Warren County Municipalities
Boroughs, Towns, & Townships
This page gives a brief description and history of
Warren County's 23 municipalities.
Click on the municipality name to jump to the description.
Allamuchy | Alpha
| Belvidere | Blairstown | Franklin | Frelinghuysen | Greenwich | Hackettstown
Hardwick | Harmony | Hope | Independence | Knowlton | Liberty | Lopatcong | Mansfield | Oxford
Pahaquarry | Phillipsburg | Pohatcong | Borough of Washington | Washington Township | White
In the northeast corner of the county lies Allamuchy Township. It Is largely rural consisting of 20.3 square miles of land. The communities of Saxton Falls, Allamuchy Village and Panther Valley make up the area which has a population of 3484 people. Panther Valley is the largest planned unit development in the county. Approximately 1300 families live in this community which boasts its own tennis courts swimming pools playgrounds and open space for four season outdoor fun. A private golf club is also located there.
Allamuchy is one of the county’s oldest settlements. European settlers - mainly Quakers - arrived in the 1740's. The township was incorporated on April 4, 1873. During the Civil War, Allamuchy served as a station for the underground railroad, a stopping place for slaves on their way to Canada and to freedom.
A large undeveloped section of Allamuchy Mountain State Park is in the township. Interstate Route 80 makes the township very attractive to commuters.
Alpha is a small well kept community located in the southern portion of the county. There are 2530 people in this town which has an area of 1.8 square miles.
Alpha was founded because of the high quality and quantity of limestone deposits found there. These deposits attracted the cement industry which flourished in the early part of this century. Alpha was incorporated in 1911 and is named after the Alpha Portland Cement Company.
The town is dominated by small homes built in the first half of this century. There is a small commercial area in town and an industrial park which hosts an increasing number of medium-size manufacturers.
Belvidere is a typical small early American town, in fact its area is 1.25 square miles, which makes it the smallest municipality in the county. Its population is 2669. Belvidere is the county seat and, therefore, the home of the county courts.
The Pequest River flows through the center of Belvidere and empties into the Delaware River. It was the river which first attracted Indian villages and then settlers who came in the 18th century. At first, Belvidere was a farming village with two principal estates. Then in the early 19th century mills were erected along the Pequest. In 1824 Belvidere was chosen as the county seat of the newly formed County of Warren. In 1995, Belvidere celebrated its 150th year as an incorporated town.
In the center of Belvidere is the County Court House complex and a small retail center. Surrounding them are many fine homes with treelined streets. There is a wide variety of architecture with some excellent examples of colonial, Georgian, and Victorian homes. Belvidere is also home to a number of small and medium size manufacturing companies.
The town maintains a swimming pool and ball fields.
Blairstown is Warren's largest township with 30.9 square miles. It is located in the northern part of the county, stretching from the Kittitinny Ridge and across the Paulins Kill River Valley. The hub of the township is the unincorporated village of Blairstown where many homes, stores, and public facilities are found. Surrounding the area are farms and new, larger single family homes. Most residents commute outside of the township for employment. There are 5331 people living in Blairstown Township.
The history of Blairstown is intimately tied with its namesake, John T. Blair, who was a late 19th century railroad baron. The village of Blairstown was served by his railroad which made the village a commercial center. In addition, John Blair built Blair Academy, a prestigious preparatory school, as well as a number of the buildings in the village. The surrounding parts of the township were in farming with a handful of small hamlets providing necessary services.
The township maintains a beautiful public park called Foot Bridge Park. In addition, there are three athletic fields in the township. A golf course that is open to the public is maintained by Blair Academy.
Located in the fertile valleys of the Pohatcong Creek and Musconetcong River, Franklin is one of the county’s premier farming communities There are three principal villages which have traditionally served farmers and now also serve the newer residents who have built new homes on larger lots The three villages are Broadway, New Village and Asbury. The township is 24.25 square miles in area and has a population of 2404
The township was settled in the 18th century. Some of the original settlers served in George Washington’s Army and their graves can be found in the township. The Pohatcong and Musconetcong Rivers attracted many early mills and later some industries, one being the Asbury Graphite Mill founded in 1895.
The township has been experiencing residential and commercial development in recent years particularly in the Route 57 corridor. One of these facilities, Ise Farms, is New Jersey’s largest egg production facility
Frelinghuysen, very beautiful township in northeast Warren was settled in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Frelinghuysen was set off from Hardwick Township and incorporated in 1848. Today the township supports a few modern dairy farms, a number of smaller farms and is dotted with modern homes on large lots. There are two principal unincorporated villages: Marksboro and Johnsonburg. These villages have quaint older homes on small town lots. Frelinghuysen is 23.6 square miles and has a population of 1779.
The history of Frelinghuysen is linked to the histories of Johnsonburg and Marksboro. Marksboro was named after Colonel Mark Thompson who served in the revolutionary war. He was also a United States Congressman. He owned most of the land around Marksboro and built a grist mill there. Johnsonburg has an older history and was the first county seat of Sussex County when it was created in 1753.
Incorporated in 1738 Greenwich is one of Warren's oldest townships. At that time it contained most of what is now Warren County. The area was first settled in the late 17th century by pioneers who began farming along the Pohatcong Creek. The only major village in the township is Stewartsville which was a major port along the old Morris Canal. The village was named after Thomas Stewart who was a secretary to George Washington. He purchased 360 acres and began to reside in Greenwich in 1793. The original Stewart home still stands along with many other original farm houses and mills.
Currently the township has an area of 11.15 square miles and a population of 1899. There are still many farms but the number of single family homes on large lots of 1, 2 and 3 acres is increasing. Most of the occupants of these homes are commuters. There is an Interstate 78 Interchange at the border of the township. This has greatly stimulated growth in the past several years.
Hackettstown, with a population of 8120 people, forms a natural commercial hub for the surrounding communities. The town consists of 3.5 square miles of land.
The Irish, Scotch-Irish, English and Dutch were the original settlers. Obedlah Ayers II is credited as the first settler in 1764. The town was named for John Hackett, a prominent landowner.
Today Hackettstown supports a thriving retail and professional community. Several blocks along Main Street are filled with shops offering a variety of goods and services. Four municipal parking lots are conveniently located for customers. On Mountain Avenue is the Hackettstown Mall. Large and small retail shops, banking facilities and a movie theater are located there.
A number of professionals serve the needs of the population. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, architects and craftspeople are just a sampling of a growing group who have chosen to call Hackettstown home. Many physicians have also been attracted by Hackettstown Community Hospital. Since 1958 the town has been the home of M&M Mars, the county's largest employer.
Hackettstown was incorporated in 1853 when it was separated from Independence Township.
Hardwick is the least populated and most remote township in the county. The area is very scenic. There are 1235 people in the township of 17.80 square miles.
The first settlers were the Dutch who came from Philadelphia in the early 1700's. The township took its present form in 1782. There are a number of old stone homes still standing.
On July 2, 1997, Pahaquarry Township merged with Hardwick Township.
Harmony Township occupies 24.10 square miles in southwestern Warren County along the Delaware River. It is made up of both scenic mountains and fertile valleys. There are 2653 people in Harmony. Most of the homes are single family on large lots. There are four small villages where homes are older and on smaller town lots. Those four communities are Harmony, Brainards Roxburg and Montana. There are dairy farms still active in the township.
Harmony was settled in the late 17th and early 18th centuries by Dutch, English and German pioneers. Many of the original dwellings and churches are still used and can be seen while driving through. Harmony was incorporated as a municipality in 1839.
In Harmony there is a fine private Country Club and 18 hole golf course named Harkers Hollow. Near the course is the Warren County Fair Grounds where the annual fair is held. The 1.1 square mile 16 billion gallon Merrill Creek reservoir is also located in the township. The reservoir is surrounded by 2,060 acres of buffer land with an environmental center. The lands and reservoir allow fishing and other passive outdoor recreation.
Located in north central Warren, Hope is a rural township of 1719 people. Its area is 19.20 square miles. There is one central unincorporated village of Hope where there is a post office, a few small stores, a bank and professional offices. The rest of the municipality is rolling hills and farmland. There has been an increase in the amount of new homes on large lots being built in the township. This is mostly due to the fact that Hope is very accessible to Route 80.
The Village of Hope was founded as a Moravian settlement in 1774. The moravians, a German religious sect, had founded Bethlehem Pennsylvania. The Moravians built a number of stone buildings which remain today. The whole area is a part of a National Historic District and attracts many visitors each year. Another attraction is the Land of Make Believe, the largest and oldest preteen amusement park in New Jersey.
Independence Township consists of 20.4 square miles. Its major communities are Vienna and Great Meadows. It is a rural community but is experiencing growth near Interstate 80 and around the Hackettstown area. Population is 3940. In the western portion of the township lie the Great Meadows, an area famous for its rich black organic soil vegetable crops sod and peat bogs.
The LenniLenape Indians were the original inhabitants of the land followed by the English. The township was created in 1782, one year after Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown. Tradition holds that patriotic fervor led to the naming of the township.
Knowlton is one of Warren’s largest and most rural townships. It is set along the Delaware among rolling hills. Its population is 2543 and encompasses 25.40 square miles. There are two villages, Columbia and Delaware, which host post offices, stores and residential neighborhoods. There are a handful of smaller hamlets throughout the township. The outer areas are in woodlands, pastures or are spotted with large modern homes or renovated farmhouses on large lots. Route 80 runs through this township and there is an Interchange near Columbia where commercial growth is taking place. The township’s proximity to Route 80 along with its scenic beauty have given the township potential for recreational growth.
The area was principally settled by people of German descent who were farmers and wood cutters. The township was formed in 1764 and it then included Blairstown and parts of Hope. Then it was known as Knoll-town probably because of the limestone knolls that dot the area. The town’s history is tied to the rivers and railroads. The town of Delaware was developed by Railroad tycoon John T. Blair who made a station there. Columbia was the site of a ferry crossing and later attracted German settlers who manufactured glassware.
With a population of 2493, Liberty grew at the highest rate between 1980 and 1990 of all Warren County municipalities. Its growth rate was 44.1%. It encompasses 12 square miles to the west of Hackettstown. Mountain Lake and Townsbury are the major communities of the township.
Early settlers were English in the 18th century and Polish in the mid 1800's. During its early history, grist mills, tanneries sawmills and pottery facilities were important industries. Today the area is largely agricultural. There are many modern homes on large wooded lots. Around Mountain Lake are many summer homes and small yearround homes. A portion of Jenny Jump State Forest lies within the township as well as part of the states Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Educational Center.
Lopatcong is one of the county’s smaller townships with only 7.45 square miles, however, it is one of the most suburbanized and has a fairly large population of 5052. Lopatcong nearly surrounds Phillipsburg which is the county’s most urban town and biggest employment center. Because of this, Lopatcong has experienced new housing developments and increased industries. There are five principal residential areas in Lopatcong. They are: Brakeley Park, Morris Park, Delaware Park, Rose Hill and Low s Hollow. Hillcrest Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the area, is located in the township, and a portion of the Phillipsburg Mall, the county’s largest mall is also located there. Many businesses and industries have located along the Route 22 corridor which runs through the township.
The area now known as Lopatcong was first settled in the mid 1700's. Settlers were farmers, stone cutters and masons who principally lived along the rivers. The Morris Canal ran through the township and inspired settlements. Today, a number of canal homes can still be seen.
The second largest township in the county is Mansfield with an area of 30.5 square miles. Anderson, Mount Bethel, Butler Park, Port Murray and Rockport are area communities. Mansfield is also the home of several newer developments and is continuing to experience growth. There are 7154 residents in Mansfield. The township had the largest numerical gain in population between 1980 and 1990, gaining 1374 people.
Mansfield Township was incorporated in 1798. The English first settled the area which was named for a prominent British jurist. The Morris Canal ran through the township. Both Port Murray and Rockport were on the canal and served its users. Today there are a few large industries located in the township and commercial development along Route 57. Despite the growth, for the most part, the area is wooded or is farmland. An airport accommodating private planes is located in the township as well as part of the state’s Pequest Trout Hatchery and the county’s Warren Haven and Warren Acres Facilities.
Oxford Township is one of Warren s oldest townships. Its history is directly related to the iron mines which began operating there in the mid 1700's. The remnants of the old Oxford Furnace can still be seen. This iron works provided cannon balls to George Washington’s Army and also produced cannon balls during the War of 1812 and Civil War. There are some fine old mansions in the township that were built by owners of the furnace. The oldest is Shippen Manor, now owned by the county. The county is restoring the home back to its original grand style and operates it as a visitors attraction and museum.
Today Oxford consists of the central unincorporated village. Most of the homes in the Village were built in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There are several churches and commercial establishments in the village. Outside of the village, houses are newer and on larger lots. A good portion of the township is wooded and mountainous. Located in the township is Apple Mountain Golf Course which is open to the public as well as part of the state’s Pequest Trout Hatchery and the county’s energyfromrefuse facility. The Warren County Heritage Festival, held the third weekend in June, is located in Oxford, centered around Shippen Manor. During the summer, the municipality operates Furnace Lake Beach.
TOWNSHIP OF PAHAQUARRY
On July 2, 1997, Pahaquarry Township merged with Hardwick Township.
Pahaquarry Township is located on the north slopes of the Kittatinny mountains in the northern part of the county. Because of a planned reservoir project, the Federal Government purchased nearly all the township’s 20 square miles. The reservoir project was cancelled and now the lands are part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The 20 people now living in Pahaquarry have made special arrangements with the Federal Government, while new residents cannot move into the township. Last year the National Recreation Area, which includes nearly 70,000 acres in parts of three Pennsylvania counties and two in New Jersey, had nearly 4.5 million visitors. Route 80 through Pahaquarry Township is a main access way to the large recreation area. Historic Millbrook Village and l 2 miles of the Appalachian Trail lie within Pahaquarry Township.
Phillipsburg is the county s largest industrial and residential area. It is the oldest urbanized town in the county. Phillipsburg hosts a variety of housing types. There are many apartment houses, single family residences and town homes. Phillipsburg is also the home of many manufacturing plants. Two of the largest are Ingersol-Dresser Pump Company and J.T. Baker Inc. There is also a large retail section along South Main Street. Phillipsburg’s population is 15,757 and its area is 3.2 square miles.
Early boundaries took shape in 1715 when Daniel Coxe received a warrant to locate 1,250 acres on the Jersey side of the “Forks of the Delaware”. The land was owned by the William Penn family. Phillipsburg up to 1861 was part of Greenwich Township. Subdivision of what is now the central business district came in 1853. Numerous mills, foundries and factories followed. In its early transportation history the town was the western terminus of the Morris Canal.
The town maintains a public pool, several parks and playgrounds and an athletic field. There is also a fine public library which is federated with the Warren County Free Public Library in serving the southern municipalities of the county.
Pohatcong is the county’s southern most township. Pohatcong is located in the fertile valleys of the Musconetcong River and Pohatcong Creek. It is one of the areas most agriculturally productive townships. Pohatcong surrounds the Town of Alpha and neighbors Phillipsburg with a suburban development occurring near these two communities. Within Pohatcong’s 13 square miles are 3591 residents.
Historically, Pohatcong Township was influenced by two forces. First the fertile land attracted farmers in the early 1700's. The second force was the flowing rivers and creeks which provided sites for small mills which led to the development of the communities of Springtown, Warren Glen Finesville and Riegelsville. Carpentersville was settled in the 1800's as a river resort community.
All of these villages still exist as quaint residential communities. Today, Pohatcong is mostly influenced by Interstate 78 which can carry residents to employment centers to the east. Commercial and industrial development is occurring at Exit 3 and more than half of the Phillipsburg Mall is located in Pohatcong Township.
Washington Borough is the third largest residential and employment center in the county. There is a convenient retail and banking area in the borough as well as industrial areas. Most of the homes are single family dwellings on town size lots. There are a few apartment complexes in the borough. The borough is located where State Highway 31 and 57 intersect. This provides good access to other parts of the county and encourages commercial development.
The Borough of Washington was organized in 1868 from the central and most populous part of Washington Township. The name came from Washington House, a brick tavern built in 1811 by Col. William McCullough. One of the earliest industries was a boat yard located north of town. It served the boats of the Morris Canal which ran through the Borough.
Washington Township, with an area of 17.9 square miles and 5367 residents, completely surrounds the Borough of Washington. Except for some commercial areas along State Highways 31 and 57 and suburban areas near Washington Borough, the Township is dominated by farmland and open space.
There are homes on large lots spotted throughout the township. There are three villages in the township, they are: Port Colden on the east side of the township, Brass Castle on the west and Changewater on the south.
The township is expected to continue developing because State Highway 31 conveniently connects to Interstate 78 in Hunterdon County.
Washington Township developed as a farming area. The first settlers arrived in the 1720's and settled around the Musconetcong River. The Morris Canal, which was a waterway between Phillipsburg and Jersey City, flowed through the township. Port Colden was given its name when the Morris Canal was completed in 1831. There was a boat basin located in Port Colden. The settlement took its name from Cadwallader D. Colden who was president of the Morris Canal and Banking Company at that time.
The White Township area is one of the earliest parts of the county to be settled by Europeans. Two permanent settlements were started in 1726 by Scotch-Irish pioneers. The Presbyterian Church in Hazen is one of the oldest in western New Jersey. It was founded in 1749. Eight revolutionary soldiers are buried in the church yard.
White Township has traditionally been a farming community however newer homes on large lots are increasingly being built in the township. There are two small villages, Buttzville, established in 1839 with a hotel and tavern and Bridgeville which was the early site of a flour mill. Foul Rift is a site on the Delaware River where a small community of summer cabins has grown. There is a good deal of commercial activity along U.S. Highway 46 which runs through the northern half of the township. HoffmanLaRoche has a large plant in White Township. White Township consists of 28.6 sq. miles and has 3606 residents.
This WebPage was last updated on -- Tuesday, 08-May-2012 11:12:02 MDT