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Newton, New Jersey
Town
Town of Newton
Spring Street seen from the Newton Town Green
Spring Street seen from the Newton Town Green
Map of Newton in Sussex County. Inset: Location of Sussex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Newton in Sussex County. Inset: Location of Sussex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Newton, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Newton, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Sussex
Incorporated April 11, 1864
Area
 • Total 3.169 sq mi (8.207 km2)
 • Land 3.146 sq mi (8.147 km2)
 • Water 0.023 sq mi (0.060 km2)  0.73%
Area rank 327th of 566 in state
18th of 24 in county
Elevation 663 ft (202 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 7,997
 • Estimate (2015) 7,979
 • Rank 288th of 566 in state
7th of 24 in county
 • Density 2,542.2/sq mi (981.5/km2)
 • Density rank 245th of 566 in state
3rd of 24 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07860
Area code(s) 973 exchanges: 300, 383, 579, 940
FIPS code 3403751930
GNIS feature ID 0885322
Website www.newtontownhall.com

Newton, officially the Town of Newton, is an incorporated municipality located in Sussex County, New Jersey, United States. It is situated approximately 60 miles (97 km) by road northwest of New York City. It is one of fifteen municipalities in the state organized as a town, and the municipal government operates under a council-manager structure provided by the Faulkner Act, or Optional Municipal Charter Law. As the location of the county's administrative offices and court system, Newton is the county seat of Sussex County.

Newton was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 11, 1864, from portions of Newton Township, which was also partitioned to create Andover Township and Hampton Township, and was then dissolved. Additional land was acquired from Andover Township in 1869 and 1927, and from Fredon Township in 1920.

As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 7,997, reflecting a decline of 247 (-3.0%) from the 8,244 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 723 (+9.6%) from the 7,521 counted in the 1990 Census.

History

See also: Newton Township, Sussex County, New Jersey

In the eighteenth century

Newton is located near the headwaters of the east branch of the Paulins Kill, a 41.6-mile (66.9 km) tributary of the Delaware River. In October 1715, Colonial surveyor Samuel Green plotted a tract of 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) at the head of the Paulins Kill, then known as the Tohokenetcunck River, on behalf of William Penn. This tract, which would not be settled for approximately 30–35 years, was part of the survey and division of the Last Indian Purchase by the West Jersey Board of Proprietors. At the time of Green's survey, northwestern New Jersey was populated with bands of the Munsee, the northern branch of the Lenni Lenape peoples.

The first recorded settler within the boundaries of present-day Newton was a German Palatine immigrant named Henry Hairlocker who arrived sometime before 1751 when he appears in Morris County records as receiving a tavern license. The Newtown Precinct, a large township, was created in 1751, and Sussex County was created from Morris two years later on June 8, 1753. The township would be named Newtown after the colonial village of Newtown in Queens, New York from where the Pettit family originated (the six Pettit brothers, all prominent landowners and influential figures in early local government, settled in northwestern New Jersey in the 1740s) or from its status as a "new town".

In 1762, Jonathan Hampton, of Elizabethtown, surveyed the location for a county courthouse and town green at the intersection of a military supply road he built during the French and Indian War and a major north-south artery called the King's Highway (present-day New Jersey Route 94). The construction of the courthouse was completed in 1765 and the village that developed around it became known as Sussex Court House. The county courthouse was the site of a raid by British partisan Lieutenant James Moody during the American Revolution.

In 1797, the village's post office was renamed Newtown and later, in 1825, the spelling was altered to Newton. Newton Township would cede land to create new townships on several occasions in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries, until a final division dissolved the township on April 11, 1864, through a legislative act of New Jersey Legislature that created the village of Newton as an incorporated town and two rural townships—Hampton and Andover.

Geography

See also: Geography of New Jersey

Geological features

Newton is located in the Kittatinny Valley, a segment of the Great Appalachian Valley. The Great Appalachian Valley is a gigantic trough—a 1,200-mile-long (1,900 km) chain of valley lowlands that stretches about from Quebec to Alabama and is the eastern-most edge of Ridge and Valley Appalachians physiographic province. This physiographic province, one of five in New Jersey, occupies approximately two-thirds of the county's area (the county's western and central sections) dominated by Kittatinny Mountain and the Kittatinny Valley. This province's contour is characterized by long, even ridges with long, continuous valleys in between that generally run parallel from southwest to northeast. The features of the Ridge and Valley province were created approximately 300–400 million years ago during the Ordovician period and Appalachian orogeny—a period of tremendous pressure and rock thrusting that caused the creation of the Appalachian Mountains. This region is largely formed by sedimentary rock.

Newton's land area drains into the watersheds of the Paulins Kill and Pequest River—two rivers that are tributaries of the Delaware River. These watersheds are separated by slate ridges that are part of the Martinsburg Formation. These slate ridges were quarried for slate for roofs and other industrial purposes beginning with a quarry opened by Elijah Blackwell in 1859 that operated under a series of different owners and commercial entities until 1930.

Political geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 3.169 square miles (8.207 km2), including 3.146 square miles (8.147 km2) of land and 0.023 square miles (0.060 km2) of water (0.73%).

The Town of Newton is bordered to the north and east by Hampton Township, to the west by Fredon Township, and to the south by Andover Township.

Climate and weather

Because of its location in the higher elevations of northwestern New Jersey's Appalachian mountains, Newton, as well as the rest of Sussex County, has a cooler humid continental climate or microthermal climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) which indicates patterns of significant precipitation in all seasons and at least four months where the average temperature rises above 10 °C (50 °F) This differs from the rest of the state which is generally a humid mesothermal climate, in which temperatures range between -3 °C (27 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F) during the year's coldest month. Sussex County is part of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6.

During winter and early spring, New Jersey in some years is subject to "nor'easters"—significant storm systems that have proven capable of causing blizzards or flooding throughout the northeastern United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms, tornadoes, and earthquakes are relatively rare. The Kittatinny Valley to the north of Newton, part of the Great Appalachian Valley, experiences a snowbelt phenomenon and has been categorized as a microclimate region known as the "Sussex County Snow Belt." This region receives approximately forty to fifty inches of snow per year and generally more snowfall that the rest of Northern New Jersey and the Northern Climate Zone. This phenomenon is attributed to the orographic lift of the Kittatinny Ridge which impacts local weather patterns by increasing humidity and precipitation.

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Newton have ranged from a low of 17 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.86 inches (73 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in June.

According to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service soil survey, the area receives sunshine approximately 62% of the time in summer and 48% in winter. Prevailing winds are typically from the southwest for most of year; but in late winter and early spring come from the northwest. The lowest recorded temperature was −26 °F on January 21, 1994. The highest recorded temperature was 104 °F (40 °C) on September 3, 1953. The heaviest one-day snowfall was 24 inches recorded on January 8, 1996 (combined with the next day, total snowfall was 40 inches). The heaviest one-day rainfall—6.70 inches— was recorded on August 19, 1955.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,824
1870 2,403 31.7%
1880 2,513 4.6%
1890 3,003 19.5%
1900 4,376 45.7%
1910 4,467 2.1%
1920 4,125 −7.7%
1930 5,401 30.9%
1940 5,533 2.4%
1950 5,781 4.5%
1960 6,563 13.5%
1970 7,297 11.2%
1980 7,748 6.2%
1990 7,521 −2.9%
2000 8,244 9.6%
2010 7,997 −3.0%
Est. 2015 7,979 −0.2%
Population sources: 1870-1920
1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
NewtonGreen2008
Newton Green

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,997 people, 3,170 households, and 1,842 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,542.2 per square mile (981.5/km2). There were 3,479 housing units at an average density of 1,106.0 per square mile (427.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the town was 85.04% (6,801) White, 4.88% (390) Black or African American, 0.49% (39) Native American, 2.98% (238) Asian, 0.05% (4) Pacific Islander, 4.34% (347) from other races, and 2.23% (178) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.34% (987) of the population.

There were 3,170 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 87.6 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $48,702 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,922) and the median family income was $72,266 (+/- $10,712). Males had a median income of $57,369 (+/- $5,859) versus $29,676 (+/- $3,910) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,296 (+/- $2,141). About 10.9% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.2% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 8,244 people, 3,258 households, and 1,941 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,661.7 people per square mile. There were 3,425 housing units at an average density of 1,105.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 91.97% White, 2.80% African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.97% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.80% of the population.

There were 3,258 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,667, and the median income for a family was $56,484. Males had a median income of $41,089 versus $30,016 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,577. About 6.9% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 11% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Museums, galleries, and libraries

Newton is home to the Sussex County Historical Society's Hill Memorial Museum, the oldest continuously operating museum building in the state. The society, founded in 1904, offers a research and genealogical collection, and displays focused on the region's history, from Mastodon bones and Native American artifacts and from the Revolutionary War to World War II.

  • Newton Fire Museum on Spring Street
  • Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council operates a gallery on Spring Street.
  • Dennis Library, founded as a private library association in the mid-19th century, now part of the Sussex County Library System.

Performing arts

The Newton Theatre is a private business which offers frequent musical performances and stand-up comedy shows.

Religion

Newton's community offers a range of Christian houses of worship and one Jewish synagogue. These include:

  • Christ Church, Newton, founded in 1769, an Episcopal parish within the Episcopal Diocese of Newark
  • First Presbyterian Church of Newton, founded in 1786, and affiliated with the PCUSA.
  • The First United Methodist Church
  • Covenant Reformed Church
  • First Baptist Church of Newton, established in nearby Augusta in the 1750s, moved to Newton in 1810.
  • St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.

Located one mile south of Newton, Newton Abbey, also known as St Paul's Abbey, is a Benedictine monastery established in the 1920s.

Parks and recreation

Memory Park, established with 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land donated by Newman E. Drake in 1928.

Points of interest

Old Newton Burial Ground Newton NJ detail of Father Time on wrought iron gate
"Father Time" at the Old Newton Burial Ground
  • Newton Cemetery
  • Newton Town Green
  • Old Newton Burial Ground is a historic cemetery that was the primary burial ground in the town for a century after its establishment in 1762.
  • Spring Street
  • Sussex County Courthouse - The original courthouse was constructed in 1765 and destroyed by fire in 1847. The structure was rebuilt in 1848.
  • Sussex County Community College
    • Horton Mansion on the SCCC campus

Citations

Reading list

Images for kids


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