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Welcome > Local Info > About The Chathams ...

Chatham, NJ:  Voted Top 10 Best Places to Live 2005

The Chathams

Voted number 9 out of 100 towns considered nationwide in Money Magazine’s Top Best Places to Live 2005 and now NJ Monthly’s Best Place to Live 2007, Chatham embodies small town America with the added distinction of having top rated schools and an easy commute into New York City, just 24 miles away.Main Street in downtown Chatham is lined with colonial storefronts, picket fences, the town library, restaurants and shops.Described by Money Magazine as feelings more like a “small New England town than a bustling Big Apple burb,” Chatham’s colonial charm, convenience, sense of community, top schools and Morris County taxes are just some of the highlights of this great community.


Main Street in Chatham Borough has a quaint, colonial village feel.With a train station, restaurants, cafes, and a green complete with gazebo, Chatham Borough is truly an all-American town.Many neighborhoods are within an easy walking distance to town, schools and parks.The area offers tree lines streets with single family homes with landscaped gardens, as well as luxury condominiums and brick rental apartments.Chatham Borough is only 35 minute drive to NYC or 45 minutes into Midtown via NJ Transit commuter rail. Major highways and top notch shopping at the famous Mall at Short Hills are just minutes away.


Expanding outward toward the South and West of the Borough lies Chatham Township.The Township is characterized by somewhat sleepier neighborhoods, generally larger properties and relatively newer developments.Chatham Township, although not within walking distance to the conveniences of downtown Chatham Borough, is just a short drive away.The Chatham Regional school systems services both the Township and the Borough.


As the melting Wisconsin Glacier slowly retreated north 20,000 years ago, it left behind Lake Passaic in the curves of the Watchung Mountains. The land that is now Chatham was at the bottom of that lake, nearly 160 feet below the surface. The only visible sign of what would become Chatham was a long island formed by the top of the hill at Fairmount Avenue.

Lake Passaic drained into the sea when an ice cap melted. The Passaic River slowly made its winding path through the marshlands. Eventually the land became habitable, roamed by mastodons and other prehistoric animals.

Six or seven thousand years ago, the first people to settle in the area were the Minsi group of the Lenni Lenape ("Original People") Indians. It is believed that the Lenape migrated from Canada and possibly Siberia in search of a warmer climate.

While traveling in the area, the Lenape forded the Passaic River at a shallow point east of Chatham at a place they called "the Crossing of the Fishawack in the Valley of the Great Watchung." "Fishawack" and "Passaic are two versions of the many ways early settlers tried to spell the name they heard the Indians call the river.

In 1680 Sir George Carteret paid the Minsi the equivalent of $55 for land that included the present area of Chatham. The area was named Chatham in 1773 in honor of the English Prime Minister, Sir William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. Chatham citizens were staunch revolutionaries during the revolutionary war and troops were active in the area. After the revolutionary war, in 1801, the Morris Turnpike was built connecting Elizabeth to Morristown through Springfield and Chatham. The Morris and Essex Railroad came to Chatham in 1837. Chatham became a center of the rose growing industry in the 1870's and 80's. The years between the Civil War and World War I were a period of quiet living and simple pleasures. Chatham's reputation as a fine, healthy place to live brought a community of bustling tourist trade. The trains that brought vacationers to Chatham also transported residents to city jobs. At the beginning of the 1900's, there were about 1,800 residents living in Chatham Borough and about 500 in the Township.  Population from the year 2000 US Census was 8,460 in the Borough and 10,086 in the Township.

Morris County had been carved out of Hunterdon County in 1738, due to increasing population in Hunterdon. In 1740 Morris County Courts convened and divided the county into three townships: Morris, Hanover, and Pequannock. The New Jersey Legislature created Chatham Township from parts of Morris, Hanover, Florham Park, Madison and Chatham. As Chatham Borough grew, the township form of government proved inadequate. The borough seceded from Chatham Township and incorporated as a borough in 1897.  Madison and Florham Park also seceded leaving Chatham Township at its present geographic size in 1900. Chatham Township has maintained its "committee" form of government since its founding in 1806.


Single family home prices typically start in the $500,000s.
Single family home prices range up to about $3,000,000.
Condos start in the $340,000s.

The average priced home in the Chathams for the first half of 2006 was $941,156, up 25% from 2005 when the average price for a home was $709,456.Total dollar volume of sold homes is also up 24% over last year.Despite what people believe to be a “buyer’s market” home sales and the average days on market remain steady in 2006.

In 2007, the average sale price in Chatham fell 8% from the same time period of 2006 but total dollar volume rose to its highest level, up 1%.In 2007, 161 properties sold, the average sale price was $870,995 and total dollar volume was $140,230,224.

For comprehensive statistical reports please visit our Area Market Statistics including statistics per school districts. 

*Based on data from the Garden State Multiple Listing Service, comparing the first half of each year (January-June, the most active part of the year for real estate transactions).2007 statistics compared sales from January-April of each year.


Chatham Scores Rule the County

Chatham Courier 2-10-05

THE CHATHAMS—Chatham High School students led Morris County with the highest SAT scores last year according to the NJ Department of Education.

Chatham students taking the SATs recorded an average math score of 605 and an average verbal score of 582, according to the data.That is an average total of 1187.Ranked first in the county, the students’ scores placed them fourteenth out of 341 New Jersey schools.Assistant School Superintendent Anne Dudley acknowledged that the scores were the result of hard work on the part of students, parents and teachers.She also places the scores in perspective making the point that one should not judges the entirety of a school district merely on test results and other schools work just as hard.

SAT scores recorded by students from West Morris Mendham were second in the county, followed by Mountain Lakes, Montville, Madison, Watchung Hills Regional, Randolph, Morristown, West Morris Central and Whippany Park.The distinction marked the second big one for the school district in the course of the last six months.At the beginning of the school year, the federal Department of Education announced that Chatham High School had been officially designated a Blue Ribbon School.

Chatham Public School System

Chatham High School   

Chatham Middle School 

Lafayette School   

Milton School   

Southern Boulevard School    

Washington Avenue School       

2005 State of New Jersey School Report for the Chatham School System  


Parking Permits for the Chatham Borough Railroad Station are available to Chatham Borough residents only, at a yearly cost of $300.00.  At the present time there is a waiting list for Railroad Permits.  Metered parking is available to the general public at $4.00 per day.  All metered spaces are numerically marked and coins or a token should be deposited in the box on the platform and the space number should be entered.  A receipt will be issued as proof of payment.

We also maintain three parking lots for business owners/employees and apartment residents.( Bowers Lane, Center Street East and Center Street West).  At the present time we are also selling a limited number of yearly permits for these lots to Chatham Borough commuters.

Parking tokens may be purchased at various locations: the train station coffee shop, Commerce Bank, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Village Hardware, Liberty Drugs, Chatham Jewelers, and the municipal offices in Chatham Borough and Chatham Township.

Daily spaces are also available to the general public at train stations in Convent Station ($1), Madison ($5) and Summit ($7).  A limited number of annual railroad parking permits are also available in Convent Station ($240), Madison ($500) and Summit ($1600) for the general public.

For further information please contact Barbara Bate at 973-635-0674 x 200.


Borough of Chatham Homepage

Township of Chatham Homepage

Chatham Area Chamber of Commerce

Library of the Chathams

Chatham Emergency Squad

The Chatham Courier (local newspaper)

Chatham Little League

Chatham Youth Lacrosse

The Chatham Community Players

Roberts Chatham Cinema (Independent Movies)


Essex County
Noteworthy: Rock Spring Country Club, East Orange Golf Course (Short Hills)

Morris County
Noteworthy: Madison Golf Club, Spring Brook Country Club

Somerset County
Noteworthy: Foxhollow Golf Club, Somerset Hills Golf Club

Union County
Noteworthy: Baltusrol Golf Club, Canoe Brook Country Club


Mall at Short Hills



Kings Supermarket
393 Main Street

Shop Rite
641 Shunpike Road


Super Stop & Shop
133 Main Street

Whole Foods
222 Main Street


Kings Supermarket
159 Maplewood Avenue


Kings Supermarket
778 Morris Turnpike

Shop Rite
727 Morris Turnpike

Shop Rite
220 Main Street

Whole Foods
187 Millburn Avenue


Kings Supermarket
784 Springfield Avenue


Stop & Shop
219 Elm Street

Trader Joe’s
155 Elm Street



Chatham Wine Shop
465 Main Street

Hickory Wine Cellar
641 Shunpike Road


Madison Wine Cellar
29 Main Street


Celebrated Foods
6 Highland Place

Village Wine Shop
1994 Springfield Avenue


Tulip Chocolatier
537 Millburn Avenue

Wine Library
586 Morris Avenue


Chez Barbara To Go
40 Union Place

Summit Cheese Shop
75 Union Place

The Wine List
417 Springfield Avenue


Westfield Wine Liquors
276 North Avenue East



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Real Estate Tips
Working With An Agent >An Inspired Real Estate Agent

Sometimes a good real estate agent may remind you of a favorite aunt who is always trying to fix up her single nieces or nephews with her friends' sons or daughters. She really gets inspired when her efforts result in a great marriage. Real estate agents match prospective buyers with the perfect home for their family--and when it works, they feel terrific! And more important, their buyers and sellers feel terrific.

Sellers often have a strong attachment to a home that holds many memories for them. It is important for them to know that the new buyers will love it, too. While any sale can potentially become complicated and difficult, problems seem to work themselves out more easily if you have started out on a positive note. This is one important reason why agents work hard to maintain a good rapport between the parties involved in every transaction.

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Real Estate Trivia
What was the longest distance a building has ever been moved?

Detroit's five-story Gem Theater, built in 1927, was moved 1,850 feet (5 blocks) to make way for two new sports stadiums.
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Jill Smith, REALTOR®, real estate agent and broker for Chatham, Harding and Madison New Jersey home listings, property and land for sale - NUMBER1EXPERT(tm)

Jill Smith
Keller Williams Realty

488 Springfield Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
Office: 908-273-2991
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