Mendham Township is situated in the southern part of Morris County, several miles from the county seat of Morristown and about an hour’s drive from New York City. Brookside and Ralston—once known by its Native American name of Roxiticus--are long-established hamlets in this picturesque township, where winding country roads, vast estate properties and notable historic sites impart a decidedly rural feel. Mendham Township and the smaller Mendham Borough are commonly referred to simply as Mendham. The township was founded in 1749 and measures about 18 square miles.
One of Mendham Township’s most highly-anticipated events is the Fourth of July Parade and Festival in Brookside, a section of town that looks postcard-perfect, with its gazebo, park and skating pond. Other enduring traditions include a Strawberry Festival in June, a 5K Patriots’ Day Race also in June, a clam bake every September, pancake breakfasts hosted by the local fire company, and an Antique Show at West Morris Mendham High School sponsored by the Rotary Club. The Mendham Township Natural and Organic Farmer’s Market offers a variety of fresh seasonal offerings during Saturdays in the summer at Pitney Farms on Cold Hill Road. Known for its welcoming atmosphere, the Mendham Township Library in Brookside provides a friendly community gathering spot offering information, ideas and fellowship.
Mendham’s highly-rated public schools include Mendham Township Elementary School for students in kindergarten to grade four located on 18 West Main Street in Brookside. Middle school students in grades five through eight go to Mendham Township Middle School at 16 Washington Valley Road, also in Brookside. High school students attend West Morris Mendham High School at 65 East Main Street, 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 #45 in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine in 2012.
Interstate highways accessible from Mendham Township include Routes 78, 80 and 287. Route 24 runs through the township, 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.
Coach USA offers bus service departing from Headquarters Plaza in Morristown to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan, a trip of about an hour and 15 minutes.
Fine examples of historic homes are joined by scores of newer homes and luxury estates featuring state-of-the-art amenities. From antique homes dating back to the 1700s, to center hall Colonials and stately Victorians built in the 1800s, or more recently-built residences, Mendham Township offers a wide variety of home styles and architecture. There are leafy neighborhoods featuring quiet cul-de-sac streets, expansive estate-caliber properties privately sited on large parcels of land, equestrian properties, vintage farmhouses, contemporary homes, mid-century modern homes, ranch and other single-level residences, cottages, lakefront homes, bungalows, arts and crafts homes and more represented in the real estate market.
Brookside Beach at 16 West Main Street is a warm weather hub offering a sandy beach surrounding a small lake, snack stand, picnic area and activities like a swim team, paddle boat rentals and lots of planned social events for all ages.
A Network of Walking and Biking Trails winds through much of Mendham Township, encompassing nearly 60 miles throughout Patriots’ Path, Buttermilk Falls, India Brook, Dismal Harmony, Burnett Brook, Meadowood Park, Cold Hill Reserve, Seeing Eye and Tempe Wick Reserve.
Jockey Hollow National Park is partially located within Mendham Township. The Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey operate a summer day camp program at Jockey Hollow Camp in the township.
Lewis Morris Park is mainly in Morris Township with portions in Mendham Township. Named for the first governor of New Jersey, this 1,154-acre park includes Sunrise Lake, playgrounds, ball fields, a group camping area, picnic areas, equestrian trails and the Morris County Veteran’s Memorial.
Ralston Playground at 320 Mendham Road West is a favorite spot for children and is located next to the Ralston Recreation Area. Swings, climbing structures, a sandbox and slides are among the kid-friendly features.
Schiff Nature Preserve on Pleasant Valley Road offers 340 acres of river valley parkland within both Mendham 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 at the Schiff Nature Center.
The Ralston Cider Mill at 336 Mendham Road West in Mendham Township is a massive circa 1848 structure constructed of stone walls and heavy timbers. It is the only operational cider mill functioning as a privately-funded museum and educational experience. Fun Fact: Sammy’s Ye Old Cider Mill Steakhouse at 353 Mendham Road West in Mendham Township was originally a 1920s speakeasy. After placing their dinner orders upon entering, guests proceed to the original Prohibition-era bar in the basement to relax while their dinner is prepared.