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Bernards Township, New Jersey
Township of Bernards
Van Dorn's Mill in Franklin Corners
Van Dorn's Mill in Franklin Corners
Flag of Bernards Township, New Jersey
Map of Bernards Township in Somerset County. Inset: location of Somerset County highlighted in the state of New Jersey.
Map of Bernards Township in Somerset County. Inset: location of Somerset County highlighted in the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bernards Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Bernards Township, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Somerset
Royal charter May 24, 1760
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet
 • Type Township
 • Body Township Committee
 • Total 24.33 sq mi (63.01 km2)
 • Land 24.20 sq mi (62.68 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.33 km2)  0.52%
Area rank 112th of 565 in state
6th of 21 in county
249 ft (76 m)
 • Total 26,652
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 90th of 566 in state
4th of 21 in county
 • Density 1,113.6/sq mi (430.0/km2)
 • Density rank 369th of 566 in state
10th of 21 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07920, 07939 - Basking Ridge
07938 - Liberty Corner
07939 - Lyons
07931 - Far Hills
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 3403505560
GNIS feature ID 0882174
Aerial view of western portion of Bernards Township

Bernards Township is a township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. The township is a bedroom suburb of New York City in the much larger New York metropolitan area, located within the Raritan Valley region. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 26,652, reflecting an increase of 2,077 (+8.5%) from the 24,575 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 7,376 (+42.9%) from the 17,199 counted in the 1990 Census.

Bernards Township was originally formed by royal charter on May 24, 1760, as Bernardston Township from remaining portions of Northern precinct. It was incorporated as Bernards Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships. Portions of the township were taken to form Warren Township (March 5, 1806), Far Hills (April 7, 1921) and Bernardsville (March 6, 1924). Bernards Township celebrated its 250th charter anniversary on May 24, 2010.

The township was named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, who served as governor of the Province of New Jersey.


Bernards Township was originally formed by Royal charter on May 24, 1760, as Bernardston Township from remaining portions of Northern precinct. It was incorporated as Bernards Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships. Portions of the township were taken to form Warren Township (March 5, 1806), Far Hills (April 7, 1921) and Bernardsville (March 6, 1924). Bernards Township celebrated its 250th charter anniversary on May 24, 2010. The township was named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, who served as governor of the Province of New Jersey.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 24.061 square miles (62.317 km2), including 23.934 square miles (61.988 km2) of land and 0.127 square miles (0.330 km2) of water (0.53%).

The township is roughly bounded by the Second Watchung Mountain in the southwest, the Dead River swamp on the south, the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Passaic River, and Millington Gorge in the East.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Basking Ridge, Green Knoll, Hardscrabble, Liberty Corner, Lyons, Madisonville, Mount Horeb, Somerset Mills, State Park, Stone House and White Bridge. Martinsville is an unincorporated area in Bridgewater Township, whose 08836 ZIP code also covers portions of Bernards Township.

The township borders Bedminster Township and Far Hills to the west, Bernardsville to the northwest, Bridgewater Township to the southwest, and Warren Township to the southeast in Somerset County and Harding Township to the northeast and Long Hill to the east in Morris County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 2,377
1810 1,876
1820 2,063 10.0%
1830 2,062 0.0%
1840 3,986 93.3%
1850 2,267 −43.1%
1860 2,471 9.0%
1870 2,369 −4.1%
1880 2,622 10.7%
1890 2,558 −2.4%
1900 3,066 19.9%
1910 4,608 50.3%
1920 4,243 −7.9%
1930 2,293 −46.0%
1940 4,512 96.8%
1950 7,487 65.9%
1960 9,018 20.4%
1970 13,305 47.5%
1980 12,920 −2.9%
1990 17,199 33.1%
2000 24,575 42.9%
2010 26,652 8.5%
2019 (est.) 27,038 1.4%
Population sources:
1790-1920 1840 1850-1870
1850 1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 26,652 people, 9,783 households, and 6,897 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,113.6 per square mile (430.0/km2). There were 10,103 housing units at an average density of 422.1 per square mile (163.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 81.83% (21,809) White, 1.89% (504) Black or African American, 0.08% (20) Native American, 13.80% (3,679) Asian, 0.03% (7) Pacific Islander, 0.55% (147) from other races, and 1.82% (486) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.95% (1,054) of the population.

There were 9,783 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the township, the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 20.6% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 88.5 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $123,285 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,030) and the median family income was $153,906 (+/- $14,565). Males had a median income of $123,390 (+/- $9,621) versus $86,272 (+/- $9,195) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $67,809 (+/- $4,972). About 2.1% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

Relationship with Terrebonne Parish

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, which had a devastating effect on the area, locals from the Bernards Township sent truckloads of much-needed supplies to assist residents of Houma, Louisiana. In 2007, the Parish returned the favor by sending The Terrebonne High School Marching band on a 26-hour bus ride to the Bernards Township to march in their Christmas parade, and perform a Christmas concert for the public at a local church.


2021-06-30 10 59 05 View north along Interstate 287 from the overpass for the rail line between Washington Avenue and Somerset County Route 613 (Finley Avenue) in Bernards Township, Somerset County, New Jersey
I-287 northbound in Bernards Township
Lyons Station NJ
Lyons train station in Bernards Township

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 138.86 miles (223.47 km) of roadways, of which 109.20 miles (175.74 km) were maintained by the municipality, 21.13 miles (34.01 km) by Somerset County and 8.53 miles (13.73 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Major roads serving Bernards Township include Interstate 78, Interstate 287 and U.S. Route 202.

Public transportation

NJ Transit train service is available at the Basking Ridge station and Lyons station on the Gladstone Branch, providing service between Gladstone and Hoboken Terminal.

NJ Transit provides local bus service on the MCM8 route.

Lakeland Bus Lines provides Route 78 rush-hour service from Bedminster to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.

Points of interest

  • The Devil's Tree - A solitary oak tree in a field off Mountain Road in the southern corner of the township that has been subject of several stories in Weird NJ magazine.
  • The Brick Academy - A restoration of what was known as the Basking Ridge Classical School, a prep school for those hoping to attend Princeton University. The Brick Academy is the current home of the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.


The headquarters of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Fedders, Hitachi Power Systems USA and Verizon Wireless are located in the township. Verizon Communications, which maintains its world headquarters in New York City, has located operations of its major business units in buildings that were formerly AT&T's world headquarters.


Students in public school for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade are served by the Bernards Township School District. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of six schools, had an enrollment of 5,450 students and 481.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Cedar Hill Elementary School (594 students; in grades K-5), Liberty Corner Elementary School (536; K-5), Mount Prospect Elementary School (594; PreK-5), Oak Street Elementary School (489; K-5), William Annin Middle School (1,341; 6-8) and Ridge High School (1,884; 9-12). The district offers its Integrated Preschool Program for children on the autism spectrum, utilizing the principles of applied behavior analysis.

During the 2009–10 school year, Ridge High School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. The school had also won the award for the 1986–87 school year. Mount Prospect Elementary School was one of 11 in the state to be recognized in 2014 by the United States Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. In 2015, Liberty Corner School was one of 15 schools in New Jersey, and one of nine public schools, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary high performing category.

Ridge High School was ranked 194th, the second-highest in New Jersey, in Newsweek magazine's 2010 rankings of America's Best High Schools. The school was the 9th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 12th in 2010 out of 322 schools. The Ridge High School was ranked 37th best in America in 2015 by Newsweek.

Pingry School, a private coeducational college preparatory day school, has its upper campus, for grades 6 to 12, located in Basking Ridge (prior to 2013 the campus was listed as being located in Martinsville).

Saint James School is a parochial elementary school for students in preschool through eighth grade that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Bernards Township, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bernards Township include:

  • William Alexander, Lord Stirling (1726–1783), Continental Army major general during the American Revolutionary War
  • The Bouncing Souls, punk rock band
  • J. C. Chandor (born 1974), Academy Award-nominated writer/director of the 2011 film Margin Call
  • Chris Daggett (born 1950), President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation who ran as an independent candidate in the 2009 New Jersey gubernatorial election
  • Scott Fischer (1955–1996), climber and guide who was the first American to climb Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world, who died during an attempt to climb Mount Everest in the 1996 Everest Disaster
  • Patricia Lee Gauch (born 1934), author of over 30 works of children's literature; inducted into the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame in 1993
  • Jarryd Goldberg (born 1985), former professional soccer player who played for Miami FC.
  • Jeff Grace, comedian, screenwriter, film producer, film director and actor; directed Folk Hero & Funny Guy
  • Jon Gutwillig (born 1974), guitarist of the Disco Biscuits
  • Tobin Heath (born 1988), soccer player and member of the United States women's national team who won a gold medal as youngest member of the US team in the 2008 Olympics
  • Vincent R. Kramer (1918–2001), United States Marine Corps colonel who was a guerrilla warfare expert and was awarded the Navy Cross during the Korean War.
  • Peter Kuhn (1955–2009), race car driver who won both the USAC and SCCA Formula Super Vee championships in 1980
  • George Ludlow Lee Sr. (1901-1966), chairman of the board of Red Devil, Inc.
  • Philip Lindsley (1786–1855), Presbyterian minister, educator, and classicist; acting president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), 1822–1824
  • Kelly-Anne Lyons (born 1985), actress, television presenter, writer and model, who starred in the BBC comedy Dick and Dom's Funny Business.
  • Max Mahoney (born 1998, class of 2016), professional basketball player for VfL Kirchheim Knights of the ProA.
  • Page McConnell (born 1963), keyboardist best known for his work with the rock band Phish
  • Robert E. Mulcahy III (born 1932), athletic director at Rutgers University
  • Akshay Nanavati (born 1984), United States Marine Corps veteran, speaker, entrepreneur, ultra runner and author of Fearvana.
  • Joe Occhiogrosso (born 1966), entrepreneur, philanthropist, marketing professional and author
  • Jasbir Puar (born 1967), queer theorist, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and author of The Right to Maim.
  • J. Robert Sims (born c. 1941), chemical / mechanical engineer and inventor, who served as president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Samuel Lewis Southard (1787–1842), U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Navy, and the 10th Governor of New Jersey
  • Mike Tannenbaum (born 1969), former general manager of the New York Jets
  • LaDainian Tomlinson (born 1979), former NFL running back who played for the New York Jets
  • Kelly Williford (born 1994), professional tennis player.
  • Zip the Pinhead (c. 1842–1926), turn-of-the-century sideshow performer; born in Liberty Corner

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Municipio de Bernards (Nueva Jersey) para niños

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