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Hightstown, New Jersey
Borough of Hightstown
The Hightstown Civil War Memorial
The Hightstown Civil War Memorial
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Mercer County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Hightstown, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Location in Mercer County, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey is located in the United States
Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Mercer
Incorporated March 5, 1853
Named for Hight family
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 1.27 sq mi (3.28 km2)
 • Land 1.23 sq mi (3.19 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)  2.60%
Area rank 478th of 565 in state
10th of 12 in county
92 ft (28 m)
 • Total 5,494
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 364th of 565 in state
10th of 12 in county
 • Density 4,536.0/sq mi (1,751.4/km2)
 • Density rank 125th of 565 in state
2nd of 12 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 3402131620
GNIS feature ID 0885254

Hightstown is a borough in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 5,494, reflecting an increase of 278 (+5.3%) from the 5,216 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 90 (+1.8%) from the 5,126 counted in the 1990 Census.

Hightstown was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 5, 1853, within portions of East Windsor Township. The borough became fully independent around 1894. Additional portions of East Windsor Township were annexed in 1913, 1915 and 1927. The traditional explanation is that the borough was named for John and Mary Hight, who established a tavern in the area in the 1750s.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.242 square miles (3.218 km2), including 1.211 square miles (3.137 km2) of land and 0.031 square miles (0.081 km2) of water (2.52%).

The borough is an independent municipality surrounded entirely by East Windsor Township, making it part one of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another.

Hightstown is at the central-most point of New Jersey and is roughly equidistant from Philadelphia and New York City.


The record low temperature recorded in the borough was −16 °F (−27 °C) on January 28, 1935. The record high was 105 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 970
1870 1,347 38.9%
1880 1,355 0.6%
1890 1,875 38.4%
1900 1,749 −6.7%
1910 1,879 7.4%
1920 2,674 42.3%
1930 3,012 12.6%
1940 3,486 15.7%
1950 3,712 6.5%
1960 4,317 16.3%
1970 5,431 25.8%
1980 4,581 −15.7%
1990 5,126 11.9%
2000 5,216 1.8%
2010 5,494 5.3%
2020 5,900 7.4%
Population sources:1860-1920
1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

2010 Census

Bridge in Hightstown, NJ
Narrow bridge over Peddie Lake

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,494 people, 1,976 households, and 1,352 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,536.0 per square mile (1,751.4/km2). There were 2,108 housing units at an average density of 1,740.4 per square mile (672.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 69.44% (3,815) White, 8.05% (442) Black or African American, 0.56% (31) Native American, 4.08% (224) Asian, 0.15% (8) Pacific Islander, 13.56% (745) from other races, and 4.17% (229) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.29% (1,664) of the population.

There were 1,976 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.9 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 100.1 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $66,250 (with a margin of error of ± $8,281) and the median family income was $72,583 (± $13,355). Males had a median income of $49,861 (± $9,561) versus $42,361 (± $14,837) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $32,976 (± $3,402). About 8.2% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 1.1% of those age 65 or over.


Roads and highways

2017-10-02 13 56 51 View west along New Jersey State Route 33 (Mercer Street) at Academy Street in Hightstown Borough, Mercer County, New Jersey
Route 33 westbound in Hightstown

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 16.74 miles (26.94 km) of roadways, of which 12.70 miles (20.44 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.74 miles (4.41 km) by Mercer County and 1.30 miles (2.09 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Hightstown is located at the cross-roads of several major roads. The main highway through the borough is Route 33 (which is also concurrent with County Route 539 and County Route 571). A small portion of U.S. Route 130 passes through the northwest corner and is accessible by Route 33, CR 571 and CR 539. Highways located just outside the borough include the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) and the "Hightstown Bypass" (Route 133), which both intersect with Route 33 at Exit 8 of the turnpike.

Public transportation

The Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association offers service on the Route 130 Connection between the Trenton Transit Center and South Brunswick. The Princeton Junction Shuttle connects East Windsor Township and Hightstown with the Princeton Junction Rail Station.

There is also direct service to New York, as well as other New Jersey communities on the Suburban Coach route 300 to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Terminal and other destinations in Midtown Manhattan and the 600 route to and from Downtown Manhattan / Wall Street.


Hightstown was formerly served by the Camden & Amboy Railroad (C&A), the first chartered railway company in the state and the third-oldest in the United States. Service to Hightstown began in December 1831 using the British-built John Bull locomotive. C&A was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1871 after consolidating it with the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company. Ownership was later transferred to Penn Central (PC) in 1968, following by Conrail in 1976 after PC went bankrupt.

In early 1982, Conrail ended freight service to Hightstown on what was known as the Hightstown Industrial Track and filed for abandonment that fall. Trackage was removed in March 1983.


Students in public school for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the East Windsor Regional School District, which serves students from East Windsor and Hightstown. As of the 2020–21 school year, the district, comprised of six schools, had an enrollment of 5,123 students and 466.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.0:1. Public school students in seventh through twelfth grades from Roosevelt Borough (a community in Monmouth County are sent to the district's schools as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Roosevelt Public School District. The seats on the nine-member board of education are allocated based on the population of the constituent municipalities, with two seats assigned to Hightstown.

Schools in the district (with 2020–21 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Walter C. Black Elementary School with 491 students in grades K-2, Ethel McKnight Elementary School with 539 students in grades K-2, Perry L. Drew Elementary School with 567 students in grades 3-5, Grace N. Rogers Elementary School with 561 students in grades PreK / 3-5, Melvin H. Kreps Middle School with 1,237 students in grades 6-8 and Hightstown High School with 1,658 students in grades 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.

Hightstown is also home to the Peddie School, a coeducational, independent high school founded in 1864.

Notable people

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

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

  • Kay B. Barrett (1902–1995), Hollywood talent scout who acquired the movie rights to the book Gone with the Wind.
  • Estelle Brodman (1914–2007), medical librarian and academic, lived in Hightstown after her retirement.
  • Hilly Kristal (1931–2007), founder and owner of the New York City music club CBGB.
  • Larry Kelley (1915–2000), football player who won the Heisman Trophy in 1936.
  • Desiree Lubovska (1893–1974), founded the American National Ballet School at Hightstown in 1921.
  • Doug Mastriano (born 1964), politician who is a retired Colonel of the United States Army and the state senator for Pennsylvania's 33rd District.
  • Worrall Frederick Mountain (1909–1992), Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1971 to 1979.
  • Elizabeth Greenleaf Pattee (1893–1991), architect, landscape architect and architecture professor.
  • Randal Pinkett (born 1971), business consultant who in 2005 was the winner of season four of the reality television show, The Apprentice.
  • Jonathan Sprout (born 1952), songwriter, performer and recording artist.
  • Martin Waldron (1925–1981), winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on unchecked spending on the Florida Turnpike.
  • Charles L. Walters (c. 1862–1894), politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Paul Watkins (born 1964), novelist.
  • John Archibald Wheeler (1911–2008), physicist.
  • Nick Williams (born 1990), wide receiver who has played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins.
  • John Woodruff (1915–2007), Gold Medalist at 800 metres at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

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See also

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