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About New Providence
New Providence is a leafy suburban borough located in the northwestern part of Union County bordering Morris County. This popular town gets high marks for easy access to New York City, excellent schools and a friendly small-town feeling. Measuring 3.6 square miles, New Providence was settled in 1720 and has a population of about 12,000. Known as a family-oriented community, there are no bars in New Providence and no liquor licenses are issued for restaurants, although many have a bring-your-own-bottle policy.
Situated on the second slope of the Watchung Mountains, New Providence borders Chatham Township, Summit and Berkeley Heights. A large portion of Murray Hill is within New Providence, while the balance is in Berkeley Heights. Convenient for commuters, it is about 15 miles from Newark and less than 30 miles from Manhattan.
New Providence was known as Turkeytown during Colonial times due to a large population of wild turkeys. In recognition of those early days, a turkey is featured on the town’s police uniform emblems. New Providence’s name was established after a balcony collapsed at the Presbyterian church, and churchgoers concluded that nobody was hurt due to divine providence, leading them to call it New Providence.
The Presbyterian Church at New Providence is a historic white church located in the center of town at 1307 Springfield Avenue. The borough’s name of New Providence was created here after a balcony collapsed and no one was injured, thought to be the work of Divine Providence by church members. The church has been a mainstay in New Providence since the 1700s; a plaque on the grounds notes that 48 Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in the church’s cemetery.
The Farmers Market is a seasonal offering that takes place rain or shine every Wednesday from June until October. It is located in the parking lot of the Municipal Center on Elkwood Avenue.
The New Providence Memorial Library is located at 377 Elkwood Avenue and is an integral part of the community. Offerings include a book club, movie afternoons, art displays and children’s story times. E-books, best sellers and DVDs are also available.
The Salt Box Museum at 1350 Springfield Avenue is operated by the New Providence Historical Society. It houses maps, old newspapers, vintage photos and other historic documents relating to the borough’s founding, some dating back to the 1600s.
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