Hunterdon County, New Jersey
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|Hunterdon County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
|Largest city||Raritan Township|
437.44 sq mi (1,133 km²)
427.82 sq mi (1,108 km²)
9.62 sq mi (25 km²), 2.20%
298/sq mi (115/km²)
Hunterdon County is a county located in the western section of the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 128,349. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Flemington. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 19th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the third highest in New Jersey) as of 2009.
Hunterdon County was established on March 11, 1714, separating from Burlington County, at which time it included all of present day Morris, Sussex and Warren counties. The rolling hills and rich soils which produce bountiful agricultural crops drew Native American tribes and then Europeans to the area.
Around 500 million years ago, a chain of volcanic islands shaped like an arch collided with proto North America and rode over the top of the North American plate. The rock from the islands created the highlands of Hunterdon County as there was a shallow sea where Hunterdon County is now located. Then around four hundred million B.C., a small continent that was long and thin, collided with proto North America. This collision created compression, which caused heat. The Paleozoic sediment of shale and sandstone folded and faulted. The heat allowed the igneous rock to bend, thus Hunterdon County was born.
The African plate which later collided with North America created more folding and faulting, especially in the southern Appalachians. Then the African plate tore away from North America.
The Wisconsin glacier that entered into New Jersey around 21,000 BC and then melted around 13,000 BC, did not reach Hunterdon County. However there are glacial outwash deposits from streams and rivers that flowed from the glacier southward depositing rock and sediment.
Hunterdon County has two geophysical provinces. The first is the Highlands which is the western section of the county. The other is the Piedmont which is the eastern and southern section of the county. The Highlands account for one third of the area and the Piedmont accounts for two thirds of the county.
The Highlands are part of the Reading Prong. Limestone and shale over igneous rock comprise the Highlands.
The Piedmont includes the Hunterdon Plateau and the Raritan Valley Lowlands which are 150 to 300 feet (46 to 91 m) above sea level. The Piedmont is made up of shale and sandstone.
Paleo Indians and Native Americans 
Paleo Indians moved into Hunterdon County between 12,000 BC and 11,000 BC. The area was warming due to climate change. The Wisconsin Glacier in Warren and Sussex County was retreating northward. The area was that of Taiga/Boreal forests. Paleo Indians traveled in small groups in search of game and edible plants. The used spears made of bone, jasper or black chert. Their camp sites are difficult to find as they are many feet below the present surface.
Native Americans moved into the area but the time they arrived is unknown. Most have come from the Mississippi River area. Many tribes of the Delaware Nation lived in Hunterdon County especially along the Delaware River and in the Flemington area. These tribes were agriculture in nature, growing corn, beans and squash. Those that lived along the South Branch of the Raritan River fished and farmed. There was a Native American trail that went along the South Branch of the Raritan River (Philhower 1924).
European settlement 
Between 1611 and 1614, three Dutchmen, A. Block, H. Christiaensen and C. Mey surveyed land between the 40th and 45th parallels along the Atlantic coast and named the area they surveyed New Netherland.
In 1614, a Dutch fort was established on Castle Island on the Hudson River near Albany, New York. This fort was called Fort Nassau. In 1615, three Dutchmen left Fort Nassau and traveled southwest to the Delaware River and followed the river downstream. In 1616 they were captured by Native Americans near the confluence of the Schuylkill River and Delaware River, south of Easton, Pennsylvania. The route the three men traveled is unknown, but they may have traveled through Sussex County, Warren County, Hunterdon County or Pennsylvania. This is the earliest record of Europeans traveling in or near this area.
In the early 17th century, the Dutch settled from Manhattan Island to slightly north of Albany, New York along the Hudson River. In 1625, a Dutch fort was built on the southern end of Manhattan Island and named Fort Amsterdam.
Governor Kieft's War of 1643 to 1645, the Esopus War of 1655 to 1660, and the Peach War of 1655 to 1657 would have prevented colonization of New Netherland, which today is called Hunterdon County. There were also hostile relations between the Dutch and Native Americans. The Dutch had problems with the Native Americans which lead to three wars in the mid 17th century. Due to these problems the interior of New Jersey was not settled. After the British took control of New Netherland in August 1664, the relations with the English and Native Americans became better for a while. Through land purchases which the Native Americans did not fully understand, from disease contacted from the Europeans, and from the Little Ice Age, Native American populations fell drastically. The Little Ice Age which occurred in the beginning of the 17th century caused crop failures with the corn, beans, and squash that the Native Americans planted. Also river stayed frozen longer which prevented fishing. Native trees such as oaks, walnuts, hickory, chestnuts, beech that produced nuts failed to produce crops for Native Americans. Due to this, Native Americans starved.
Land purchases from Native Americans occurred from 1688 to 1758. Large land purchases from Native Americans occurred in 1703, 1709 and 1710. Over 150,000 acres (610 km2) were bought with metal knives and pots, clothing, blankets, barrels of rum or hard cider, guns, powder and shot. This allowed for European settlers to enter into Hunterdon County in the early 18th century. After 1760 nearly all Native Americans left New Jersey and relocated to eastern Canada or the Mississippi River area.
The first European settlers were Col. John Reading who settled in Reading Township in 1704 and John Holcombe who settled in Lambertville in 1705.
The French and Indian War occurred in the mid 18th century. This did not affect Hunterdon County but effected Warren and Sussex County as well as the Port Jervis area. Frontier forts and fortified homes allowed settlers to hold their ground but many died in the war.
County origin 
Hunterdon County was separated from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. At that time Hunterdon County was large, going from Assunpink Creek near Trenton to the New York State line which at that time was about 10 miles (16 km) north of Port Jervis, New York. Hunterdon County was named for Robert Hunter, a colonial governor of New Jersey, through a corruption of Hunterston, his former home in England.
Recent history 
Transitioning from rural to suburban, Hunterdon County is an exurb on the western edge of New Jersey and home to commuters to New York City and Philadelphia. The county seat, Flemington, is noted as the site of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial which convicted Bruno Hauptmann of the murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh's son. With growing towns and shopping areas, as well as relaxing rural areas, Hunterdon County is a far stretch from the urban areas stereotypically associated with New Jersey.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 437.44 square miles (1,133.0 km2), of which 427.82 square miles (1,108.0 km2) (or 97.80%) is land and 9.62 square miles (24.9 km2) (or 2.20%) is water.
Much of the county is hilly, with several hills rising to one thousand foot in elevation. The highest points are two areas in Lebanon Township, one on the Morris County line, both reaching at least 1,060 feet (323 m) above sea level. The first is at Smith on the Morris County line and the second is north of the area called Little Brook. The lowest elevation is where the Mercer County line reaches the Delaware River, approximately 50 feet (15 m) above sea level. This area is known as the Highlands of New Jersey.
The county is drained by the Musconetcong River in the north. The river flows in a southwest direction. The Lamington River drains the county in the east. The central portion of the county is drained by the South Branch of the Raritan River. The Delaware River drains the western side of the county.
Adjacent counties 
- Warren County, New Jersey – north
- Morris County, New Jersey – northeast
- Somerset County, New Jersey – east
- Mercer County, New Jersey – southeast
- Bucks County, Pennsylvania – west
Hunting and fishing 
Hunterdon County is considered the premier place to hunt white tailed deer in New Jersey. More deer are harvested each year than any other county according to New Jersey Fish and Game records.
The premier fishing streams are the Musconetcong in the north and the Lamington River. The NJ Fish and Game stocks thousands of rainbow, brown, and brook trout in these streams as well as other streams such as the South Branch of the Raritan River.
There is also Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir for trout fishing as well as bass. Round Valley Reservoir which is man made has lake trout in it.
New Jersey Fish and Game has also many Wildlife Management Areas for hunting ducks, deer, pheasants, quail, rabbits, squirrels and bears.
Income and taxes 
Hunterdon County ranks as the 7th among the highest-income counties in the United States with a per capita income of $36,370. It ranks fourth among U.S. counties for household income according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hunterdon County's median household income was $99,099, behind only Loudoun County, Fairfax County, and Arlington County, Virginia. As of 2005, Hunterdon had the third-highest median property tax of any county in the nation at $6,988, the highest in New Jersey. As of the Tax Foundation's rankings based on 2006 data, Hunterdon had taken the top spot for highest median property tax at $7,999.
|* lost territory
historical data sources: 2000-2010
Census 2010 
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 128,349 people, 47,169 households, and 34,339 families residing in the county. The population density was 300 inhabitants per square mile (120 /km2). There were 49,487 housing units at an average density of 115.7 per square mile (44.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.36% (117,264) White, 2.69% (3,451) Black or African American, 0.13% (167) Native American, 3.26% (4,181) Asian, 0.03% (37) Pacific Islander, 1.22% (1,570) from other races, and 1.31% (1,679) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.24% (6,722) of the population.
There were 47,169 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 22% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.1.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 34.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.5 years. For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.1 males.
Census 2000 
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 121,989 people, 43,678 households, and 32,845 families residing in the county. The population density was 284 people per square mile (110/km²). There were 45,032 housing units at an average density of 105 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.91% White, 2.25% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 2.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.7% were of Italian, 17.3% German, 14.5% Irish, 8.4% English, 7.3% Polish and 5.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 43,678 households out of which 37.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.30% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.
Hunterdon County's median income for a household was $79,888, which makes it the fourth highest county in the country based on median household income. Median income for a family was $91,050 (these figures had risen to $97,793 and $113,280 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $61,888 versus $40,852 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,370, which ranks as the thirteenth highest county in the country based on per capita income. About 1.60% of families and 2.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.10% of those under age 18 and 4.20% of those age 65 or over.
As of October 2007, Hunterdon County now has the highest median property taxes in the United States.
Many important roads pass through the county. They include state routes, such as Route 12, Route 29, Route 31, Route 165, Route 173 and Route 179. Two U.S. Routes that pass through are U.S. Route 22 and U.S. Route 202. The only limited access road that passes through is Interstate 78. Rail service to the northern part of the county from Newark Penn Station is provided to High Bridge, Annandale, Lebanon and Whitehouse Station by New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line.
Hunterdon County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The members are elected at large on a staggered basis to serve three-year terms of office, with the three-year term of office starting (and ending) on January 1.
The Freeholder Board is the center of legislative and administrative responsibility and, as such, performs a dual role. As legislators they draw up and adopt a budget, and in the role of administrators they are responsible for spending the funds they have appropriated.
As of 2012[update], Hunterdon County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Robert Walton (Hampton) Freeholder Deputy Director William Mennen (Tewksbury Township), Matt Holt (Clinton Town), George B. Melick (Tewksbury Township) and Ronald Sworen (Frenchtown).
Hunterdon County is solidly Republican and elects some of the most conservative members of the New Jersey legislature. It has also provided big votes for independent conservative Third Party candidates opposing liberal Republicans, particularly in 1997, when 13% of county voters backed two conservative independent candidates against incumbent Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Hunterdon also supported Steve Lonegan for Governor over Chris Christie, his less conservative opponent in the 2009 Republican Primary, by a 4.0% margin.
In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried the county by a 20.8% margin over John Kerry, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush. Hunterdon County is represented exclusively by Republican Freeholders and the majority of township committee and borough council seats are held by Republicans. In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, John McCain defeated Barack Obama by a 13.3% margin, but Obama defeated McCain in New Jersey by a 15.5% margin. In the 2009 Gubernatorial Election, Republican Chris Christie received 65% of the vote, defeating Democrat Jon Corzine, who received around 25%.
The following municipalities are located in Hunterdon County:
- Alexandria Township
- Bethlehem Township
- Clinton Township
- Delaware Township
- East Amwell Township
- Holland Township
- Kingwood Township
- Lebanon Township
- Raritan Township
- Readington Township
- Tewksbury Township
- Union Township
- West Amwell Township
Unincorporated places 
Unincorporated places within Hunterdon County include:
- Annandale (Clinton Township)
- Mechanicsville (Readington Township)
- Oldwick (Tewksbury Township)
- Readington Village (Readington Township)
- Ringoes (East Amwell Township)
- Sergeantsville (Delaware Township)
- Stanton (Readington Township)
- Three Bridges (Readington Township)
- Whitehouse (Readington Township)
- Whitehouse Station (Readington Township)
The Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation manages these parks:
- Point Mountain Section
- Mountain Farm/Teetertown Preserve
- Tower Hill Park
- Charlestown Reserve
- Union Furnace Nature Preserve
- Columbia Trail Section
- Cold Brook Reserve
- Musconetcong Gorge Section
- Schick Reserve
- Hoffman Park
- South Branch Reservation
- Landsdown Trail Section
- Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve
- Deer Path Park and Round Mountain Section
- Uplands Reserve
- Clover Hill Park
- Heron Glen Golf Course
- Wescott Nature Preserve
- South County Park
- Future Park
- Laport Reserve
- Sourland Mountain Nature Preserve
- Jugtown Mountain Nature Preserve
Points of Interest 
- Beneduce Vineyards
- Hunterdon County Arboretum
- Hunterdon County Courthouse
- Hunterdon Medical Center
- Mount Salem Vineyards
- Old York Cellars
- The Red Mill (in Clinton, New Jersey)
- Solitude Dam / TISCO Headquarters 1742 in High Bridge, New Jersey
- The Solitude House Museum in High Bridge, New Jersey
- The Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway in High Bridge, New Jersey
- Unionville Vineyards
Notable people 
- Emma Bell (born 1986), actress
- Jacob Bunn, industrialist
- John Whitfield Bunn (1831–1920), industrialist
- Jack Cust (born 1979), MLB player
- Wanda Gág (1893–1946), writer
- Elizabeth Gilbert (born 1969), writer
- Troy Glaus (born 1976), MLB player
- Merv Griffin (1925–2007), musician, talk-show host, television producer
- William Kirkpatrick, (1769–1832), United States Congressman  representing Onondaga County, New York in the 10th U.S. Congress
- Leonard Lance (born 1952), United States Congressman
- James W. Marshall (1810–1885), discoverer of gold at Sutter's Mill in California in 1848.
- Collin McKinney, Texas independence leader
- Joe Piscopo (born 1951), comedian
- Gary Vaynerchuk (born 1975), television host
- Christine Todd Whitman (born 1946), 50th Governor of New Jersey
High schools 
- Delaware Valley Regional High School, in Frenchtown, serves the preceding community as well as the townships of Alexandria, Holland and Kingwood and the borough of Milford.
- Hunterdon Central Regional High School, located in Flemington, serves students from Delaware Township, East Amwell Township, Flemington Borough, Raritan Township and Readington Township.
- North Hunterdon High School, located in Clinton Township, hosts the students of Clinton Town, Clinton Township, Bethlehem Township, Franklin Township, Union Township, and Lebanon Borough.
- Phillipsburg High School, located in Phillipsburg in neighboring Warren County, educates the students of Bloomsbury, though a proposal is currently on the table to send the borough's students to Delaware Valley Regional High school instead.
- South Hunterdon Regional High School, located in Lambertville, serves students hailing from Lambertville, Stockton and West Amwell Township.
- Voorhees High School, in Lebanon Township, serves the students of Glen Gardner Borough, Lebanon Township, Tewksbury Township, High Bridge Borough, Califon Borough, and Hampton Borough.
Higher education 
- Raritan Valley Community College is the two-year community college for both Hunterdon and Somerset County, one of a network of 19 county colleges state-wide. Founded in 1965, the school's main campus is located in North Branch.
- Rutgers University has a partnership with Raritan Valley Community College which offers Bachelor degree completion programs at the North Branch campus.
Climate and weather 
|Flemington, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Flemington have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −18 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1984 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.16 inches (80 mm) in February to 5.16 inches (131 mm) in July.
See also 
- The Hunterdon County Democrat
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
- USS Hunterdon County (LST-838)
- Hunterdon County, NJ, National Association of Counties. Accessed January 20, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3113 Counties in the United States, 2009, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 153. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- Fun Facts, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- Shupe, Lillian. "What's with this? Walpack Township once part of Hunterdon, Hunterdon County Democrat, April 19, 2012. Accessed May 30, 2012. "At one time Hunterdon County, the second county to be established in New Jersey, extended as far south as Trenton and as far north as the New York State line which at that time was about 10 miles north of Port Jervis, N.Y. Hunterdon County was named for Robert Hunter, a colonial governor of New Jersey. His former home in England was called Hunterston but over time the name was changed to Hunterdon."
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
- Suburbs Near NYC Have Highest Tax Bills, Newsday, October 4, 2006[dead link]
- Property Taxes on Owner Occupied Housing by County, 2005, Tax Foundation. Retrieved October 4, 2006.
- Woolsey, Matt. "America's Priciest Property Taxes", Forbes, October 3, 2007. Accessed January 11, 2008. "The hardest hit? Homeowners in western New Jersey's Hunterdon County. Last year, the median yearly property tax bill amounted to a whopping $7,999 here, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C, which compiled data based on 2006 figures."
- New York, New Jersey Homeowners Nation's Hardest Hit by Property Taxes, Tax Foundation press release dated September 12, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
- PEPANNRES: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 - 2012 Population Estimates for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- State & County QuickFacts for Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880–1930".
- "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
- "The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010". United States Census Bureau. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000; Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- "Hunterdon County, New Jersey – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Hunterdon County Bus / Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 26, 2010. Accessed September 20, 2012.
- Meet The Board, Hunterdon County. Accessed September 20, 2012.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
- U.S. Election Atlas
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- Petty, Todd (2012), Bloomsbury school board will consider ending relationship with Phillipsburg High School tomorrow night, retrieved 2012-11-01
- History, Mission & Core Values, Raritan Valley Community College. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- About Raritan Valley, Rutgers University. Accessed May 30, 2012.
- "Monthly Averages for Flemington, New Jersey". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- Hunterdon County Official Website
- Map of Hunterdon County
- Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance
- River Ballet Company
- Hunterdon County Obituary Collection
- Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Website
- NY-NJTC: Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve Trail Details and Info
- Hunterdon County Library
||Warren County||Morris County|
|Bucks County, Pennsylvania||Somerset County|