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Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Township
Township of Lawrence
Israel Stevens House
Israel Stevens House
Nickname(s): 
"Where Nature Smiles for 22 Miles"
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Location in Mercer County, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey is located in the United States
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Mercer County, New Jersey.gif Mercer
Formed February 20, 1697 as Maidenhead Township
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Renamed January 24, 1816 as Lawrence Township
Named for Capt. James Lawrence
Government
 • Type Faulkner Act (council–manager)
 • Body Township Council
Area
 • Total 21.98 sq mi (56.94 km2)
 • Land 21.73 sq mi (56.27 km2)
 • Water 0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)  1.17%
Area rank 126th of 565 in state
4th of 12 in county
Elevation
82 ft (25 m)
Population
 • Total 33,472
 • Estimate 
(2019)
32,435
 • Rank 68th of 565 in state
4th of 12 in county
 • Density 1,534.8/sq mi (592.6/km2)
 • Density rank 330th of 565 in state
8th of 12 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
08648
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 3402139510
GNIS feature ID 0882126

Lawrence Township is a township in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. Located at the cross-roads between the Delaware Valley region to the south and the Raritan Valley region to the north, the township is an outer-ring suburb of New York City in the New York Metropolitan area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, while also directly bordering the Philadelphia metropolitan area and is part of the Federal Communications Commission's Philadelphia Designated Market Area. The township is a regional commercial hub for central New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 33,472, reflecting an increase of 4,313 (+14.8%) from the 29,159 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,372 (+13.1%) from the 25,787 counted in the 1990 Census.

History

What is now Lawrence Township was originally formed as Maidenhead Township on February 20, 1697, while the area was still part of Burlington County in West Jersey. The township was named by the early Quaker settlers after Maidenhead, a Thames River village west of London. It became part of the newly created Hunterdon County on March 11, 1714. Maidenhead Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798.

On January 24, 1816, the municipality was renamed Lawrence Township, in honor of Captain James Lawrence — commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake, one of the naval heroes of the War of 1812, and a native of relatively nearby Burlington, New Jersey— best known for his dying command of "Don't Give up the Ship". Lawrence Township became part of Mercer County at its creation on February 22, 1838. Portions of the township were taken to form Millham Township on February 10, 1882, which was annexed six years later by Trenton.

On September 23, 2003, at approximately 8:25am, an F1 tornado ripped through Lawrence Township. The tornado followed a path along Princeton Pike and caused widespread damage to homes. There were no fatalities.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 22.063 square miles (57.143 km2), including 21.808 square miles (56.483 km2) of land and 0.255 square miles (0.660 km2) of water (1.15%).

Lawrenceville (with a 2010 Census population of 3,887) is a census-designated place and unincorporated community located within Lawrence Township.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include: Bakersville, Clarksville, Colonial Lakelands, Coxs Corner, Eldridge Park, Franklin Corner, Harneys Corner, Lawrence Station, Lewisville, Louisville, Port Mercer, Princessville, Quaker Bridge, Rosedale, Slackwood and Sturwood Hamlet.

Many area residents often refer to all of Lawrence Township as Lawrenceville, as a significant majority of township residents use a Lawrenceville mailing address as specified by the United States Postal Service, while other residents have mailing addresses in either Princeton or Trenton. The township was notified by the Postal Service in 2007 that the preferred designation for the ZIP code 08648 would be changed to "Lawrence Township".

The township borders the Mercer County municipalities of Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hopewell Township, Princeton, Trenton and West Windsor Township.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,032
1810 1,086
1820 1,354 24.7%
1830 1,433 5.8%
1840 1,556 8.6%
1850 1,838 18.1%
1860 2,024 10.1%
1870 2,251 11.2%
1880 3,174 41.0%
1890 1,448 −54.4%
1900 1,555 7.4%
1910 2,522 62.2%
1920 3,686 46.2%
1930 6,293 70.7%
1940 6,522 3.6%
1950 8,499 30.3%
1960 13,665 60.8%
1970 19,567 43.2%
1980 19,724 0.8%
1990 25,787 30.7%
2000 29,159 13.1%
2010 33,472 14.8%
Population sources:
1790–1920 1840
1850–1870 1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade
2020

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 33,472 people, 12,524 households, and 8,116 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,534.8 per square mile (592.6/km2). There were 13,239 housing units at an average density of 607.1 per square mile (234.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 69.68% (23,322) White, 10.76% (3,602) Black or African American, 0.20% (66) Native American, 14.10% (4,721) Asian, 0.09% (29) Pacific Islander, 2.73% (913) from other races, and 2.45% (819) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.48% (2,503) of the population.

There were 12,524 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 29.2% 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 2.45 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the township, the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 13.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.3 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 82.7 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $88,693 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,442) and the median family income was $108,743 (+/- $4,377). Males had a median income of $68,305 (+/- $6,890) versus $50,103 (+/- $5,345) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $43,136 (+/- $3,030). About 4.4% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 29,159 people, 10,797 households, and 7,233 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,317.0 people per square mile (508.5/km2). There were 11,180 housing units at an average density of 504.9 per square mile (195.0/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 79.22% White, 9.28% African American, 0.08% Native American, 7.91% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.

There were 10,797 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the township the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $67,959, and the median income for a family was $82,704. Males had a median income of $56,681 versus $38,468 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,120. About 2.6% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

2021-06-29 11 02 10 View north along Interstate 295 from the overpass for Mercer County Route 583 (Princeton Pike) in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
View north along Interstate 295 past U.S. Route 206 in Lawrence Township

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 132.33 miles (212.96 km) of roadways, of which 102.37 miles (164.75 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.48 miles (18.48 km) by Mercer County and 18.48 miles (29.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Several major transportation routes traverse the Township. Interstate 295 runs through as a semicircle while U.S. Route 1, the other major highway, bisects the municipality. U.S. 1 is in effect three different roads: the original route from Trenton to New Brunswick in the southern half of the Township, the limited access Trenton Freeway, and the combined road in the northern half that serves as a regional arterial linking the Interstates with New Brunswick and Route 18.

U.S. Route 206 (Lawrence Road) is the main artery within the township itself, running from Trenton to Princeton roughly north-to-south. It is a segment of the historic Lincoln Highway, and before that, it was part of the main New York-Philadelphia Post road. Major county routes that pass through include County Route 533, County Route 546 and County Route 569.

2021-07-16 10 55 46 View north along U.S. Route 1 (Trenton-New Brunswick Turnpike) from the overpass for the ramp to the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
View north along U.S. Route 1 at the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township.

Lawrence Township had been the site of what was called the "abrupt ending" of Interstate 95. This was a result from politics in Somerset County that eliminated a planned connection of the Somerset Freeway to Interstate 287. Originally, when drivers travelled along I-95 north while approaching the interchange for U.S. Route 1, the 95 designation abruptly ended and the highway turned southward and became Interstate 295. Drivers wishing to continue north were required to use an alternate route, either by taking US 1 north, or continue along Interstate 295 south to Interstate 195 east and to the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) at Exit 7A in Robbinsville Township. This portion of interstate (between the Hopewell Township border and U.S. 1) was renumbered from I-95 to I-295 in May 2018.

Public transportation

The busy Northeast Corridor rail line, carrying Amtrak and NJ Transit trains, runs along the eastern edge of the township. The nearest stations are in Hamilton, Trenton, Princeton and Princeton Junction.

NJ Transit provides bus service to Trenton on the 600, 603, 605, 606, 609 and 613 routes, and local service on route 612.

A rail spur used to run to Lawrenceville from Trenton, but was discontinued in the 1970s and is now a bicycle trail. From Lawrenceville, a trolley line to Princeton existed from 1900 to 1941, but was dismantled before World War II, and the right-of-way largely has reverted to neighboring landowners.

The nearest commercial airport is Trenton-Mercer Airport, formerly known as the Mercer County Airport, in Ewing Township with nonstop service to 10 major cities in the eastern half of the United States. Lawrence Township is roughly equidistant to the other two nearby commercial airports, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Points of interest

The Port Mercer Canal House is located at 4378 Quakerbridge Road, along the Delaware and Raritan Canal near the border of West Windsor Township and Princeton. The house was built in the 1830s as housing for the bridge tender and his family. The bridge tender was needed to open the swing bridge when canal boats came through, then close it to allow traffic to cross over the canal.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal has an intact walking towpath for most of its length. Additional walking trail areas in the township include Shipetaukin Woods, Carson Road Woods, and part of Rosedale Park. Lawrence Township is part of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, currently under development.

Brearley Oak, Lawrence Township, NJ - May 2013
Brearley Oak (May 2013)

Jasna Polana was the home of John Seward Johnson I of Johnson & Johnson. His widow converted it into Tournament Players Club at Jasna Polana golf course.

Terhune Orchards, a winery and produce farm.

Colonial Lake, a local man-made lake, centerpiece of the township's Colonial Lake Park.

The Brearley Oak, the largest Black Oak tree in New Jersey, is located along the Princeton Pike.

Economy

Lawrence Township is home to the headquarters of:

Quaker Bridge Mall is a two-level, indoor shopping center located in Lawrenceville on U.S. 1, near Interstate 295. The mall opened in 1975, and has over 100 retail establishments. The mall's anchor stores include J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Sears and Old Navy. The mall has a gross leasable area of 1,076,000 square feet (100,000 m2). Quaker Bridge Mall also had a renovation in 2011–2012, and was finished around August 2012.

Lawrenceville has a small business district near the Lawrenceville School. The Lawrence Shopping Center and other businesses along U.S. Route 1 provide additional commercial clusters in the township.

The transmitter for WKXW-FM, better known as New Jersey 101.5, is located near the Quaker Bridge Mall.

Education

Public schools

Edith Memorial Chapel, Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ)
Edith Memorial Chapel at the Lawrenceville School

The Lawrence Township Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of seven schools, had an enrollment of 3,907 students and 325.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Eldridge Park Elementary School (239 students; in grades K-3), Ben Franklin Elementary School (391; PreK-3), Lawrenceville Elementary School (307; PreK-3), Slackwood Elementary School (267; K-3), Lawrence Intermediate School (899; 4-6), Lawrence Middle School (596; 7-8) and Lawrence High School (1,157; 9-12).

Eighth grade students from all of Mercer County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Mercer County Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at its Health Sciences Academy, STEM Academy and Academy of Culinary Arts, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.

Private schools

Lawrence Township is home to two parochial schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton: Notre Dame High School is a coeducational, Roman Catholic, college preparatory school for students in grades 9-12 and Saint Ann School, which serves 341 students in pre-3 through eighth grade.

Lawrenceville is home to the Lawrenceville School, a coeducational, independent boarding school for ninth through twelfth grades, founded in 1810.

Princeton Junior School is a private, co-educational school for students in grades K-6, now located on a 7-acre (2.8 ha) site at 3270 Lawrenceville Road in Lawrence Township. The school was founded in 1983 in a church basement in Princeton.

Colleges and universities

Centennial Lake at Rider University
Centennial Lake at Rider University

Founded in 1865 and granted university status in 1992, Rider University is a private university with its main campus just south of Lawrenceville that serves nearly 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Miscellaneous education

Founded in 1947, Lawrence Township has been the headquarters location for the Educational Testing Service since 1964.

The Princeton Community Japanese Language School teaches weekend Japanese classes for Japanese citizen children abroad to the standard of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and it also has classes for people with Japanese as a second language. Courses are taught at Memorial Hall at Rider University. The main office of the school is in Princeton although the office used on Sundays is in Memorial Hall.

Yinghua Chinese School: In May 2002, the residents including Asian/Chinese as well as non-Asian/Chinese population established a Chinese language school where students of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds could learn the Chinese language on Sunday afternoons. From September 2002 to June 2005, Lawrence Middle School was the host to YingHua Language School, which teaches Simplified Chinese to over 200 students. Between September 2005 to 2017, YingHua was residing in Rider University. Since 2018 Yinghua has been residing in Chapin School and offer classes on Sunday afternoons. During COVID19, Yinghua Chinese School has continued its teaching virtually.

Since 2001, HindiUSA has been offering classes in the Lawrence Middle School where all students can learn Hindi on Friday evenings. Starting 2012 the class was moved to Notre Dame High School.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey

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

  • Kevin Bannon (born 1957), former men's college basketball head coach who was the Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball team's head coach from 1997 through 2001.
  • Ifa Bayeza (born Wanda Williams), playwright, producer and conceptual theater artist.
  • Brett Brackett (born 1987), tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • David Brearley (1745–1790), signer of the United States Constitution and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1779 to 1789.
  • George H. Brown (1810–1865), represented New Jersey's 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1853 to 1855.
  • Scott Brunner (born 1957), football quarterback in the NFL who played for the New York Giants from 1980 to 1983.
  • Mark Carlson (born 1969), President, Head Coach and General Manager of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
  • Richard J. Coffee (1925–2017), former member of the New Jersey Senate.
  • Oliver Crane (born 1998), rower, who set the record as the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, when he completed the 3,000-nautical-mile (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) journey in 2018.
  • Margery Cuyler (born 1948), children's book author.
  • Tony DeNicola (1927–2006), jazz drummer.
  • Luke Elliot (born 1984), singer-songwriter and composer.
  • Marc Ferzan, director of the New Jersey Governor's Office of Recovery and Rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy.
  • N. Howell Furman (1892-1965), professor of analytical chemistry who helped develop the electrochemical uranium separation process as part of the Manhattan Project.
  • John Cleve Green (1800–1875), merchant who was a benefactor of the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University.
  • Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, former executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, who is Governor of New Jersey-elect Phil Murphy's nominee for Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
  • Frederick Kroesen (1923–2020), United States Army four-star general
  • Josue Lajeunesse, custodian at Princeton University and a taxi driver who was featured in the documentary The Philosopher Kings for his efforts raising money to provide clean water and other basic amenities to his native town of Lasource, Haiti.
  • Dan Lavery (born 1969), musician who has performed as part of The Fray and Tonic.
  • James T.C. Liu (1919–1993), Chinese historian and a leading scholar on Song dynasty history who was a professor at Princeton University for more than two decades.
  • Thorn Lord (1906–1965), politician.
  • Donald W. McGowan (1899–1967), Major General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau
  • Kenneth Merin (born 1947), politician and lawyer who served two stints as the New Jersey Commissioner of Insurance.
  • Ed Moran (born 1981), retired track and road runner who was a gold medalist in the 5000-meter race at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished the 2011 New York City Marathon in 10th place.
  • Paul Mott (born 1958), retired professional soccer player for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who was a sports consultant and former professional sports executive.
  • Jake Nerwinski (born 1994), Major League Soccer player for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • John Schneider (born 1980), professional baseball coach for the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (1934–2012), retired United States Army General who was commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991.
  • Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. (1895–1958), first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
  • Elizabeth Socolow (born 1940), poet.
  • Jon Solomon (born 1973), DJ on WPRB.
  • Jon Stewart (born 1962), of The Daily Show.
  • Shirley Turner (born 1941), New Jersey State Senator.

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