Piscataway, New Jersey facts for kids

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Piscataway, New Jersey
Township
Township of Piscataway
John Onderdonk house
John Onderdonk house
Motto: A Proud Diversified Community
Location of Piscataway Township highlighted in Middlesex County.
Location of Piscataway Township highlighted in Middlesex County.
Census Bureau map of Piscataway Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Piscataway Township, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Middlesex
Formed October 31, 1693
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Area
 • Total 19.029 sq mi (49.286 km2)
 • Land 18.835 sq mi (48.782 km2)
 • Water 0.194 sq mi (0.504 km2)  1.02%
Area rank 149th of 566 in state
7th of 25 in county
Elevation 52 ft (16 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 56,044
 • Estimate (2015) 58,069
 • Rank 26th of 566 in state
4th of 25 in county
 • Density 2,975.5/sq mi (1,148.8/km2)
 • Density rank 216th of 566 in state
16th of 25 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08854, 08855
Area code(s) 732 and 908
FIPS code 3402359010
GNIS feature ID 0882167
Website www.piscatawaynj.org
Greek American souvlaki grilling at 2011 Greek Festival, Piscataway, New Jersey
Souvlaki grilling at the 2011 Greek Festival in Piscataway, New Jersey on May 15, 2011

Piscataway /pɪsˈkætəˌw/ is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 56,044, reflecting an increase of 5,562 (+11.0%) from the 50,482 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,393 (+7.2%) from the 47,089 counted in 1990.

The name Piscataway may be derived from the area's original Native American residents, transplants from near the Piscataqua River defining the coastal border between New Hampshire and Maine, whose name derives from peske (branch) and tegwe (tidal river), or alternatively from pisgeu (meaning "dark night") and awa ("place of") or from a Lenape language word meaning "great deer" or from words meaning "place of dark night". The area was first settled in 1666 by Quakers and Baptists who had left the Puritan colony in New Hampshire.

Piscataway Township was formed on December 18, 1666, and officially incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as part of the state's initial group of 104 townships. The community, the fifth-oldest municipality in New Jersey, has grown from Native American territory, through a colonial period and is one of the links in the earliest settlement of the Atlantic Ocean seacoast that ultimately led to the formation of the United States. Over the years, portions of Piscataway were taken to form Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison), Dunellen (October 28, 1887), Middlesex (April 9, 1913) and South Plainfield (March 10, 1926).

Piscataway has advanced educational and research facilities due to the presence of Rutgers University, whose main campus spills into the township. High Point Solutions Stadium, home field for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team, is in Piscataway. Part of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is located in Piscataway as well.

In 2008, Money magazine ranked Piscataway 23rd out of the top 100 places to live in America. In 2014, the magazine ranked Piscataway 27th out of top 50 places to live in America.

History

In 1666, the first appointed Governor of New Jersey, Philip Carteret, granted 12 new settlers from Massachusetts a 100 square mile lot of land that was later founded as the townships of Woodbridge and Piscataway. After this original purchase, additional settlers from the Piscataqua River area of New Hampshire also moved to the area, bringing the name. Coming from a lumbering, shipbuilding and fishing background, these settlers, consisting of mostly Baptists and Quakers, were comfortable with their new surroundings, and looking forward to starting a new life away from political and religious persecution in the north. They were also enterprising and pioneering families who were already experienced in wilderness settlement. Before the original settlers, there were pioneer scouts who surveyed theses new lands and waterways. The town name of Piscataway came from these early pioneers who originally came from the town of Piscataqua. During the original land purchase, the pioneers had signed 12 Articles of Agreement with Governor Carteret, which served as the legal basis for the government of Piscataway and Woodbridge and which shaped the democratic development of self-government. In short, these articles were mainly designed to provide liberty and land ownership for new families and to allow them to establish their own government representatives and religious freedoms.

After a few line and boundary changes, Piscataway and its out plantations were reported to total 40,000 acres, with 66 square miles of land in 1685. The Lenni Lenape Indians were natives to the entire Piscataway area, but were quietly displaced to smaller areas as settler numbers increased. The Indians had established defined trails that the settlers used to travel through the wilderness area and branch out to new lands. Over time, many of these primitive trails became the main routes of travel from town to town and still exist today. The trails along the Raritan River were named after a local Indian tribe called the Raritangs. Piscataway Township is the fifth oldest town in New Jersey and among the fifty oldest towns in the United States.

On February 8, 1777 a running battle took place between approximately 2,000 British and Hessian troops under the command of British General Charles Lord Cornwallis and the local patriot militia led by Colonel Charles Scott and a separate militia commanded by Brigadier General Nataniel Warner.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 19.029 square miles (49.286 km2), including 18.835 square miles (48.782 km2) of land and 0.194 square miles (0.504 km2) of water (1.02%).

The township lies on the south side of the Raritan Valley, a line of cities in Central Jersey, along with New Brunswick, Highland Park and South Plainfield. Piscataway is 45 minutes southwest of New York City and 53 minutes northeast of Philadelphia.

Piscataway is bordered by nine municipalities: Dunellen, Edison, Highland Park, Middlesex, New Brunswick and South Plainfield in Middlesex County and Franklin Township and South Bound Brook in Somerset County and Plainfield in Union County.

Society Hill (with a 2010 Census population of 3,829) is a unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Piscataway Township.

Piscataway is often segmented by local residents into unincorporated communities, localities and place names which include Arbor, Bound Brook Heights ("the Heights"), Fellowship Farm, Fieldville, Johnson Park, Lake Nelson, New Brunswick Highlands, New Market (known as Quibbletown in the 18th Century), Newtown, North Stelton, Possumtown, Randolphville, Raritan Landing and Riverview Manor. The original village settlement of Piscatawaytown is located in present-day Edison Township.

Significant portions of Piscataway make up part of historic Camp Kilmer and the Livingston and Busch Campuses of Rutgers University.

The Arbor and New Brunswick Highland sections of Piscataway were historically African American neighborhoods.

The New Market section historically comprised the Quaker village of Quibbletown. The early name of the village originated from the fact that settlers of different religious denominations quibbled about whether the Sabbath should be observed on Saturday or on Sunday in the village.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 2,261
1810 2,475
1820 2,648 7.0%
1830 2,664 0.6%
1840 2,828 6.2%
1850 2,975 5.2%
1860 3,186 7.1%
1870 2,757 * −13.5%
1880 2,425 −12.0%
1890 2,226 * −8.2%
1900 2,628 18.1%
1910 3,523 34.1%
1920 5,385 * 52.9%
1930 5,865 * 8.9%
1940 7,243 23.5%
1950 10,180 40.5%
1960 19,890 95.4%
1970 36,418 83.1%
1980 42,223 15.9%
1990 47,089 11.5%
2000 50,482 7.2%
2010 56,044 11.0%
Est. 2015 58,069 3.6%
Population sources: 1790-1920
1840 1850-1870 1850
1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 56,044 people, 17,050 households, and 12,958 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,975.5 per square mile (1,148.8/km2). There were 17,777 housing units at an average density of 943.8 per square mile (364.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 38.46% (21,554) White, 20.69% (11,596) Black or African American, 0.31% (173) Native American, 33.45% (18,744) Asian, 0.02% (13) Pacific Islander, 3.59% (2,011) from other races, and 3.48% (1,953) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.22% (6,289) of the population.

There were 17,050 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.0% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the township, the population was spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 17.8% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.0 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 96.8 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $88,428 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,958) and the median family income was $95,483 (+/- $3,327). Males had a median income of $57,308 (+/- $4,335) versus $48,606 (+/- $1,863) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,254 (+/- $1,335). About 2.5% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 50,482 people, 16,500 households, and 12,325 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,688.6 people per square mile (1,037.9/km²). There were 16,946 housing units at an average density of 902.5 per square mile (348.4/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 48.81% White, 20.31% African American, 0.21% Native American, 24.80% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.08% from other races, and 2.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.93% of the population.

As of the 2000 Census, 12.49% of Piscataway's residents identified themselves as being of Indian American ancestry, which was the fourth highest of any municipality in the United States and the third highest in New Jersey—behind Edison (17.75%) and Plainsboro Township (16.97%)—of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.

There were 16,500 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $68,721, and the median income for a family was $75,218. Males had a median income of $47,188 versus $36,271 for females. The per capita income for the township was $26,321. About 2.7% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 206.70 miles (332.65 km) of roadways, of which 181.68 miles (292.39 km) were maintained by the municipality, 18.94 miles (30.48 km) by Middlesex County and 6.08 miles (9.78 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Piscataway is served by a number of roads. County roads include CR 501 (along the border with South Plainfield), CR 514 and CR 529. Route 18 currently ends at Hoes Lane, with plans to extend to Interstate 287. Interstate 287 passes through the center of the township for about 4 miles.

Other limited access roads that are accessible include the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) in East Brunswick Township (Exit 9) and neighboring Edison Township (Exit 10).

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 114 route, to Newark on the 65 and 66 routes, local service on the 819 line and additional service on the 980 route. Train service is not available in Piscataway, but service is available on the Raritan Valley Line at the Dunellen station and on the Northeast Corridor at the Edison station.

As of 2016 Taiwanese airline EVA Air, provides a private bus service to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for customers based in New Jersey. This service stops in Piscataway.

Points of interest

  • WVPH is the community radio station of Piscataway High School and Rutgers University.
  • Ferrer Colony and Modern School and Fellowship Farm Cooperative Association are the remnants of the 1910s Utopian societies
  • Road Up Raritan Historic District includes nine historic homes along River Road and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
  • Metlar-Bodine House is a museum dedicated to the history of Piscataway "from Indian trails to Interstate" and was established in 1979 in a house whose earliest portions date to 1728.
  • Cornelius Low House, a Middlesex County Museum.

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