Ranking first in New Jersey Monthly’s 2013 “Best Places to Live” survey, residents of Mendham Borough enjoy the historic setting of this quaint six-square-mile community--located in Morris County and surrounded on three sides by Mendham Township, with Bernardsville (Somerset County) to the south--plus the conveniences of a walkable downtown featuring boutique retail shopping and dining options, like the historic Black Horse Inn and Tavern. Other nearby stores located in the Village Shopping Center include a supermarket, pharmacy, and a hardware store as well as additional specialty retailers.
Traditions abound in Mendham Borough, with annual events that bring residents together to meet and mingle. Music is in the air during the summer concert series and outdoor movie nights, when neighbors picnic in Borough Park. The annual Labor Day Carnival and Parade is capped off by fireworks that signals it’s back-to-school season. In December, kids and adults alike bundle up and sip hot cocoa as they warm their hands at the annual 12th Night Bonfire of Christmas trees, organized by the volunteer fire department.
Many children walk to the Borough’s public schools, Hilltop Elementary and Mountain View Middle School, greeted along the way by crossing guards whose smiles are familiar to all after their many years of service. The West Morris Mendham High School is also located in Mendham, drawing students from Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, as well as the neighboring communities of Chester Borough, Chester Township and Washington Township.
Mendham’s highly-rated public schools include two elementary schools for kindergarten through grade four. The Hilltop School is located in the borough at 12 Hilltop Road, and Mendham Township Elementary School’s address is 18 West Main Street in Brookside. Middle school students in grades five through eight go to either Mountain View Middle School at 100 Dean Road in the Borough or Mendham Township Middle School at 16 Washington Valley Road in Brookside.
High school students attend West Morris Mendham High School at 65 East Main Street in Mendham, where they can participate in one of the few International Baccalaureate programs in the state. Known for its academic excellence, the high school was ranked #4 in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine.
Interstate highways accessible from Mendham include Routes 78, 80 and 287. Route 24 is part of Mendham’s historic Main Street, while Routes 202 and 206 are also nearby. Manhattan-bound commuters often use New Jersey Transit’s Midtown Direct train service to Penn Station in New York from the Morristown station.
Homes in nearly every East Coast genre are represented in Mendham, where wonderful examples of historic preservation and restoration are evident in Colonial, Greek Revival, Federal, Victorian and bungalow styles. These historic dwellings are joined by scores of new homes and luxury estates featuring state-of-the-art amenities.
Black Horse Tavern is a local landmark at One West Main Street. In 1740, early settler Ebenezer Byram renovated his old farm house into a prominent guest house. In the 260-plus years that have followed, the three buildings that make up this unique restaurant showcase the area's past. Many of the 18th century artifacts on display come from behind the walls of the original Blacksmith Shop.
Hilltop Presbyterian Church was founded in 1738, also by Ebenezer Byram. The church was first located in a log cabin at the crest of the Ralston section of Mendham Township. Byram and John Carey constructed the original church on its present site in 1745. In October of 1776, when the British were in possession of New York and Long Island, the Presbytery of New York met in Hilltop's sanctuary. During the winter of 1777, with Washington's Revolutionary Army encamped at Jockey Hollow, the church served as a smallpox hospital. 27 soldiers died there, and are buried in a common grave in the cemetery behind the church. Although the church has been re-built several times during its long history, it remains on its original site at 20 Hilltop Road.
Schiff Nature Preserve on Pleasant Valley Road offers 340-acres of river valley parkland within the township and borough. Highlights include eight miles of trails, breathtaking views and an abundance of natural habitats. Ecological education is an important part of the nature preserve's mission, so public educational programs for all ages are offered regularly.
Patriots’ Path is a multi-use trail maintained by the Morris County Park Commission. It parallels the North Branch of the Raritan River throughout the borough, past an old fishing hole that locals refer to as the Mud Hole.
Borough Park at 19 Mountain Avenue features a charming gazebo and ball fields. It is the site of the annual Labor Day celebration and the Fire Department’s January bonfire of discarded Christmas trees.