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Bernardsville, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Bernardsville
John Parker Tavern
Map of Bernardsville in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County in New Jersey.
Map of Bernardsville in Somerset County. Inset: Location of Somerset County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Somerset County, New Jersey.gif Somerset
Incorporated April 29, 1924
Named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet
Government
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
Area
 • Total 12.91 sq mi (33.44 km2)
 • Land 12.84 sq mi (33.24 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.19 km2)  0.58%
Area rank 184th of 565 in state
9th of 21 in county
Elevation
682 ft (208 m)
Population
 • Total 7,707
 • Estimate 
(2019)
7,594
 • Rank 296th of 566 in state
13th of 21 in county
 • Density 597.2/sq mi (230.6/km2)
 • Density rank 428th of 566 in state
17th of 21 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07924
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 3403505590
GNIS feature ID 0885159
Website

Bernardsville is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. The borough is nestled in the heart of the Raritan Valley region. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,707, reflecting an increase of 362 (+4.9%) from the 7,345 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 748 (+11.3%) from the 6,597 counted in the 1990 Census. Bernardsville is often mispronounced as "Ber-NARDS-ville" as opposed to the correct pronunciation "BER-nards-ville".

Bernardsville was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 6, 1924, from portions of Bernards Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 29, 1924. The borough was named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, who served as governor of the Province of New Jersey. In 2009, part of the borough was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Olcott Avenue Historic District.

In 2000, Bernardsville had the 10th-highest per capita income in the state. Based on data from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, the borough had a per-capita income of $70,141, ranked 27th in the state. In 2019, the borough was ranked by Bloomberg News as 64th on its 2019 list of Bloomberg Richest Places, one of 18 in the state included on the list.

History

Bernardsville was originally a section of Bernards Township known as Vealtown. In 1840, Vealtown became Bernardsville, named after Sir Francis Bernard, Colonial governor of New Jersey from 1758 to 1760. Located in the northernmost part of Somerset County, just 12 miles (19 km) south of Morristown, the borough includes some of the last vestiges of the Great Eastern Forest.

During the Revolutionary War, General Charles Lee rested his troops in Vealtown around the night of December 12 to 13, 1776. General Lee and some of his guard spent the night about 3 miles (5 km) southeast at White's Inn on the southeast side of Basking Ridge, near the manor house of Continental Army general William Alexander, Lord Stirling. On the morning of December 13, General Lee was captured by the British and removed to New York.

After the Civil War, many wealthy and prominent New Yorkers moved into the area, first as summer visitors, then as permanent residents of the Bernardsville Mountain.

The Gladstone Branch railroad line was built through Bernardsville in 1872 and played an important role in the borough's development. Bernardsville did not become an independent municipality until 1924, when it split from Bernards Township.

The New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites recommended the creation of the Olcott Avenue historic district on February 10, 2009. While the Olcott Avenue School is but one historic structure within Bernardsville's first historic district area, the area's appeal and historic significance is part of the story of the rise of the middle class in Bernardsville and how this particular location impacted the entire region, from the downtown, Little Italy, and the Mountain Colony areas.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 12.980 square miles (33.619 km2), including 12.905 square miles (33.425 km2) of land and 0.075 square miles (0.194 km2) of water (0.58%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Blazuers Corner, Mine Brook and Somerseten.

The borough borders Bernards Township to the east, Far Hills to the southwest, and Peapack-Gladstone to the west in Somerset County, Harding Township to the northeast and both Mendham Borough and Mendham Township to the northwest in Morris County.

Climate

Bernardsville has a Humid continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm to hot, humid summers on average.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 3,336
1940 3,405 2.1%
1950 3,956 16.2%
1960 5,515 39.4%
1970 6,652 20.6%
1980 6,715 0.9%
1990 6,597 −1.8%
2000 7,345 11.3%
2010 7,707 4.9%
2019 (est.) 7,594 −1.5%
Population sources:1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Bernardsville is home to a diverse population including the "Little Paraguay" located on the Basking Ridge side of the train tracks.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,707 people, 2,685 households, and 2,086 families residing in the borough. The population density was 597.2 per square mile (230.6/km2). There were 2,871 housing units at an average density of 222.5 per square mile (85.9/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 91.38% (7,043) White, 0.88% (68) Black or African American, 0.14% (11) Native American, 3.27% (252) Asian, 0.06% (5) Pacific Islander, 2.18% (168) from other races, and 2.08% (160) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.72% (903) of the population.

There were 2,685 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.2% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 31.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.1 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 95.3 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $128,333 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,233) and the median family income was $141,510 (+/- $17,179). Males had a median income of $87,500 (+/- $36,816) versus $73,250 (+/- $10,725) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $70,141 (+/- $9,890). About 1.9% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

2018-05-29 18 01 15 View north along U.S. Route 202 (Mine Brook Road) at Whitenack Road in Bernardsville, Somerset County, New Jersey
US 202 in Bernardsville

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 67.80 miles (109.11 km) of roadways, of which 53.28 miles (85.75 km) were maintained by the municipality, 10.50 miles (16.90 km) by Somerset County and 4.02 miles (6.47 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The most prominent roads directly serving Bernardsville are U.S. Route 202 and County Route 525. Interstate 287 passes by just outside the borough.

Public transportation

NJ Transit train service is offered at the Bernardsville station on the Gladstone Branch and Morristown Line of the Morris & Essex Lines, with service to Hoboken Terminal, Newark Broad Street station Secaucus Junction and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan.

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

Education

Public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the schools of the Somerset Hills Regional School District, a regional school district serving students from Bernardsville, Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone, along with students from Bedminster who are sent to the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of three schools, had an enrollment of 1,975 students and 158.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1. Schools in the district (with 2017–18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Marion T. Bedwell Elementary School with 568 students in grades PreK–4, Bernardsville Middle School with 523 students in grades 5–8 and Bernards High School with 852 students in grades 9–12. The district's board of education has nine elected members (and one appointed member) who set policy and oversee the fiscal and educational operation of the district through its administration. The nine elected seats on the board are allocated to the constituent municipalities based on population, with six seats allocated to Bernardsville.

The School of Saint Elizabeth, established in 1916, is a parochial school serving students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.

Notable people

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

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

  • Walt Ader (1913-1982) race car driver who placed 22nd at the 1950 Indianapolis 500.
  • Brooke Astor (1902-2007), lived here during her marriage to John Dryden Kuser (1897–1964).
  • Roger Bart (born 1962), actor.
  • Sir Francis Bernard (1712–1779), British colonial administrator who served as governor of the provinces of New Jersey and Massachusetts Bay.
  • C. Ledyard Blair (1867-1949), prominent resident and investment banker.
  • Roger Bodman (born 1952), politician and political strategist who served in the cabinet of New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean.
  • Philip Capice (1931-2009), Emmy-award-winning television producer.
  • Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956), jazz musician who lived at "Tall Oaks" in Bernardsville from 1935 to 1941.
  • Forrest F. Dryden (1864-1932), President of Prudential Insurance Company.
  • John Fairfield Dryden (1839-1911), founder of Prudential Insurance Company and U.S. Senator.
  • Ernest Duncan (1916-1990), mathematician.
  • Marc Ecko (born 1972), fashion designer and entrepreneur.
  • Millicent Fenwick (1910-1992), U.S. Congresswoman, United States representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • Zach Feuer (born 1978), art dealer, founder of New Art Dealers Alliance and owner of Zach Feuer Gallery.
  • Guy Gabrielson (1891-1976), politician who served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1949 to 1952, and was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1925 to 1929.
  • Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (1847-1918), architect.
  • Elmer Matthews (1927-2015), lawyer and politician who served three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Andrew McCarthy (born 1962), actor.
  • Katie Meyler (born 1982), 2014's Time Person of the Year for Ebola Fighters.
  • Bill Moyers (born 1934), journalist and commentator.
  • Bob Nash (1892-1977), pioneering football player in the earliest days of the National Football League.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994), former first lady, who lived in Bernardsville with her husband Aristotle Onassis (1906–1975).
  • George B. Post (1837-1913), Beaux-Arts style architect, and early developer of Bernardsville.
  • Donald Roebling (1908-1959), inventor of the amphtrack.
  • John A. Roebling II (1867-1952), engineer and philanthropist.
  • Carol Stiff, women's basketball executive, who is vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN and president of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's board of directors.
  • Meryl Streep (born 1949), actress.
  • Mike Tyson (born 1966) and Robin Givens (born 1964).
  • Jean Villepique, actress known for her roles in BoJack Horseman, A.P. Bio and Up All Night.

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