Chatham Township

New Jersey

Quick Facts

Place Type


Administrative Entity

Morris County

Time Zone



Feb. 12, 1806


249.0 meters


9.358 square kilometers

FIPS 55-3 Code




Coordinates Latitude: 40.7265893 Longitude: -74.4172591

Demographics & Economic Data

Median Age
Number Of Companies
Percent High School Grad Or Higher
Total Housing Units
Median Household Income
Foreign Born Population
Percent Below Poverty Level





This article is about a township in New Jersey, for an adjacent borough, see Chatham Borough. For more information about their shared services, including school and library systems, see The Chathams.Chatham Township is a township located in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 10,452, reflecting an increase of 366 (+3.6%) from the 10,086 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 725 (+7.7%) from the 9,361 counted in the 1990 Census.



Chatham Township was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 12, 1806, from portions of Hanover Township and Morris Township. At the time Chatham Township was created, it included the communities of Chatham, Green Village and Bottle Hill (Madison), together with the extensive rural areas surrounding these communities, with each community retaining its own distinct existence and identity. Before the close of that century however, the township would lose all except one of the settlements under its jurisdiction, as they seceded from the township and established their own municipal governments.
The community known as Bottle Hill was established in the early eighteenth century in Morris Township when the area was within the English Province of New Jersey. Bottle Hill changed its name to Madison in 1834 to honor President James Madison. On December 27, 1889, Madison was incorporated as an independent borough and its former village boundaries were expanded between 1891 - 1899 with annexed portions of rural lands that had formerly been within the township.The settlement of Chatham had been established in 1710 as John Day's Bridge and, in 1773 when New Jersey was an English province, adopted the name of Chatham to honor William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, a British supporter of the colonial cause. This village also had been within Morris Township and it was an active community in the Revolutionary War. On August 19, 1892, Chatham seceded from the new township that had taken its name and adopted the village form of government established in the United States for the new state of New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, Chatham adopted the borough form of government on March 1, 1897.Florham Park was formed from portions of the township on March 20, 1899.Most of Green Village has always been within the township's jurisdiction.
In 1773, the village John Day's Bridge, a community governed by the English township of Morris since its settlement in 1710, was renamed as, Chatham, in honor of Sir William Pitt, a British prime minister and the first Earl of Chatham, who was most favorable toward the colonists of the Province of New Jersey in issues with the British government. Participation in the Revolutionary War was significant by the residents of Chatham. Nearby Morristown was the military center of the revolution, where the winter headquarters were established twice, and revolutionary troops were active in the entire area regularly.
The township form of government is the oldest form of municipal government in the state of New Jersey following the revolution. That form of local government dates back to New Jersey's Township Act of 1798. Chatham Township was formed on February 12, 1806, with jurisdiction over the area of present-day Chatham Borough several communities and settlements, including some that had been part of Hanover and Morris Townships. A great deal of open, swampy, and mountainous land was included with the hamlets.
For a while, the new township included what are now Madison, Chatham Borough and Florham Park, as well as all of Green Village and all of the lands still governed by Chatham Township, but over time these settlements began to secede because of contention over insufficient funding of their projects. Disposition of funds from taxes was perceived as inequitable to the settled areas given their needs versus that of the rural areas, causing them to form their own taxation and governance systems.Of the pre-revolutionary settlements included in its jurisdiction when it was formed, only portions of Green Village have remained governed by Chatham Township, which has never had a community center.
On December 27, 1889, based on the results of a referendum passed three days earlier, the village of Madison seceded from Chatham Township and adopted the borough form of government in order to develop a local water supply system for its population of 3,250. Madison annexed additional portions of Chatham Township in 1891, and annexed more each year from 1894–1898, followed finally, by an exchange of some lands in 1899 with Chatham Township.In the midst of these changes, in 1892 "...Chatham Village found itself at odds with the rest of the township. Although village residents paid 40 percent of the township taxes, they got only 7 percent of the receipts in services. The village had to raise its own money to install kerosene street lamps and its roads were in poor repair. As a result, the village voted on August 9, 1892, to secede from the township."The municipality that is now Florham Park was originally part of Hanover Township, before being included in the township formed in 1806 as Chatham Township. When it seceded from Chatham Township, it incorporated as a borough as Florham Park on March 20, 1899.The boundaries of Chatham Township have remained unchanged since 1899.
Post-World War II suburban development ensued in the 1950s when farm lands, greenhouses, and flower nurseries began to be sold off. Families moved out to this rural suburban area as ownership of automobiles increased dramatically.
The township experienced even more extensive residential development, starting with the 1960s and 1970s, when rezoning enabled residential development of the open spaces and several farms and woodlands were sold off to developers. For several generations, the largest, the Schwartz Farm had produced dairy products that were sold in local stores and schools and that were delivered to homes on scheduled routes. Former rose farms became two major shopping centers near the corner of Shunpike Road and Southern Boulevard. The corner was known as Hickory Tree, named for a hickory tree planted during President Madison's term.Heyl Roses in Green Village was the last and oldest commercial rose and cut flower grower in New Jersey, until its closure in 1999.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 9.358 square miles (24.236 km2), including 8.978 square miles (23.253 km2) of land and 0.380 square miles (0.983 km2) of water (4.06%).Chatham Township is located about 25 miles (40 km) west of New York City on the eastern edge of Morris County. Chatham Township's neighboring towns to the south are Union County communities Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights. Long Hill Township and Harding Township/New Vernon to the west, Madison to the north, and Chatham Borough to the east all of which lie within Morris County.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Floral Hill, Great Swamp, Green Village (partially in Harding Township), Hickory Tree, Mount Vernon and The Orchard.Green Village is the site of the Rolling Knolls Landfill, a landfill identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site. The landfill is bordered on two sides by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and was formerly known as Miele's Dump, after owner Robert Miele. In operation from the 1930s until the late 1960s, the landfill accepted a wide variety of waste material from municipal and industrial sources, including residential septage and pharmaceutical materials. In 2010, the township designated the site as a redevelopment zone, with the possibility that the area could be remediated as a solar farm.


Chatham Township has a humid subtropical climate and is slightly more variant (lows are colder, highs are warmer) than its neighbor 20 miles (32 km) east: New York City.


Census 2010

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,452 people, 3,915 households, and 2,720.925 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,164.2 per square mile (449.5/km2). There were 4,128 housing units at an average density of 459.8 per square mile (177.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 90.84% (9,495) White, 0.75% (78) Black or African American, 0.08% (8) Native American, 6.36% (665) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 0.38% (40) from other races, and 1.58% (165) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.34% (349) of the population.There were 3,915 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.2% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.29.In the township, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 31.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.3 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 85.5 males.The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $127,679 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,764) and the median family income was $182,216 (+/- $30,473). Males had a median income of $144,400 (+/- $29,559) versus $61,912 (+/- $8,237) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $78,905 (+/- $6,319). About 1.2% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 1.5% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 10,086 people, 3,920 households, and 2,771 families residing in Chatham Township. The population density was 1,081.0 people per square mile (417.4/km2). There were 4,019 housing units at an average density of 430.8 per square mile (166.3/km2). The racial makeup was 93.71% White, 0.45% African American, 0.06% Native American, 4.81% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.There were 3,920 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.11.The population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.The median income for a household was $106,208, and the median income for a family was $131,609. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $58,750 for females. The per capita income was $65,497. About 1.9% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 2.9% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Chatham Township is governed under the township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as mayor. The ceremonial mayor serves as the chair of the township committee and has powers vested in the mayor's office by general law.
The township committee is the legislative branch of the community's government and establishes policies for the administration of the various departments. The committee appoints the township administrator who is responsible for carrying out those policies and overseeing the day-to-day operations. Subcommittees of the township committee are public safety; public works; planning, engineering, and land use; parks and recreation; general administration; and finance. Two members of the township committee serve on each and provide oversight to the departments.As of January 2019, members of the Chatham Township Committee are Mayor of Chatham Borough, New Jersey, Tayfun Selen (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2019; term as mayor ends December 31, 2019), Deputy Mayor Michael J. Kelly (R, term on committee ends 2020 and term as deputy mayor ends December 31, 2019), Karen M. Swartz (R, 2020), Curtis Ritter (R, 2019), and Tracy Ness (D, 2021).In September 2017, Tayfun Selen took office after being selected from three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the seat expiring in December 2019 that had been held by John Maurer until his resignation from office the previous month after announcing that he was moving out of the township.

Federal, state, and county representation

Chatham Township is located in the 11th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 27th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Chatham Township had been in the 21st state legislative district.For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 27th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Richard Codey (D, Roseland) and in the General Assembly by Mila Jasey (D, South Orange) and John F. McKeon (D, West Orange). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni. As of 2016, Morris County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Kathryn A. DeFillippo (Roxbury Township, term ends December 31, 2016),
Deputy Freeholder William "Hank" Lyon (Montville, 2017),
Douglas Cabana (Boonton Township, 2016),
John Cesaro (Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, 2018),
Thomas J. Mastrangelo (Montville, 2016),
Christine Myers (Mendham Township, 2018), and
Deborah Smith (Denville, 2018). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Ann F. Grossi (Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, 2018),
Sheriff Edward V. Rochford (Morris Plains, 2016) and
Surrogate John Pecoraro (Mendham Borough, 2019).


As of May 17, 2016, there were a total of 7,925 registered voters in Chatham Township, of which 1,528 (19.28%) were registered as Democrats, 3,266 (38.4%) were registered as Republicans and 3,131 (39.5%) were registered as either Unaffiliated or to other parties.In the 2016 presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received 50.29% of the vote (3,057 cast), ahead of Republican Donald Trump with 44.35% (2,696 votes), and other candidates with 5.3% 326 votes, including 119 write-in votes, among the 6,169 ballots cast by the township's 8,282 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.4%In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 61.7% of the vote (3,393 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 37.6% (2,064 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (39 votes), among the 5,521 ballots cast by the township's 7,810 registered voters (25 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 70.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 53.8% of the vote (3,259 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 44.6% (2,699 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (59 votes), among the 6,053 ballots cast by the township's 7,639 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 59.3% of the vote (3,499 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 39.5% (2,334 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (48 votes), among the 5,905 ballots cast by the township's 7,614 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.6.In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 75.3% of the vote (2,594 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 23.6% (814 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (39 votes), among the 3,499 ballots cast by the township's 7,748 registered voters (52 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 45.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.7% of the vote (2,583 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 29.1% (1,236 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 9.5% (405 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (13 votes), among the 4,252 ballots cast by the township's 7,407 registered voters, yielding a 57.4% turnout.

Shared services

Chatham Township shares various joint public services with Chatham Borough: the recreation program, the library (since 1974), the school district (created in 1986), the municipal court, and medical emergency squad (since 1936).
Together with Chatham Borough, Madison, and Harding Township, Chatham Township became a member of a joint municipal court, which was created in 2010 and is located in Madison.


Public schools

Chatham Borough and Chatham Township held elections in November 1986 to consider joining their (at the time separate) school districts. This proposal was supported by the voters of both communities and since then, the two municipalities have shared a regionalized school district, the School District of the Chathams.As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's six schools had an enrollment of 4,057 students and 270.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 15.00:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Milton Avenue School (grades PreK - 3; 371 students),
Southern Boulevard School (K - 3; 491),
Washington Avenue School (K - 3; 448),
Lafayette School (4 & 5; 641),
Chatham Middle School (6 - 8; 961) and
Chatham High School (9 - 12; 1,145).For the 2004-05 school year, Chatham High School was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. Milton Avenue School was one of 11 in the state to be recognized in 2014 by the United States Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The district's high school was the 1st-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 20th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 8th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.

Private school

Chatham Day School, founded in 1998, is a private coeducational day school located in Chatham Township, serving students in preschool through eighth grade. The school has a total enrollment of 115 students. Founded in 1998, the school changed its name from The Darcy School after finding a permanent campus in Chatham Township in 2005.


Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 48.14 miles (77.47 km) of roadways, of which 37.14 miles (59.77 km) were maintained by the municipality and 11.00 miles (17.70 km) by Morris County.No Interstate, U.S. or state highways cross Chatham Township. The only significant roads are minor county routes such as County Route 646 and County Route 647. However, Interstate 78 and Interstate 287 are both located in adjacent municipalities.

Public transportation

NJ Transit stops at the Chatham station to provide commuter service on the Morristown Line, with trains heading to the Hoboken Terminal and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. It is a short drive from most of the township to the stations in Madison and Chatham, while the southern part of the township is closer to the Murray Hill station on the Gladstone Branch.NJ Transit local bus service had been provided on the MCM8 route.

Mail service

Chatham Township residents receive mail service through the post offices for Green Village and Chatham, depending on their ZIP Code. Green Village, a community partially located within Chatham Township, has a ZIP Code of 07935 and a post office located at 372 Green Village Road. The remaining area of Chatham Township (which constitutes the majority of its area) is served by the Chatham post office, whose ZIP Code is 07928. The main Chatham post office is located at 219 Main Street, across from the library, and its annex is in the old post office, around the corner at 19 Railroad Plaza facing the fire station.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Chatham Township include:

Madame Bey (c. 1881 - 1942), Turkish-born opera singer who ran a camp for boxers from 1923 until her death.
Edward Everett Bruen (1859-1938), first Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey.
Dan Canter (born 1961), soccer defender who played three seasons in the North American Soccer League and three in Major Indoor Soccer League, in addition to playing with the United States men's national soccer team.
Chris Carlin (born 1972), radio producer and sportscaster at WFAN Sports Radio 66 in New York City.
Dave Given (born 1954), former ice hockey right winger who played one game in the World Hockey Association for the Vancouver Blazers.
Kathleen Hagen (1945-2015), physician who was convicted of murdering her parents by asphyxiation in their Chatham Township home.
Don Herrmann (born 1947), former wide receiver in the National Football League who played for the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints.
Peter Kuhn (1955-2009), race car driver who won both the USAC and SCCA Formula Super Vee championships in 1980.
Andrew Prendeville (born 1981), professional automobile racer.
Billy Walsh (born 1975), former professional soccer player who played for the MetroStars.


Online Resources