Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
|Lawrence Township, New Jersey|
|Township of Lawrence|
Israel Stevens House
|Nickname(s): "Where Nature Smiles for 22 Miles"|
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Formed||February 20, 1697 as Maidenhead Township|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|Renamed||January 24, 1816 as Lawrence Township|
|Named for||Capt. James Lawrence|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)|
|• Body||Township Council|
|• Mayor||David C. Maffei (D, term ends December 31, 2017)|
|• Administrator||Richard S. Krawczun|
|• Municipal clerk||Kathleen S. Norcia|
|• Total||22.063 sq mi (57.143 km2)|
|• Land||21.808 sq mi (56.483 km2)|
|• Water||0.255 sq mi (0.660 km2) 1.15%|
|Area rank||124th of 565 in state
4th of 12 in county
|Elevation||82 ft (25 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2016)||32,897|
|• Rank||68th of 565 in state
4th of 12 in county
|• Density||1,534.8/sq mi (592.6/km2)|
|• Density rank||330st of 565 in state
8th of 12 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882126|
Lawrence Township is a township in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 33,472, reflecting an increase of 4,313 (+14.8%) from the 29,159 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,372 (+13.1%) from the 25,787 counted in the 1990 Census.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Government
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Points of interest
- 9 Notable people
- 10 References
- 11 External links
What is now Lawrence Township was originally formed as Maidenhead Township on February 20, 1697, while the area was still part of Burlington County in West Jersey. The township was named by the early Quaker settlers after Maidenhead, a Thames River village west of London. It became part of the newly created Hunterdon County on March 11, 1714. Maidenhead Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798.
On January 24, 1816, the municipality was renamed Lawrence Township, in honor of Captain James Lawrence — commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake, one of the naval heroes of the War of 1812, and a native of relatively nearby Burlington, New Jersey— best known for his dying command of "Don't Give up the Ship". Lawrence Township became part of Mercer County at its creation on February 22, 1838. Portions of the township were taken to form Millham Township on February 10, 1882, which was annexed six years later by Trenton.
On September 23, 2003, at approximately 8:25am, an F1 tornado ripped through Lawrence Township. The tornado followed a path along Princeton Pike and caused widespread damage to homes. There were no fatalities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 22.063 square miles (57.143 km2), including 21.808 square miles (56.483 km2) of land and 0.255 square miles (0.660 km2) of water (1.15%).
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include: Bakersville, Clarksville, Colonial Lakelands, Coxs Corner, Eldridge Park, Franklin Corner, Harneys Corner, Lawrence Station, Lewisville, Louisville, Port Mercer, Princessville, Quaker Bridge, Rosedale, Slackwood and Sturwood Hamlet.
Many area residents often refer to all of Lawrence Township as Lawrenceville, as a significant majority of township residents use a Lawrenceville mailing address as specified by the United States Postal Service, while other residents have mailing addresses in either Princeton or Trenton. The township was notified by the Postal Service in 2007 that the preferred designation for the ZIP code 08648 would be changed to "Lawrence Township".
1850-1870 1850 1870
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,472 people, 12,524 households, and 8,116 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,534.8 per square mile (592.6/km2). There were 13,239 housing units at an average density of 607.1 per square mile (234.4/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 69.68% (23,322) White, 10.76% (3,602) Black or African American, 0.20% (66) Native American, 14.10% (4,721) Asian, 0.09% (29) Pacific Islander, 2.73% (913) from other races, and 2.45% (819) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.48% (2,503) of the population.
There were 12,524 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the township, the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 13.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.3 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 82.7 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $88,693 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,442) and the median family income was $108,743 (+/- $4,377). Males had a median income of $68,305 (+/- $6,890) versus $50,103 (+/- $5,345) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $43,136 (+/- $3,030). About 4.4% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 29,159 people, 10,797 households, and 7,233 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,317.0 people per square mile (508.5/km²). There were 11,180 housing units at an average density of 504.9 per square mile (195.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 79.22% White, 9.28% African American, 0.08% Native American, 7.91% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.
There were 10,797 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the township the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $67,959, and the median income for a family was $82,704. Males had a median income of $56,681 versus $38,468 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,120. About 2.6% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
Lawrence Township is home to the headquarters of:
- Bristol-Myers Squibb's Research & Development Division.
- The Lenox division of Department 56 (which has announced plans to move to Pennsylvania)
- Educational Testing Service.
Quaker Bridge Mall is a two-level, indoor shopping center located in Lawrenceville on U.S. 1, near Interstate 295. The mall opened in 1975, and has over 100 retail establishments. The mall's anchor stores include J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Sears and Old Navy. The mall has a gross leasable area of 1,076,000 square feet (100,000 m2). Quaker Bridge Mall also had a renovation in 2011-2012, and was finished around August 2012.
Lawrenceville has a small business district. The Lawrence Shopping Center and other businesses along U.S. Route 1 provide additional commercial clusters in the township.
Lawrence Township operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of municipal government, which was implemented in 1970. The township is governed by a Council consisting of a Mayor and four Council Members who are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election every other year. A Mayor is selected by the Council from among its members at an annual reorganization meeting to serve a term of one year.
As of 2017[update], members of the Lawrence Township Council are Mayor David C. Maffei (D, term on committee ends December 31, 2019; term as mayor ends 2017), Chris Bobbitt (D, 2017; elected to serve an unexpired term), James S. Kownacki (D, 2017), Cathleen M. Lewis (D, 2019) and Michael S. Powers (D, 2019).
In August 2015, the Township Council appointed Ian J. Dember on an interim basis to fill the seat expiring in December 2017 that had been held by Stephen Brame until his death the previous month. In the November 2015 general election, Democrat Chris Bobbitt was elected to serve the balance of the term.
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 15th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Shirley Turner (D, Lawrence Township, Mercer County) and in the General Assembly by Reed Gusciora (D, Trenton) and Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D, Pennington). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Mercer County is governed by a County Executive who oversees the day-to-day operations of the county and by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders that acts in a legislative capacity, setting policy. All officials are chosen at-large in partisan elections, with the executive serving a four-year term of office while the freeholders serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for election each year. As of 2014[update], the County Executive is Brian M. Hughes (D, term ends December 31, 2015; Princeton). Mercer County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chair Andrew Koontz (D, 2016; Princeton), Freeholder Vice Chair Samuel T. Frisby, Sr. (2015; Trenton), Ann M. Cannon (2015; East Windsor Township), Anthony P. Carabelli (2016; Trenton), John A. Cimino (2014, Hamilton Township), Pasquale "Pat" Colavita, Jr. (2015; Lawrence Township) and Lucylle R. S. Walter (2014; Ewing Township) Mercer County's constitutional officers are County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello (D, 2015), Sheriff John A. Kemler (D, 2014) and Surrogate Diane Gerofsky (D, 2016).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 19,237 registered voters in Lawrence Township, of which 7,718 (40.1%) were registered as Democrats, 3,152 (16.4%) were registered as Republicans and 8,342 (43.4%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 25 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 66.7% of the vote (9,798 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 31.9% (4,688 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (201 votes), among the 16,398 ballots cast by the township's 20,890 registered voters (1,711 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 78.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 66.3% of the vote (10,025 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 31.6% (4,771 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (177 votes), among the 15,115 ballots cast by the township's 19,981 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 60.1% of the vote (8,658 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 36.3% (5,228 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (151 votes), among the 14,412 ballots cast by the township's 18,440 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 78.2.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 51.4% of the vote (4,634 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 46.6% (4,205 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (178 votes), among the 9,276 ballots cast by the township's 20,298 registered voters (259 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 45.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 54.7% of the vote (5,528 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 38.1% (3,858 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.3% (537 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (86 votes), among the 10,113 ballots cast by the township's 19,495 registered voters, yielding a 51.9% turnout.
The Lawrence Township Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its seven schools had an enrollment of 4,079 students and 325.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Eldridge Park Elementary School (grades K-3; 273 students), Ben Franklin Elementary School (PreK-3; 446), Lawrenceville Elementary School (PreK-3; 337), Slackwood Elementary School (K-3; 290), Lawrence Intermediate School (4-6; 893), Lawrence Middle School (7-8; 569) and Lawrence High School (9-12; 1,208). Students from Robbinsville Township (known as Washington Township until 2007) had attended Lawrence High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship which ended with the final group of seniors who graduated in the 2006-07 school year.
Lawrence Township is home to two parochial schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton: Notre Dame High School is a coeducational, Roman Catholic, college preparatory school for students in grades 9-12 and Saint Ann School, which serves 341 students in pre-3 through eighth grade.
Colleges and universities
Founded in 1865 and granted university status in 1992, Rider University is a private university with its main campus just south of Lawrenceville that serves nearly 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Lawrence Township is the headquarters location for the Educational Testing Service ("ETS").
The Princeton Community Japanese Language School teaches weekend Japanese classes for Japanese citizen children abroad to the standard of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and it also has classes for people with Japanese as a second language. Courses are taught at Memorial Hall at Rider University. The main office of the school is in Princeton although the office used on Sundays is in Memorial Hall.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 132.33 miles (212.96 km) of roadways, of which 102.37 miles (164.75 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.48 miles (18.48 km) by Mercer County and 18.48 miles (29.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Two major transportation routes traverse the Township. Part of the Interstate Highway network, Interstate 95 and Interstate 295, describe a semicircle through Lawrence. The Interstate route numbers change at the highway's intersection with U.S. Route 1, the other major highway bisecting the municipality. U.S. 1 is in effect three different roads: the original route from Trenton to New Brunswick in the southern half of the Township, the limited access Trenton Freeway, and the combined road in the northern half that serves as a regional arterial linking the Interstates with New Brunswick and Route 18. U.S. Route 206 is the main artery within the township itself, running from Trenton to Princeton roughly north-to-south. It is a segment of the historic Lincoln Highway, and before that, it was part of the main New York-Philadelphia Post road. Locals refer to it alternately as Route 206 or Lawrence Road. Major county routes that pass through include County Route 533, County Route 546 and County Route 569.
Lawrence Township is the site of what has been called the "abrupt ending" of Interstate 95. This resulted from politics in Somerset County that eliminated its planned connection of the Somerset Freeway to Interstate 287. When driving on I-95 north while approaching the interchange for U.S. Route 1, the 95 designation abruptly ends and the highway turns south and becomes Interstate 295. Motorists wishing to continue north are required to find an alternate route, either by taking US 1 north, or (are directed by signs) to take Interstate 295 south to the Central Jersey Expressway (Interstate 195) east and to the New Jersey Turnpike (the continuation of Interstate 95) at Exit 7A in Robbinsville Township.
The busy Northeast Corridor rail line, carrying Amtrak and NJ Transit trains, runs along the eastern edge of the township. The nearest stations are in Hamilton, Trenton, Princeton and Princeton Junction.
A rail spur used to run to Lawrenceville from Trenton, but was discontinued in the 1970s and is now a bicycle trail. From Lawrenceville, a trolley line to Princeton existed from 1900 to 1941, but was dismantled before World War II, and the right-of-way largely has reverted to neighboring landowners.
The nearest commercial airport is Trenton-Mercer Airport, formerly known as the Mercer County Airport, in Ewing with nonstop service to 10 major cities in the eastern half of the United States. Lawrence Township is roughly equidistant to the other two nearby commercial airports, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
Points of interest
The Port Mercer Canal House is located at 4378 Quakerbridge Road, along the Delaware and Raritan Canal near the border of West Windsor Township and Princeton. The house was built in the 1830s as housing for the bridge tender and his family. The bridge tender was needed to open the swing bridge when canal boats came through, then close it to allow traffic to cross over the canal.
The Delaware and Raritan Canal has an intact walking towpath for most of its length. Additional walking trail areas in the township include Shipetaukin Woods, Carson Road Woods, and part of Rosedale Park. Lawrence Township is part of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, currently under development.
Terhune Orchards, a winery and produce farm.
Colonial Lake, a local man-made lake, centerpiece of the township's Colonial Lake Park.
The Brearley Oak, the largest Black Oak tree in New Jersey, is located along the Princeton Pike.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Lawrence Township include:
- Brett Brackett (born 1987), tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- David Brearley (1745–1790), signer of the United States Constitution and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1779-1789.
- George H. Brown (1810–1865), represented New Jersey's 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1853 to 1855.
- Scott Lee Brunner (born 1957), football quarterback in the NFL who played for the New York Giants from 1980 to 1983.
- Richard J. Coffee (born 1925), member of the New Jersey Senate.
- Margery Cuyler, children's book author.
- Tony DeNicola (1927-2006), jazz drummer.
- Marc Ferzan, director of the New Jersey Governor's Office of Recovery and Rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy.
- John Cleve Green (1800-1875), merchant who was a benefactor of the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University.
- Josue Lajeunesse, custodian at Princeton University and a taxi driver who was featured in the documentary The Philosopher Kings for his efforts raising money to provide clean water and other basic amenities to his native town of Lasource, Haiti.
- Dan Lavery (born 1969), musician who has performed as part of The Fray and Tonic.
- James T.C. Liu (1919-1993), Chinese historian and a leading scholar on Song dynasty history who was a professor at Princeton University for more than two decades.
- Thorn Lord (1906–1965), politician.
- Donald W. McGowan (1899-1967), Major General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau
- Kenneth Merin (born 1947), politician and lawyer who served two stints as the New Jersey Commissioner of Insurance.
- Ed Moran (born 1981), retired track and road runner who was a gold medalist in the 5000-meter race at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished the 2011 New York City Marathon in 10th place.
- Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (1934-2012), retired United States Army General who was commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991.
- Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. (1895–1958), first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
- Elizabeth Socolow, poet.
- Jon Stewart (born 1962), of The Daily Show.
- Shirley Turner (born 1941), New Jersey State Senator.
- Kuperinsky, Amy. "'The Jewel of the Meadowlands'?: N.J.'s best, worst and weirdest town slogans", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 22, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2016. "Lawrence Township, in Mercer County, chose to capitalize on its square mileage with 'Where Nature Smiles for 22 Miles.' Joseph DallePazze, the town's mayor in the '70s and '80s, is credited with coining the motto, says township clerk Kathleen Norcia, even though, as sloganeer Swartz points out, the slogan is eerily reminiscent of Spring Lake Township, Michigan's motto, 'Where nature smiles for seven miles.'"
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- Bowen, Francis. American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1843, p. 231, David H. Williams, 1842. Accessed July 13, 2013. Population for 1840 is listed as 1,156.
- Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 275, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 13, 2013. "Lawrence, in 1850, contained a population of 1,838; in 1860, 2,024; and in 1870, 2,251. At the village of Lawrenceville, in this township are two superior Seminaries of learning, one for males, conducted by the Rev. Samuel M. Hamel, D.D., and the other for females, by the Rev Charles Nassau, D.D. Millham contained in 1870, 677 inhabitants."
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- Staff. A compendium of the ninth census, 1870, p. 260. United States Census Bureau, 1872. Accessed November 19, 2012. Source lists a total population of 2,254 for the township, including the 677 residents of Millham.
- Porter, Robert Percival. Preliminary Results as Contained in the Eleventh Census Bulletins: Volume III - 51 to 75, p. 98. United States Census Bureau, 1890. Accessed July 13, 2012.
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- DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Lawrence township, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 13, 2012.
- DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Lawrence township, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 21, 2012.
- Princeton, New Jersey, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Accessed July 13, 2012.
- Lawlor, Julia. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Lawrence Township, N.J.; Peace, Quiet and Community Involvement", The New York Times, March 21, 2004. Accessed November 19, 2012. "Lawrence Township is a popular place to live for people who work at the many pharmaceutical companies in the area, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has the headquarters for its research arm in the township. Educational Testing Service, is also located in Lawrence Township, although it has a Princeton mailing address."
- Quaker Bridge Mall, Simon Property Group. Accessed July 8, 2015.
- WKXW(FM), FCCInfo.com. Accessed July 8, 2015.
- 2017 Municipal User Friendly Budget, Township of Lawrence. Accessed May 14, 2017.
- Mercer County Elected Officials Archived 2016-10-06 at the Wayback Machine., Mercer County, New Jersey, as of January 1, 2016. Accessed July 11, 2016.
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- Abdur-Rahman, Sulaiman. "Lawrence Township Council appoints local lawyer to succeed the late Councilman Brame", The Trentonian, August 18, 2015. Accessed July 11, 2016. "At a public meeting on Tuesday, the elected members of Township Council voted to appoint Dember, 32, as the interim successor to the late Democratic Councilman Stephen Brame, whose seat on council has been vacant since he died July 29 of congestive heart failure."
- Abdur-Rahman, Sulaiman. "Lawrence councilman's death triggers competitive special election", The Trentonian, October 31, 2015. Accessed July 11, 2016. "The July 29 death of sitting Councilman Stephen Brame places Lawrence Township voters in position to elect the successor who will serve for the remainder of the late Democratic councilman's term.... An interim councilman, Ian J. Dember, is currently serving in Brame's council seat on a temporary basis. Dember's interim term ends when a new councilman is elected Tuesday. The winner of that special election will serve for the remainder of Brame's term, which runs through 2017."
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