Scotch Plains, New Jersey
|Township of Scotch Plains|
The first school built in the town, which was renamed to Park Middle School
Map of Scotch Plains Township in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Scotch Plains, New Jersey
|Incorporated||March 6, 1878 (as Fanwood Township)|
|Renamed||March 29, 1917 (as Scotch Plains)|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)|
|• Body||Township Council|
|• Mayor||Alexander "Al" Smith (R, term ends December 31, 2020)|
|• Manager||Alexander Mirabella|
|• Municipal clerk||Bozena Lacina|
|• Total||9.050 sq mi (23.440 km2)|
|• Land||9.018 sq mi (23.358 km2)|
|• Water||0.032 sq mi (0.082 km2) 0.35%|
|Area rank||220th of 566 in state|
4th of 21 in county
|Elevation||141 ft (43 m)|
|• Rank||105th of 566 in state|
7th of 21 in county
|• Density||2,606.9/sq mi (1,006.5/km2)|
|• Density rank||239th of 566 in state|
19th of 21 in county
|Time zone||UTC−5:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0882217|
Scotch Plains is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the township's population was 23,510,reflecting an increase of 778 (+3.4%) from the 22,732 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,572 (+7.4%) from the 21,160 counted in 1990.
The area known as Scotch Plains was first settled by Europeans, including many Scottish Quakers as early as 1684.The name is said to have come from George Scott, a leader of a group of Scottish settlers. It later served as a stop on the stage coach line between New York City and Philadelphia.
The Ash Swamp in Scotch Plains was the scene of a key action in the Battle of Short Hills, on June 26, 1777, which included skirmishes as Washington's forces moved along Rahway Road in Scotch Plains toward the Watchung Mountains. An ancient house in Scotch Plains recalls those skirmishes and, with the acreage adjoining the house, presents a vista of that decade, the 1770s. This was the home of Aunt Betty Frazee, whose retort to Lord Cornwallis led the British to find their bread from friendlier bakers in the same battle. The farmstead of Betty and Gershom Frazee is being restored by local organizations.
What is now Scotch Plains was originally incorporated as Fanwood Township on March 6, 1878, by an act of the New Jersey Legislature from portions of Plainfield Township and Westfield Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Fanwood Borough on October 2, 1895. Fanwood Township was renamed as Scotch Plains on March 29, 1917, based on the results of a referendum held that same day.
Scotch Plains was home to the Shady Rest Country Club, the nation's first African-American country club. Its pro, John Shippen, the first African-American golf professional, led the 1892 U.S. Open in the final round before finishing fifth.The Shady Rest clubhouse hosted Cab Calloway and other greats as a local center for African-American culture in the 1920s and 1930s. It is preserved today as the Scotch Hills Municipal course.
A much more complete history of the township can be found in the October 28, 1999, "Our Towns: Scotch Plains-Fanwood (2nd Annual)" issue of The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood, produced by the town's newspaper of record at the timeas well as on the township's website.
The ancestors of many residents immigrated from the area of Montazzoli, Italy, as part of a wave of Italian immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 20th century.In recognition of this longstanding connection, the township established "Montazzoli Plaza" in October 2015 in front of the Italian American Club.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Scotch Plains township had a total area of 9.050 square miles (23.440 km2), including 9.018 square miles (23.358 km2) of land and 0.032 square miles (0.082 km2) of water (0.35%).
The township borders the municipalities of Berkeley Heights, Clark, Fanwood, Mountainside, Plainfield and Westfield in Union County; Edison and South Plainfield in Middlesex County; and Watchung in Somerset County.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Alton, Goodmans, Graceland, Two Bridges and Willow Grove.
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Scotch Plains as the most affordable suburb in New Jersey in its 2009 report.
The 2010 United States Census counted 23,510 people, 8,595 households, and 6,429.060 families in the township. The population density was 2,606.9 per square mile (1,006.5/km2). There were 8,896 housing units at an average density of 986.4 per square mile (380.9/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 77.43% (18,203) White, 11.08% (2,605) Black or African American, 0.12% (29) Native American, 7.65% (1,799) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.39% (327) from other races, and 2.32% (545) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.73% (1,582) of the population.
The 8,595 households accounted 37.4% with children under the age of 18 living with them; 62.6% were married couples living together; 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the township, the population age was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 91.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $104,873 (with a margin of error of +/− $6,397) and the median family income was $126,138 (+/− $7,410). Males had a median income of $90,016 (+/− $11,033) versus $66,022 (+/− $5,055) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $52,488 (+/− $3,094). About 1.3% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Censusthere are 22,732 people, 8,349 households, and 6,295 families residing in the township . The population density is 2,503.3 inhabitants per square mile (966.6/km2). There are 8,479 housing units at an average density of 933.7 per square mile (360.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township is 78.88% White, 11.30% African American, 0.09% Native American, 7.25% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. 3.94% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 8,349 households out of which 36.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% are married couples living together, 8.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% are non-families. 20.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.71 and the average family size is 3.16.
In the township the population is distributed with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females, there are 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $81,599, and the median income for a family was $96,238. Males had a median income of $63,648 versus $43,714 for females. The per capita income for the township is $39,913. 3.0% of the population and 2.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.0% of those under the age of 18 and 7.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Ponderosa Farm Park is a park on Cooper Road. Modest park featuring playgrounds & a sprinkler area, plus open green spaces & restrooms.
Shackamaxon Country Club is a private golf course, swimming and tennis facility also hosting celebrations, founded in 1916 and is located on Shackamaxon Drive in Scotch Plains. Some of its 130+ acres occupy land in Westfield.
Ashbrook Golf Course, is a public golf course with 18-holes of championship golf as well as a 9-hole pitch and putt course located on Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. As of 2019, the new clubhouse and restaurant, The Tavern @ Ashbrook, opened for business.
Scotch Hills Municipal Golf Course, known as the Shady Rest Golf and Country Club before it was taken over by the township, was at one time the only African-American country club in the United States.
Bowcraft Amusement Park is an amusement park located on Route 22 West that was featured in scenes in the films Mortal Thoughts (1991) and North (1994).It officially closed in 2018.
Highland Swimming Club is a private swimming facility with a large L-shaped main pool and a smaller kiddie pool, a BBQ area, a small "Snack Shack", and play area named "The Grove". Its swim team competes against other private swim clubs in the area in meets held mostly in July. It also hosts an annual swim meet with a club from Derry, Northern Ireland.
Scotch Plains is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a four-member Township Council. Council members are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with the Mayor and one of the council members elected in years divisible by four and the three other council seats coming up for election two years later. The Mayor and the Councilmembers are the only elected officials in the township government. The Mayor and Council then appoint a Township Manager, who serves as the chief executive officer of the Township, with the authority to appoint most subordinate personnel.
As of 2020 [update] , the mayor of Scotch Plains is Republican Alexander "Al" Smith, whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. Members of the Township Council are Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo (D, 2022), Ted Spera (R, 2020), Elizabeth Stamler (D, 2022), Roshan "Roc" White (D, 2022).
The Chief of Police is Ted Conley.
Scotch Plains is split between the 7th and 12th Congressional Districtsand is part of New Jersey's 22nd state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, all of Scotch Plains had been part of the 7th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections. The redistricting plan that went into effect in 2013 put 1,091 residents from the extreme northernmost portion of the township into the 7th District, with the remaining 22,419 put into the 12th District.
For the 116th United States Congress , New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman ( D , Ewing Township ). For the 116th United States Congress . New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Tom Malinowski ( D , Rocky Hill ). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker ( Newark , term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez ( Paramus , term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 22nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nicholas Scutari (D, Linden) and in the General Assembly by Linda Carter (politician) (D, Plainfield) and James J. Kennedy (D, Rahway).Carter was appointed in May 2018 to fill the vacant seat left following the death of Jerry Green the previous month after 26 years of service.
Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders , whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. As of 2019 [update] , Union County's Freeholders are Chair Bette Jane Kowalski ( D , Cranford , term ends December 31, 2019), Vice Chair Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood , 2021) Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth , 2020), Angela R. Garretson (D, Hillside Township , 2020), Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2019), Christopher Hudak ( D , Linden , term ends December 31, 2020), Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded (D, Westfield , 2021), Andrea Staten (D, Roselle , 2021), and Rebecca Williams (D, Plainfield , 2019). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union, 2020), Sheriff Peter Corvelli (D, Kenilworth, 2020) and Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2019). The County Manager is Edward Oatman.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 15,979 registered voters in Scotch Plains Township, of which 5,061 (31.7% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,562 (22.3% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 7,346 (46.0% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 10 voters registered to other parties.Among the township's 2010 Census population, 68.0% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 91.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,801 votes (54.8% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 5,394 votes (43.5% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 135 votes (1.1% vs. 0.8%), among the 12,407 ballots cast by the township's 16,820 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.8% (vs. 68.8% in Union County).In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 7,094 votes (55.0% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 5,603 votes (43.5% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 109 votes (0.8% vs. 0.9%), among the 12,894 ballots cast by the township's 16,359 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.8% (vs. 74.7% in Union County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 6,134 votes (51.0% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 5,757 votes (47.9% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 83 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 12,018 ballots cast by the township's 15,361 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.2% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.8% of the vote (4,504 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 37.8% (2,804 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (105 votes), among the 7,532 ballots cast by the township's 16,527 registered voters (119 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 45.6%.In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 4,381 votes (50.8% vs. 41.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 3,480 votes (40.4% vs. 50.6%), Independent Chris Daggett with 633 votes (7.3% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 68 votes (0.8% vs. 0.8%), among the 8,619 ballots cast by the township's 16,122 registered voters, yielding a 53.5% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).
Public school students in Scotch Plains attend the schools of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Regional School District, which serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from the Borough of Fanwood and the Township of Scotch Plains.The district has five elementary schools (PreK/K-4), two middle schools (5–8) and a comprehensive high school (9–12), all of which are located in Scotch Plains. Students from School One, Evergreen and Brunner pool into Park Middle School, while students from Coles and McGinn feed into Terrill. School One is the only elementary school that teaches English as a second language. As of the 2014–15 school year, the district, comprising eight schools, had an enrollment of 5,718 students and 430.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.3:1.
Schools in the district (with 2014–15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Howard B. Brunner Elementary School (grades PreK-4; 400 students), J. Ackerman Coles School (PreK-4; 457), Evergreen School (PreK-4; 406), William J. McGinn School (K-4; 478), School One (K-4; 396), Park Middle School (5–8; 934), Terrill Middle School (5–8; 825) and Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School (9–12, 1,572).
Shackamaxon School, was built in 1951 (the same year as Evergreen School) and operated until 1981, when it was leased to the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey as their Jewish Community Center and offices. The Federation bought the building outright five years later.
The Union County Vocational Technical Schools includes the Union County Magnet High School, the Academy for Information Technology, the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, the Union County Academy for Performing Arts, and the Vocational-Technical School. The grouping of different schools is for vocational as well as gifted students, publicly funded by the combined taxes of Union County municipalities.
Union Catholic Regional High School (often abbreviated UC), a private Roman Catholic school, brings in students from Union County and parts of Essex and Middlesex counties and operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.The Newark Archdiocese also supervises operation of the K-8 St. Bartholomew Academy.
Union County College has a facility in Scotch Plains.
As of May 2010 [update] , the township had a total of 89.39 miles (143.86 km) of roadways, of which 75.06 miles (120.80 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.95 miles (19.23 km) by Union County and 2.38 miles (3.83 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The two major roads that pass through are Route 28 for a brief stretch in the central part and U.S. Route 22 in the north.
The township is accessible from limited access in neighboring communities, such as Interstate 78 in both Watchung and Berkeley Heights, the Garden State Parkway in Clark and Interstate 287 in Edison Township.
Scotch Plains is bisected by NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line, formerly the mainline of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. A passenger station is located in Fanwood. Another rail line, the Lehigh Line, carries freight trains through the southernmost tip of the township.
New Jersey Transit offers service on the 112, 113, 114 and 117 routes to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, and service to Newark on the 59, 65 and 66 (Limited) routes.
Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Scotch Plains, most conveniently reached via Route 22, and Linden Airport, a general aviation facility is in nearby Linden, New Jersey. Newark Liberty International Airport is also accessible via New Jersey Transit train by transferring from the Raritan Valley Line to the Northeast Corridor Line at Newark Penn Station.
Scotch Plains also has access to Amtrak service, by taking the Raritan Valley Line to Newark Penn Station. This gives Scotch Plains rail access to destinations along the entire east coast.
The township falls in the New York media market, with daily news being based in New York City. Its weekly newspaper of record is the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times, also publisher of the neighboring town's newspaper of record, The Westfield Leader.
The following housing developments exist in Scotch Plains:
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Scotch Plains include:
Plainfield is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States, known by its nickname as "The Queen City." As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population increased to 49,808, its highest ever recorded population in any decennial census, with the population having increased by 1,979 (+4.1%) from the 47,829 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,262 (+2.7%) from the 46,567 counted in the 1990 Census.
Cranford is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. In both 2018 and 2019, The Star-Ledger named Cranford the best downtown in New Jersey after an online vote, calling it "adorable [and] snowglobe-like." New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Cranford as its 34th best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live."
Union County is a county in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2018 Census estimate, the county's population was 558,067, making it the seventh-most populous of the state's 21 counties, an increase of 5.1% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 536,499, in turn an increase of 13,958 (2.7%) from the 522,541 enumerated in the 2000 Census. In 2010, Union County slipped to the seventh-most populous county in the state, having been surpassed by Ocean County. Union County is part of the New York metropolitan area. Its county seat is Elizabeth.
Green Brook Township is a township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 7,203, reflecting an increase of 1,549 (+27.4%) from the 5,654 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,194 (+26.8%) from the 4,460 counted in the 1990 Census.
North Plainfield is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 21,936, reflecting an increase of 833 (+3.9%) from the 21,103 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,283 (+12.1%) from the 18,820 counted in the 1990 Census.
Watchung is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 5,801, reflecting an increase of 188 (+3.3%) from the 5,613 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 503 (+9.8%) from the 5,110 counted in the 1990 Census.
Berkeley Heights is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 13,183, reflecting a decline of 224 (-1.7%) from the 13,407 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,427 (+11.9%) from the 11,980 counted in the 1990 Census.
Clark is a township in southern Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 14,756 reflecting an increase of 159 (+1.1%) from the 14,597 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 32 (-0.2%) from the 14,629 counted in the 1990 Census.
Fanwood is a borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,318 reflecting an increase of 144 (+2.0%) from the 7,174 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 59 (+0.8%) from the 7,115 counted in the 1990 Census.
Garwood is a borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 4,226, reflecting an increase of 73 (+1.8%) from the 4,153 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 74 (-1.8%) from the 4,227 counted in the 1990 Census.
Kenilworth is a borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,914, reflecting an increase of 239 (+3.1%) from the 7,675 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 101 (+1.3%) from the 7,574 counted in the 1990 Census.
Mountainside is a borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,685, reflecting an increase of 83 (+1.3%) from the 6,602 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 55 (-0.8%) from the 6,657 counted in the 1990 Census.
New Providence is a borough on the northwestern edge of Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is located on the Passaic River, which forms the county boundary with Morris County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 12,171, reflecting an increase of 264 (+2.2%) from the 11,907 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 468 (+4.1%) from the 11,439 counted in the 1990 Census.
Springfield Township is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 15,817, the highest recorded at any decennial census, reflecting an increase of 1,388 (+9.6%) from the 14,429 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,009 (+7.5%) from the 13,420 counted in the 1990 Census. Recent housing construction has pushed the township's population to 17,502 as of the 2015 census estimate.
Union Township is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. In the 18th century, the area that is now Union was then called Connecticut Farms. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 56,642, the highest recorded in any decennial census, reflecting an increase of 2,237 (+4.1%) from the 54,405 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 4,381 (+8.8%) from the 50,024 counted in the 1990 Census.
Westfield is a town in Union County of New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 30,316, reflecting an increase of 672 (+2.3%) from the 29,644 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 774 (+2.7%) from the 28,870 counted in the 1990 Census.
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Regional School District is a regional public school district serving students from two communities in Union County, New Jersey, United States. The district serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, who come from the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood. The district has five elementary schools, two middle schools and a comprehensive high school.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, or SPFHS, is a comprehensive regional four-year public high school in Union County, New Jersey, which serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood, operating as the lone secondary school of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Regional School District. The facility is located in Scotch Plains and was built in 1957. Originally, the high school was located in another part of town on Park Avenue, which currently houses Park Middle School. That building was established in 1926.
Plainfield Township was a township in New Jersey, United States, that existed from 1847 until it was dissolved in 1878.
New Jersey's 22nd Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district includes the Middlesex County municipalities of Dunellen Borough and Middlesex Borough; the Somerset County localities of Green Brook Township and North Plainfield Borough; and the Union County municipalities of Clark Township, Fanwood Borough, Linden City, Plainfield City, Rahway City, Scotch Plains Township and Winfield Township.
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