Union County, New Jersey
Downtown Westfield in July 2005
Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Union threatened by slavery dispute|
|Largest city||Elizabeth (population and area)|
|• Total||105.40 sq mi (273.0 km2)|
|• Land||102.86 sq mi (266.4 km2)|
|• Water||2.55 sq mi (6.6 km2) 2.42%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5,100/sq mi (2,000/km2)|
|Congressional districts||7th, 8th, 10th, 12th|
Union County is a county in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2018 Census estimate, the county's population was 558,067, making it the seventh-most populous of the state's 21 counties, an increase of 5.1% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 536,499, in turn an increase of 13,958 (2.7%) from the 522,541 enumerated in the 2000 Census. In 2010, Union County slipped to the seventh-most populous county in the state, having been surpassed by Ocean County. Union County is part of the New York metropolitan area. Its county seat is Elizabeth.
In 2015, the county had a per capita personal income of $60,089, the seventh-highest in New Jersey and ranked 152nd of 3,113 counties in the United States. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 119th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the eighth-highest in New Jersey) in 2009. A study by Forbes.com determined that Union County pays the second-highest property taxes of all U.S. counties, based on 2007 data.
With a population density of 4,955 people per square mile (water excluded), Union County was the 15th-most densely populated county in the United States as of the 2010 Census, and third-densest in New Jersey, behind Hudson County (ranked 6th nationwide at 9,754 per square mile) and Essex County (ranked 11th at 6,126).
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Parks and recreation
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Education
- 7 Economy
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Municipalities
- 10 Arts and culture
- 11 Sister city
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
All of present-day Union County was part of the Elizabethtown Tract, which was purchased in 1664, by English colonists from the Lenape Native Americans that lived in the area of present-day Elizabeth, New Jersey. Union County was formed on March 19, 1857, from portions of Essex County; it was the last of New Jersey's 21 counties to be established.
Many historic places and structures are to be found in the county, including on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Union County, New Jersey.
Every fall, Union County holds its annual "Four Centuries in a Weekend" festival for the public, celebrating and touring historic buildings, museums and sites in the county.
Museums and historical societies
Union County Historical Society
In 1869, the Union County Historical Society of New Jersey was incorporated. The society meets at the Hanson House in Cranford.
Municipal historical societies
- Berkeley Heights - The Berkeley Heights Historical Society.
- Clark - The Clark Historical Society was founded in 1970. It operates the Dr. William Robinson Plantation House Museum, built in 1690 by a doctor from Scotland.
- Cranford - The Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board is an official township committee body, while the Cranford Historical Society itself is citizen-run. It is located in the Hanson House in Hanson Park on Springfield Avenue and maintains the Crane-Phillips House (c. 1845) a couple of blocks south on North Union Avenue as a museum.
- Garwood - Garwood Historical Committee.
- Hillside - The Hillside Historical Society, founded in 1975, meets at the Woodruff House.
- Kenilworth - The Kenilworth Historical Society dates to 1974. It runs the Oswald J. Nitschke House (c. 1880).
- Linden - The Linden Society for Historical Preservation is an offshoot of an official cultural board in the city.
- Mountainside - The Mountainside Restoration Committee, Inc. is also called the Mountainside Historic Committee, founded in 1984.
- Plainfield - The Historical Society of Plainfield is headquartered at the Nathaniel Drake House Museum, built in 1746 on the Old York Road.
- Rahway - The Rahway Historical Society is now called the Merchants' and Drovers' Tavern Museum Association.
- Scotch Plains and Fanwood - The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Historical Society runs the Osborn Cannonball House.
- Springfield - The Historic Cannon Ball House serves as the home of the Springfield Historical Society.
- Westfield - The Westfield Historical Society is in the Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center, a structure from the 1870s. The Society also runs the Miller-Cory House Museum, in a home that dates back to the 1740s.
Other historical preservation groups
- Friends of Rahway River Parkway is dedicated to preserving Olmsted design principles and features of county parkland along the Rahway River as it flows to the Arthur Kill.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 105.40 square miles (273.0 km2), including 102.86 square miles (266.4 km2) of land (97.6%) and 2.55 square miles (6.6 km2) of water (2.4%).
Much of Union County is relatively flat and low-lying. Only in the northwestern corner does any significant relief appear as the Watchung Mountains cross the county. It is there that highest elevations, two areas approximately 560 feet (170 m) above sea level, are found in Berkeley Heights. The lowest elevation is sea level along the eastern shore.
Rivers, lakes and streams
- Arthur Kill
- Rahway River
- Elizabeth River
- Nomahegan Brook
- Marshes Creek
- Morses Creek
- Peach Orchard Brook
- Robinson's Brook
Climate and weather
|Elizabeth, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years,[when?] average temperatures in the county seat of Elizabeth have ranged from a low of 24 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −14 °F (−26 °C) was recorded in February 1934 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1993. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.99 inches (76 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in July. In Berkeley Heights average monthly temperatures range from 29.4° F in January to 74.7° F in July.  The climate in the county is hot-summer humid continental (Dfa) except east of approximately the New Jersey Turnpike where a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) exists.
Union County adjoins the following counties:
- Essex County – north
- Hudson County – northeast
- Richmond County, New York – east
- Middlesex County – south
- Somerset County – west
- Morris County – northwest
Parks and recreation
County parks are maintained and operated by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, successor agency to the Union County Park Commission.
The plan of any County Park System should be based on the principle that such system would benefit the whole population of the county, that it should be convenient and easily accessible to the large centers of population and that above all else, it should take over and preserve for park purposes land adoptable for parks before it is utilized for residences, factories or other purposes.
- Ash Brook Reservation
- Black Brook Park
- Briant Park
- Brookside Park
- Cedar Brook Park. Home to the Shakespeare Garden in Plainfield.
- Echo Lake Park
- Westfield and Mountainside
- The privately owned Echo Lake Country Club donated the parkland for this park in the 1920s. The name arises from the echo heard off the high bluff on the far side of the lake. Echo Lake itself was created by damning when mills were established on Nomahegan Brook, a tributary of the Rahway River. The Great Minisink Trail passed by Echo Lake Park.
- Elizabeth River Parkway
- Green Brook Park
- Hidden Valley Park Its eastern border is adjacent to the now-closed Houdaille Quarry.
- Houdaille Quarry (closed to public)
- Lenape Park
- In the 1930s, workers digging Lenape Lake found mastodon bones here.
- Madison Avenue Park
- Mattano Park. This park is named for a Lenape tribal leader, whose name was recorded by colonists as Mattano. In 1664, a group called the Elizabethtown Associates bought land in the Union County area from Mattano and another Lenape leader named Warinanco.
- MacConnell Park; Named for the first town doctor in Cranford, New Jersey
- Milton Lake Park
- Mindowaskin Park
- Nomahegan Park
- Contains Nomahegan Park Pond and encircles the Rahway River.
- Oak Ridge Park
- Passaic River Parkway
- Phil Rizzuto Park
- Ponderosa Farm Park
- Rahway River Park
- Environmental groups protested at the building of a stadium here in 2016. The movement gave birth to Friends of Rahway River Parkway.
- Rahway River Parkway
- Tamaques Park
- Unami Park
- Watchung Reservation
- Warinanco Park; Named for the Native American known as "Warinanco." Designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm.
Other notable parks
Parks that are not managed by county government include:
- Hawk Rise Sanctuary. A bird sanctuary built in 2012 on banks of Rahway River in Linden. Hawk Rise Sanctuary is a 95-acre ecological preserve and wetland complex in Linden in an area previously concealed by various industrial land uses. Its trails were created adjacent to the former Linden Landfill area by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the city of Linden and the New Jersey Audubon Society. The trails in the Hawk Rise forest are boardwalk, with some continuing as gravel along the edge of the former Linden Landfill. It has an overlook area where hikers can view the Rahway River and nearby marshes. It has been open to the public since 2012. The site includes diverse environments: forested wetlands, vernal pools, grasslands, shrublands, salt marsh, mudflats, a pond, and the tidal Rahway River. 163 bird species have been spotted there. It has been reported as vandalized.
- Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit.
- Kennedy Reservation in Union.
- The grounds of Liberty Hall museum near the campus of Kean University in Union and Elizabeth.
Rahway River Parkway
The Rahway River Parkway is a greenway of parkland that hugs the Rahway River and its tributaries, such as Nomahegan Brook. It was the inaugural project of the Union County Parks Commission designed in the 1920s by the Olmsted Brothers firm, who were the sons of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Several county and municipal parks run along the Rahway River.
Elizabeth River Parkway
The Elizabeth River Parkway is a greenway of parkland alongside the Elizabeth River and its tributaries. It runs through Kean University and Liberty Hall Museum on the river's way to the Arthur Kill. The Elizabeth River Parkway is broken down into separate sections.
- Chatfield/Zimmerman - Hillside and Union Township
- Lightning Brook - Hillside and Union
- Pruden/Pearl Oval - Elizabeth
- Salem/Rutgers/Liberty - Hillside and Union
- Woodruff/Conant Street - Hillside and Union
- Ursino - Hillside and Union Township
Public golf courses
Union County's Division of Golf Operations runs two golf courses, which offer golf lessons and practice areas.
- Ash Brook Golf Course in Scotch Plains.
- Galloping Hill Golf Course and Golf Learning Center in Kenilworth. The facility, which hosts the headquarters of the New Jersey State Golf Association, hosted the 2016 New Jersey State Open golf tournament, the first public golf course to host the tournament since it was established in 1921.
Private golf courses
- Baltusrol Golf Club is a private 36-hole golf club in Springfield founded in 1895 by Louis Keller. Both courses were originally designed by A. W. Tillinghast in 1918. The club has hosted seven U.S. Opens and the 2005 and 2016 PGA Championships.
- Echo Lake Country Club is a private, member-owned country club located in Westfield, founded in 1899. The 18-hole golf course was designed by Donald Ross in 1913.
- Hyatt Hills Golf Complex in Clark.
- Shackamaxon Country Club
- Suburban Golf Club
Other recreational facilities
- Clark Community Pool
- Cranford Pool
- Oak Ridge Archery Range
- Trailside Nature and Science Center at Watchung Reservation
- Warinanco Ice Skating Rink
- Wheeler Park
- Westfield Memorial Pool
- County Pool – Wheeler Park (Linden)
- County Pool – Rahway River Park (Rahway)
Union County Park Line rail trail is a proposed walking and/or biking trail proposed on old railroad tracks. Two abandoned rails exist in the county.
The City of Summit and the Summit Park Line Foundation are working on turning the line from Morris Avenue to Briant Park in Summit into a rail trail that will be approximately one mile long. This rail trail, potentially called the Summit Park Line, could provide a greenway to connect several county parks, akin to a Summit High Line. A path could run directly from Summit to the Arthur Kill in Linden, New Jersey on the Rahway Valley Railroad and the Staten Island Rapid Transit line.
The Summit city council applied for a $1 million grant toward the Summit Park Line project in November 2016. "If Summit is able to complete the project, it might help other parts of the greenway come through," said Union County Public Relations Coordinator, Sebastian Delia.
The Rahway Valley Railroad runs from Summit to Roselle Park. Beginning in Hidden Valley Park, the railroad right-of-way continues by connecting Houdaille Quarry, Briant Park, Meisel Park, Rahway River Parkway, Galloping Hill Golf Course and Black Brook Park. The ending of the railway is on Westfield Avenue in Roselle Park. The Staten Island Rapid Transit runs from Cranford to Staten Island, although the project would only include the section that runs from Cranford to Linden. The possible inception in Cranford would be a lot on South Avenue East. The ending of this trail would be in Linden at an empty lot. A boardwalk would run over the existing tracks to ease line reactivation.
The impact of the controversial planned Pilgrim Pipeline, which would use this particular abandoned rail line to pipe crude oil, kerosene, and diesel fuel through Cranford and Roselle, is not known.
|Historical sources: 1790–1990|
2010 2000–2010 2010-2018
Union County is diverse ethnically. Berkeley Heights, Clark, Roselle Park, Cranford, Kenilworth, Linden, New Providence, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit, Union and Westfield have high percentages of Italian American residents. Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle and Union all have large African American communities. Roselle Park has a notably large Indian American community, while Roselle Park, Roselle, Linden, Rahway, Plainfield and particularly Elizabeth have fast-growing Hispanic and Portuguese populations.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 536,499 people, 188,118 households, and 134,692.488 families living in the county. The population density was 5,216.1 per square mile (2,013.9/km2). There were 199,489 housing units at an average density of 1,939.5 per square mile (748.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.33% (329,052) White, 22.05% (118,313) Black or African American, 0.39% (2,080) Native American, 4.63% (24,839) Asian, 0.03% (163) Pacific Islander, 8.48% (45,496) from other races, and 3.09% (16,556) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.34% (146,704) of the population.
There were 188,118 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.6% 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 2.82 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.7 males.
At the 2000 United States Census, there were 522,541 people, 186,124 households and 133,264 families residing in the county. The population density was 5,059 per square mile (1,953/km²). There were 192,945 housing units at an average density of 1,868 per square mile (721/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.51% White, 20.78% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.37% from other races, and 3.25% from two or more races. 19.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those residents listing their ancestry, 13.6% were of Italian, 11.1% Irish, 8.8% German and 7.6% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 186,124 households of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.60% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 23.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.
24.90% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.
The median household income was $55,339 and the median family income was $65,234. Males had a median income of $44,544 compared with $32,487 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,992. About 6.3% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Union County is governed by a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The members are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats coming up for election each year. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of the County. The Freeholders perform the county's legislative and executive functions. In their legislative role, they formulate and adopt a budget and set county policies and procedures. In their executive role, they oversee county spending and functioning. Many of the administrative duties are delegated by the Board of Chosen Freeholders to the County Manager. Each of the freeholders serves on various committees and boards as a part of their duties. These include committees on Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works and Policy. In addition, the Board oversees the county's Open Space Trust Fund. Day-to-day operation of the county and its departments is supervised by an appointed County Manager, Edward Oatman. In 2016, freeholders were paid $30,692, while the Freeholder vice chairman received $31,732 and the Freeholder chairman had an annual salary of $32,773.
- Freeholder Chairman Bette Jane Kowalski (D, [[Cranford, New Jersey], term as freeholder ends December 31, 2019; term as chairman ends 2019)
- Freeholder Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, term as vice chairman ends 2019)
- Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded (D, Westfield, 2021)
- Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2020)
- Angela R. Garretson (D, Hillside, 2020)
- Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, 2020)
- Andrea Staten (D, Roselle, 2021)
- Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2019
- Rebecca Williams (D, Plainfield, 2019; appointed to serve an unexpired term)
In June 2018, Rebecca Williams was appointed to fill the seat expiring in December 2019 that had been held by Linda Carter until she resigned from office to fill a vacant seat in the New Jersey General Assembly; William will served on an interim basis until the November 2018 general election, when voters will select a candidate to serve the balance of the term of office.
Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term). Union County's constitutional officers are:
- County clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union Township, 2020)
- Sheriff Peter Corvelli (D, Kenilworth, 2020),
- Surrogate James S. Lacorte (D, Elizabeth, 2024)
Union County constitutes Vicinage 12 of the New Jersey Superior Court and is seated at the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth, with additional facilities also located in Elizabeth; the Assignment Judge for Vicinage 12 is Karen M. Cassidy.
Law enforcement at the county level includes the Union County Police Department, the Union County Sheriff's Office, and the Union County Prosecutor's Office. Union County's Acting Prosecutor is Michael A. Monahan.
Four Congressional Districts cover the county, including portions of the 7th, 8th, 10th and 12th Districts. For the 116th United States Congress. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski (D, Rocky Hill). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne Jr. (D, Newark). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).
The county is part of the 20th, 21st and 22nd Districts in the New Jersey Legislature. For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 20th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Cryan (D, Union Township, Union County) and in the General Assembly by Jamel Holley (D, Roselle) and Annette Quijano (D, Elizabeth). For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Thomas Kean Jr. (R, Westfield) and in the General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit). For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 22nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nicholas Scutari (D, Linden) and in the General Assembly by Linda Carter (politician) (D, Plainfield) and James J. Kennedy (D, Rahway). Carter was appointed in May 2018 to fill the vacant seat left following the death of Jerry Green the previous month after 26 years of service.
On March 23, 2011, there were a total of 286,071 registered voters in Union County, of whom 119,520 (41.8%) were registered as Democrats, 43,643 (15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 122,799 (42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 109 voters registered to other parties. Among the county's 2010 Census population, 53.3% were registered to vote, including 70.6% of those ages 18 and over.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 139,752 votes here (66.0%), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 68,314 votes (32.3%) and other candidates with 1,765 votes (0.8%), among the 211,597 ballots cast by the county's 307,628 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.8%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 141,417 votes here (63.1%), ahead of Republican John McCain with 78,768 votes (35.2%) and other candidates with 1,912 votes (0.9%), among the 223,951 ballots cast by the county's 299,762 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 119,372 votes here (58.3%), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 82,517 votes (40.3%) and other candidates with 1,498 votes (0.7%), among the 204,759 ballots cast by the county's 283,270 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.3%.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 68,867 ballots cast (50.6%), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 56,769 votes (41.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 7,999 votes (5.9%) and other candidates with 1,058 votes (0.8%), among the 136,110 ballots cast by the county's 292,490 registered voters, yielding a 46.5% turnout.
The Union County Sheriff's Office is located in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
It is currently headed by Peter Corvelli.
There are two top deputies, known as undersheriffs, are Dennis Burke and Amilcar Colon.
A 1981 investigation of the Union County Jail reviewed issues relating to overcrowding, escapes, escape attempts and suicides in the detention facility.
The New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 108 is the official labor union and collective bargaining agent for the Sheriff's Officers of Union County. This body is subdivided into Local 108 for the line officers and Local 108A for the supervisors (sergeants, lieutenants, & captains). The official website for this union is WWW.NJSPBALOCAL108.COM.
Union County Police
Union County is one of two counties with a county police department. The Union County Police Department operates independently of the Sheriff's office. The Union County Police Department originally began as the Union County Park Police. The Union County Police are tasked with patrolling Union County's properties. They also supplement the local municipalities with police presence and patrol when requested. Captain James Debbie is the current Officer in Charge.
The Union County Police have several divisions and are relied upon for their multiple services. Currently assigned are Patrol, Detective Bureau, Emergency Services Unit, and the Marine Unit. Union County Regional 911 and Dispatch is one of the many services that the County Police provide. They are the primary PSAP for multiple municipalities, provide police/fire/EMS dispatch, dispatch medics, and Union County Fire Mutual Aid. The PD belongs to the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, Local 73.
The only line of duty death was under the Union County Park Police. After two years of service, Patrolman Fitzpatrick was killed by a drunk driver October 17, 1928.
Kean University, a co-educational, public research university dating back to 1855 is located in Union and Hillside, serving nearly 13,000 undergraduates. Kean University educates its students in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions; it is best known for its programs in the humanities and social sciences and in education, graduating the most teachers in the state of New Jersey annually, along with a physical therapy program which it holds in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Union County College is the two-year community college for Union County, one of a network of 19 county colleges in New Jersey. Union County College was founded in 1933 and has campuses in Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.
Linden Public Library serves both Linden and other towns in Union County.
The top employers in 2011, according to the Union County Economic Development Corporation, were:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|1||Merck & Co.||10,000|
|2||New England Motor Freight||3,900|
|3||USI Services Group||3,200|
|4||Overlook Medical Center||2,961|
|7||Children's Specialized Hospital||1,440|
The county is served by rail, air, highways and ports.
Roads and highways
As of 2010[update], the county had a total of 1,418.31 miles (2,282.55 km) of roadways, of which 1,158.45 miles (1,864.34 km) were maintained by the local municipality, 176.32 miles (283.76 km) by Union County and 66.22 miles (106.57 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 17.32 miles (27.87 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Major highways which traverse the county include the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), Garden State Parkway, Interstate 78, Interstate 278, U.S. Route 1/9, U.S. Route 22, Route 24. Route 27, Route 28, Route 35, Route 82, Route 124, Route 439, and the Goethals Bridge. At 0.15 miles, Route 59, located entirely in Union County, is the shortest state highway in New Jersey.
Passenger rail service is provide by NJ Transit via the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Raritan Valley Line, the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch. Freight service is provided by on Conrail's Lehigh Line and Chemical Coast Branch. Freight and passenger rail service was provided by the Rahway Valley Railroad from 1897 until 1992 when the short line closed due to lack of customers.
Municipalities in Union County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area) are:
(with map key)
|Berkeley Heights (21)||township||13,183||4,596||6.27||0.05||6.21||2,122.4||739.9||Murray Hill (part)|
|New Providence (2)||borough||12,171||4,537||3.66||0.02||3.64||3,343.4||1,246.3||Murray Hill (part)|
|Roselle Park (9)||borough||13,297||5,231||1.23||0.00||1.23||10,792.7||4,245.8|
|Scotch Plains (20)||township||23,510||8,896||9.05||0.03||9.02||2,606.9||986.4|
Arts and culture
- The Union County Performing Arts Center, located in the Rahway Arts District, offers professional productions in music and theater as well as training in the performing arts.
- Kean Stage is the professional performing arts arm of Kean University. It is home to Wilkins Theatre on the Kean Main Campus in Union, Enlow Recital Hall directly across the Elizabeth River in East Campus in Hillside, as well as Premiere Stages, the professional equity theater company in residence at Kean University.
- The Cranford Dramatic Club is New Jersey's oldest continually producing theater and has been putting on theatrical productions since its establishment in 1919.
- Tomasulo Art Gallery is in the MacKay Library at Union County College's Cranford campus.
- The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, located in Berkeley Heights and New Providence, is a center for music training and other training in performing arts, particularly aimed at children. It consists of the Performing Arts School (formerly Wharton Music Center), New Jersey Youth Symphony, and Paterson Music Project.
- The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1919, making it the state's oldest community orchestra.
- The duCret School of Art in Plainfield was founded in 1926.
- The Swain Gallery, in Plainfield, was founded in 1868 and is the oldest privately owned art gallery in the state.
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- Staff. "Census 2010 data show population and diversity trends", USA Today. Accessed October 2, 2013. Click on "Population per Square Mile" to sort counties nationwide by descending population density, which was calculated based on total land area (including water) and lists Union as 18th and Essex as 14th.
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- http://unionnewsdaily.com/news/2465[permanent dead link]
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- County of Union. "Plainfield Councilwoman Rebecca Williams named to freeholder board", Courier News, June 1, 2018. Accessed October 21, 2018. "Plainfield Councilwoman Rebecca Williams has been appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Williams was chosen by the Union County Democratic Committee to fill the term vacated by former Freeholder Linda Carter, who resigned to become a state Assemblywoman representing the 22nd Legislative District, replacing the late Jerry Green."
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- Biography, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Watson Coleman and her husband William reside in Ewing Township and are blessed to have three sons; William, Troy, and Jared and three grandchildren; William, Kamryn and Ashanee."
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- Russell, Suzanne. "Linda Carter sworn into General Assembly, replacing Jerry Green", Courier News, May 24, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018. "Former Union County Freeholder Linda Carter was sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday, representing the 22nd Legislative District communities in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties.... Carter replaces Assemblyman Jerry Green, 79, of Plainfield, who died April 18. Green served 26 years in the assembly."
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- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 8,429 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,484 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 82 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 45 votes.
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- Haydon, Tom. "Ralph Froehlich, longest-serving sheriff in NJ history, was told in 1970s he'd never win re-election", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, July 22, 2014. Accessed March 22, 2017. "For 13 terms and 37 years, Froehlich presided over the Union County Sheriff's Office, developing programs that helped protect children and victims of domestic violence, fighting for tougher gun-control laws and working to save money by consolidating services. ... Froehlich, the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history, died Sunday night at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth after a battle with cancer, county officials said."
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- Roberts, Russell. New Jersey's Atlantic Shore: From Sandy Hook to Atlantic City & on to Cape May, p. 3. Hunter Publishing, 2011. ISBN 9781588439796. Accessed October 27, 2019. "The shortest highway in America is in New Jersey. Route 59, clocking in at a whopping 792 feet, is located on the border of Cranford and Garwood. It was originally built in 1931 to be part of Route 22, but plans changed."
- Gladstone Branch, NJ Transit. Accessed October 6, 2013.
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- Union County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed October 6, 2013.
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- Staff. "Joel Perry, guitarist and educator, has all the jazz", Courier News, December 3, 2016. Accessed January 3, 2017. "The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts' mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, according to the news release. Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, New Jersey and reaches students from 13 counties."
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- Dennis, Anita. "New Jersey & Co.; The Selling of New Jersey, and Its Difficulties", The New York Times, October 1, 2000. Accessed February 25, 2017. "In addition, the Chinese province has a long relationship with the state and with Union County. Zheijiang and New Jersey are sister states, and Wenzhou, another city in the province, has been a sister city with Union County for the past 19 years -- though there has been little trade between them."