Morristown is the county seat of Morris County, consisting of just over 3 square miles. With a rich history going back well before the American Revolution, Morristown has enjoyed a renaissance period in recent years thanks to “smart growth” and changes in lifestyle. Thanks to a vibrant downtown, known as “The Green,” walkable blocks of shopping and dining, and close proximity to New York City transportation, Morristown has become a mecca for young professionals and downsizers alike.
Nestled around Morristown, Morris Township, a governing township approximately five times the size of Morristown (about 15 square miles) shares the Morristown downtown, school system and transit system. With changes to the zoning laws in 1999, Morristown’s “smart growth” has sprouted new communities like The Transit Village, luxury townhouse communities like Vail Mansion and 40 Park, and many new restaurants, pubs and high end restaurants like Roots Steakhouse and Urban Table. Dubbed by some as “Hoboken West,” Morristown’s transformation to a trendy, urban, walkable town is continuing to draw commuters from all over the state. And to those who know and love the town know its best days are yet to come.
Known as the military capital of the American Revolution, Morristown draws visitors from all over the country to locations throughout the town collectively known as the Morristown National Historic Park. Those locations include Ford Mansion and Fort Nonsense in Morristown and Jockey Hollow in Morris Township. The rich, historical allure of the American Revolution is a cornerstone of Morristown’s identity, and many little known historical events took place there, like: George Washington’s declaration to hold a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in town to honor his Irish troops during their stay at Jockey Hollow (a tradition that continues today); the court martialing of Benedict Arnold in Dickerson’s Tavern on Spring Street; and the many visits by the Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton.
In addition to its Revolutionary roots, Morristown was the home to many other historical figures of great import to American history. Other former residents include: George Maculloch, father of the Morris Canal in 1822; Samuel F.B. Morse and Alfred Vail, inventors of the telegraph at Speedwell Irons Works in 1838; Victorian Age editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast; author Fran Lebowitz; several American First Ladies including Caroline Fillmore, wife of President Millard Fillmore and Anna Harrison, wife of President William Henry Harrison and Grandmother of Benjamin Harrison; former NBC Today Show film critic Gene Shalit; and Morristown High School graduate and founder of Craig’s List, Craig Newmark.
The epicenter of Morristown living is on the Morristown Green (known simply as The Green), located at the convergence of Rte. 202, Rte. 124 and North & East Park Place. The site of verdant perennial gardens, magnificent historical statues, food carts and park benches, The Green is the heart and soul of Morristown living. Morristown’s ‘smart growth’ has brought back pedestrian traffic and has turned this once-quaint country town into a hip and lively small city. For entertainment, Morristown is the home of the Mayo Performing Arts Center (originally called the Morristown Community Theater), a Clearview Cinemas movie theater and many museums like Macculloch Hall in Morristown and the Morris Museum in Morris Township. For outdoor recreational pursuits, enjoy day trips to places like the Morris Arboretum, the many hiking trails in Jockey Hollow, and Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, all found in Morris Township.
Morristown and Morris Township share the same school system, known as the Morris School District. The district consists of three primary schools grades K-2 (Alfred Vail, Hillcrest and Woodland), three intermediate schools grades 3-5 (Sussex Avenue, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton) , one multi-age magnate school grades K-5 (Normandy Park), one middle school grades 6-8 (Frelinghuysen) and one high school grades 9-12 (Morristown High School). In addition to a terrific public school system, Morristown and Morris Township host many award winning private schools like The Red Oaks School, Assumption Roman Catholic Grade School, The Peck School, Delbarton School, Morristown-Beard School and Villa Walsh. The Academy of Saint Elizabeth, founded by the Sisters of Charity, is a private four-year liberal arts college for women founded in 1899 and located in Convent Station. Other schools of higher learning in the area are Fairleigh Dickinson University and Drew University, both in neighboring Madison.
Morristown and Morris Township each have their own train station, both on the Midtown Direct line. Morris Township’s station, known as “Convent Station,” is built on the grounds of the College of Saint Elizabeth. The Station was built in 1912 and consists of a two sided train station, post office and commuter parking lot. Homes around this station, and whose mail is directed to this post office, call Convent Station home. Convent Station is an unincorporated section of Morris Township. All others in the town and township use Morristown as their address.
Morristown and Morris Township are unique in that there are many varied sections and neighborhoods. In Morris Township some of these neighborhoods are Rolling Hills at Blackberry, Cromwell Hills, Normandy Park Historic District, Washington’s Headquarters, Rolling Hills at Skyline, Spring Brook, Oak Park, Burnham Park, Jockey Hollow, Washington Valley, Butterworth, Bradford Estates, Wheatsheaf, Fairchild, Collinsville, Fosterfields, Lake Valley, Cottonwood, Bradwahl, Footes Lane, Gilbert Estates, Spencer Estates, Egbert Hill, Spring Valley, Hillside Meadows, The Summit, Rolling Hills at Lake Road, Sherman Park, Cutler Park, Little Dublin, Morristown Historic District, Lidgerwood, Franklin Corners and Lake Pocahontas.
Whether it’s your first time visiting Morristown, or you are a long time resident, please feel free to contact me for all your real estate needs. I’m always available for area tours, showing properties or to give you market information about your neighborhood or an evaluation of your home. As the town and township change, so does the real estate market. For the right advice, you have to work with someone who knows the market.