Califon, New Jersey
|Califon, New Jersey|
|Borough of Califon|
Califon Station, built in 1893 in downtown, as seen in April 2011.
Map of Califon in Hunterdon County. Inset: Location of Hunterdon County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Califon, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 2, 1918|
|• Mayor||Charles Daniel (term ends December 31, 2018)|
|• Administrator / Clerk||Laura Eidsvaag|
|• Total||0.972 sq mi (2.518 km2)|
|• Land||0.949 sq mi (2.459 km2)|
|• Water||0.023 sq mi (0.059 km2) 2.36%|
|Area rank||502nd of 566 in state
23rd of 26 in county
|Elevation||479 ft (146 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2013)||1,060|
|• Rank||531st of 566 in state
24th of 26 in county
|• Density||1,133.3/sq mi (437.6/km2)|
|• Density rank||363rd of 566 in state
6th of 26 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885176|
Califon is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,076, reflecting an increase of 21 (+2.0%) from the 1,055 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 18 (-1.7%) from the 1,073 counted in the 1990 Census.
The town was to originally have been called California, but the name was shortened to Califon in order to fit on the welcome sign. Alternatively, the name was related to a bright yellow cattle feed sold during the Gold Rush.
Califon was a station on the High Bridge Branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The rail line was abandoned in 1976 and now serves as a Hunterdon County-administered rail trail called Columbia Trail, which runs south to High Bridge and north to points in Morris County.
Though the mills were present in the area of Califon for some time prior to its incorporation as a town, it was quite a while before growth became evident in the mid-nineteenth century. It was first called California, from Jacob Neighbor's enthusiasm in the milling business about the time the California Gold Rush broke out. The Borough was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature from portions of both Lebanon and Tewksbury Townships on April 2, 1918.
Local legend has it that California became a regular stop for weekend excursion trains through the countryside. When riders bought their tickets they were issued a voucher good for an ice cream; the train would stop so tourists could wander around and cash in their ice cream coupons. Anxious to exploit this source of outside revenue, residents petitioned the railroad to let them build a real station, which they did as a community project. Citing the local account again, two sign painters who came to letter the sign rode the train from Dunellen, but the background paint wasn't dry when they arrived. They sat and drank at the hotel, which later burned down. By the time the sign was ready for their artistic touch, the local tale says, "Califon" was as close to California as the inebriated painters could manage.
Califon is situated just north of the Ken Lockwood Gorge on the South Branch of the Raritan River; this pristine stretch of clear water and forest is a well-known treasure for New Jersey trout fishermen.
The Califon Historical Society has registered 170 structures with the National Register of Historic Places. Califon is a Victorian-style enclave where the houses are marked with the names of the builders and their dates of establishment rather than with street numbers.
The center of Califon is the historic iron bridge spanning the South Branch of the Raritan River, which divides the borough. Recently the State of New Jersey announced that the bridge would be replaced because a loaded school bus represented more weight than the aging bridge could safely carry. Incensed citizens objected, protective of the landmark, and found a colorful but simple solution; the school bus stops at one end of the bridge unloading the students, who then walk across to the other side. Then the empty bus, within imposed weight limits, drives across and the students get back on the bus to continue their ride. Thus the bridge was saved. (Account featured on Califon website).
Califon became a regional household name when frequently mentioned by Merv Griffin on his TV show during the 1970s. He and his wife Juliette owned a home in nearby Lebanon Township, which had a Califon mailing address, and, while they were married, they were often seen visiting the village in a fringed-top Bermuda-style resort cart. Califon Productions created all of his television ventures.
The Hoffmans were a family of German farmers who to this day are remembered by the bridge and section south of Califon known as Hoffman's Crossing. Thomas B. Hoffman farmed land that lies just south of Califon Bridge, along present day Route 513.
Califon is located at United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.972 square miles (2.518 km2), of which, 0.949 square miles (2.459 km2) of it was land and 0.023 square miles (0.059 km2) of it (2.36%) was water.(40.719381,-74.836793). According to the
|Population sources: 1920
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,076 people, 394 households, and 308.9 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,133.3 per square mile (437.6/km2). There were 419 housing units at an average density of 441.3 per square mile (170.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.10% (1,034) White, 0.28% (3) Black or African American, 0.09% (1) Native American, 0.84% (9) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.09% (1) from other races, and 2.60% (28) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.30% (14) of the population.
There were 394 households, of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.8% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the borough, 28.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 34.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $108,375 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,026) and the median family income was $110,365 (+/- $5,782). Males had a median income of $95,536 (+/- $13,555) versus $73,958 (+/- $14,845) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $42,975 (+/- $5,250). About 1.7% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 1,055 people, 401 households, and 301 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,093.2 people per square mile (419.9/km2). There were 410 housing units at an average density of 424.9 per square mile (163.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.67% White, 0.76% Asian, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.47% of the population.
There were 401 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the borough the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $76,657, and the median income for a family was $85,963. Males had a median income of $59,167 versus $41,125 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,064. About 3.3% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.
Califon is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Califon, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2015[update], the Mayor of Califon Borough is Democrat Charles Daniel, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Califon Borough Council are Council President Gill Smith (R, 2017), Kathleen Andersen (2016), Jason Beard (2017), Patrick Farmer (2015), Tony Forrester (2016) and Michael Medea (2015).
Federal, state and county representation
Califon is located in the 7th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Califon had been in the 24th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).
For the 2014-2015 Session, the 23rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Michael J. Doherty (R, Washington Township, Warren County) and in the General Assembly by John DiMaio (R, Hackettstown) and Erik Peterson (R, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Hunterdon County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who serve three-year terms of office at-large on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as the board's Director and another to serve as Deputy Director. As of 2015[update], Hunterdon County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director John King (R; Raritan Township, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Suzanne Lagay (R; Holland Township, 2016), J. Matthew Holt (R; Clinton Town, 2015), John E. Lanza (R; Flemington, 2016) and Robert G. Walton (R; Hampton, 2017). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Mary H. Melfi (R; Flemington, 2017), Sheriff Fredrick W. Brown (R; Alexandria Township, 2016) and Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman (R; Kingwood Township, 2018).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 723 registered voters in Califon, of which 214 (29.6%) were registered as Democrats, 252 (34.9%) were registered as Republicans and 257 (35.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 51.1% of the vote (324 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 46.4% (294 votes) and other candidates with 1.7% (11 votes), among the 634 ballots cast by the borough's 792 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 51.2% of the vote (330 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 47.2% (304 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (10 votes), among the 644 ballots cast by the borough's 796 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 80.9.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 55.4% of the vote (251 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 30.5% (138 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 12.1% (55 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (4 votes), among the 453 ballots cast by the borough's 772 registered voters, yielding a 58.7% turnout.
The Califon School District serves students in public school for pre-Kindergarten through eighth at Califon Public School. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 139 students and 15.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.74:1.
Public school students in ninth through twelfth grades are served by the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District. Voorhees High School serves students from Califon, along with those from Glen Gardner Borough, Hampton Borough, High Bridge Borough, Lebanon Township and Tewksbury Township.
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 11.50 miles (18.51 km) of roadways, of which 9.50 miles (15.29 km) were maintained by the municipality and 2.00 miles (3.22 km) by Hunterdon County.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Califon include:
- Thomas W. Greelish (1939–1991), United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1985 to 1987. Greelish moved to Califon with his family when he was seven years old.
- Merv Griffin (1925–2007), television producer, once owned a farm a few miles outside of Califon. When he created the game show Wheel of Fortune, he gave a nod to Califon when naming the show's production company. To this day, Califon Productions, Inc. is the copyright holder for all episodes of Wheel of Fortune to date, although the show is owned by Sony Pictures Television.
- Francis Burton Harrison (1873–1957), member of the United States House of Representatives and Governor-General of the Philippines under Woodrow Wilson who retired to Califon a few months before his death in 1957.
- Teddy Schneider (born 1988), soccer player for the New York Red Bulls.
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- Staff Directory, Borough of Califon. Accessed July 2, 2011.
- 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 110.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Borough of Califon, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 4, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Califon borough, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed November 14, 2012.
- Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 10. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Califon borough, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed November 14, 2012.
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- Look Up a ZIP Code for Califon, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed November 14, 2012.
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- Resnick, Abraham. "Where Did This Name Come From", The New York Times, February 25, 1990. Accessed July 3, 2011. "In the western part of the state, Califon is believed to have been named during the California gold rush, because an enterprising mill operator sold a special cattle feed that resembled gold."
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- Suzanne Lagay, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Accessed January 8, 2015.
- J. Matthew Holt, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Accessed January 8, 2015.
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- District information for Califon School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 11, 2014.
- Voorhees High School 2013 Report Card Narratives, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed September 8, 2013. "Voorhees High School has consistently ranked among the top high schools in the state. With an enrollment of 1143 students in grades 9-12, the school serves the communities of Califon, Glen Gardner, Hampton, High Bridge, Lebanon Township, and Tewksbury Township."
- Hunterdon County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
- "Thomas W. Greelish, 51, Ex-U.S. Attorney for N.J.". The Record (Bergen County). 1991-06-25.
- McLellan, Dennis. "Merv Griffin, entertainment mogul, dies", The Record (Bergen County), August 13, 2007. Accessed September 4, 2007. "He stabled quarter horses at his former home in Califon, in Hunterdon County."
- Holl, John. "To Califon, Merv was a regular farm guy", The Star-Ledger, August 14, 2007. Accessed September 4, 2007. "Viewers who pay careful attention to the closing credits on "Wheel of Fortune" will see the game show is produced by Califon Productions, a subtle nod from Merv Griffin, the program's creator, to the Hunterdon County community where he once owned a farm."
- "F.B. Harrison, 83, U.S. Ex-Aide, Dies", The New York Times, November 22, 1957. Accessed March 20, 2011.
- Fensom, Michael J. "Red Bulls sign former Princeton defender Teddy Schneider", The Star-Ledger, April 12, 2011. Accessed July 3, 2011. "The Red Bulls announced today the signing of former Princeton defender Teddy Schneider. Scheider [sic] was a second round pick, No. 31 overall, by the Red Bulls in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft out of Princeton, where he started 65 times in 69 games. A native of Califon and Delbarton alum, the 5-6, 130-pound Schneider will play left back for the Red Bulls."
- Official website
- Califon Historical Society website
- Califon Public School website
- Califon Public School's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Califon Public School, National Center for Education Statistics
- North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District
- Califon Area Merchants and Professionals Association
- Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance
- Califon Environmental Commission