MAPLEWOOD – SOUTH ORANGE
History - Maplewood
When surveying the area now known as Maplewood, Robert Treat found several trails used by Lenape tribes of Algonquian Native Americans, though there was only sparse pre-European settlement. These paths form the basis for what are the town's main thoroughfares today.
The first European settlers arrived around 1675, primarily English, Dutch and French Puritans who had earlier settled Hempstead, Long Island, and Stamford, Connecticut, via Newark and Elizabeth. They had acquired most of today's Essex County from the Native Americans and followed three trails that roughly correspond to South Orange Avenue, Springfield Avenue, and Ridgewood Road. These three routes resulted in the development of three separate communities that coalesced to become Maplewood and South Orange.
Those who came from Newark on the trail that now corresponds to South Orange Avenue settled the area that became South Orange village.
Six families (with last names of Smith, Brown, Pierson, Freeman, Ball and Gildersleeve) came up today's Ridgewood Road and established scattered farms around a center that became Jefferson Village, named after Thomas Jefferson. This village, which roughly corresponds to downtown Maplewood today, developed several mills and orchards. John Durand, the son of Hudson River school painter Asher Brown Durand (who was born in Maplewood in 1796), describes the place as a picturesque but slightly backwards community with close ties to Springfield. The apple harvest was apparently quite impressive and included "Harrison" and "Canfield" varieties. By 1815, there were approximately 30 families in the village. Although the residents of the area were predominantly Presbyterian, the first house of worship was a Baptist chapel in 1812. This was in use until 1846 and fell into disrepair until 1858, when it was taken into use as a Methodist Episcopal church.
Those who came up today's Springfield Avenue settled on a hillcrest near today's intersection between Tuscan and Springfield Avenue and established a hamlet known as North Farms. Over time, this community became known as the Hilton section. It became a stagecoach stop between Newark, Jersey City (then Paulus Hook), and Morristown and thereby a center for trade and light manufacturing. The village changed its name from North Farms to Middleville in 1830, and then to Hilton in 1880 when it was granted a post office. In 1855, Seth Boyden settled in what was then Middleville to retire but innovated a number of agricultural products, especially berries. Boyden also built and put into operation the first steam engines to service the railroad through Maplewood. The area became known for its orchards and related industries, including cider mills and rum distilleries, as well as honey and livestock.
In 1802, Jefferson Village and North Farms were named as districts within the Township of Newark.
The three communities operated independently, each establishing their own school associations: South Orange established the Columbian School in 1814, which would form the basis of Columbia High School; North Farms established the North Farms Association in 1817; and Jefferson Village the Jefferson Association in 1818. In 1867, when the State of New Jersey established public education through the School Law, the newly appointed County Superintendent merged the three associations into one school district, which was formalized in 1894 as the South Orange-Maplewood School District. James Ricalton, a teacher born in Waddington, New York of Scottish parents, set the high standard of education that persists in the school district to this day.
Maplewood was originally formed as South Orange Township, which was created on April 1, 1861, from portions of Clinton Township and what was then the Town of Orange. Portions of the township were taken to form South Orange village (established May 4, 1869, within the township and became fully independent on March 4, 1904) and Vailsburg borough (formed March 28, 1904, and annexed by Newark on January 1, 1905) The name of the township was changed to Maplewood on November 7, 1922.
When the Morris and Essex Railroad from Newark was extended to the area in 1838, a land speculator by the name of John Shedden built a railroad station in Jefferson Village and named it Maplewood. This name came to comprise areas known as Hilton, Jefferson Village, and areas previously part of Springfield. In 1868, farms were divided into parcels for residential housing. The 1920s saw significant growth in new residents and structures.
Architecture and Landscape
Many of the more recognizable buildings and spaces were the work of famous architects and landscape designers. Most of the schools and the Municipal Building were the work of Guilbert & Betelle. The center of town is dominated by Memorial Park, a design of the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted firm was also responsible for the landscaping at Ward Homestead, designed by John Russell Pope, and now known as Winchester Gardens, located on Elmwood Avenue. On the opposite side of town is another Olmsted work, South Mountain Reservation. The Maplewood Theater, designed by William E. Lehman, was where Cheryl Crawford first revived Porgy and Bess.
Arts and culture - Performance Venues
The township owns and operates the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts at 10 Durand Road. The Center, a former Christian Science Church, was donated to the town by Jean Burgdorff, a local real estate entrepreneur. The building was transferred to the town on October 15, 1988.
Every year, on the weekend following the weekend closest to July 4, there is a concert in town called Maplewoodstock. The free concert consists of local and national bands performing alongside various stalls showcasing local businesses.
Maplewood’s time honored tradition returns every Halloween from 3 to 5 pm!
Village streets close at 3 pm for trick or treating, there is a costume contest will be held between 3 and 4:30 pm with prizes, music and hundreds of your Maplewood neighbors in their Halloween finest!
• Ultimate Frisbee (now called simply "Ultimate") was invented in Maplewood in 1968 by students at Columbia High School. A plaque commemorating the birthplace of Ultimate Frisbee is located in the student parking lot
Maplewood township has a downtown area alternatively known as "the village" or "Maplewood Center". The structure of the downtown is largely unchanged since the 1950s. Maplewood won New Jersey Monthly magazine's Downtown Showdown in 2015, with the editor's noting the community's "myriad boutiques, art galleries and notable restaurants”.
Maplewood counts among its residents a large number of theater professionals working in Broadway and off-Broadway productions, owing to the town's convenient rail access and relatively short commute via train into Manhattan. In 2010, a group of 32 of these actors and technicians formed their own repertory theater company and named it Midtown Direct Rep, after the New Jersey Transit line on which they all commuted.
Public transportation For Maplewood – South Orange
New Jersey Transit provides passenger rail service to South Orange station and Maplewood station on the Morristown Line and Gladstone Branch to Newark Broad Street Station, Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station, with connecting service to Hoboken Terminal.
NJ Transit bus service to Newark on the 25, 37 and 70, and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 107 route Independent Bus provides bus service on its 31 route. The town itself operates the rush-hour Jitney service for South Orange and Maplewood to and from the train station.
Education: South Orange – Maplewood School District:
525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040 973-762-5600
Schools in both towns are part of the unified South Orange-Maplewood School District. The district has a single high school (located in Maplewood) two middle schools and several elementary schools in each municipality. Schools in the district are six elementary schools serving grades K-5 — Seth Boyden Elementary Demonstration School (grades K-5), Clinton Elementary School (K-5), Jefferson Elementary School (3–5), Marshall Elementary School (K-2), South Mountain Elementary School (K-5) and Tuscan Elementary School (K-5) — Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School for grades 6–8 and Columbia High School for grades 9–12
A Overall Niche Grade
#52 in 2017 Best School District in NJ
A Clubs & Activities
A+ College Readiness
A- Marshall Elementary School (K-2)
A- Seth Boyden Elementary School (K-5)
A South Mountain Annex School (K-5)
A South Orange Middle School (6-8)
A Tuscan Elementary School (K-5)
Area Private Schools
Far Brook, Short Hills Pingry, Short Hills & Martinsville
The Winston School, Short Hills St. Rose of Lima, Short Hills
Joseph Kushner, Livingston Newark Academy, Livingston
Peck School, Morristown Morristown Beard, Morristown
Golda Ochs Academy, West Orange Seton Hall Prep, West Orange
Continuing and Higher Education
Drew University, Madison
Fairleigh Dickinson University, A portion of Florham campus is in Madison
The College of Saint Elizabeth, Florham Park.
Kean University, Union
Seton Hall University, South Orange
Union County College, Cranford
Maplewood Town Hall: 574 Valley Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Administration: 973-762-8120 ext. 2000
Building Department: 973-762-8120 ext. 3700
Fire Department 973-762-6500
Police Department 973-762-3400
Public Works 973-762-1175
Recreation, Parks/Cultural Affairs 973-763-4202
This is the percentage of 12th gra
History - South Orange
South Orange is a quaint residential community boasting authentic Tudor, Colonial, and Victorian homes, streets dotted with gaslights, beautiful parks, and a bustling Village center.
The history dates back to May 21, 1666, when Connecticut settlers landed on the shores of the Passaic River. Guided by Captain Robert Treat and Lieutenant Samuel Swaine, the group purchased land, now known as Newark, from the Lenni Lenape Indians on July 11, 1666.
Those families wishing to farm moved westward into South Orange and surrounding areas. In 1678, the Lenapes sold the settlers a second parcel of land running from the East Branch of the Rahway River to the mountain top.
South Orange Avenue, an Indian trail, served as the main thoroughfare. But in 1705, road statutes required landowners to maintain the first primitive highways. These included Main Street and Valley and Ridgewood roads. Washington and his troops often traversed the latter during the American Revolution.
The mode of transportation graduated from horseback, to ox-cart, to stage coach. Then in 1836, the Morris and Essex Railroad developed a single track between the Village and Orange and operated a horse-drawn cart. A year later the line was extended and two cars were pulled by a wood-burning steam locomotive. The advent of the railroad established South Orange as a suburb of Newark and a summer resort. Just after the railroad was continued through to Hoboken in 1868, the Village began its rapid transformation from a rude settlement of farms and mills to a polished residential railroad suburb of New York and Newark.
Swamps were drained, roads were constructed and gas lines were laid in the 1890s. Sewers and running water were later added. Street lamps in the town's center burned sperm oil until 1860 when gas service became available. Electric power was brought into the Village about 1888, although most of the streets are still lit by gas lamps. The first telephone exchange was opened in Orange on December 6, 1879. In 1899, a Village central office was established.
The transition of South Orange from vast farm lands to a prestigious residential community is due in large part to the vision of one man, New York attorney John Gorham Vose. Taken with the rich mountain scenery, he purchased a home on Scotland Road in 1858. In 1862, he began to buy large plots of land to begin his conversion. As building got underway, Villagers took great interest in the development of each magnificent home. In just a few years, 175 acres between Scotland Road and Center Street were complete. Vose christened the area Montrose. Other successful businessmen, Turrell, Kingman, Connett, Mead, Speir, and Mayhew, also bought farms, carved out streets, and helped change the face of the community.
The Village Hall, built in 1894, housed the fire department until 1930 when it was moved to Sloan and First Streets. The police department then moved from its 1872 building just west of the railroad into the newly vacated space in Village Hall. In March, 1972, a separate police station and Municipal Court building on South Orange Avenue was completed.
The first U.S. Post Office was opened in 1841 in Freeman's Store at 71 South Orange Avenue but the Postmaster reported "receipts so dreadfully small" that business was suspended. In 1843, another office was opened to serve the thirty families nearby. In all, six different sites were used until 1937 when our present first class Post Office was opened on Vose Avenue in a new building of its own. Free mail delivery started in 1899.
Built about 1680, the Stone House is the oldest in the Village and is still standing on South Orange Avenue near Grove Road. The colonial house at 167 North Ridgewood Road was built by Henry Squier in 1774 and acquired by William Redmond when he bought the Squier farm in 1850. Later the house was leased to a dairyman named Flood who pastured his cows in what is now Meadowland Park. Flood's Hill in the park, used for winter coasting, was named for this family. William Redmond built the brownstone mansion for his home which is used today by the Orange Lawn Tennis Club. Another landmark, said to have been built around 1830 and standing until after 1881 when it was destroyed by fire, was The Mountain House, a fashionable water-cure supervised by two physicians, where spring water piped down the mountain to it, was thought beneficial. A large wooden structure with two wings, set in spacious grounds on Ridgewood Road, at the foot of the present Glenside Road, the hotel accommodated 150 guests. Mr. Lord of Lord & Taylor owned it in 1850 and leased it to G. Baird. The Eclipse Stage Line operated in 1830 between the hotel and Newark. Today the sole reminders of the resort are Mountain Station and Mountain House Road, both established to accommodate hordes of visitors who once flocked here.
South Orange was part of Newark until 1806, when what is now the Oranges and Maplewood were set off as "Orange Township." The name Orange came into use in the second half of the 18th century, and was officially adopted by a meeting of the inhabitants in 1780. The name South Orange first appeared in print in a newspaper ad in 1793 in "Wood's Gazette." It replaced such old names as Chestnut Hill and the Mountain Plantation.
Village government has changed dramatically from theocracy to democracy since the 1600's. In 1776, there were only a cluster of houses, a grist mill, a black-smith shop, a store or two and a tavern but South Orange inhabitants were united in defense of home and country. In 1872, civic indifference reached a peak when only 235 votes were cast in a presidential election. Population has steadily increased: 7,200 in 1920, 13,000 in 1928 and over 16,300 in 1995. The creation of the South Orange Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1861, led to the granting of the Village Charter in 1869, but not until 1872 was it given authorization to levy taxes and borrow money. In 1904, complete separation of Village and Township was effected by action of the State Legislature, after South Orange had agreed to remain in the school district. A copy of the 1869 Charter and its amendments, variances and supplements was printed in 1906. In November, 1977, South Orange voters passed a new Charter for South Orange and changed its name to The Township of South Orange Village.
SOPAC: Opening its doors in 2006, SOPAC quickly became a regional destination for experiencing world-class music, theatre, dance, comedy, and visual art in a modern, yet intimate space. SOPAC’s stunning 3-story glass-enclosed atrium and expansive façade is the welcoming symbol that was envisioned by community leaders more than a decade ago.
South Orange Town Hall: 76 South Orange Avenue, Suite 202, South Orange, NJ 07079
Administration: 973-378-7715 ext. 2
Building Department: 973-378-7715 ext. 7700
Fire Department: 973-762-3200
Police Department: 973-763-3000
Public Works: 973-378-7714
Recreation & Cultural Affairs: 973-378 7754
Maplewood & South Orange property Reassessment
The model is based on reducing the multiplier by a factor compensate for the increase in values (plus a couple of percent for the assumption town budgets will rise year to year) applied to the % change for the specific property. The final numbers won't be set until budgets adopted mid-year. 3rd and 4th quarter taxes will be adjusted to catch up.