Chatham Township, NJ

What We Love About Chatham Township

  • Great schools!
  • Very Walkable
  • Excellent access to outdoor recreation in municipal and county parks and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
  • Top-quality public library system, art league, and community theater 
  • Engaged, informed, international community
  • Easy commute to NYC and Philadelphia

Chatham Township is located in Morris County, New Jersey.

From NYC it takes barely 40 minutes to get here by car. Chatham Township is part of the Skylands region of NJ, which is made up largely of farms, fairs, rivers, mountains, parks, wineries and outdoor activities. Even though you have some rural living, as with most of NJ, you are not far from shopping, groceries, dining and work.

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Quick Facts

Chatham Township is located in Morris County, New Jersey – Skylands Region – an hour from NYC by car.

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Quick facts about Chatham Township:

COMMUTE TIME (Hour:Minutes) ⓘ

These times are based on info from New Jersey Transit and Google Maps. Shortest times are given. Use our map above to calculate more accurate commute times to any address.

0:40+

Car ride to NYC.

n/a

Train service to NYC.

n/a

Bus service to NYC.

SIZE ⓘ

People per square mile gives you an idea of how much breathing room a town has. NYC has around 27,000 while a well equipped walkable town might have around 5,000. Smaller towns with more single family homes and large yards usually have under 1,000. Click on more info below to see where we get our data. 

10,117

Population estimate, July 1, 2019

8.98

Square miles

1,164

People per square mile

HOUSING ⓘ

Median cost to rent or own is basically the average cost of renting or owning per month in any given town. It’s not exact. Median values include the most expensive dwellings and the cheapest dwellings all averaged together, but with some weight added to higher concentrations in the data set. Just gives you some basic basis of comparison between towns. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

$2,204

Median gross rent, 2014-2018

$4,000

Median selected monthly owner costs – with a mortgage, 2014-2018

$901,000

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2014-2018

PROPERTY TAX ⓘ

Approximate tax on $100K of home value. Ex: If you pay $500K for a house, multiply the number in the left column by 5 to get an idea of what you will have to pay each year in property taxes.

$1,893

Property taxes per $100,000 in home value.

EDUCATION ⓘ

Gives you the ability to quickly see how much of a town has graduated from high school or higher ed. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

97.80%

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018

79.40%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018

INCOME ⓘ

Gives you an idea of how much people make in this town compared to other towns you look at. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

$189,297

Median household income (in 2018 dollars), 2014-2018

AGE DISTRIBUTION ⓘ

Gives you an idea of how old your neighbors might be. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

28.90%

Persons under 18 years

16.00%

Persons 65 years and over

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE STATS & INFO ON RACE, INCOME AND HOUSING

See more stats on race, income and housing
(Hint: Sort by using the “All Topics” pull down menu)

See more stats on property taxes in NJ (green is lower, red is higher)

Does it flood? (FEMA flood maps)

Schools

See the school scores

Walk & Bike Score

NOTE: All scores over 50 are actually good! Scores under 50 mean you would have a more difficult time

See walking and biking scores

Rate Your Own Town

Coming soon! – Do you live here or in NJ? Let the world know what you love about your town.

Local Political Climate

Historically New Jersey has elected more Republicans to office; however, in recent elections conservatives are being edged out somewhat, in part because there are fewer registered Republicans than Democrats in most of the state. About 80% of the counties have more registered Democrats than Republicans, but elections are still tight. In general Republicans are better at getting out the vote on election night than Democrats.

Morris County Voting Results by Town

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School Scores – click on schools please

Walking and Biking Score – any score over 50 is good​

The Full Story of Chatham Township, NJ

What is it like living in Chatham Township, NJ?

Home to the Lenape for millennia and settled by European colonialists in the early 1700s, Chatham is composed today of two Chathams (sometimes known as “The Chathams”): Chatham Township (which includes Green Village) founded in 1806 and Chatham Borough, which was ceded formally by Chatham Township in 1897. In an ancient glacial basin that is now home to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Chatham is a popular spot for birders and nature lovers.  

Today, Chatham is home to a mixture of old-time residents, newcomers, and a strong contingent of foreign nationals relocating from around the world for work in the region, giving the town a cosmopolitan flavor. At its heart a community-oriented town, Chatham (along with neighboring Madison) started the now-national Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG), a nonprofit that supports healthcare workers in hospitals by providing fresh daily meals from local restaurants. This has also helped the local dining scene survive the pandemic and has even spurred the opening of some new multicultural restaurants. Main Street in Chatham Borough, with a historic stretch of storefronts anchored by the library, has many eating establishments that now feature a bustling take-out business and sidewalk café culture.

That’s Chatham Township in a nutshell!

Click to read more

Walking and Biking Scores

Walking and biking scores for Chatham vary depending on whether you are in the Borough or the Township. Generally, the Borough is more walkable, with a Walk Score of 84 and a Bike Score of 48.


Schools

Chatham Borough and Township share an excellent public school district (the School District of the Chathams) and public library. The district consistently ranks highly in regional and national scores, and is overseen by highly praised Superintendent of Schools Michael LaSusa, named 2019 Regional Superintendent of the Year by the NJ Association of School Administrators.

For elementary K-3, there is Milton Avenue School, Southern Boulevard School, and Washington Avenue School (with a combined enrollment of 1,167 students), zoned by geographical areas close to their facilities. Lafayette School houses grades 4-5, with 696 students, and Chatham Middle School (for grades 6-8) has 1,038 students. Chatham High School has 1,274 students. Students who live more than two miles from their public school within Chatham are eligible for the free school bus system; if students live less than two miles away, bussing may be available by subscription and on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing, the bus system is currently operating at a reduced capacity. 

There are also top-rated private schools in the area.


Parks and Recreation

The nearly 7,800-acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is a major attraction for hikers and birders, with more than nine miles of trails, including some boardwalk trails. Abutting the National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham is  the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (run by the Morris County Parks Commission), which hosts seasonal events, summer camps, and walks on the surrounding trails. The spring-fed Colony Pool and the municipal Borough Pool are available to be used with an annual permit for residents of both Chatham Township and Chatham Borough. Private pools at Minisink Club and the Chatham Fish and Game Club are also available to their members and guests. The Fairmount Country Club is a private golf club with a pool and tennis courts. As of this writing, the popular Noe Pond (a sand-bottomed, natural recreational pond that feeds into the Great Swamp) has been sold by its owners to a private developer. 

Many of Chatham’s municipal parks have playgrounds (the jewel in the crown being the popular Castle Park in the Township), baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, as well as picnic areas: Garden Park (behind the Middle School), Lum Field, Memorial Park, Shepard Kollock Park, and Stanley Park in Chatham Borough, and Esternay, Mountainview, Nash, and Shunpike Fields in Chatham Township. A public boat launch to the Passaic River can be found at Shepard Kollock Park. The well-used Cougar Field Complex is run by the School District of the Chathams.

 

Dining and Nightlife

Main Street is the hub of Chatham’s thriving dining scene. Casual Arminio’s Italian Corner has great thin-crust pizza. Bean Curd offers Chinese food. Charley’s Aunt Restaurant is a popular local bar and American restaurant. Mexican Spice offers authentic Mexican food. Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine is popular for sushi. Namkeen Hot Chicken and Waffles specializes in hot chicken and fries, with Pakistani flavors. Right down the street is Sonny’s Indian Kitchen, which has a reputation for wonderful Indian cuisine. Sorriso Kitchen serves farm-to-table dishes. Twin Elephant Brewing Company, on Watchung Avenue near River Road,  has a good selection of fresh craft beers, and Chatham River Grille (on River Road) is a bar that serves casual pub food.

 

Arts and Culture

The High School and Middle School are strong anchors for artistic expression in Chatham, and the fundraising group Chatham Performing Arts Boosters helps this along. The nonprofit Art League of the Chathams, with its large Lundt-Glover Art Gallery in the Chatham Township Municipal Building, as well as the Chatham Community Players across from the library, offer art and theater programming. The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center hosts the annual Lenape Day, featuring dance, dress, and customs of the first indigenous residents of the area, as demonstrated by their descendants who live in New Jersey. Numerous New Jersey choral and symphony groups, including the New Jersey Youth Symphony, practice and perform regularly in town. The Library of the Chathams offers robust cultural programming, book groups, and an art gallery for all ages, with a full roster of online programs, as well as periodic concerts on the lawn next to the library building.

Past and present are equally alive in Chatham. The Chatham Historical Society offers historical programming about the Borough, including the House History and Home Plaque Programs, and the Chatham Township Historical Society continues to operate the historic Red Brick Schoolhouse Museum. The annual Fishawack Festival gives residents from Borough and Township an opportunity to mingle, as they do every weekend at the Chatham Farmers’ Market, held at the train station from June to November. Sustainably speaking, Chatham Borough received a Silver level designation from Sustainable Jersey in 2018, and Chatham Township received a Bronze level designation the same year. 


Housing Stock

Chatham has seen a continual rise in property values and brisk home sales over the past several years. While in recent years, smaller homes were often bought by developers to tear down and build newer, larger luxury homes, today many of these smaller homes are moving quickly into contract, purchased by families looking to relocate from New York City, Jersey City, and Hoboken. Chatham Borough is home to typically smaller houses and is closer to the train. Chatham Township, with its own shopping district, tends to have larger houses. 

Rental and owner-occupied apartment housing is in excellent condition. Recently refurbished apartments are available in the Borough on or near Main Street in complexes such as Jackson House, Chatham on Main, and at the Chatham Arms, and  in the Township at Chatham Hill, and at Cardinal Hill off River Road in Chatham Township. On the edge of Chatham (and often mistaken for being part of Chatham) is the Sun Valley development in Florham Park, which offers a free commuter shuttle bus to the Chatham train station. However, families who live in Florham Park are not eligible for the Chatham public school system.

Recent rezoning has allowed for discussion of the development of new condominium units and the inclusion of some affordable housing in both Borough and Township, including in the former Dixiedale Tree Farm site, River Road industrial area, the site of the former Charlie Brown’s restaurant, and at the current site of the Post Office downtown.


The Commute

While many residents have historically commuted to New York, many now work from home or at Chatham’s co-working space The Station (which has grown in popularity during the pandemic), or for nearby New Jersey– and Pennsylvania-based companies. 

NJ transit operates regular trains directly from Chatham Station in downtown Chatham Borough to New York Penn Station. The train to NYC takes 46-49 minutes if it is an express route, and costs $10.75 one way for an adult and $4.90 one way for a child, senior, or military/disabled passenger. A monthly adult pass costs $310. There is pay parking at the train station in the Railroad Plaza North and Railroad Plaza South lots. Parking passes ($480/year) are only available to residents of Chatham Borough, and there is a waiting list. Daily metered parking is available for all, including Chatham Township residents. Prior to Covid-19, it was important to arrive at the train station by 6AM in order to ensure a paid parking spot for the day if one did not hold a monthly pass. It remains to be seen if the demand for parking will return to this level once commuters are regularly back to work in New York City.

A public bus runs to Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City (with connections in Newark; $8.60/one way adult, $3.95/one way child, senior, or military/disabled passenger). Boxcar operates a private commuter bus service direct from Chatham to New York City ($12.99/one way). 

Depending on traffic, it takes about 45 minutes to drive to New York City, and a little over an hour to drive to Philadelphia.

Neighborhoods

Chatham hosts an active online community forum, on which there is active debate about the number and names of Chatham neighborhoods, as well as what to call residents of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township (typically, “Chathamites” will do). Neighborhoods tend to be grouped around the public schools and historic streets. While no agreed-upon map exists to define the areas, neighborhoods you may hear referred to are Central Boro, Chatham Heights, Garden Avenue, Highlands, Historic District, Lafayette, Lower and Upper Washington, Manor, Rolling Hill, Tree Streets, and Wickham Woods.