Jefferson Township, New Jersey
Jefferson Township is the northernmost township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 21,314, having increased by 1,597 (+8.1%) from the 19,717 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,892 (+10.6%) from the 17,825 counted in the 1990 Census.
Jefferson Township, New Jersey
|Township of Jefferson|
George Chamberlain House
Census Bureau map of Jefferson Township, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||February 11, 1804|
|Named for||Thomas Jefferson|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (mayor–council)|
|• Body||Township Council|
|• Mayor||Eric Wilsusen (R, term ends December 31, 2022)|
|• Administrator||Debra Millikin|
|• Municipal clerk||Michelle Reilly|
|• Total||42.77 sq mi (110.78 km2)|
|• Land||38.90 sq mi (100.75 km2)|
|• Water||3.88 sq mi (10.04 km2) 9.06%|
|Area rank||46th of 565 in state|
3rd of 39 in county
|Elevation||1,142 ft (348 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||122nd of 566 in state|
8th of 39 in county
|• Density||544.7/sq mi (210.3/km2)|
|• Density rank||439th of 566 in state|
34th of 39 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0882210|
Jefferson Township was formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 11, 1804, from portions of Pequannock Township and Roxbury Township. The township was named after Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United States at the time the Township was created. The township is situated in the northernmost part of Morris County bordering both Passaic and Sussex counties.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 42.77 square miles (110.78 km2), including 38.90 square miles (100.75 km2) of land and 3.88 square miles (10.04 km2) of water (9.06%).
The township borders Mount Arlington, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township and Wharton in Morris County; West Milford Township in Passaic County; and Hardyston Township, Hopatcong and Sparta Township in Sussex County.
The township has two large divisions, Milton and Lake Hopatcong. Each half has its own first-aid squad, fire department substation and set of elementary schools. Addresses in the Milton section of the township are classified under the Oak Ridge mailing city, which is shared with a portion of West Milford Township, or in the Newfoundland mailing area, shared with a portion of West Milford and Rockaway Township. Addresses in Lake Hopatcong use either Lake Hopatcong (not to be confused with the Hopatcong mailing city used in the Borough of Hopatcong) or Wharton as their mailing city. In 2016, there was an effort to change the mailing address for the Lake Shawnee section of town from a Wharton, NJ 07885 ZIP code, to a Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 ZIP code. The effort was narrowly defeated. In 2026, a new effort will be made to change the mailing address ZIP code to Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849. The Jefferson Township Municipal Building, Middle School, High School, Recycling Center and school bus depot are positioned at the boundary between the two halves of the township.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Berkshire Valley, Bowling Green Mountain, Cozy Lake, Espanong, Ford, Halsey Island, Hopatcong Station, Hopewell, Hurdtown, Lake Hopatcong, Lake Swannanoa, Longwood Mountains, Lower Longwood, Minisink, Moosepac Pond, New Russia, Newfoundland, Nolans Point, Oak Ridge, Petersburg, Prospect Point, Raccoon Island, Russia, Tierneys Corner, Upper Longwood, Weldon, Woodport and Woodstock.
Portions of the township are owned by the City of Newark, Essex County, for its Pequannock River Watershed, which provides water to the city from an area of 35,000 acres (14,000 ha) that also includes portions of Hardyston Township, Kinnelon, Rockaway Township, Vernon Township and West Milford.
1900-1990 2000 2010
The 2010 United States Census counted 21,314 people, 7,830 households, and 5,794 families in the township. The population density was 544.7 inhabitants per square mile (210.3/km2). There were 8,597 housing units at an average density of 219.7 per square mile (84.8/km2). The racial makeup was 90.64% (19,318) White, 1.56% (332) Black or African American, 0.08% (18) Native American, 4.60% (981) Asian, 0.02% (4) Pacific Islander, 1.49% (317) from other races, and 1.61% (344) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.48% (1,382) of the population.
Of the 7,830 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18; 62.0% were married couples living together; 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present and 26.0% were non-families. Of all households, 20.7% were made up of individuals and 7.1% 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 3.19.
24.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 100.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 98.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $92,095 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,923) and the median family income was $102,324 (+/- $6,788). Males had a median income of $73,152 (+/- $3,827) versus $51,933 (+/- $2,776) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $37,912 (+/- $1,795). About 2.6% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 19,717 people, 7,131 households, and 5,448 families residing in the township. The population density was 485.3 people per square mile (187.4/km2). There were 7,527 housing units at an average density of 185.2 per square mile (71.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 96.14% White, 0.83% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.07% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.41% of the population.
There were 7,131 households, out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the township the age distribution of the population shows 26.9% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $68,837, and the median income for a family was $76,974. Males had a median income of $51,359 versus $37,849 for females. The per capita income for the township was $27,950. About 1.0% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and cultureEdit
Every year, the weekend following Independence Day, The Jefferson Arts Committee hosts a day of celebration known as Jefferson Township Day (it is colloquially referred to as "Jefferson Day"). Throughout the entire day, entertainment and festivities at the Jefferson Township High School are provided. Up until 2012 there would be a morning parade featuring the town's fire trucks, high school marching band and other local groups march down Weldon Road. Starting in 2013 the parade has been substituted with various activities such as a fishing contest, kids kart race and a road bowling tournament. There are a variety of activities set up on the Jefferson Township High School grounds for participants of Jefferson Day, including children's games, food and craft vendors, and performances at two stages. At night, the Jefferson Township Community Band, directed by Peter Tummillo Jr., performs before the display of fireworks. Township resident Bill Child wrote an original song back in September 2006, "My Sweet Home Jefferson", that has been sung at many of the recent Jefferson Day celebrations.
Jefferson Township is governed under a Mayor-Council system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act. The township is one of 71 of 565 municipalities statewide that use this form of government. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the five-member Township Council. All governing body officials are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis in even-numbered years as part of the November general election, with three council seats up together for election and then two council seats and the mayoral seat coming up for election together two years later.
As of 2020[update], the Mayor of Jefferson Township is Republican Eric Wilsusen, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the Jefferson Township Council are Council President Kimberly Finnegan (R, 2020), Council Vice-President Melissa Senatore (R, 2020), Robert Birmingham (R, 2020), Jay Dunham (R, 2020) and Debi Merz (R, 2022).<
In May 2017, Michael J. Sanchelli resigned from his seat expiring in December 2018, after being mandated to leave office due to issues related to his state pension which require him to be out of office for 180 days.
In April 2016, the Township Council selected Kimberly Finnegan from three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the seat expiring in December 2016 that had been held by Richard W. Yocum until his resignation.
Federal, state and county representationEdit
Jefferson Township is located in the 11th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 26th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Jefferson Township had been in the 25th state legislative district.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair). 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 26th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Pennacchio (R, Rockaway Township) and in the General Assembly by BettyLou DeCroce (R, Parsippany-Troy Hills) and Jay Webber (R, Morris Plains).
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections, to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with either one or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni. As of 2020[update], Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Deborah Smith (R, Denville, 2021), Deputy Freeholder Director Stephen H. Shaw (R, Mountain Lakes, 2021), Tayfun Selen (R, Chatham Township, 2020), John Krickus (R, Washington Township, 2021), Douglas Cabana (R, Boonton Township, 2022), Kathryn A. DeFillippo (R, Roxbury, 2022), and Thomas J. Mastrangelo (R, Montville, 2022).
Tayfun Selen was elected by a county Republican convention to the vacant seat of Heather Darling, who was elected Morris County Surrogate in 2019. He will serve the remainder of her term which ends in 2020.
Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term). As of 2020[update], they are County Clerk Ann F. Grossi (R, Parsippany, 2023), Sheriff James M. Gannon (R, Boonton Township, 2022) and Surrogate Heather Darling (R, Roxbury, 2024).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 13,142 registered voters in Jefferson Township, of which 2,395 (18.2%) were registered as Democrats, 4,347 (33.1%) were registered as Republicans and 6,392 (48.6%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 58.2% of the vote (5,370 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 40.7% (3,757 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (94 votes), among the 9,279 ballots cast by the township's 13,742 registered voters (58 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 67.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 57.2% of the vote (6,040 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 41.0% (4,335 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (121 votes), among the 10,564 ballots cast by the township's 13,631 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.5%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 61.9% of the vote (5,946 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 36.9% (3,542 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (97 votes), among the 9,605 ballots cast by the township's 12,847 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 70.6% of the vote (4,043 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 27.9% (1,596 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (89 votes), among the 5,789 ballots cast by the township's 13,715 registered voters (61 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 63.4% of the vote (4,270 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 26.8% (1,809 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.5% (572 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (56 votes), among the 6,738 ballots cast by the township's 13,397 registered voters, yielding a 50.3% turnout.
The Jefferson Township Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of seven schools, had an enrollment of 2,926 students and 267.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.9:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Milton School with 175 students in grades PreK-K, Ellen T. Briggs School with 278 students in grades K-2, Cozy Lake School with 173 students in grades 1–2, Arthur T. Stanlick School with 280 students in grades 3–5, White Rock Elementary School with 325 students in grades 3–5, Jefferson Township Middle School with 728 students in grades 6-8 and Jefferson Township High School with 937 students in grades 9-12.
Roads and highwaysEdit
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 133.62 miles (215.04 km) of roadways, of which 112.52 miles (181.08 km) were maintained by the municipality, 12.77 miles (20.55 km) by Morris County and 8.33 miles (13.41 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
A few major roads pass through Jefferson. Interstate 80 passes through very briefly in the southern tip without any interchanges; the closest exits are 33 and 34 in neighboring Wharton. State routes include Route 15 (part of the "Sparta Bypass") in the southwest, Route 23 in the northeast (as it straddles the Passaic county line) and Route 181 in the southwest. Green Pond Road, officially CR 513, is the only major county road that passes through for a short stretch in the northeast section.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Jefferson Township include:
- Derek Drymon (born 1968), former creative director on SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Eric Harm and Dan Tews of Titus Andronicus, a punk/indie rock band named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the seven best new bands of 2010.
- Mike Leach (born 1976), former tight end for the Denver Broncos, presently long snapper for the Arizona Cardinals
- Vern Miller of The Remains, a mid-1960s rock group who opened for The Beatles on their final US tour in 1966.
- Deonna Purrazzo (born 1994), professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment.
- Jerry Reese (born 1963), former General Manager of the New York Giants.
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- Staff. "Patch Call", FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 2011. Accessed September 8, 2011. "The patch of the Jefferson Township, New Jersey, Police Department centers on the naming of the department's jurisdiction. The township was incorporated in 1804, the same year as Thomas Jefferson's recorded inauguration as the third president of the United States. As such, the patch displays a profile bust of Thomas Jefferson, intersecting U.S. and New Jersey flags, and the year 1804."
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- Willis, R. Richard; and Lees, Lorraine C. Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong, p. 7. Arcadia Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7385-0077-1. Accessed November 20, 2011. "Jefferson Township is a large municipality that is separated into two major sections, Lake Hopatcong and Oak Ridge/Milton, with the Mahlon Dickerson County Park in the middle."
- "Survey Results Are In". www.07885to07849.com. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- "Next ZIP Code Change Survey Can Be Submitted". www.07885to07849.com. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- Cella, Chris. "Jefferson Township officials need further discussion on Lake Swannanoa", Aim Jefferson, April 14, 2011. Accessed September 8, 2011. "At last week's Jefferson Town Council meeting there was a large turnout as many townspeople anxiously awaited the discussions regarding the Lake Swannanoa dam restoration. During the March 16 meeting over 40 people spoke out during the public portion of the meeting, voicing their opinions and thoughts as to whether or not the town should agree to pay for repairs on the Swannanoa dam, as proposed by the Lake Swannanoa Homeowners Association."
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- City of Newark v. Vernon Tp., Leagle from Tax Court of New Jersey, April 1, 1980. Accessed July 2, 2015. "Generally, the lands are part of the 35,000-acre Pequannock Watershed (approximately two times the size of Newark), which was purchased by Newark at the turn of the century to provide a water supply. The watershed, which contains five major bodies of water, is located in Vernon and Hardyston in Sussex County, Jefferson, Rockaway and Kinnelon in Morris County, and West Milford in Passaic County."
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- Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 256, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed December 18, 2012. "Jefferson contained in 1850 a population of 1,358; in 1860, 1,471; and in 1870, 1,430."
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- Home page, Jefferson Arts Committee. Accessed November 23, 2008.
- Luciano, John R. "Jefferson Township Day XXIV rolls on", AIM Jefferson, July 16, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2015. "On stage, the evening festivities were ushered in by the Jefferson Township Jazz Band. Then local musician/songwriter Bill Child performed his original song, 'My Sweet Home Jefferson.'"
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- Luciano, Kelen. "Sanchelli Forced to Retire From Town Council by State Law", The Jefferson Chronicle, April 24, 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017. "Town Council Vice President Michael Sanchelli resigned from office effective May 1. He was forced to resign from office after retiring from the County of Morris and the Public Employee retirement system."
- Primerano, Jane. "Finnegan sworn in for Jefferson council, Harvin leaves post as clerk", AIM Jefferson, April 29, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2016. "She's been at countless council meetings in 22 years on the Jefferson Rescue Squad, but on Wednesday, April 20, Kim Finnegan took her place on the dais as the newest Jefferson Township Council member.... The township's Republican County Committee sent council three names as per state law and the four council members who remain after the resignation of Council President Richard Yocum and the governing body picked Finnegan who is now chief of the squad."
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- Jefferson Township High School, Jefferson Township Public Schools. Accessed June 2, 2020.
- Directions to Our Schools, Jefferson Township Public Schools. Accessed June 2, 2020.
- New Jersey School Directory for the Jefferson Township Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Morris County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
- Morris County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed August 7, 2012.
- Private Carrier Bus Service reductions, NJ Transit. Accessed August 3, 2015.
- Bus Stops - Lakeland Rt 80 Newton to PABT Archived 2015-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, Lakeland Bus Lines. Accessed August 7, 2015.
- Morris County System Map, NJ Transit. Accessed August 7, 2015.
- Jennings, Rob. "Jefferson native, SpongeBob go way back: Cartoonist an executive producer for animated film" Archived 2012-09-08 at Archive.today, Daily Record (Morristown), November 19, 2004. Accessed October 23, 2007. "But in Jefferson, Drymon is perhaps best remembered as an offensive guard and defensive tackle on the high school's state championship football team in 1986.... At Jefferson High School, when not playing football, Drymon was sketching comic books."
- Myers, Ali. "Bloom Idol II now down to top ten" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Bloomsburg University Voice, November 12, 2004. Accessed January 20, 2012. "Eric Harm - Hometown: Jefferson, N.J."
- Mike Leach profile, CNN Sports Illustrated. Accessed December 10, 2008.
- Luciano, John R. "Jefferson resident honored by Boston Music Hall of Fame", Aim Jefferson, January 21, 2011. Accessed April 11, 2011. "Vern Miller poses in his in-home studio with his artist/teacher wife Sue. The couple lives in a memorabilia-packed home on Lake Shawnee in Jefferson Township."
- Varsallone, Jim. "Mae Young Classic alternate Purrazzo helps lead ROH Women of Honor", Miami Herald, August 25, 2017. Accessed August 21, 2018. "Born in Livingston and raised in Jefferson, New Jersey, Purrazzo is also attractive and vied for the title of Miss New Jersey USA....Purrazzo is a graduate of Jefferson Township High School."
- Hague, Jim. "Falcons end grid season on high note with win over Lodi", Aim Jefferson, November 19, 2010. Accessed March 29, 2012. "Freshman quarterback J.R. Reese finished with a flair. Reese completed all six of his passes Friday night for 75 yards and two touchdowns. The son of Giants general manager Jerry Reese has a very bright future with the Falcons and still has three years to fine tune his signal calling skills."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jefferson Township, New Jersey.|
- Jefferson Township website
- Jefferson Township Public Schools
- Jefferson Township Public Schools's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Jefferson Township Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- Jefferson Township STAR Project
- Abandoned Mines of Jefferson, New Jersey
- Jefferson Highlights Summer Concert Series at Camp Jefferson AmphiTheater