Hunterdon County, New Jersey facts for kids

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Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Seal of Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Map
Map of New Jersey highlighting Hunterdon County
Location in the state of New Jersey
Map of the USA highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1714
Seat Flemington
Largest City Raritan Township (population)
Readington Township (area)
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

437.44 sq mi (1,133 km²)
427.82 sq mi (1,108 km²)
9.62 sq mi (25 km²), 2.20%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

128,349
124,676 (2016 est.; 18th largest)
298/sq mi (115/km²)
Website: http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us
Named for: Robert Hunter

Hunterdon County is a county located in the western section of the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2016 Census estimate, the county's population was 124,676, making it the state's 18th-most populous county, representing a 2.9% decrease from the 128,349 enumerated in the 2010 United States Census, in turn increasing by 6,360 (+5.2%) from the 121,989 counted in the 2000 Census, retaining its position as the state's 14th-most populous county. The percentage increase in population between 2000 and 2010 was the largest in New Jersey, almost triple the statewide increase of 4.5%, and the absolute increase in residents was the third highest. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Flemington. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 19th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the third highest in New Jersey) as of 2009.

It is part of the Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Hunterdon County was established on March 11, 1714, separating from Burlington County, at which time it included all of present-day Morris, Sussex and Warren counties. The rolling hills and rich soils which produce bountiful agricultural crops drew Native American tribes and then Europeans to the area.

Hunterdon County is noted for having the second-lowest level of child poverty of any county in the United States.

Geology

Around 500 million years ago, a chain of volcanic islands shaped like an arch collided with proto North America and rode over the top of the North American plate. The rock from the islands created the highlands of Hunterdon County as there was a shallow sea where Hunterdon County is now located. Then around four hundred million B.C., a small continent that was long and thin, collided with proto North America. This collision created compression, which caused heat. The Paleozoic sediment of shale and sandstone folded and faulted. The heat allowed the igneous rock to bend, thus Hunterdon County was born.

The African plate which later collided with North America created more folding and faulting, especially in the southern Appalachians. Then the African and North America plates tore and drifted away from each other.

The Wisconsin glacier that entered into New Jersey around 21,000 BCE and then melted around 13,000 BCE did not reach Hunterdon County. However, there are glacial outwash deposits from streams and rivers that flowed from the glacier southward depositing rock and sediment.

Hunterdon County has two geophysical provinces. The first is the Highlands which is the western section of the county. The other is the Piedmont which is the eastern and southern section of the county. The Highlands account for one third of the area and the Piedmont accounts for two thirds of the county.

The Highlands are part of the Reading Prong. Limestone and shale over igneous rock comprise the Highlands.

The Piedmont includes the Hunterdon Plateau and the Raritan Valley Lowlands which are 150 to 300 feet (46 to 91 m) above sea level. The Piedmont is made up of shale and sandstone.

Califon Bridge
The bridge over the South Branch of the Raritan River in Califon.
Oldwick General Store
Oldwick General Store

Paleo Indians and Native Americans

Paleo Indians moved into Hunterdon County between 12,000 BCE and 11,000 BCE. The area was warming due to climate change. The Wisconsin Glacier in Warren and Sussex County was retreating northward. The area was that of Taiga/Boreal forests. Paleo Indians traveled in small groups in search of game and edible plants. They used spears made of bone, jasper or black chert. Their camp sites are difficult to find as they are many feet below the present surface.

Native Americans moved into the area but the time they arrived is unknown. Most have come from the Mississippi River area. Many tribes of the Delaware Nation lived in Hunterdon County especially along the Delaware River and in the Flemington area. These tribes were agricultural in nature, growing corn, beans and squash. Those that lived along the South Branch of the Raritan River fished and farmed. There was a Native American trail that went along the South Branch of the Raritan River (Philhower 1924).

European settlement

Land purchases from Native Americans occurred from 1688 to 1758. Large land purchases from Native Americans occurred in 1703, 1709 and 1710. Over 150,000 acres (610 km2) were bought with metal knives and pots, clothing, blankets, barrels of rum or hard cider, guns, powder and shot. This allowed for European settlers to enter into Hunterdon County in the early 18th century. After 1760 nearly all Native Americans left New Jersey and relocated to eastern Canada or the Mississippi River area.

The first European settlers were Col. John Reading who settled in Reading Township in 1704 and John Holcombe who settled in Lambertville in 1705.

County origin

Hunterdon County was separated from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. At that time Hunterdon County was large, going from Assunpink Creek near Trenton to the New York State line which at that time was about 10 miles (16 km) north of Port Jervis, New York. Hunterdon County was named for Robert Hunter, a colonial governor of New Jersey. Language changes over time and location, so by stemming of [s], and a [t] → [d] lenition of the name of his family seat of "Hunterston" in Ayrshire, Scotland, the name "Hunterdon" was derived.

On March 15, 1739, Morris County (which at the time included what would later become Sussex County and Warren County) was separated from Hunterdon County. The boundary between Hunterdon and Somerset counties is evidence of the old Keith Line which separated the provinces of West Jersey and East Jersey.

Hunterdon County was reduced in area on February 22, 1838, with the formation of Mercer County from portions of Burlington County, Hunterdon County and Middlesex County. In February 1839, the remaining portion of Hopewell Township was annexed to Mercer County. On March 13, 1844 Hopewell Township returned to Hunterdon County while Tewksbury Township was annexed by Somerset County but in February 1845 both of these changes were repealed. Since then, the county boundaries have remained the same.

Hunterdon County was being affected by industrialization in the state and nation, mining speculation in northwest New Jersey, and competitors constructing railroads. The Elizabethtown and Somerville Railroad leased a section to White House just south of Tewksbury Township in 1848.

Recent history

Transitioning from rural to suburban, Hunterdon County is an exurb on the western edge of New Jersey and home to commuters to New York City and Philadelphia. The county seat, Flemington, is noted as the site of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial which convicted Bruno Hauptmann of the murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh's son. With growing towns and shopping areas, as well as relaxing rural areas, Hunterdon County is a far stretch from the urban areas stereotypically associated with New Jersey.

Geography

According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 437.44 square miles (1,133.0 km2), including 427.82 square miles (1,108.0 km2) of land (97.8%) and 9.62 square miles (24.9 km2) of water (2.2%).

Much of the county is hilly, with several hills rising to one thousand foot in elevation. The highest points are two areas in Lebanon Township, one on the Morris County line, both reaching approximately 1,060 feet (320 m) above sea level. The first is at Smith on the Morris County line and the second is north of the area called Little Brook. This area is known as the Highlands of New Jersey. The lowest elevation is where the Mercer County line reaches the Delaware River, approximately 50 feet (15 m) above sea level. The county is drained by the Musconetcong River in the north. The river flows in a southwest direction. The Lamington River drains the county in the east. The central portion of the county is drained by the South Branch of the Raritan River. The Delaware River drains the western side of the county.

Adjacent counties

The county borders the following:

Hunting and fishing

Hunterdon County is considered the premier place to hunt white tailed deer in New Jersey. More deer are harvested each year than any other county according to New Jersey Fish and Game records.

The premier fishing streams are the Musconetcong in the north and the Lamington River. The NJ Fish and Game stocks thousands of rainbow, brown, and brook trout in these streams as well as other streams such as the South Branch of the Raritan River.

There is also Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir. Both are manmade reservoirs that provide boating and fishing opportunities for patrons. Round Valley is one of New Jersey's trophy trout lakes, the reservoir holds the state records for smallmouth bass, brown trout, lake trout, and American eel. Spruce Run held the state record for Northern Pike for nearly 30 years, and offers a large variety of species for anglers to pursue.

New Jersey Fish and Game has also many Wildlife Management Areas for hunting ducks, deer, pheasants, quail, rabbits, squirrels and bears.

Income and taxes

Hunterdon County ranked as the 7th among the highest-income counties in the United States with a per capita income of $36,370. It ranks fourth among U.S. counties for household income according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hunterdon County's median household income was $99,099, behind only Loudoun County, Fairfax County, and Arlington County, Virginia. As of 2005, Hunterdon had the third-highest median property tax of any county in the nation at $6,988, the highest in New Jersey. As of the Tax Foundation's rankings based on 2006 data, Hunterdon had taken the top spot for highest median property tax at $7,999.

As of 2011, Hunterdon still had the nation's highest taxes, with a median of $8,216.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 20,153
1800 21,261 5.5%
1810 24,556 15.5%
1820 28,604 16.5%
1830 31,060 8.6%
1840 24,789 * −20.2%
1850 28,990 16.9%
1860 33,654 16.1%
1870 36,963 9.8%
1880 38,570 4.3%
1890 35,355 −8.3%
1900 34,507 −2.4%
1910 33,569 −2.7%
1920 32,885 −2.0%
1930 34,728 5.6%
1940 36,766 5.9%
1950 42,736 16.2%
1960 54,107 26.6%
1970 69,718 28.9%
1980 87,361 25.3%
1990 107,776 23.4%
2000 121,989 13.2%
2010 128,349 5.2%
Est. 2016 124,676 −2.9%
Historical sources: 1790-1990
1970-2010 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

Certain municipalities, such as Clinton and Union Township, have prisons within their borders, so their racial demographics will be slightly skewed when compared with the rest of the county.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 128,349 people, 47,169 households, and 34,339 families residing in the county. The population density was 300 per square mile (120/km2). There were 49,487 housing units at an average density of 115.7 per square mile (44.7/km2)*. The racial makeup of the county was 91.36% (117,264) White, 2.69% (3,451) Black or African American, 0.13% (167) Native American, 3.26% (4,181) Asian, 0.03% (37) Pacific Islander, 1.22% (1,570) from other races, and 1.31% (1,679) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.24% (6,722) of the population.

There were 47,169 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 22% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.1.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 34.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.5 years. For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 98.1 males. .

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 121,989 people, 43,678 households, and 32,845 families residing in the county. The population density was 284 people per square mile (110/km²). There were 45,032 housing units at an average density of 105 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.91% White, 2.25% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 2.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those residents listing their ancestry, 24.9% were German, 20.7% Irish, 20.6% Italian, 12.5% English, 10.0% Polish and 4.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 43,678 households out of which 37.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.30% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

Hunterdon County's median income for a household was $79,888, which made it the fourth-highest county in the country based on median household income. Median income for a family was $91,050. Males had a median income of $61,888 versus $40,852 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,370, which ranks as the thirteenth highest county in the country based on per capita income. About 1.6% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Entering Hunterdon County along Route 643
Entering Hunterdon County along Route 643

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the county had a total of 1,412.33 miles (2,272.92 km) of roadways, of which 1,059.23 miles (1,704.67 km) were maintained by the local municipality, 237.73 miles (382.59 km) by Hunterdon County and 114.79 miles (184.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.58 miles (0.93 km) by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Many important roads pass through the county. They include state routes, such as Route 12, Route 29, Route 31, Route 165, Route 173 and Route 179. Two U.S. Routes that pass through are U.S. Route 22 and U.S. Route 202. The only limited access road that passes through is Interstate 78.

Rail and Bus transportation

Whitehouse Station
Whitehouse Station

Rail service to the northern part of the county from Newark Penn Station is provided to High Bridge, Annandale, Lebanon and Whitehouse Station by NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line.

The Norfolk Southern Railway's Lehigh Line (formerly the mainline of the Lehigh Valley Railroad), runs through Hunterdon County.

In addition, The Link operates demand-response service across the county, as well as fixed-route service in Flemington. Trans-Bridge Lines also provides service to New York City, as well as several towns/cities west in Pennsylvania.

Municipalities

Hunterdon County, New Jersey Municipalities
Index map of Hunterdon County municipalities (click to see index key)

The following municipalities are located in Hunterdon County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area):

Municipality
(with map key)
Municipal
type
Population Housing
Units
Total
Area
Water
Area
Land
Area
Pop.
Density
Housing
Density
Communities
Alexandria Township (11) township 4,938 1,865 27.64 0.22 27.42 180.1 68.0 Everittstown
Little York
Mechlings Corner
Mount Salem
Swinesburg
Bethlehem Township (16) township 3,979 1,386 20.83 0.12 20.71 192.1 66.9 Charlestown
Polktown
Swinesburg
Bloomsbury (15) borough 870 358 0.91 0.03 0.88 991.9 408.1
Califon (25) borough 1,076 419 0.97 0.02 0.95 1,133.3 441.3 Lower Valley
Clinton (town) (18) town 2,719 1,098 1.42 0.08 1.34 2,032.6 820.8
Clinton Township (19) township 13,478 4,737 33.82 3.95 29.88 451.1 158.6 Annandale CDP (1,695)
Cedar Heights
Cokesbury
Hamden
Mariannes Corner
Potterstown
Stone Mill
Sunnyside
Delaware Township (4) township 4,563 1,927 37.02 0.39 36.64 124.5 52.6 Bowne
Brookville
Dilts Corner
Headquarters
Locktown
Prallsville
Raven Rock
Rosemont
Sand Brook
Sandy Ridge
Sergeantsville
East Amwell Township (3) township 4,013 1,580 28.56 0.10 28.46 141.0 55.5 Amwell
Boss Road
Bowne
Buttonwood Corners
Cloverhill
Furmans Corner
Larisons Corners
Linvale
Reaville
Rileyville
Ringoes
Rocktown
Snydertown
Unionville
Vanlieu Corners
Wertsville
Flemington (8) borough 4,581 1,926 1.08 0.00 1.08 4,252.2 1,787.8
Franklin Township (10) township 3,195 1,204 23.00 0.20 22.80 140.1 52.8 Allens Corner
Alvater Corner
Cherryville
Grandin
Kingtown
Lansdowne
Littletown
Oak Grove
Quakertown
Sidney
Sunnyside
Frenchtown (12) borough 1,373 656 1.36 0.10 1.26 1,087.2 519.4
Glen Gardner (22) borough 1,704 825 1.52 0.00 1.52 1,117.8 541.2 Bells Crossing
Clarksville
Hampton (23) borough 1,401 612 1.54 0.01 1.53 915.1 399.7 Hampton Junction
High Bridge (21) borough 3,648 1,481 2.43 0.04 2.39 1,526.9 619.9 Pierce Heights
Holland Township (14) township 5,291 2,066 24.02 0.51 23.51 225.0 87.9 Amsterdam
Hughesville
Little York
Mount Joy
Riegel Ridge
Spring Mills
Kingwood Township (6) township 3,845 1,569 35.77 0.62 35.16 109.4 44.6 Barbertown
Byram
Idell
Milltown
Point Breeze
Tumble Falls
Lambertville (1) city 3,914 2,079 1.30 0.14 1.15 3,386.1 1,798.8
Lebanon (20) borough 1,358 664 0.89 0.00 0.89 1,532.0 749.1
Lebanon Township (24) township 6,588 2,439 31.70 0.24 31.46 209.4 77.5 Anthony
Bunnvale
Hampton Junction
Hoffmans
Little Brook
Lower Valley
Mount Lebanon
New Hampton
Newport
Penwell
Red Mill
Scrappy Corner
Spruce Run
Stone Mill
Woodglen
Milford (13) borough 1,233 552 1.23 0.08 1.15 1,073.4 480.5
Raritan Township (7) township 22,177 8,284 37.69 0.16 37.53 591.2 220.9 Bartles Corners
Cloverhill
Copper Hill
Croton
Flemington Junction
Gary Corner
Klinesville
Larisons Corners
Muirhead
Reaville
Rockefellows Mills
Thachers Hill
Voorhees Corner
Readington Township (9) township 16,126 6,191 48.04 0.30 47.74 337.8 129.7 Barley Sheaf
Centerville
Cushetunk
Darts Mills
Dreahook
Holcomb Mills
McCrea Mills
Mechanicsville
Pleasant Run
Potterstown
Readington Village
Riverside
Rowland's Mills
Stanton
Three Bridges
Whitehouse
Whitehouse Station CDP (2,089)
Stockton (5) borough 538 259 0.61 0.08 0.54 1,005.6 484.1
Tewksbury Township (26) township 5,993 2,323 31.70 0.17 31.53 190.1 73.7 Bissell
Cokesbury
Fairmount
Farmersville
Laurel Farms
Lower Fairmount
Mountainville
Oldwick
Sutton
Vernoy
Union Township (17) township 5,908 1,830 20.61 1.87 18.74 315.3 97.7 Coles Mills
Grandin
Hensfoot
Jutland
Kingtown
Mechlings Corner
Mount Salem
Norton
Pattenburg
Perryville
Polktown
Van Syckel
West Amwell Township (2) township 2,842 1,157 21.78 0.19 21.58 177.9 53.6 Alexauken
Bowne
Linvale
Mount Airy
Rocktown
Hunterdon County county 127,351 49,487 437.44 9.62 427.82 300.0 115.7

Other unincorporated places

Other unincorporated places within Hunterdon County include:

Parks

The Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation manages these parks.

  • Point Mountain Section
  • Mountain Farm/Teetertown Preserve
  • Tower Hill Park
  • Charlestown Reserve
  • Union Furnace Nature Preserve
  • Columbia Trail Section
  • Cold Brook Reserve
  • Musconetcong Gorge Section
  • Schick Reserve
  • Hoffman Park
  • South Branch Reservation
  • Landsdown Trail Section
  • Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve
  • Arboretum
  • Deer Path Park and Round Mountain Section
  • Uplands Reserve
  • Clover Hill Park
  • Heron Glen Golf Course
  • Wescott Nature Preserve
  • South County Park
  • Future Park
  • Laport Reserve
  • Sourland Mountain Nature Preserve
  • Jugtown Mountain Nature Preserve

Points of interest

  • Beneduce Vineyards
  • Hunterdon County Arboretum
  • Hunterdon Art Museum
  • Hunterdon County Courthouse
  • Hunterdon Medical Center
  • Mount Salem Vineyards
  • Old York Cellars
  • The Red Mill (in Clinton, New Jersey)
  • Solitude Dam/TISCO Headquarters 1742 in High Bridge, New Jersey
  • The Solitude House Museum in High Bridge, New Jersey
  • The Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway in High Bridge, New Jersey
  • Unionville Vineyards

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Flemington, New Jersey
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.8
 
37
19
 
 
3.2
 
41
22
 
 
4.3
 
50
28
 
 
4.3
 
62
38
 
 
4.6
 
72
47
 
 
4.6
 
81
57
 
 
5.2
 
85
62
 
 
3.7
 
83
61
 
 
4.3
 
77
53
 
 
4.5
 
65
41
 
 
3.8
 
54
33
 
 
4.3
 
42
25
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Flemington have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −18 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1984 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.16 inches (80 mm) in February to 5.16 inches (131 mm) in July.

Images for kids


Hunterdon County, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.