Millburn Township owes much of its character to Stewart Hartshorn, who bought a 15-acre tract in 1877 and founded a planned community he named Short Hills. Rather than laying out a grid of roads and lots, he followed the terrain and often adjusted roads to avoid felling trees. He built more than 50 houses on 2 to 5 acre lots. Many of the original Hartshorn Houses, built of wood and blue traprock in several styles, including Greek Revival and Victorian, are still standing, but the original lots have been subdivided into half-acre to one-acre sites.
The Morris & Essex Railroad, built in the late 1830's to haul coal from Pennsylvania to New York City, passed through Miliburn and spurred its growth. By 1872, when Hartshorn sought his town site, Miliburn was already a commuter suburb of New York City with its own train station, which Hartshorn augmented with a second station in Short Hills. The Wyoming section, on the southeastern side of the town, is a mix of styles including Tudors, Colonials, historic Farmhouses and Victorians. A middle market area of Short Hills is the Country Club section, next to a private 18-hole golf course. A short walk to the train station. The median price in town is $600,000+.
The Millburn Township Public School System has a reputation as one of the finest in New Jersey. It has four K-5 schools. The students go on to Millburn Middle School on Old Short Hills Road and then to Miliburn High School on Millburn Avenue. Last year the high school sent 97 percent of its graduates to higher education, and the graduating classes regularly include numerous National Merit Scholarship winners and finalists and, upon occasion, a Presidential Scholar and finalists.
Two downtowns, created around the two ends of Millburn Avenue, have convenience and service business, including ice cream parlors, beauty shops, hardware stores and several interesting restaurants, galleries, gift stores and banks. The million-square-foot Short Hills Mall, at Route 24 and JFK Parkway, is well known for a wide variety of luxury stores and across from the mall is the 300-room Hilton.
The most widely used recreational spot in the township is the 36-acre Gero Park off White Oak Ridge Road. It has a par-three, nine-hole golf course, the town pool, four tennis courts and three baseball diamonds. A popular township area is the 16-acre Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary; developed by the daughter of Stewart Hartshorn on Forest Drive. The Paper Mill Playhouse, on Brookside Drive, one of the Country's best known regional theaters, offers musicals, plays and children's events.
The Township is governed by five elected committee members who serve three-year terms and annually choose one of their own as mayor of Millburn. In keeping with Stewart Hartshorn's original tree preservation efforts, the town has a full-time forester. Before trees may be cut down, he must issue a permit, and he also advises residents on tree planting and care. The township has more than 1,000 trees that are more than 200 years old.
For more information on Millburn, visit millburn.com.
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