Montgomery Township, New Jersey
|Montgomery Township, New Jersey|
|Township of Montgomery|
Map of Montgomery Township in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Montgomery Township, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|• Mayor||Richard Smith (term ends December 31, 2014)|
|• Administrator||Donato Nieman|
|• Clerk||Donna Kukla |
|• Total||32.480 sq mi (84.123 km2)|
|• Land||32.307 sq mi (83.674 km2)|
|• Water||0.173 sq mi (0.449 km2) 0.53%|
|Area rank||75th of 566 in state
4th of 21 in county
|Elevation ||98 ft (30 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2012)||22,425|
|• Rank||115th of 566 in state
5th of 21 in county
|• Density||688.8/sq mi (265.9/km2)|
|• Density rank||414th of 566 in state
16th of 21 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||08502 - Belle Mead
08558 - Skillman
08540 - Princeton
|Area code(s)||609, 908|
|GNIS feature ID||0882168|
Montgomery Township is a township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 22,254, reflecting an increase of 4,773 (+27.3%) from the 17,481 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 7,869 (+81.9%) from the 9,612 counted in the 1990 Census.
Montgomery Township was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, from what remained of Western precinct. Portions of the township were taken to form Princeton borough (February 11, 1813, in Mercer County, consolidated to form Princeton as of January 1, 2013), Princeton Township (April 9, 1838, also now consolidated into Princeton) and Rocky Hill (December 18, 1889).
Belle Mead (with a 2010 Census population of 216), Blawenburg (280), Harlingen (297) and Skillman (242) are census-designated places and unincorporated communities located within Montgomery Township.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Municipal Court
- 6 Emergency services
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Education
- 9 Skillman Village
- 10 Notable residents
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Montgomery Township is located at United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 32.480 square miles (84.123 km2), of which, 32.307 square miles (83.674 km2) of it is land and 0.173 square miles (0.449 km2) of it (0.53%) is water.(40.428334,-74.676696). According to the
There are several hamlets within the township, including Belle Mead, Blawenburg, Bridgepoint, Dutchtown, Fairview, Harlingen, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Skillman, Stoutsburg and Zion.
Township residents are served by three post offices located wholly within the township's borders: Belle Mead with ZIP code 08502, Skillman with ZIP code 08558 and Blawenburg with ZIP code 08504. A portion of the southern section of the township is serviced by the Princeton post office with ZIP code 08540.
The area now known as Montgomery Township was inhabited for approximately 20,000 years by the Lenni Lenape Native Americans in the United States. The current Native American population of Montgomery Township is just under 1/10%.
The first European landowners in what was to become Montgomery Township, such as Johannas Van Home and Peter Sonmans, were speculators who did not live on the land, but sold large parts of what they owned to companies that subdivided it into farm-sized plots for those who did intend to settle. Many speculators and early settlers were of Dutch descent from the New Amsterdam area (especially Long Island), which, after the British ousted the Dutch (1664), was renamed New York in honor of the Duke of York (the future James II). The Township was originally known as the Western Precinct of Somerset County (i.e. west of the Millstone River). Before the creation of Mercer County in 1838, the southern border extended to Nassau Street in Princeton. In 1798 the Western Precinct was organized as Montgomery Township, named for Colonel Richard Montgomery, who fell fighting for the patriot cause in the Battle of Quebec at the start of the Revolution (1775).
Most of the land is flat and fertile, running westward from the Millstone River to Province Line, which divides Somerset from Hunterdon County and once marked the division between East and West Jersey. Farms of 300 to 500 acres (2.0 km2) were common, some owners keeping a few slaves to work the land and serve in the household. The aim of the early settlers was to produce as many of the necessities of life as they could: subsistence farming, in other words. Each farm had a vegetable garden, orchard, pasturage and fields for grain, as well as a stand of timber to be selectively cut for fuel. What became known as the Harlingen Tract (1710) included part of Sourland Mountain. Each farm on the flatland was assigned a separate strip of woodland that ran up to the Hunterdon border, all crossing Rock Brook. At points along the stream mills were built either to saw lumber or to grind grain. Other early mill sites were at Rocky Hill on the Millstone River, Bridgepoint on Pike Brook and on Bedens Brook near Blawenburg.
Settlement began in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. When churches, schools, general stores, blacksmith shops and hotel/taverns were built, they tended to cluster at intersections or other important points. For example, the intersection where the Carrier Clinic now stands used to be called Plainville or Posttown, having in the nineteenth century a post office, store, school house, blacksmith and wheelwright shops, as well as a hotel/tavern where the circuit judge presided. Most people walked to where they wanted to go. Schools were generally spaced no further than four miles (6 km) apart in order that no child would have to go more than two miles (3 km) to get to one. Churches marked the most important centers. The Dutch Church's earliest congregations first gathered in farm houses. The first church building at Harlingen dates to around 1750 and was called the Church at Sourland. The church at Neshanic in Hillsborough Township was established in 1752. In the early years these two churches shared a single pastor, and up to about 1800 they conducted their services in the Dutch language. One such pastor was Martinus Van Harlingen, who gave his name to the village, to the church that now bears his name, and to the local Historical Society. The Blawenburg church, an offshoot of the one at Harlingen, dates to 1830 and was erected in three days.
During the Revolution, the Township was the scene of marches by both British and patriot forces and of clashes between them. In the century that followed the movement of goods and people was accelerated by increasingly swifter forms of transportation. First was the building of the Georgetown and Franklin Turnpike between Lambertville and New Brunswick (1820-22: Rt. 518). Next came the digging of the Delaware and Raritan Canal along the east side of the Millstone River (1834). Railroad construction followed with the Delaware and Boundbrook Railroad (later the Reading), which established depots at Skillman, Harlingen and Belle Mead (1875). In the early years of the twentieth century, the arrival of the automobile, of electricity and of the telephone brought further growth and change. In consequence, and over time, the one or two room schoolhouse was supplanted by the central school, post offices were consolidated and most of the hotels/taverns disappeared. The crossroad hamlets that once offered basic services of general store, blacksmith shops and the like disappeared also, many leaving only their names to mark a road or an area: Skillman, Bridgepoint and Dutchtown are examples.
The paving and realignment of roads, and the building of new ones, came toward the end of the transportation revolution. A new major north-south highway, Route 206, was created in 1927. Before that time Montgomery and Mount Lucas Roads were parts of the chief north-south route through the center of the Township. Farming continued despite many changes in the economy and in agricultural practices. In the late nineteenth century subsistence farming was giving way to specialized operations, such as dairying, poultry farming, and fruit orchards. As the twentieth century drew to a close even these ventures no longer offered the farmer an easy existence, given the rapidly appreciating value of the land, over against the low prices of products produced on it. As farms became less and less profitable, the land was converted to other uses. For example, in 1898 the facility for the treatment of epileptics was built on farmland between Blawenburg and Skillman. Since the Second World War, housing developments, shopping centers and business parks have sprung up, leaving as remnants of the long tradition of agriculture in Montgomery roadside stands, riding stables and the like.
As rapid growth throughout the Princeton region has spread suburban sprawl across the Township, the push to limit runaway development and to acquire open space has become an urgent concern of the community. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Montgomery's population nearly doubled; currently, it is the fastest growing township in the county.
|Population sources: 1790-1920
1840 1850-1870 1850
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 22,254 people, 7,635 households, and 6,077 families residing in the township. The population density was 688.8 per square mile (265.9 /km2). There were 7,902 housing units at an average density of 244.6 per square mile (94.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 67.66% (15,057) White, 2.84% (633) Black or African American, 0.09% (19) Native American, 25.61% (5,700) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.34% (298) from other races, and 2.45% (545) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.57% (1,017) of the population.
There were 7,635 households, of which 48.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.4% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the township, 30.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 32.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $146,100 (with a margin of error of +/- $16,235) and the median family income was $167,889 (+/- $10,202). Males had a median income of $110,549 (+/- $4,286) versus $80,268 (+/- $15,872) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $62,642 (+/- $4,981). About 1.4% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 17,481 people, 5,803 households, and 4,781 families residing in the township. The population density was 535.9 people per square mile (206.9/km²). There were 6,130 housing units at an average density of 187.9 per square mile (72.6/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 84.55% White, 2.07% African-American, 0.09% Native American, and 11.52% Asian American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.21% of the population.
There were 5,803 households out of which 51.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.5% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.6% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the township the population was spread out with 32.9% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $118,850, and the median income for a family was $129,150. 70.20% of the residents had a college education or better, and 89.8% are white collar. Males had a median income of $86,687 versus $55,441 for females. The per capita income for the township was $48,699. About 1.4% of families and 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 1.3% of those age 65 or over.
Montgomery Township is governed under the Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee. The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects which of its members will serve as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for that year.
As of 2013[update], members of the Montgomery Township Committee are Mayor Rich Smith (R, term ends December 31, 2014), Deputy Mayor Patricia Graham (R, 2013), Ed Trzaska (R, 2014), Christine Madrid (R, 2015) and Christopher Sugden (R, 2015). 
On November 6, 2012, the local Republican Party won its fifth election in a row. Christine Madrid, who was appointed to the Township Committee at the January 2012 reorganization meeting, captured the most votes, for her first three-year term. Christopher Sugden, a newcomer to local government, came in a close second. The Democratic candidates were Mark Petraske and Andrea Bradley, a long-time member of the Montgomery Township Board of Education.
Federal, state and county representation
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, North Bergen).
For the 2014-2015 Session, the 16th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Christopher Bateman (R, Somerville) and in the General Assembly by Jack Ciattarelli (R, Hillsborough Township) and Donna Simon (R, Readington Township).  The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Somerset County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Director and Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2014[update], Somerset County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione (R, Bridgewater Township, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Mark Caliguire (R, Skillman in Montgomery Township, 2015), Peter S. Palmer (R, Bernardsville, term ends December 31, 2014), Patricia L. Walsh (R, Green Brook Township, 2016) and Robert Zaborowski (R, Somerset in Franklin Township, 2014), Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Brett A. Radi (R, Somerville, 2017), Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano (R, Raritan, 2016) and Surrogate Frank Bruno (R, Branchburg, 2015).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 14,253 registered voters in Montgomery Township, of which 3,884 (27.3% vs. 26.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,297 (23.1% vs. 25.7%) were registered as Republicans and 7,068 (49.6% vs. 48.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 64.0% (vs. 60.4% in Somerset County) were registered to vote, including 92.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 80.4% countywide).
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,082 votes here (55.3% vs. 52.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,731 votes (43.0% vs. 46.1%) and other candidates with 123 votes (1.1% vs. 1.1%), among the 11,002 ballots cast by the township's 13,849 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.4% (vs. 78.7% in Somerset County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 5,086 votes here (50.0% vs. 51.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 4,950 votes (48.7% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 97 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 10,171 ballots cast by the township's 11,980 registered voters, for a turnout of 84.9% (vs. 81.7% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 3,999 votes here (53.7% vs. 55.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 2,818 votes (37.9% vs. 34.1%), Independent Chris Daggett with 531 votes (7.1% vs. 8.7%) and other candidates with 61 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 7,444 ballots cast by the township's 13,992 registered voters, yielding a 53.2% turnout (vs. 52.5% in the county).
The Montgomery Township Municipal Court hears all motor vehicle, disorderly persons offenses, weights/measures complaints, fish and game violations, local ordinance violations and citizen complaints (e.g. simple assault, shoplifting and criminal mischief). Usual Court sessions are the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., and the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m.
Montgomery Township is served by two all-volunteer fire companies, and an all volunteer rescue squad which provide the township with round the clock protection.
- Station 45 Fire - Company #1 covering Belle Mead and northern half of town.
- Station 46 Fire - Company #2 covering Blawenburg and the southern half of town.
- Station 47 Rescue - Montgomery EMS
The Montgomery Township School District is a comprehensive public school district that serves students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Orchard Hill Elementary School (grades K-2; 932 students), Village Elementary School (3-4; 757), Montgomery Lower Middle School (5-6; 810), Montgomery Upper Middle School (7-8; 895) and Montgomery High School (9-12; 1,688).
With the addition of the Montgomery High School in 2005, students were transferred from the old high school, now the upper middle school, to the current one located on Route 601. In late 2008 the high school added a solar panel field to save on rising energy bills.
Montgomery Township was one of the fastest growing school districts in New Jersey. In September 1992, the K-12 enrollment was 1,590 compared to 4,924 in September 2005. This represents a tripling of enrollment in thirteen years. However, since the 2005-06 school year, enrollment has been flat due to a dramatic slowing of residential development in town.
Montgomery Township High School was the 61st-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 10th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.
In 2007, the Township of Montgomery purchased a 256-acre (1.04 km2) parcel of land once known as the North Princeton Developmental Center from the State of New Jersey, located in Montgomery adjoining Skillman Road and Burnt Hill Road. In addition, the Township acquired from the State the adjacent wastewater treatment facility on 7 acres (28,000 m2), behind the State-owned Skillman Dairy Farm. The NPDC property, originally established in 1898 as the "New Jersey Village for Epileptics," operated as a self-contained community that consisted of hospitals, housing, maintenance areas, schools, a power plant, a wastewater treatment facility and an on-site landfill. Later, it became the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute. Most recently, and until 1998, the property was the New Jersey Department of Human Services' psychiatric care facility "North Princeton Developmental Center".
For years there were over 100 buildings on the Property, mostly in substandard, unsafe, unsanitary, dilapidated and/or obsolescent condition. Ninety-two of these buildings were abated and demolished summer 2007. The remaining handful of buildings have been boarded up in anticipation of possible reuse as part of redevelopment. Efforts are ongoing to remediate environmental conditions at the site and repair or demolish the dam and restore the lake. The property’s environmental contamination must be remediated and brought into compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The original plan for the land was development, as advocated by then mayor Louise Wilson. The Township prepared a redevelopment plan and solicited redevelopment proposals for a "Town Square" concept which would have created hundreds of new residential and commercial units. However, no developers submitted bids.
Throughout the rest of 2008 and all of the next few years, the debate over Skillman Village changed. The local Republican team led by Kacey Dyer and Mark Caliguire proposed selling all of the land to Somerset County to create a passive-use park. The public support of this idea was overwhelming, causing it to be one of the deciding factors of the 2008, 2009, and 2010 elections. Louise Wilson and her team were voted out of office (the Republicans took complete control of the Township Committee with the election of Ed Trzaska and Patricia Graham on November 2, 2010).
In October 2010, Somerset County agreed to purchase the land for a passive-use park for $14.1 million. Planning continues for Skillman Park.
Notable current and former residents of Montgomery Township include:
- Ben Bernanke (born 1953), former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, former resident and member of the Montgomery Township Board of Education.
- Ira Black (1941–2006), neuroscientist and stem cell researcher who served as the first director of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.
- Yvonne Brill (1924-2013), rocket scientist.
- Upton Sinclair (1878–1968), wrote The Jungle 1906, while living on Province Line Road.
- Tom Verducci (born 1960), sportswriter for Sports Illustrated.
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- 2010/2011 Budget Brochure
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2012.
- Community Profile, Montgomery Township School District. Accessed February 28, 2008. "Rocky Hill, which was the first village in the township, is now a separately incorporated borough, whose children attend Montgomery Township schools."
- Somerset County School Districts-Sending/Receiving/Regional, Somerset County, New Jersey Superintendent of Schools. Accessed February 13, 2013. "MONTGOMERYK-12Receives K-12 from Rocky Hill"
- For more information see
- Ben S. Bernanke, Federal Reserve System. Accessed January 25, 2011.
- Pearce, Jeremy. "Dr. Ira B. Black, 64, Leader in New Jersey Stem Cell Effort, Dies", The New York Times, January 12, 2006. Accessed August 13, 2009.
- Martin, Douglas. "Yvonne Brill, a Pioneering Rocket Scientist, Dies at 88", The New York Times, March 31, 2013. Accessed March 31, 2013. "Matthew Brill said his mother died of complications of breast cancer. She lived in Skillman, N.J."
- Mitchner, Stuart. "Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Born in a Shack on Princeton Ridge", Town Topics (newspaper), May 23, 2012. Accessed February 13, 2013.
- Caldwell, David. "All the Tools: Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci brings intelligence and an instinct for the game to his coverage of baseball.", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed January 25, 2011. "Verducci lives in Montgomery Township in Somerset County with his wife, Kirsten, and their two sons, Adam and Ben, who both played baseball last spring at Montgomery Township High School."
- Montgomery Township website
- Montgomery Township School District
- Montgomery Township School District's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Montgomery Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- The Montgomery News website, the hometown newspaper
|East Amwell Township||Franklin Township|
|Hopewell Township||Princeton||Rocky Hill|