Chatham Borough and Chatham Township share a common heritage and are sometimes jointly referred to as The Chathams. Although the two are actually separate municipalities, they do share a library, school district, volunteer ambulance corps, zip code and post office. Residents have been known to say the Township and Borough are really just like one town that happens to have two different governments.
Noteworthy for the fine examples of Colonial and Victorian architecture along its tree-lined streets, the borough’s historic district on the east end of Main Street is filled with charming homes. Proud of its Early American roots, the borough was a resting spot for George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Cultural opportunities in Chatham include historical, art, garden and musical groups, as well as the facilities and programs at neighboring Drew and Fairleigh Dickinson universities. Nearby communities include Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Harding Township, Madison, Florham Park, Morristown, Short Hills, Millburn and Livingston.
Chatham Township is characterized by quieter neighborhoods, larger properties and relatively newer developments. Although not within walking distance to the conveniences of Chatham Borough, the shopping district is only a short drive away.
In addition to the excellent shopping and restaurants available along Chatham’s Main Street and at the Hickory Tree Shopping Center, there are vibrant downtowns in nearby Madison and Summit, as well as more extensive retail options at the Livingston Mall and The Mall at Short Hills.
Green Village Pond Conservation Area is a former homestead now owned by the Township. It is located on Green Village Road near Melrose Lane. The Chatham Township Environmental Commission sponsors an Open Space Workday on Earth Day every April, when volunteers spend time maintaining the trail and grounds. The nature trail leads to a lily pond which hosts ducks and frogs, a marsh and wetlands with native wildflowers.
Colony Pool and Recreation Center at 55 School Avenue and Spring Street offers a sandy bottom pool, six tennis courts, two paddle tennis courts, a playground and recreation area.
Parts of the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center fall within Chatham’s borders.
The Borough of Chatham and Chatham Township held elections in 1986 to consider joining their separate school districts. This proposal was supported by the voters of both municipalities and today they share a regionalized school district, the School District of the Chathams.
Public school students in kindergarten through grade three attend the Milton Avenue School, Southern Boulevard School or Washington Avenue School, depending on what part of Chatham they reside in. Grades four and five attend Lafayette School, and grades six to eight go to Chatham Middle School.
Chatham High School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education for the 2004-05 school year. It was ranked 12th among 316 public high schools in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine in September, 2006.
A private school founded in 1998, Chatham Day School at 700 Shunpike Road serves students in preschool through eighth grade. The school changed its name from The Darcy School after finding a permanent campus in Chatham Township in 2005.
Chatham Township is a 35-minute car ride or 45-minute train trip to Manhattan. The New Jersey Transit train stops at the Chatham Borough station to provide Midtown Direct commuter service on the Morristown Line, heading to the Hoboken Terminal or Penn Station at 34th Street in New York City.
Lakeland Bus leaves from nearby Summit for a 40-minute, one-way ride to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan.
Amtrak stops at Newark or Metropark in Edison, both are about 14 miles from Chatham. Newark Liberty International Airport is about 16 miles from Chatham Township.
Nearby local and interstate highways include Route 24 (Chatham is Exit 7), Route 124/Main Street, Route 10 and Interstates 78 and 287.
Chatham Township features some newer luxury homes on larger lots and several condominium developments.
The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center located on 247 Southern Boulevard features exhibits, educational programs, hiking and canoeing. It is part of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The Nature Center houses a reference library, auditorium, two classrooms and natural history displays. Weekend family programming, trail walks and workshops are scheduled on a seasonal basis. A mile of trail, much of it on boardwalks, and an observation blind are among the attractions.
Chatham Township Museum is located at 24 Southern Boulevard in the Red Brick Schoolhouse, built in 1860 and used until 1928 when the town's five rural schools were replaced by the Southern Boulevard School. The schoolhouse was deeded to the town and was used as Town Hall for many years. When the town offices relocated in 1988, the historic schoolhouse was put into the charge of the Chatham Township Historical Society for use as a museum. Visitors are welcome to visit the museum, which is open from 2-4 PM on the first Sunday of each month.
Fun Fact: A grassroots movement of local activists and politicians saved the Great Swamp from being developed into a major metropolitan airport in 1960. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1966.
Mass Transportation: New Jersey Transit train station in Chatham Borough, Lakeland Bus service from Summit, Interstate Highways 78 and 287.
Local Sites/Attractions: Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, Chatham Township Museum
Housing: Antique homes, antique Colonials, luxury real estate, Cape Cods, Victorians, executive homes, custom homes, cul-de-sac homes, expanded ranch homes, townhomes, condominiums, contemporary designs and a variety of architectural styles spanning the centuries.