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Short Hills, New Jersey
Downtown Short Hills
Downtown Short Hills
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Essex
Township Millburn
 • Total 5.211 sq mi (13.497 km2)
 • Land 5.196 sq mi (13.459 km2)
 • Water 0.015 sq mi (0.039 km2)  0.29%
377 ft (115 m)
 • Total 13,165
 • Density 2,533.5/sq mi (978.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP code
FIPS code 3467320
GNIS feature ID 02584025

Short Hills is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Millburn Township, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. It is a popular commuter town for residents who work in New York City.

It is notable for being an affluent community. The median listing price of its homes was $1.75 million in February 2012, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Zillow. In 2014, Time magazine named it the "Richest Town in America" with seven in ten household incomes above $150,000 per year, the highest percentage in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 13,165.



Originally, the area that would become Short Hills was part of Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey, and its eponymous hills are thought to have played a role in the movement of the Continental Army under George Washington during the Battle of Springfield.

Short Hills began as a planned community, when Stewart Hartshorn (who became wealthy from developing, perfecting and manufacturing the self-acting shade roller) purchased 13 acres (53,000 m2) of land in Millburn Township, near the present Hobart Avenue, Parsonage Hill Road, and Chatham Road. Hartshorn's purpose was to create "a harmonious community for people who appreciated nature," and "where natural beauty would not be destroyed by real estate developments, and where people of congenial tastes could dwell together." He later increased his land holdings to 56 acres (230,000 m2) for himself and 1,552 acres (6.28 km2) for the whole village, with each plot not owned by Hartshorn being no larger than 1/2 acre.

Hartshorn chose the name "Short Hills" because it reflected the topography of the region, and also because the local Lenape Native Americans used that same name to describe the region. One local resident suggested that he call his village "Hartshornville," but he refused, quietly content with Short Hills sharing his initials.

Railroad and postal connections

Short Hills Station, D.L. & W. Ry. Digital ID- (digital file from original) det 4a07263 http- loc.pnp det.4a07263
Short Hills Station, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad ca. 1895

Hartshorn situated his "ideal town" near enough to a railroad to allow for an easy commute to Hoboken and, from there, to New York City. Hence, his decision in 1879 to build, at his own expense, a railroad station along the original Morris and Essex Railroad line. He also persuaded the United States Post Office to open a branch in his new railroad station in 1880, and in fact, the Post Office has always had a presence in Short Hills from that day and its own ZIP Code, 07078.

Buffer zones

Hartshorn deliberately preserved strips of land along the railroad right-of-way from any development west of Old Short Hills Road. These strips separate Hobart Avenue to the north, and Chatham Road to the south, from the railway line. The only structure that has ever stood directly adjacent to the line is the railroad station. In 1944, the Hartshorn family also donated Crescent Park to Millburn Township, directly across from the station, with the stipulation that the park always remain open to the public.

Common elements

After seventeen houses were erected, Hartshorn turned his attention to other "common elements." These included a Music Hall, which later became the Short Hills Racquets Club. However, Short Hills remains a relatively quiet place.

Stewart Hartshorn died in 1937 at the age of 97. His daughter Cora survived him, wrote her own history of the hamlet, and helped establish the Arboretum that bears her name.

Later events

In 1968 Temple B'nai Jeshurun relocated from Newark, NJ, to a 21-acre (8.5 ha) site in Short Hills. It is the oldest Reform Jewish congregation in New Jersey and, with 1,100 member families, one of the largest Jewish congregations in the state at the time of the move. Most of the property was purchased from Congressman Robert Kean, father of future New Jersey governor Thomas Kean. The land had been given to Kean's family by King George III of the United Kingdom.

In 1975 the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society formed in conjunction with the American Bicentennial celebrations.

In 2001 the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center opened in Short Hills.

In 2002 local residents planted a memorial tree on the grounds of the railroad station, to honor those of their neighbors who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

In 2011 the historic Greenwood Gardens opened to the public. It is one of sixteen garden preservation projects in the United States overseen by the Garden Conservancy.

Present day

Waterfall garden at arborteum in Short Hills NJ
Waterfall garden at Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills.

The opening of the Kearny Connection in 1996, establishing direct rail service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, has enhanced real-estate values immensely.

Short Hills is home to many senior executives and controlling stockholders of some of the largest corporations in the United States and their families. The median family income was over $200,000. Dun & Bradstreet has its headquarters in Short Hills.

Short Hills has four K-5 elementary schools. Three are part of the Millburn Township Public Schools: Deerfield Elementary School, Glenwood Elementary School, and Hartshorn Elementary School. The fourth is The Pingry School Lower Campus. Students move on to complete their public school education at Millburn Middle School for grades 6–8 and Millburn High School for grades 9–12. Short Hills is also home to the Far Brook School, a private day school serving students in nursery through eighth grade.

Though Short Hills has its own railroad station and post-office branch, it does not have an independent government. It remains today a part of the Township of Millburn, as it has been since its inception. Short Hills has a "downtown" business area that is smaller than downtown Millburn. Located along Chatham Road near the Short Hills railroad station, it includes the post office, a pharmacy, small eateries and specialty shops. The train station waiting room operates and a bar and grill during the evening hours and a newsstand and ticket agent are present from early morning hours until noon.

Short Hills is also home to the Short Hills Club, Racquets Club of Short Hills, and the main portion of Canoe Brook Country Club.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 5.211 square miles (13.497 km2), including 5.196 square miles (13.459 km2) of land and 0.015 square miles (0.039 km2) of water (0.29%).


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Short Hills has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


According to an analysis in Time magazine in 2014, Short Hills is the wealthiest community in the United States in terms of having the highest percentage of households (69%) with incomes above $150,000 per year. According to Forbes magazine, the median income in Short Hills is $229,222.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,165 people, 4,146 households, and 3,682 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,533.5 per square mile (978.2/km2). There were 4,292 housing units at an average density of 826.0 per square mile (318.9/km2)*. The racial makeup of the CDP was 81.44% (10,721) White, 0.96% (127) Black or African American, 0.01% (1) Native American, 15.48% (2,038) Asian, 0.02% (2) Pacific Islander, 0.26% (34) from other races, and 1.84% (242) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.40% (316) of the population.

There were 4,146 households out of which 54.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.4% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.2% were non-families. 9.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 34.4% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 31.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 92.3 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $211,989 (with a margin of error of +/- $13,467) and the median family income was $227,262 (+/- $22,938). Males had a median income of $192,625 (+/- $33,436) versus $98,214 (+/- $12,561) for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $100,875 (+/- $7,868). About 0.6% of families and 0.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.7% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

  • Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary
  • Greenwood Gardens
  • The Mall at Short Hills – a high-end mall with a gross leasable area of 1,342,000 ft² (120,780 m²), placing it among the ten largest shopping malls in New Jersey. The mall is anchored by Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom
  • Paper Mill Playhouse
  • Old Short Hills Park
  • Gero Park - Swimming, Baseball, Municipal Golf Course
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