Chatham, New Jersey Overview

Chatham Borough gazebo next to Fire Station

Photo on the left shows the Chatham Borough gazebo on Fairmount Avenue. Photo on the right shows the Chatham Township gazebo on Southern Boulevard.

Visit The Chatham Area Chamber of Commerce Today!

Chatham Township gazebo near Southern Blvd. School


Chatham Borough and Chatham Township are quiet, carefully developed, residential communities located in north-central New Jersey near Exit 7 of Route 24. The Chatham Area is located 25 miles west of New York City on the southern edge of Morris County. Chatham's neighboring communities are Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Long Hill, Harding, Madison, Florham Park, and Livingston. Chatham Borough and Chatham Township share a common heritage and together are often referred to by their shared name, Chatham.

Chatham has many fine single homes, townhouses, garden apartments, and condominiums and offers suburban attractiveness as well as efficient railroad, bus, and highway commuting to New York City and surrounding metropolitan North Jersey. The downtown Chatham Borough area offers many interesting specialty shops, restaurants, banks, and other services.

There are excellent shopping facilities available nearby in Livingston, Short Hills, Summit, Madison, Morristown and, locally, at Hickory Tree in the Township and in the center of Chatham Borough.

Cultural opportunities include historical, art, garden and musical groups, as well as the facilities and programs of neighboring Drew and Fairleigh Dickinson universities. The Chatham Regional school system consistently ranks highly and the Library of the Chathams is a valuable resource to the residents.

Many outdoor recreational facilities are accessible to residents, such as, the National Wildlife Preserve (The Great Swamp) and the Morristown National Historical Park.

Many major USA corporations have located their headquarters or major facilities near Chatham, including 

and others. There are also hundreds of excellent smaller businesses in the area serving the residents of the Chathams.

History of Chathams

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.

Early Settlers

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.

Evolution of the Government

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. 

Chatham Municipal Building Addresses

Chatham Borough

54 Fairmount Avenue
Chatham, NJ 07928
(973) 635-0674

Chatham Township

58 Meyersville Road
Chatham, NJ 07928
(973) 635-4600

Utilities and Municipal Services

Post Office

Chatham Post Office
Post Office Plaza
19 South Passaic Avenue
Chatham, NJ 07928
(973) 635-8400

Green Village Post Office
372 Green Village Road
Green Village, NJ 07935
(973) 377-0737

Public Library

The Library of the Chathams serves both Chatham Borough and the Township of Chatham.

(click to go to Library of the Chathams home page)

School District of the Chathams

Chatham Borough and the Township of Chatham held an election in November, 1986 to consider joining the two school districts.  This proposal was supported by the voters and since then, the towns have realized the benefit of having a regionalized school district.

(click to go to School District of the Chathams home page)

Area Colleges

Places of Worship


Civic Associations


Nearby Cultural Activities


Recreational Facilities

Chatham Chamber of Commerce (

P. O. Box 231
Chatham, NJ 07928
(973) 635-2444

Local Newspapers

Chatham, NJ is blessed with two excellent local weekly newspapers. You can read about local news in the:

Local Realtors

Here are a few links to realtors which serve the Chatham area: 

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