even before a village was built.
Elizabeth Schley's assessment over 100 years ago remains an accurate one, as today's residents still appreciate the dramatic countryside views and open, rolling landscapes within Far Hills. The municipality maintains its rural character with ten-acre minimum residential zoning laws for new construction.
Far Hills students in kindergarten through high school attend schools in the Somerset Hills Regional School District, which also serves students from Bernardsville, Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone. Three schools in the district, all located in Bernardsville, are Bedwell Elementary School (kindergarten to grade four), Bernardsville Middle School (grades five to eight) and Bernards High School.
Far Hills Country Day School is a private, non-sectarian coeducational day school located in Far Hills, serving students in nursery through eighth grade on a fifty-five acre campus.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, New Jersey Transit's Far Hills train station is part of the Gladstone Branch of the Morristown Line. The station is located along Route 202 near the intersection of Far Hills Road. It offers service to New York's Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal. A quaint shopping area adjacent to the train station offers residents a variety of shops and services, including the Far Hills Office of Turpin Real Estate.
In the village are striking examples of Victorian homes with welcoming front porches and well-tended gardens. Further into the borough are majestic country estates, antique farmhouses, traditional center hall Colonials, modest mid-century homes and newly constructed luxury homes. A full range of housing styles and price ranges can be found in Far Hills.
The Leonard J. Buck Garden is a 33-acre public botanical garden operated by the Somerset County Park Commission.
Natirar ("Raritan" spelled backward) is an estate spanning 491 acres within Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone and Bedminster. It was recently transferred from the estate of His Majesty, Hassan II, late King of Morocco, to a private, non-profit Natirar Association. The initial sale to King Hassan in 1983 for $7.5 million set a record sales price for a home purchase in New Jersey, a transaction brokered by Turpin Real Estate. The mansion, two cottages, carriage house and greenhouse stand on 88 acres that Somerset County plans to lease to Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Airlines. The main house will be transformed into a retreat facility with a full-service spa and conference center. The remaining 403 acres will be retained as open space for area residents.
The Far Hills Race Meeting at Moorland Farms is one of the most prestigious steeplechase horse races in the country, and is a longstanding tradition for nearly 50,000 spectators every October. Benefiting the Somerset Medical Center Foundation, the race has raised nearly $17 million for the facility since the mid-1950s. Considered one of the premier social events of the year in the tri-state area, it is often celebrated with elaborate tailgate parties where paper plates and plastic forks are often substituted with fine china and silver tea services.
The United States Golf Association is headquartered in Far Hills. It houses the world's most extensive collections of golf memorabilia and literature, promoting a greater understanding of the game's cultural significance.
Fun Fact: Volunteers from the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills organize New Jersey's oldest and largest rummage sale, a three-day event held each fall and spring under multiple tents. It's estimated that thousands attend this bargain-shopping benefit at the Far Hills Fairgrounds on Route 202 each year.
Size: Five square miles
Established: 1921, seceded from Bernards Township
2002 Population: 859
Location: Somerset County, north-central New Jersey
Distance from New York City: About 40 miles
Distance from Newark: About 25 miles
Parks: Far Hills Fairgrounds, Moorland Farms, Naritar
Local Sites/Attractions: Leonard J. Buck Gardens and The US Golf Association Museum and Library
Major Roads: Local highways include Routes 202, 206; short distance to Interstates 287 and 78.
Mass Transportation: New Jersey Transit service to Manhattan or Hoboken from Far Hills Station, local bus service to New York's Port Authority
Housing: Antique farmhouses, Colonials, manor homes, luxury dwellings, Victorians, estate properties, equestrian farms, and a variety of other architectural styles.
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