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Piscataway, New Jersey
Township
Township of Piscataway
The YMCA at the Community Center
The YMCA at the Community Center
Motto(s): 
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
Government
 • Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 • Body Township Council
Area
 • Total 18.96 sq mi (49.11 km2)
 • Land 18.79 sq mi (48.68 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.43 km2)  0.88%
Area rank 149th of 565 in state
7th of 25 in county
Elevation
52 ft (16 m)
Population
 • Total 56,044
 • Estimate 
(2019)
56,837
 • 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 UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
08854, 08855
Area code(s) 732 and 908
FIPS code 3402359010
GNIS feature ID 0882167
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 is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The township is a bedroom suburb of the New York metropolitan area, located within the heart of the Raritan Valley region. 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 earliest European American settlers who were coming as transplants from New Hampshire near the Piscataqua River. This river is a landmark defining the coastal border between New Hampshire and Maine. This is an area 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" The area was appropriated 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. SHI 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%
2019 (est.) 56,837 1.4%
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.

Economy

Corporate residents of Piscataway include:

  • American Standard Brands
  • Cintas Corporation
  • Colgate-Palmolive, Research and Development
  • Gorgias Press, an academic publisher that specializes on Eastern Christianity.
  • Hapag-Lloyd America, an international shipping company.
  • IEEE
  • Ingersoll Rand and its wholly owned subsidiary Trane
  • Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.
  • Pepsi Cola Bottling Group - bottling plant.
  • Siemens Hearing Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of hearing aids.
  • Telcordia Technologies, World Headquarters

Education

The Piscataway Township Schools serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 10 schools, had an enrollment of 7,161 students and 530.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.5:1. In addition to its high school, there are four schools for K-3, two intermediate schools serving grades 4-5 and three middle schools for students in grades 6-8. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School (506 students; in grades K-3), Grandview Elementary School (789; PreK-3), Knollwood Elementary School (505; K-3), Randolphville Elementary School (469; K-3), Arbor Intermediate School (585; 4-5), Martin Luther King Intermediate School (4-5), Conackamack Middle School (472; 6-8), Quibbletown Middle School (485; 6-8), Theodore Schor Middle School (576; 6-8) and Piscataway Township High School (2,267; 9-12).

Middlesex County schools

Eighth grade students from all of Middlesex County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at Middlesex County Academy in Edison, the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge Township and at its East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.

Other Middlesex County schools in Piscataway include:

  • Nuview Academy Piscataway Campus, 1 Park Avenue – Programs for students with symptoms of; Depression, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Thought Disorder, or Anxiety Disorder.
  • Bright Beginnings Learning Center, 1660 Stelton Road – Programs for students with Autism.
  • Piscataway Regional Day School, 1670 Stelton Road – Programs for students with Autism.
  • Raritan Valley Academy, 1690 Stelton Road – Programs for students with behavioral disabilities, learning and/or language disabilities.
Private schools
  • Lake Nelson Seventh-day Adventist Academy, opened in February 1959, serves students in PreK to tenth grade.
  • Timothy Christian School is a K–12 that was founded in 1949.
  • An-Noor Academy, a PreK–12 school that has served the area's Muslim community since 2000.
Colleges and continuing education
  • Rutgers University Busch and Livingston Campuses
  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine and University Behavioral HealthCare (which overlaps with Rutgers Busch Campus)
  • StenoTech Career Institute is a technical school that offers court reporting and medical transcription training.

Sports

SHI Stadium was originally constructed in 1994 with 41,500 seats as the home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team and was expanded to a capacity of 52,454 in 2009 after a $100-million expansion.

Louis Brown Athletic Center is the home of the Rutgers University men's and women's basketball teams. The venue was originally named the Rutgers Athletic Center, still called the RAC by many, and can accommodate 9,000 attendees. The athletic center was the home of the professional New Jersey Nets for the four seasons from 1977–1981 after moving from New York and before the Meadowlands Arena was completed.

Yurcak Field is a multi-purpose soccer and lacrosse stadium, built in 1994, and holds 5,000 people. The stadium is officially named "The Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium at Yurcak Field" in honor of Ronald N. Yurcak, a 1965 All-American Rutgers lacrosse player. Rutgers University host their home games at this stadium.

Notable people

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

  • Mike Alexander (born 1965), former NFL wide receiver.
  • Edward Antill (1701-1770), colonial plantation owner, attorney, and early politician in New Jersey colony.
  • Edward Antill (1742-1789), soldier who fought at the Battle of Quebec (1775) and was the son of the politician with the same name.
  • Melissa Bacelar (born 1979), horror film actress.
  • Justin Bailey (born 1977), basketball player for University of Hartford and then foreign professional teams for 13 years.
  • Samuel E. Blum (1920-2013), chemist and physicist who developed the ultraviolet excimer laser.
  • Marvin Booker (born 1990), linebacker who has played in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Ralph Bowen (born 1961), Canadian-born jazz saxophonist.
  • Anthony Branker (born 1958), jazz musician and educator.
  • John Celestand (born 1977), 30th pick of 1999 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Mark Ciardi (born 1961), film producer and former Major League Baseball pitcher.
  • Marc Cintron (born 1990), professional soccer player.
  • Anthony Davis (born 1989), offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Dwayne Gratz (born 1990), cornerback who has played in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Rachael Hip-Flores, actress who has appeared in Good People in Love and the web series Anyone But Me.
  • Malcolm Jenkins (born 1987), safety for the New Orleans Saints. Played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Asjha Jones (born 1980), WNBA basketball player for the Connecticut Sun.
  • Joe Lizura (born 1961), television meteorologist, who has also been an actor, spokesperson, author and television show developer, writer and producer.
  • Isaac Low (1735-1791), member of the First Continental Congress in 1774 who opposed armed conflict with the British and left the American side after the Declaration of Independence.
  • Nicholas Low (1739-1826), merchant, developer, and younger brother of Isaac.
  • Lisa Marie (born 1968), actress who has appeared in Planet of the Apes and Sleepy Hollow.
  • Luther Martin (1748-1826), Founding Father who refused to sign the United States Constitution as it violated states' rights in his view.
  • Raqiyah Mays (born 1978), actress and hip-hop journalist.
  • Richard Levis McCormick (born 1947), 19th President of Rutgers University.
  • Richard P. McCormick (1916-2006), historian and professor emeritus at Rutgers University, who served as president of the New Jersey Historical Society.
  • Matt Nagy (born 1978), head coach of the Chicago Bears who played in the Arena Football League.
  • Joseph Fitz Randolph (1803-1873), member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey from 1837 to 1843.
  • Brandon Renkart (born 1984), practice squad player for the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Paul Rudnick (born 1957), playwright, novelist, screenwriter and essayist.
  • Bob Smith (born 1947), member of the New Jersey Senate since 2002 who spent five years as mayor of Piscataway.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (born 1995), NBA basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Kyle Wilson (born 1987), cornerback for the New York Jets.
  • Eric Young Jr. (born 1985), second baseman and outfielder who has played for the New York Mets.

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