Branchville, New Jersey
|Incorporated||March 9, 1898|
|Named for||Branch of Paulins Kill|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||Anthony Frato Sr. (D, term ends December 31, 2023)|
|• Municipal clerk||Kathryn L. Leissler|
|• Total||0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)|
|• Land||0.59 sq mi (1.54 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2) 1.17%|
|• Rank||541st of 565 in state|
24th of 24 in county
|Elevation||554 ft (169 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||543rd of 565 in state|
22nd of 24 in county
|• Density||1,334.3/sq mi (515.2/km2)|
|• Rank||352nd of 565 in state|
5th of 24 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||885168|
Branchville is a borough in Sussex County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2020 United States census, the borough's population was 791, a decrease of 50 (−5.9%) from the 2010 census count of 841, which in turn reflected a decline of 4 (−0.5%) from the 845 counted in the 2000 census. The borough is located in the northernmost region of Sussex County.
Branchville was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 9, 1898, from portions of Frankford Township. An additional portion of Frankford Township was annexed as of March 1, 1951. The borough was named for its site at a branch of the Paulins Kill.
Branchville was established by settlers from Connecticut in the 18th century. It grew quickly and in the 1820s the town was divided into building lots. By the year 1844, it was a well-established community with 32 dwellings, mills, blacksmiths, an academy, a church and a variety of other factories and businesses.
The addition of two water-powered mills and a dam in 1855 furthered the town's prosperity. Energy would later be harnessed from this dam and a second one that was built to supply Branchville with electricity and its own power company.
Extension of rail service to Branchville in 1869 brought an even greater boon to the village's economic market growth. From 1869 to 1871 forty new homes were built. The railroad had made it possible to ship products from the local mills and creameries to larger urban areas to the east. With lake communities nearby the tourism was also spurred by the railroad. Up to six trains a day would bring people from the larger cities to enjoy a country vacation.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.60 square miles (1.6 km2), including 0.59 square miles (1.5 km2) of land and 0.01 square miles (0.026 km2) of water (1.17%).
Branchville is an independent municipality completely surrounded by Frankford Township, making it part of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Branchville has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
Branchville is on the Ordovician Martinsburg Formation. This is a shale, slate, and limestone formation created 450 million years ago when a chain of volcanic islands collided with proto North America. The islands went over the North American Plate, creating the Highlands of Sussex County and the Kittatinny Valley. Millions of years of erosion occurred and there was a second event. About 400 million years ago a small continent that was long and thin, collided with proto North America creating folding and faulting. The Silurian Shawangunk conglomerate that was under a shallow sea, lifted due to pressure. The pressure created heat which melted the silica and bonded the quartz and conglomerate together, creating Kittatinny Mountain.
The Wisconsin Glacier covered all of Branchville from 21,000 BCE to 13,000 BCE, covering the top of Kittatinny Mountain. End moraines exist in Stokes State Forest, another just off Route 565 north of the Skylands Park and one about a mile south of Ross's Corner. An esker was created when the glacier retreated due to climate warming. Many ponds and lakes created. Culver Lake was created at this time, as the drainage became blocked. Branchville is drained by Culver's Lake Creek and Dry brook. Dry Creek starts at the Branchville Reservoir, travels south, enters into Culver's Creek in Branchville and eventually empties into the Paulinskill. There is a chain of hills between Dry Creek and Papakatin Creek. These hills are what separate the Paulinskill River drainage system from that of the Wallkill. The drainage divide is just north of Route 206 and the goes northwest toward Branchville Reservoir. Water near Route 206 or south of Route 206 drains into the Paulinskill. Water north of Route 206 drains into the Wallkill River.
|Population sources: 1900–1920|
The 2010 United States census counted 841 people, 364 households, and 221 families in the borough. The population density was 1,419.2 people per square mile (548.0 people/km2). There were 386 housing units at an average density of 651.4 units per square mile (251.5 units/km2). The racial makeup was 96.43% (811) White, 0.36% (3) Black or African American, 0.36% (3) Native American, 1.07% (9) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.48% (4) from other races, and 1.31% (11) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.92% (33) of the population.
Of the 364 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18; 46.2% were married couples living together; 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 39.3% were non-families. Of all households, 34.1% were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.98.
22.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years. For every 100 females, the population had 95.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $56,875 (with a margin of error of +/− $29,887) and the median family income was $84,643 (+/− $16,892). Males had a median income of $61,042 (+/− $20,432) versus $37,955 (+/− $6,402) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,851 (+/− $4,509). About 2.6% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States census there were 845 people, 354 households, and 225 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,421.6 inhabitants per square mile (548.9/km2). There were 377 housing units at an average density of 634.3 units per square mile (244.9 units/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 100.00% White, 0.12% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.
There were 354 households, out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.0% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $45,855, and the median income for a family was $60,909. Males had a median income of $36,250 versus $27,159 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $22,748. About 4.2% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
Branchville is governed under the borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 564) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey. The governing body is comprised of the mayor and the borough council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The borough council is comprised 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 Branchville 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 2022[update], the mayor of Branchville Borough is Democrat Anthony Frato Sr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. Members of the Branchville Borough Council are Council President Richard N. VanStone (R, 2022), Beverley Bathgate (R, 2023), Russell Bellis Jr. (R, 2024), H. Lee Doremus (R, 2022), Troy C. Orr (R, 2024) and Mary C. Whitesell (D, 2023).
In January 2015, the borough council appointed Steven Schechner to serve the term expiring in December 2018 that had been held by Frank J. San Phillip, who was elected but did not take office due to personal reasons; Schechner will serve on an interim basis until the November 2016 general election, when voters will select a candidate to serve the two years remaining in the term of office.
Federal, state and county representation
For the 118th United States Congress, New Jersey's 5th congressional district is represented by Josh Gottheimer (D, Wyckoff). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027) and Bob Menendez (Englewood Cliffs, term ends 2025).
For the 2022–2023 session, the 24th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Steve Oroho (R, Franklin) and in the General Assembly by Parker Space (R, Wantage Township) and Hal Wirths (R, Hamburg).
Sussex County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners whose five members are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with either 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 Commissioner Director and Deputy Director from among its members, with day-to-day supervision of the operation of the county delegated to a County Administrator. As of 2023[update], Sussex County's Commissioners are: William Hayden (R, 2025), Director Chris Carney (R, Frankford Township, term as commissioner ends 2024; term as deputy director ends 2023), Dawn Fantasia (R, Franklin, 2024), Jill Space (R, Wantage Township, 2025) and Herbert Yardley (R, Stillwater Township, 2023).
Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are: Clerk Jeffrey M. Parrott (R, Wantage Township, 2026), Sheriff Michael F. Strada (R, Hampton Township, 2025) and Surrogate Gary R. Chiusano (R, Frankford Township, 2023). The County Administrator is Gregory V. Poff II, whose appointment expires in 2025.
As of March 2011, there were a total of 556 registered voters in Branchville, of which 75 (13.5% vs. 16.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 306 (55.0% vs. 39.3%) were registered as Republicans and 175 (31.5% vs. 44.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 66.1% (vs. 65.8% in Sussex County) were registered to vote, including 85.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 86.5% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 259 votes (61.4% vs. 59.4% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 156 votes (37.0% vs. 38.2%) and other candidates with 7 votes (1.7% vs. 2.1%), among the 422 ballots cast by the borough's 583 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.4% (vs. 68.3% in Sussex County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 253 votes (60.4% vs. 59.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 159 votes (37.9% vs. 38.7%) and other candidates with 4 votes (1.0% vs. 1.5%), among the 419 ballots cast by the borough's 578 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.5% (vs. 76.9% in Sussex County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 277 votes (65.5% vs. 63.9% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 137 votes (32.4% vs. 34.4%) and other candidates with 7 votes (1.7% vs. 1.3%), among the 423 ballots cast by the borough's 546 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.5% (vs. 77.7% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 72.9% of the vote (191 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.4% (64 votes), and other candidates with 2.7% (7 votes), among the 265 ballots cast by the borough's 566 registered voters (3 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 46.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 199 votes (68.6% vs. 63.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 55 votes (19.0% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 32 votes (11.0% vs. 9.1%) and other candidates with 4 votes (1.4% vs. 1.3%), among the 290 ballots cast by the borough's 542 registered voters, yielding a 53.5% turnout (vs. 52.3% in the county).
Students in public school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Frankford Township School District, located in Branchville, as part of a sending/receiving relationship. As of the 2021–22 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 505 students and 54.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.3:1.
For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students from Branchville attend High Point Regional High School. Also attending the school are students from Frankford Township, Lafayette Township, Montague Township, Sussex Borough and Wantage Township (where the school is located). As of the 2021–22 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 812 students and 72.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.2:1.
As of November 2014[update], the borough had a total of 6.30 miles (10.14 km) of roadways, of which 2.79 miles (4.49 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.36 miles (3.80 km) by Sussex County and 1.15 miles (1.85 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Branchville include:
- 2019 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 1, 2020.
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- Borough Contacts, Borough of Branchville. Accessed May 16, 2022.
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- "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
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- Total Population: Census 2010 - Census 2020 New Jersey Municipalities, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed December 1, 2022.
- Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Minor Civil Divisions in New Jersey: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022, United States Census Bureau, released May 2023. Accessed May 18, 2023.
- Population Density by County and Municipality: New Jersey, 2020 and 2021, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed March 1, 2023.
- Look Up a ZIP Code for Branchville, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed February 18, 2013.
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- U.S. Census website, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
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- US Board on Geographic Names, United States Geological Survey. Accessed September 4, 2014.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Branchville borough, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Branchville borough Archived July 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Table 7. Population for the Counties and Municipalities in New Jersey: 1990, 2000 and 2010, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, February 2011. Accessed May 1, 2023.
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 229. Accessed October 25, 2012.
- Hutchinson, Viola L. The Origin of New Jersey Place Names, New Jersey Public Library Commission, May 1945. Accessed August 27, 2015.
- Gannett, Henry. The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, p. 37. United States Government Printing Office, 1905. Accessed August 27, 2015.
- Sussex County Map, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed March 16, 2020.
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- DeMarco, Megan. "Voters to decide whether to merge two Princetons into one", The Star-Ledger, November 3, 2011. Accessed January 8, 2017. "There are 22 sets of 'doughnut towns' in New Jersey, those where one town wraps around the other town". Note that following voter approval of the Princeton merger, 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" remain.
- Climate Summary for Branchville, New Jersey
- Compendium of censuses 1726-1905: together with the tabulated returns of 1905, New Jersey Department of State, 1906. Accessed October 7, 2013.
- Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910: Population by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions, 1910, 1900, 1890, United States Census Bureau, p. 338. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Fifteenth Census of the United States : 1930 - Population Volume I, United States Census Bureau, p. 719. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Table 6: New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1940 - 2000, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network, August 2001. Accessed May 1, 2023.
- DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Branchville borough, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Branchville borough, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Census 2000 Profiles of Demographic / Social / Economic / Housing Characteristics for Branchville borough, New Jersey Archived June 30, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Selective at a Glance, Selective Insurance. Accessed November 7, 2016. "Headquartered in Branchville, NJ since 1926"
- Inventory of Municipal Forms of Government in New Jersey, Rutgers University Center for Government Studies, July 1, 2011. Accessed June 1, 2023.
- Cerra, Michael F. "Forms of Government: Everything You've Always Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask" Archived September 24, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Accessed November 30, 2014.
- "Forms of Municipal Government in New Jersey", p. 6. Rutgers University Center for Government Studies. Accessed June 1, 2023.
- 2020 Municipal Data Sheet, Borough of Branchville. Accessed May 16, 2022.
- Summary Results Report November 2, 2021 General Election Official Results, Sussex County, New Jersey, updated November 22, 2021. Accessed January 1, 2022.
- Election Summary November 3, 2020 General Election Official Amended Results, Sussex County, New Jersey, updated December 10, 2020. Accessed January 1, 2021.
- Sussex County, New Jersey General Election November 5, 2019, Official Results Summary Report, Sussex County, New Jersey, dated November 8, 2019. Accessed January 1, 2020.
- Jennings, Rob. "Candidates file for primary election", New Jersey Herald, April 5, 2016. Accessed August 2, 2016. "Steven Shechner replaced Frank San Phillip, who resigned for personal reasons before his swearing in on Jan. 1. Schechner has to run for the remaining two years of San Phillip's term."
- Plan Components Report, New Jersey Redistricting Commission, December 23, 2011. Accessed February 1, 2020.
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- Districts by Number for 2011-2020, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 6, 2013.
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- Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker cruises past Republican challenger Rik Mehta in New Jersey, PhillyVoice. Accessed April 30, 2021. "He now owns a home and lives in Newark's Central Ward community."
- Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
- Home, sweet home: Bob Menendez back in Hudson County. nj.com. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
- Legislative Roster, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 11, 2022.
- About County Government, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022. "Sussex County is governed by five (5) Commissioners who are elected by the voters of Sussex County. Each serves on the county’s Board of County Commissioners for a term of three (3) years, after which time they can seek re‐election or retire.... The Commissioners are elected at‐large to serve three‐year staggered terms. The five Commissioners elect a director from among themselves to run their meetings and to serve as a spokesperson for the board."
- Chris Carney, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Dawn Fantasia, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Jill Space, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Herbert Yardley, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Board of County Commissioners, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Contact Us, Sussex County Clerk. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Administration, Sussex County Sheriff's Office. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- Home Page, Sussex County Surrogate. Accessed May 1, 2022.
- County Administrator, Sussex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022.
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- Voter Registration Summary - Sussex, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, March 23, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- GCT-P7: Selected Age Groups: 2010 - State – County Subdivision; 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- General Election November 6, 2012: District Report - Group Detail Archived June 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Sussex County, New Jersey Clerk, run date November 30, 2012. Accessed February 19, 2013.
- 2008 Presidential General Election Results: Sussex County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 23, 2008. Accessed February 18, 2013.
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- 2009 Governor: Sussex County Archived June 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 31, 2009. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Lamonte, Rosalie S. Report on Non-Operating School District: Branchville, New Jersey Department of Education, June 30, 2009. Accessed October 9, 2009.
- District information for Frankford Township Consolidated School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 1, 2022.
- High Point Regional High School 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 8, 2016. "High Point Regional High School is a comprehensive high school serving the diversified needs of the three surrounding K through 8 school districts of Lafayette, Frankford, Montague, and Sussex-Wantage."
- "2016-17 School Profile", High Point Regional High School. Accessed March 18, 2018. "Located 63 miles northwest of Manhattan in bucolic Sussex, County NJ, High Point serves students from six municipalities: Branchville, Lafayette, Frankford, Montague, Sussex, and Wantage."
- School data for High Point Regional High School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 1, 2022.
- Sussex County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, November 2014. Accessed August 25, 2015.
- Kuty, Brendan. "Branchville’s Zabriskie shoots for heavyweight championship", New Jersey Herald, January 24, 2010. Accessed April 15, 2021. "David Zabriskie has been a Division I All-American. Twice, actually. But the Iowa State senior and High Point graduate isn’t satisfied. He wants a heavyweight national championship. 'I feel pretty good about this year,' Zabriskie said. The Branchville native should."
- Official borough website
- Sussex County webpage for Branchville Borough
- Frankford Township School District
- School Performance Reports for the Frankford Township School District, New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Frankford Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- High Point Regional High School